Ahhhhhhhh. The night before school starts. Another summer has passed. I finally get to turn my children over to their blessed teachers for several hours during the day. Their minds will be enriched with the RRR once again and maybe, just maybe we can recover some of the brain cells that were weakened with the multiple screen hours played this summer. Their zombie-like entrancement can be replaced with the sparkle of intellect as only their teachers can produce. Every STEAM project I undertake seems to end a pile of goo or broken pieces as they race back to their favorite Youtubers. Bless you school teachers. You do oh so much more than you are paid for or given credit for. I thank you. We all do. Unfortunately, you bear the brunt of all that is wrong with society today. You guard and protect the future. You plant and grow tomorrow. You stand between my child and my greatest fear.
Little A is terribly afraid of thunderstorms. She caught a look at a tornado video and I am afraid just hasn’t been the same since. Who can blame her? A large, ominous monster that is unpredictable. It can swallow you up so that you are never seen again. It can kill you. What do you say to that? It is scary. It is out of your control. And it can kill you. There are no laws to protect you. There is no way to stop it. And seemingly the threat is getting larger everyday. She won’t budge from my side. “I just get so scared. I don’t want to be alone.” I am the one that stands between her and catastrophe.
This fear seems so innocent. So childlike. Really nothing to be afraid of. I dare to tell her that she could be taken from me. That she could be shot in her classroom. That she could be shot in a movie theatre… a church. The places where she is suppose to feel safe and out of the storm. And that her mother is more afraid of this than any storm or act of God. That I am infinitely more times afraid of man. And that at this moment as I get ready to send her to school tomorrow, my stomach tenses, my pulse rises, my tears fall, and I am utterly petrified. That I cannot pray hard enough to my God to spare my children. That I would go through my illness infinity times over for that would be easier than to watch anything harm them. But I sit here, knowing that people face these fears as their daily reality. And I do not even know what to say to that except I am so, so sorry.
I do not pretend to know anything as grievous as that. Like I said I am SICK even touching the surface of those nightmares. But tonight, here is what I had to do. I had to tell her that I was afraid too. That I am afraid everyday. That I was afraid to take chemo. I was afraid to have a bone marrow transplant. That I get afraid to get in the car. I have been afraid to go to work. I have been afraid to come home. I was afraid to have children. I am afraid of something happening to her or her brothers or her father…. the list goes on. I am afraid. And that the only way I can live with my fear is to have faith. It seems so simple and almost degrading to those that have faced greater horror. Please, I do not claim to know their pain. I can only fear it.
I had to tell her I HAD to have faith. I didn’t have a choice. Or I suppose I do have a choice, but the alternative is no better than the fear itself. To live in hatred, resentment, regret, unadulterated grief, unrelenting sadness. I know sometimes I visit that side of my situation, but I am fortunate that my faith pulls me out of it. My faith that my God has a better outcome for us all. That my circumstances only play into a small part of eternity. And that I have a hope for a greater outcome, a loving experience. Heaven. Eden. This is what I have to believe. Or I will be consumed by evil itself.
This gives us no excuse not to do more. Not to try harder. To change. Change yourself. Look hard at yourself. REALLY SUPER HARD. Have hard conversations. Confront hard situations. Act like the Christ-child you were meant to be. That you are. I’m not sure my words reach the right people. Maybe I’m just preaching to the choir. But I cannot hold my heart inside. So I ask you right here, right now to stand up for what is good. What is right. What would Jesus do? Would he segregate? Would he take money? Would he ever demean others for his betterment? Would he ignore those that did? Would he choose any side other than that of the holy father? Would he sacrifice children for his own benefit? Would he tiptoe around the subject?
I am searching for my place in this world. This world that is sometimes so hard to be in. I am here for some reason, whether it be small or large. I’m praying I hear it easily. That He doesn’t have to yell it in my face. And honestly that my family and I don’t have anything else to overcome.
So come tomorrow I will again put my faith over my fear. I will trust in my Father. I will face the storm. You all are in my prayers.