Amber Alert

My Heart to Yours

Since last week's NIU shooting, I have found myself again faced with fears I haven't felt for a while.

I'm not normally a fearful person, but when 9/11 happened in 2001 and the increasing number of school shootings since then, it brings about something within me that only another mother would understand.

I remember a night, about 10 years ago, after I brought my son home from the hospital. I found myself in the dark of the night weeping tears that I had never experienced before. As a new, single mother I suddenly found myself with a new perspective. I began to see the world in a different way. I no longer had only myself to consider, I now had the responsibility of another life.

For the first time in my life, I began to see the realities of the world that I had brought this child into. Suddenly the report of a murder on the evening news brought with it a new emotional experience. A story about a child missing was almost too much to watch. And world news that included the talk of war or conflicts with other countries was very unsettling.

As time continued and I added two more children to my home, I found myself coming to terms with the good and the bad in this world that we live in. Each time I added to my family, those old thoughts would creep in, but they would quickly subside as I became wrapped up with the daily responsibilities of motherhood.

That is, until September 11th. Suddenly I found myself back in a familiar place. Like a mother bear who protects her children I found myself feeling very protective with the lives of those I love. Each news report of the terrorist attacks brought about an emotional response in me that only comes from being a mother. When carrying the responsibility of another life, our viewpoint changes. We see death, destruction, and world conflict from the perspective of responsibility. It is a feeling that only another mother can understand.

All of these events cause me to pause and consider what it is I need to equip my children with to live in this crazy world. What can I give them that will keep them strong when the winds of chaos, and even destruction, blow throughout the world? What can I pass on to them that will keep their feet firmly planted in hope when hopelessness prevails around them? What gift can I give them that will allow them to find stability in an unstable world?

I have only one answer to those questions. The answer is faith.

It is faith that will calm their fears. It is faith that will give them peace in the midst of chaos. It is faith that will help them sort through the lies of this world. It is faith that will show them the next step when it seems too dark to walk ahead.

You see it was faith that got me through that first night of tears when I contemplated this messed-up world as a new parent. My faith helped me replace my own fears with God's promises. My faith is what allows me to learn to let go as my children grow older. My hope for the future of my children can't be based on their relationships in this world, but rather their relationship with the God of the universe.

If you have been rocked by all that is happening in the world, you're not alone. The security you and I can give to our children begins with our own relationship with Jesus Christ. Once your faith relationship is established, pass on the gift of faith to your children. Open up the Bible and read it for yourself and then share with your children what you are learning. Make church a priority each Sunday. Pray for and with your children every day.

While the world changes around us, God never changes. And when we give our children the gift of faith, we are giving a gift that will last a lifetime.

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