"Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13
I have not blogged in a while but God has laid this on my heart this morning heavier than anything in a long time. I pray the families of the teachers, families children that have passed, for the children that survived and the responders as well as their families. Please know that as a country we have prayed, currently praying, and will continue to pray for you and your family for many years to come.
As I laid in bed this morning I turned on the TV to Good Morning America to watch the latest news. You see this is so out of character for me as I usually get up go to my craft work and work. My morning ritual is to turn on the computer, get K-love streaming through my computer, turn on my machine and open my blinds in the work room. Routine done...off to work I go. In our house we very rarely turn on the TV ever as we are busy, but today was different for me.
Today was not a typical day. I remember feeling that I have not had a day like this is a long time. It then hit me as I watched the coverage on Good Morning America today. When all those families woke up they did not know it would be a non typical day. They had no idea what was about to happen. No idea how their lives would change in a instant. Now how every day will be different from here on out. Please don't let the what happen have you live in fear the rest of your lives. God never put fear in us...that is strictly from Satan. Fear robs us of the rest of the moments of joy and that is the bondage Satan wants us to live in. When we fear we miss every moment big or small. Be guarded yes, be fearful NO. Cling to these verses of truth.
The LORD is my light and my salvation-- whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life-- of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you." Deuteronomy 31:6
For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. Isaiah 41:13
To step back a little bit to end of August, beginning of September. My friend Chantel and myself had a great hour to hour and a half conversation on the phone about what God had and had continued to do in her life. She asked me to make her a certain sign (the one pictured above) to represent and remind her that in all the good and back to always remember to thank God. No matter what good or bad ALWAYS thank God. On September 28th she went to the hospital to have another operation and she passed away on the operating table leaving her two kids special needs kids 17 and 15 behind. She had a passion for God like so many people. I know that in that moment when she stood in front of God, He was able to look at her and said this to her. His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!' Matthew 25:23. This has played a huge role in my life since then. I ask myself in the mornings almost everyday...if I was to pass away today would God say that about my very day? When she passed the family sent this sign back to me to hang in my office as a memory of her. I share this story as I hope this sign and what it reads helps you get through every day good and bad moments.
So back to the Connecticut news. First of all let me say for all the teachers out there THANK YOU. Teaching is a job that is underpaid, over demanding but the impact you get to have on the children because you are with them 8+ hours a day is PRICELESS. You get to be the very person to help shape, mold, impact kids in a way that God put you on this earth to do. On behalf of a son that is almost 20...hearing the stories of certain teachers that have impacted his life...MAN do I thank you. Keep doing what you do as you NEVER know what seeds you will be planting for years to come. You may never see the harvest but you bet you are planting a seed.
As I watched it this morning and watched the interviews for the first time of the families, police officers, and so many more tears streamed down my face. My heart broke for them. They all have seen and are going through things we as humans should never have to see or go through. So many young lives taken so fast....as I saw on a sign no footprint is to small to make a imprint on this world. WOW that is so true. How would we know that 20 kids...40 footprints would leave such a HUGE impact on this world. I hear people say they did not have a lot of time to live and experience this world. They are so right but I see them impact those 40 feet have left and I am in awe of how God will use it. I think of the name of the city..NEWTOWN...how God will use this very name and they will have to pull together to become a town that has had a tragedy but he will use the aftermath to bring families together in a way that we could never imagine thus it becoming a Newtown. I saw the faces of those precious children that passed away that day and think why like any other American but I also say thank you to God because of these children, even though their lives where cut short in what we are humans think, YOU will use this for your Glory. It may not be now or for many years to come but you will. I can't help but think about these sweet children got to see the sweet faces of God and Jesus. Even thought they were on this earth for a mere vapor in the world of God, I KNOW they told them the very same thing that they told my friend..."well done, good and faithful servants." You sent these kids to this earth for a very specific reason when you created them...to bring joy, hope, happiness and the list goes on...even thought right now what feels like such a dark time, they then, and now will continue to bring joy, hope, happiness etc. To all the parents of the children, my heart as a mom, wife and a daughter goes out to you and though I can't tell you I understand your emotions, feelings, etc as I have not been through it. I can't even imagine the emotions you are walking through....my prayers are with you.
