I can’t seem to stop thinking about the school shooting on Valentine’s Day. Several days have passed, yet it still lies in the back of my mind. The discussion will continue, how can we prevent this from ever happening again, how do we protect our schools, so we never lose another child? The conversation needs to take place. We need to protect our children as they head out each morning to be taught, to develop relationships, to gather the tools they will need to gain life’s opportunity. But that is not the immediate conversation most of us will have with our families.
Thankfully, most mothers won’t have to experience this heartbreaking loss or the nightmares of the child who personally felt it’s effect. But the reality in our world today is our children will feel the impact of the storms. The waves of evil that impact our lives, unseating every ounce of security and confidence we hold. The conversation we must have is this; how to feel secure in the midst of the storm.
It is our desire as parents to protect our children when evil strikes, to surround them with security, to keep their childhood intact. But how do we do that when we feel unsettled, as painful reminders of the violence that can be acted upon rears its terrifying head?
We often speak of being strong women or having the desire to be, and I know that within each of us is an enormous amount of strength. But I am reminded at times such as these that our strength alone is not enough. We must draw upon a more profound source.
“Reverence for God gives a man deep strength; his children have a place of refuge and security.” Proverbs 14:26
When we are beaten down by the heartbreak of this world, bruised by the circumstances of our lives, our deepest strength comes from reverence or knowledge that there is one greater than us. A realization that when our understanding wanes, when no logic applies, we have confidence that there is one who does understand. One who even today sees our hurt, our confusion and promises that the day will come when justice will be, and evil will be no more.
But today, how does that translate to our children? What do we do in our home to provide the protection and peace that we want? We start with our hearts. That is not to say our confidence will not be shaken, it will. In days like these where innocent children lose their lives in a place where they should feel secure, we must once again look to the God we serve. If our confidence lies in a gracious, loving and perfect God whom we can trust, then trust is what we must do.
We will remember while evil men took his life, Jesus comforted his own, encouraging them to see past today’s trouble to his promise of tomorrow, ” I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth, you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
If we believe that he has overcome, we must demonstrate this truth to our children. It is not done through a profound act, delivered by a spiritual giant.
A mother does this by showing her children the comfort that has been offered to us by the author of our faith.
- We hold our children in our arms, offering comfort that can be found in the security of our family.
- We listen to them, allowing them to express their doubts and fears. It’s often not solutions they need but comfort that your home is a safe place where they can show everything they are feeling.
- We offer hope. In the affirmation of the good things. The heroes who are revealed in the moments of terror, reflecting upon the beauty of the lives we live, those should be part of the conversation.
- We help. When evil rears its ugly head we step in to do good. Most of us cannot offer help, other than perhaps financial, to those whose heartbreak is real today. But we can help in the community in which we live. Actively reaching into another’s need encourages our children in ways talking about the problem never will.
We won’t be able to help our children avoid all storms of life no matter how much we wish we could. But we can hold to the strength we gain by knowing and revering a magnificent God who understands the trials and sorrows we will experience because he felt them himself as he walked this earth among us.
So, moms, be that shelter in the storm, provide the comfort for your family. You can do that because you know whom to trust when the rain begins to fall.
You’ll also like Taking Heart, Even When Tragedy Hits, Why We Can Look at the Dark Parts of Life With Hope, Battered Faith: Holding on to Hope Even When You Struggle, When You’re Desperate to Know the Reason for Your Pain, Finding Peace When Everything Is Out of Your Control and Living With Faith in a Fearful World.