I had a plan. My plan was to share a fantastic cookie recipe on my page today. I sat down to write and couldn’t find the words.
One of the ways I process and deal with things is through writing. Before the days of internet and blogging and typing out thoughts on the computer, I would take my pen to paper and fill pages of journals with words.
Sometimes it felt like my hand wouldn’t move fast enough.
My deepest thoughts and feelings would materialize on the lined pages and then be tucked away in a secret place with hopes that nobody would find them.
It’s funny how I went from hiding journals to publicly sharing my thoughts.
The computer has become my journal and because of this – I couldn’t share my cookie recipe.
My heart is too heavy.
Another shooting. More innocent lives lost.
It feels like the world is it’s own special brand of crazy right now.
Charlottesville. Las Vegas. Antioch. New York City. Sutherland Springs.
Violence. Tragedy. Loss.
Over the years we have seen violence unfold in places that inherently seem safe.
These are the places I imagine people going when they are in need of help. Places where Safe House stickers would rest on the window – letting people know this is where they can flee for protection in the face of harm.
These safe havens – these places of warmth and safety and comfort don’t seem as safe as they once did.
When I kiss my children and wave goodbye in the morning as they head out the door to school – it does not seem that I should fear their lives be taken.
When I arrive to church on Sunday morning and stand to worship the Lord in song – it does not seem that I should fear our lives be taken.
When we go to the movies or to the mall – it does not seem that I should fear our lives be taken.
When we are walking the streets or playing at a park – it does not seem that I should fear our lives be taken.
But that fear is slowly starting to creep in. As I watch the news unfold, I can feel it bubbling slowly in my pit.
Yes, what if?
And then I realize – if I live my life with this ‘what if’ ruling my thoughts then I will become paralyzed. This fear will rob me of joy. This fear will keep me from living the life God intends me to live.
This fear has the potential to seep into my children’s lives if I am not careful.
The reality is, we all have a moment when we will take our final breath. It is inevitable. I don’t know when or how that moment will arrive for myself, for my family, for my friends. I don’t know. Only God knows and I cannot be afraid of the ‘what if.’
If I am letting fear control my thoughts and my actions, then these few people who have committed these horrendous acts have won.
I will not let them win.
I will not let the enemy win.
I know the battle is so much bigger than what we see.
I believe the words of the Bible to be true and I believe that every battle that takes place is really a battle in the spiritual realm.
I believe in good and I believe in evil.
Even in the midst of these tragedies, God is at work and I will not lose faith. I will not lose faith in God’s goodness.
I will not be afraid.
My heart breaks for all of the people who have lost loved ones to these senseless, horrible, cowardice acts.
I pray for the families and friends of the victims whose lives have been forever impacted.
I pray for the lawmakers – that in the face of these tragedies they will see where change needs to be enacted and that they will be brave enough to make the necessary changes.
I pray for God’s protection over our country.
I pray that fear will not take root in our hearts.
I pray that this senseless killing will stop.
I pray it will stop now.
I sat down to write a cookie recipe and I couldn’t do it, so I typed this instead. It wasn’t planned. It wasn’t what I intended to write, but it’s from my heart.
And really, if I think about it – that’s the best way for me to write anyways.