Monday, December 17, 2012

Fill Our Hearts.

Like so many others, my heart has been aching since Friday.
I've watched and listened as people process and deal with what happened, in their own way.
Some would rather not talk or hear about it. Some, like myself want to know every detail.

What I have to remind myself is that everyone processes and deals in their own way. But honestly, it's hard for me to understand those who want to turn away from hearing or seeing the stories.

We celebrated Asher's 7th birthday last night. And as I watched him sleep last night, snuggled up to Bella in our bed. I couldn't help thinking about those precious 20, 6 and 7 year old's who's  lives were taken way too early.
I want to know their stories. I want to see their faces.

Is it hard to? Yes. Does it hurt and make me so incredibly sad? Yes.
But I'm ok with that. In fact I want to feel those emotions. Allow them to take over my heart and life for just a little bit.
I feel like my short term discomfort is worth it. I feel like being uncomfortable and shedding tears for 26 lives that were lost, is the least of what I can do.

I feel like if more people were willing to be uncomfortable for the loss and sorrow of others, the suffering....then maybe our world would be different.
Turning the news off, choosing not to doesn't change whats happened. It doesn't make it all go away.
We can live in our perfect worlds, comfortable and safe. We can stay in the comfort zones of our emotions and not allow ourselves to feel things too deeply.
But it doesn't change the reality of what is really happening.

I know that I can't change whats happened. I know that I can't make it all go away.
I have no control over things. I can't even control what happens to my own children every second of the day. I can't keep Asher's feelings from being hurt, or Bella's heart from being broken one day, or Mia from crying some tears of sadness.
I can't always keep my kids safe and happy. I just can't. As much as I want to keep them close and safe with me always. I can't. It's not the world we live in.
So many parents, including myself, struggled with sending our kids off to school today.
And many, including myself, took them out earlier than normal on Friday.

We can shield them and protect them and guard them from the details that are too much, but the reality is that we can't keep them in the safety of our 4 walls forever.

And I'm not sure I want to.
Control and regulations and restrictions and rules.....I don't think they are the answer.
I don't think they will change our world the way it needs.

When people become so uncomfortable that they have no other choice than to do something...
I think this is how people change. How then, the world can change.

And what I think is missing is compassion and love.
One of my favorite songs we sing at church says-
"Fill our hearts with your compassion, let our love be active here
Fill our hearts with your compassion...let our love be real"

This is my hearts cry.

As I laid in bed Friday night, practically crying myself to sleep, I was surprised by my own tears.
Those weren't my children. Mine are safe in their beds. Healthy and safe.
It doesn't affect me personally.

But I couldn't help crying...
For the children.
For the families.
For the world we live in and it's sadness and sorrow.
Even for the man who caused it all.

I can not help but wonder, who he was.
I in no way want to celebritze the man. I would rather his name not be known at all.
But, I want to know who he was. Inside. His heart struggles and his life story and why he did what he did.
The why will never be good. We will never be happy with the why. 
It could never ever be good enough.
But I still want to know why. 
I want to know if he felt alone in a world that was closing the doors to their safe 4 walls.
A world so consumed with blocking out the hurt and the sadness and the pain that they couldn't see the people right in front of them....crying out, hurting and lost.

I in no way excuse what this man did. I think he deserves exactly where he is right now.
I think he is an awful person who doesn't even deserve to be talked about.

But what about before.
I can't help wondering what if someone had caught it before.
Caught the hurt and the anger.

We can't change what happened on friday.
But what I choose to do is live with an open heart, to see those around me. To live with joy and gratitude...every single day.
To smile, and compliment, and hold doors open, and let them go in front of ask how they are, how their day is....To care.
And I choose to teach my children to do the same.
To feel the pain and compassion for the sadness in this world. To open their eyes to it, instead of tuck them away safely.
I can guard them from details that are too much, but I think they should know that the hurt and anger of one man, caused tragedy for so many others.

