I feel like I can't post about happy things until I muddle through a bit of what we all were faced with on the new Friday.
When I saw that there had been another school shooting my heart sank. When I saw the number of dead quickly jump to 27, I decided I would probably start home schooling my children come Monday. Then I tried to remind myself that God commands us not to live in the spirit of fear. With sadness pulling at my heart, I gathered my girls and headed out to do grocery shopping at Winco. After arriving home, I opened the trunk, left the groceries and scurried to computer, hoping to find some good news. What I read instead, was that an entire class of kindergarteners had been killed. The tears started and wouldn't stop. I had to explain to the girls what had happened. I had to explain to my kindergarten dolly that precious, innocent children just like her had been sent to eternity that morning. My groceries sat in the open trunk for a long time that afternoon.
It took a lot of tears before I had the courage to cuddle my precious toddler for her nap. I felt guilty holding a warm, breathing innocent child in my arms.
Later I summoned my courage and went to the school to pick up my first grader. OH! Was it good to see him, to touch him and to bring him home with me.
As a former teacher and a current mother, my heart aches with the sorrow of Friday. A parent's worse nightmare--a shooing at the school where YOUR child attends. A teacher's worst nightmare--a shooter in the building. I have to say, that when I was teaching and we heard about school shootings, I would often think things like "I teach first grade/kindergarten--that doesn't happen to these precious little ones." Seriously. That might be naive, but I truly was thinking that it was mostly junior high and high schools who had to worry about such acts of violence. I knew that it could happen at an elementary--it's just unthinkable.
Kindergarten/First Grade children still have baby teeth. They need their Mommy and Daddy to look under the bed before they'll go to sleep. They hold your hand when you go for a walk. They'll kiss you good bye in front of their friends. They willingly say "I love you." They believe in fairy tales. They need help taking a bath. They play with dollies, and cars and Legos. Their smiles light up the world. They are innocent of the filth and evil of this world. Jesus loves these children. He called them saying "Suffer little children to come unto me and forbid them not."
Today, He is holding a few more children in His loving arms. I pray that salvation will come to the living left behind if they have not already found it. That they will feel the everlasting arms holding them up when they cannot stand on their own. That they can soon think of the wonderful memories of their darling loved ones without feeling the panic of the past few days.
It's easy to forget during events like these that God IS in control. While there might not be anything we can do to physically help the grieving, we can pray for them. And we can live each day as a gift. A gift from God. Another day to spread His love to others--actively. Because none of us know the day or hour when He will take us Home. This world is getting darker and darker each day. It's terrifying how dark, actually. But "light is the darkness' most fear" and the darker the night, the brighter that Light can shine--if we let it.
These words from Philips, Craig & Dean keep running through my head. It's an important message I need to remember. I'll need to remember it especially on Monday, when I drop my babies off at school and watch them walk away from me and into the building. When my chest threatens to cave in from fear. When I most need to trust my Heavenly Father.
"You are God alone
From before time began
You were on Your throne
You are God alone
And right now
In the good times and bad
You are on Your throne
You are God alone"