To Precious Charlotte, Precious Daniel, Precious Olivia Rose, Precious Josephine, Precious Dylan, Precious Madeleine, Precious Catherine, Precious Chase, Precious Jesse, Precious Ana, Precious James, Precious Grace, Precious Emilie, Precious Jack, Precious Noah, Precious Caroline, Precious Jessica, Precious Avielle,Precious Benjamin, and Precious Allison, I want you to know this. Many of us never knew your personally but I know you were put on this earth for a very reason by our sweet God. You are 20 children with 40 sets of footprints that you will never know how those 40 sets of feet have impacted the lives of millions all over this world. We will never forget you precious children. May you rest in peace.
For the family members of those teachers that gave the ultimate gift for the children of sacrifice that day my prayers are with you. I say to you thank you. You raised incredible people. I don't know any of you but what they did for those kids...shows it without a shadow of a doubt.
For the teachers that paid the ultimate price that day. Thank you is not near enough.. You sacrificed your life for those babies. I can't imagine what you were feeling during that time but I know you were the hands and feet of Jesus in that very moment. I say that because I am reminded in the bible that this verse you took to heart "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13. Oh precious teachers, Rachel Davino, Dawn Hocksprung, Anne Marie Murphy, Lauren Rousseau, Mary Sherlach, and Victoria Soto, you paid the ultimate price but you are hero's in my book. You are the example of being the hands and feet of Jesus. We will NEVER forget your sacrifice and may you rest in peace.
For the other teachers that are having to get up and go back to work. I am sure so many questions loom through your minds. Why them, why not me, where do I go from here, how do I teach after this etc....what I have to say to you is hold your head up, look to God, he WILL guide you through it. In scripture is says this...And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus Philippians 4:7. Just like those other children needed the teachers as the protectors in that very moment....the kids left behind need that more now than ever. You have a chance to be the biggest impact on those kids in a time when they are suffering right along side you. May God give you a peace that passes any understanding. Thank you for doing what you did, what you do and what you will continue to do for the children that you have taught in the past, the ones you are teaching in the present, and the ones you will be teaching in the future.
For the first responders on the scene. I don't really know what to say but thank you for your sacrifice. You are trained in this, you are trained to respond to this very thing but I am sure as a police officer, EMT, fireman as so many more you pray you never have to. I know you saw things that no one should ever see. I have no words other that thank you for your service. You are the first ones that had to walk into this tragedy, tell parents and coworkers news that you should not have had to. No words but thank you. You my friends are hero's in my book.
Finally, For the entire family of Adam Lanza. I am so sorry that you to are walking through this. This is a terrible event and we as a society are so quick to judge others and point fingers. Instead I want people to come along side you and love you with no malice, anger, hatred, and many other emotions people have. I say that to you from a mother, wife, daughter's stand point. I am truly sorry you all as a family have to walk through this. I want people to FORGIVE Adam for his actions just as God forgave us. He put his son on the cross for all of us...he did not pick and choose their fore we don't get to pick and choose who we forgive or if we do. We are called to forgive. It may be instant for some and longer for others but that is what we are called to do and that is my prayer for all of us to include the families that lost the kids, the teachers that gave the ultimate price, the responders, the kids that have survived, and the teachers that have to get up and continue teaching. Then Peter came to him and asked, "Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?" "No, not seven times," Jesus replied, "but seventy time seven!" Matthew 18:21-22
As I close this today remember this is what is laid on MY heart by God. You don't have to agree 100% or even at all. However, I will cling to the truth of His word though and his word is very clear.
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love each other because he loved us first. 1 John 4:18-19
We are called to love on another and in this very unfortunate event now is a good time for so many of us to take that step to truly love one another.