Today has been a day mixed with many emotions. I woke up happy because last night Aaron told me that he had a surprise for me and that we were heading out of town for the weekend. He had planned it and didn't want to tell me until the night before, but we had a sick kid and so things got a little hairy there for a while. This morning I had sort of a pep in my step knowing that I was getting away with my man. Then I got in the car and was reminded that this world is scary and not my home. The radio was giving minute by minute of the Boston authorities literally shutting down a neighborhood looking for the marathon bomber. It was then that I learned that the other guy had been killed. My heart immediately rejoiced and then I was saddened that I felt joy over someone dying. I know he had done some awful things, but I'm just not certain that should be must first response. Then the news continued to West, Texas and they were updating the amount of people that had died in the explosion. I felt dirty in my excitement over a weekend away from my kids when some people's families are literally trying to pick up the pieces from this horrific week.
This world is a crazy place. Yesterday we had the news on and they were covering the devastation in West. I usually never let my kids watch the news, and especially horrific stuff like this, but I figured compared to the devastation in Boston caused by an evil person, this was not as bad and as far as we know it was a freak accident. Amos is my kid that is a little worried about natural disasters. I don't blame the kid one bit. He lived through horrific hurricanes, and the earthquake that altered his country forever. He's got a reason to be a little skittish.
When the news started Amos immediately asked if that could ever happen here. I know what he's asking. He wants to know, ‘am I safe'. Here's where it gets tricky in parenting. I want my kids to 110% feel safe and not have to worry about these awful things happening to them, but, and it's a big but, these things are happening more often and I can't 110% guarantee that it won't happen here.
When our kids have had nightmares in their beds at night we have looked at them and told them that they are safe in our home. Nothing can harm them when they are here with us. Is this true? Absolutely not. But in that moment I want my kids to know that I will protect them and that they are safe.
Last night as Amos asked that, I looked at him and said that it could happen here. We never know when something bad might happen. I could have left it there and that would have been accurate, but it would have left my son hopeless in a desperate situation. I told him that even if that happens, that we are always safe with God. Although it might feel bad, or hurt, or be scary, that we have God to cling to and he will not leave us.
I want my children to know that yes, I will do everything in my power to keep you safe, but there are things that might happen that could feel unsafe to us. I told them that the blast in West (and the bomb in Boston, although I didn't tell them about this) was no surprise to God. He hadn't left his people there that day, and he won't leave them now. When things are bad or scary God is still good, and still there.
I had this same discussion the other day with Cayden about us going to Haiti. He asked if another earthquake could happen while we are there. I personally think the odds must be slim, but I told him that probably not, but yes it could happen. He looked at me and said, “what will we do if it does?”. I hugged him and told him that even if an earthquake happened while we were there we would still trust God. We would know that he would be with us no matter what it felt like.
I have no idea if this is good parenting. I'm hoping that my kids will cling to God in their times of needs. I for sure don't let my kids in on all the craziness in this world, but if they do happen to hear about it as they did the West situation, I want them to know that God uses all for good, and that he will get glory through this. We prayed for more people to know him and trust him because of this.
I'm thankful for my weekend away with Aaron, but I know that in the back of my mind I will have those momma's and wives that lost their precious babies and husband's this past week. I can't reconcile the evil in this world, but I can reconcile a God that wants to save us and bring us to him when we leave this place.
When all is fading and trembling, He is not. That's what I want my kids to know.