You aren't alone. Many people today would raise their hand right along with you, including me.
I am scared. Stay with me here. Fear can be irrational, you know.. like being afraid you are going to be eaten alive by hairy spiders invading your home. Fear is also real, you know.. like someone shooting your kids at school. How do we live life through the real life, hell-resembling fears?
I am not a Theologian nor do I pretend to be. I do know, however, that the thousands of unbelievers in the world today are being handed even more reason to not believe. Don't be those people. Period. Rise above the thinking that God is doing all of this. Rise above the thinking that God wouldn't allow these things to happen IF he was real.
Darkness is real. Satan. The enemy, Voldemort.. whatever you want to call it. It's real. We have a choice every single day in who we are going to put our faith in. If we choose to put our faith in anyone other than God, the darkness wins even more so than it is now.
I am not going to try to expain why shootings are happening. I am not going to try to explain why addiction exists or why it's killing our kids along with Cancer killing our loved ones or why the flu is a deadly epidemic this year. I can't.
What I can do is tell you that there is LIGHT because there is a God that promises us an eternity of goodness and togetherness. There is a God that weeps when we do, mourns when we mourn and who wants to tell us that we will understand some day.
Get angry. That's ok. Then come back. Get sad, that's ok.Then come back. Don't give up your faith, that's not ok. If you think you are angry now, sad now, fearful now, if you give up the one thing that can promise us freedom, the darkness will be darker.
I thought the school shootings just happened in Columbine a long time ago, then Sandy Hook too far away. Then I see it everywhere. This week, I got a call that a school 7 miles away from my daughter is on lock down because someone was rumored to have had a gun and two days later a "fake" threat was made at her school. Her fear is real. This week my twin preteen boys participated in a protest type rally mixed with honoring students who have been killed at other schools. I never had that kind of fear as a child.
My sons wanted to walk to Starbucks on the sidewalk after school but I was afraid they'd get hit by an accidental oncoming car in traffic. I wasn't sure if my fear was real or irrational. The next day on the same street in front of my daughters school, a 15 year old was hit by a car on the same sidewalk (survived thankfully). My fear is real.
My 20 year old daughter is likely shooting heroin in her veins as I type this. For seven years she has struggled with addiction and has been in and out of treatment, sobriety, interventions and still struggles. Most days I am barely breathing. My fear is real.
You see, I understand fear. I understand doubt in a God that would allow this. I understand anger. Yet I believe in God. Still.
I have told my children this so many times but even more so lately and as recent as this morning. I tell them to go and have a beautiful day. I tell them to be kind. I tell them to not live in fear and I tell them that if something terrible happens, to hide under the desk. I tell them that it won't hurt (because that's what I want to believe) If something bad happens because God will take us immediately and that we will all be together as soon as we can for eternity. You may not agree with my saying that. But I do. I want them to know that it is real. It can happen. They know their sister can die from her drugs, but they see me pray. They see me open my Bible and find hope in Psalms and Proverbs on days where I don't know where she is. My Senior in High School knows the reality of the school ground battlefield yet she keeps going because I tell her to keep living her life fully.
I am not ready. I want to see my children recover, succeed, graduate, marry and have children. I will claim that out loud!
But I also know during our time here that nothing is guaranteed but the beautiful moment staring right at us that we have right now. I do know to tell them all how very much I love them and to try to make each day valuable. It's a lot of work to not take things for granted. I have to watch my words, my attitudes, my priorities.
I get fear. It is real. My friends, if I have faith in a God despite the darkness, you can too.
Find something beautiful to hold on to today. It's there. I promise. He's there. I promise.
This is what I hold on to, this crazy moment of our family taken three years ago. It was magical and I choose to believe it will be again. Make it count. Tell them you love em so much. Find even the smallest thing to smile about today. And don't stop believing in the God above. Please.