It’s a desperate place to be as a mother, knowing that my children are not safe in this world. There are always dangers, have been since the beginning of the time– but the dangers of living in this present world seem bigger, scarier, and less predictable.
In light of the recent shooting at Umpqua Community College, which happened just an hours drive from the where we live, I just want to hug my children close and never let them go. In my extremely illogical moments I wonder if I can create a huge, armored body suit with one big body but 14 arm holes, 14 leg holes, and 7 head holes that we can all wear in order to never, ever be apart. I want to be like Sally Field in Steel Magnolias and break down, screaming “I wanna know why! Why, why, whyyyyyyyyyyyyy??” Why is there so much hate buried deep in the hearts of so many people? Why is hate able to grow organize and gain strength, and why does hate think it has the right to break laws? Why are there so many people with mental illness going without help and support? Why is it a trend in America to shoot up schools? Why did he think he had the right to rip ten innocent lives from this earth?
And the scariest question in my mind is, Where will it happen next?
My days since the shooting have been a mess of fear, sadness, and anxiety.
But I know it will not help me or my children to live in fear and paranoia. I will not live in fear, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self control. (2 Tim 1:7)
Power. I have the power to make the best decisions I can regarding the safety of my children. I vow to know where they are and who they are with, and I vow to keep them safe to the best of my ability. I have the power to prepare my family the best I can for whatever might come our way. I have the power to live my life in such a way that will remind my children and those around me that God is still at work in this scary world.
Love. I will love my children fiercely and forever. I will read to them, sing with them, play games and do puzzles with them, be silly with them, listen to them, hug and kiss them, and teach them about God, goodness, love, light and truth.
Self Control. I will not let my mind wander down rabbit trails of worry and paranoia. I will cast my fears at Jesus’ feet. I will do something productive when I feel anxious.
As a mother and as a woman of faith I cannot let this tragedy scare me any more. The spirit of fear is not helpful or beneficial, and it’s not of God. Lord help me and all the mothers of America live in your spirit of power and love.