My children's elementary school was evacuated today. They were told it was a fire drill and their lovely teachers led them as they walked down the street to a church. To them, an adventure. A chance to go home early. Exciting. That's the bliss of childhood innocence and ignorance.
Me? I know.
I know that it was 'what appeared to be a pipe bomb'. I know that police, and firefighters, and bomb-sniffing dogs converged on the school once the children were safely away. I know that they 'disabled' the device in the parking lot.
I know what could have happened.
Because I know, I am fighting the brain-numbing, heart-gripping fear that threatens to completely disable me. Boston is too fresh in my mind. And Newtown. I could consider the possibilities of today. I could sit and think and give in to the What-If's that blare at me like a neon sign.
But, I won't.
Because I don't believe in living in fear. There is no comfort in closing ourselves off to the world. Sitting behind closed doors, frightened to venture out and live our lives? What would be the point?
Don't get me wrong. I believe in being safe. I think we should be as prepared as possible. I would much rather they evacuate my kids for a suspicious package than take a chance. We have bicycle helmets, we wear seat belts, we get immunized, we pay for insurance.
But, we are going to continue to live.
I don't think this life is meant to be easy. If we're waiting for that day, better settle in, because it's going to be a long wait.
It all comes down to faith.
Faith that we're here for a purpose. Faith that we can be happy. Faith that this life is not the end. Faith that there is a light out there, we just have to take steps toward it.
This quote says it so well.
"There may be some among you who feel darkness encroaching upon you. You may feel burdened by worry, fear, or doubt. To you and to all of us, I repeat a wonderful and certain truth: God's light is real. It is available to all? It gives life to all things. It has the power to soften the sting of the deepest wound. It can be a healing balm for the loneliness and sickness of our souls. In the furrows of despair, it can plant the seeds of a brighter hope. It can enlighten the deepest valleys of sorrow. It can illuminate the path before us and lead us through the darkest night into the promise of a new dawn." (-Dieter F. Uchtdorf)
Tonight, I will tuck my children in bed with an extra hug. I will hide the tears that threaten as I touch their sweet cheeks. I will watch them as they sleep. And, then, I will fall to my knees in gratitude that what I know could have happened, didn't. I will thank my Father in Heaven for another day to listen to them fight, and yell and bound around our home.
Tomorrow, I will send them out the door with an inner prayer for their safe return. I will smile and wave and shout, "I love you."
I choose to look forward with faith. I choose to live with light.
|Spencer and Noah|
|Sadie and Chandler|