The Newtown Shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School has really left me speechless.
I first heard the news when my friend asked me to babysit, but then cancelled since she thought it was a good day to hold her children a little tighter.
When I looked up the news, at first I was numb. We hear of these shooting so often, it is terrifying and hard to put into reality.
It wasn’t until I heard from parents and other witnesses to the events that it really struck me.
One interview was with a lady who remembers doing “lock down” drills at school.
This made it all real for me.
I remember doing these same drills in elementary school.
We’d have to be quiet, the teacher would pull the blinds and lock the door.
We’d huddle together while an alarm that was so loud blared through campus.
We needed a place of shelter.
Remembering those drills just brought the terrible reality to this shooting today.
It was real.
There really was someone on campus. Shooting innocent kids.
Then I thought of the teachers. The heroes. It’s been clear for decades these people are unsung and under appreciated.
In times of tragedy like this, thank goodness for teachers who step up to lead and protect.
Then what about the parents?
No cell phones, no communication. How would you know if your child was ok?
Rushing to the scene only to find chaos. I can’t imagine what it would’ve been like.
Then…what if your child didn’t make it?
What if you wrapped his or her Christmas gifts, and now what…
I read this:
2:48 p.m.: Hero teacher Kaitlin Roig tells ABC News that she barricaded her first grade students in classroom bathroom and locked the door when she first heard gun shots. “The kids were being so good. They asked: ‘Can we go see if anyone is out there? … I just want Christmas… I don’t want to die, I just want to have Christmas.’ I said, you’re going to have Christmas and Hanukkah.. I tried to be positive.”
So sad. They just wanted Christmas
Such an empty and sick feeling.
After I read the reports I went to check on my girls.
Nora was napping (or so I thought) and I had put on hymns for her to fall asleep.
She was wide awake, so I picked her up in my arms.
I held her tight and listened to a simple guitar version of “My Heavenly Father loves me.”
The line that went through my mind was, “I’m glad that I live in this beautiful world…”
As I sat there rocking Nora, I didn’t feel like this world was that beautiful.
Mass shootings, terrible people.
Then there’s the lack of morality, honesty, character and strength.
People have lost their core.
They have no shelter.
They don’t know where to turn.
Then I felt an overwhelming sense of love and gratitude.
My heart softened.
This world is beautiful, but only because of Christ.
I feel safe, only because of Him.
In that moment as I heard this song, I felt the Spirit of Christ. Even, the spirit of Christmas.
Just like those kids, “I don’t want to die, I just want Christmas.”
I was hoping that I would feel closer to my Savior during this season, and I did.
As I held my girl, thought of the news, and listened to that song, my feelings changed.
I am so enormously grateful for my blessings.
For the arms of Christ who safely guides me, lifts me up and protects me.
I don’t know what will come, but I know I really need him.
Especially this parent stuff. Your heart is so big. You try so hard. It’s painful to watch children grow up. You always second guess yourself. You give, give give and hope it’s enough.
What a beautiful reminder of the purpose of life, today and always.
Thoughts and prayers to those families who are struggling in Conn., to those parents who have to explain such horror to their children, and to those people out there so lost and confused that would think to do something so awful.
The end is near, and we need a Savior.
Security and Shelter. That’s what we need.