I think they should feel and be aware..
And they {we} should allow those feelings to fuel a passion so deep and real, it can't be consumed.

That, I think, is what will change this world.

I will admit my instinct was to protect and shield and guard and huddle them in close so I could see them all in front of me. Safe.
Fear says that is the answer.
But it isn't.
And closing my eyes to the stories and the details isn't either. 
These stories, no matter how hard to hear, always offer hope. On the other side of the sadness, the tragedy and the sorrow-- there is always, always hope.  
I know this.

I didn't need a tragedy like what happened on Friday to remind me how precious my 3 children are. What a gift their lives are. 
Because I already know. 
I would never wish the sadness and sorrow I've experienced on anyone else, yet I am thankful for how it changed me.
If only we would all allow the hurt and pain of others, to seep in so deep it changed us too...
Maybe our world would be different.

Cherish your children. Hold them close. 
Hug them longer and kiss their cheeks as much as you can. 
Be thankful for this very moment, and every single one after. 
Let them see you smile and filled with joy. Laugh at silly things and dance in the aisles of Target....

But don't shield them from the tears that fall for the loss of 26 others. 
Teach them and show them compassion.
To feel, and to hear, and to see....
And then have the courage to send them out to be a light in this dark world.
Because it needs them. 

"We are the change the world is waiting for... we've got a love the world is desperate for"



  1. YES! this is so true! My feelings just wrote them better than I could have ever gotten out. I am the same...want to know the details, need to see the little faces. During lunch at work, i just sat in my cubicle and clicked through each name, read a little about each one and shed many tears for those precious women and children. Tragic indeed. Heartbreaking. we were talking Saturday night, I said 'wouldn't it be great if we all treated each other the way we ware now? Holding doors, smiling, eye contact. Love' Maybe it's the Christmas season, maybe it's this tragedy, but I think it all boils down to paying attention to the needs of others, even if that's as little as a smile. My heart breaks too...I just can't seem to keep the tears from falling. Bless those dear families.

  2. reading this, i am once again in tears! this hit me so much:

    'if more people were willing to be uncomfortable for the loss and sorrow of others, the suffering....then maybe our world would be different.'

    'if I knew people in the world didn't want to hear their name. Or their stories.
    I would be heart broken.'

    i too grieve like you. i want to know their details, down to what they must have been thinking at that moment. i don't know why. somehow i feel it would give me more peace to know they passed peacefully. but is that possible in little kids? i admire those teachers. such bravery.

  3. Great job writing this post! I feel the same way and you put it into words perfectly. I think it is so important to FEEL every emotion and that is the only healthy way to deal with things. It is hard a lot of the time, but those emotions are what shape and change us. I want to know every detail as well and I am very curious about the man who caused it, like you are. There is so much to be learned from this terrible tragedy. Thanks for writing about it in this way.

  4. Beautiful words Laura and I could not agree more. Ignorance is not bliss, and to process emotions and feeling we have to expose our self to the truth, however painful and uncomfortable. I have found myself praying for those poor families so many times throughout the past few days, I can not imagine the pain they must be feeling. Blessings to your sweet family!! XO!

  5. Couldn't have said it better myself! I think it is very important to feel loss and recognize it. Avoiding it will not solve any problems or making anyone feel better.
    Thanks for the post!

    Amanda @ Faith*Love*Strength

  6. love your words in this true. i am still in shock and just keep praying!

  7. I've been waiting for this post to come through on my email. I'm Aukele. I don't know if you remember me - when you and Brandon moved back to Hawaii, you worked under my mom, Jonell. Brandon and I also worked together with eMerge's P&W. Further back - I went to school with your baby sister at Christian Academy with Ashley....

    ANYWAY. Your love and compassion is so genuine and truly comes through each post you write and it is inspiring. I was wondering what your thought process was with talking to your children about it. I have some nieces and nephews and this year instead of toys (they'll get plenty from their parents, g'parents and other aunties and uncles) - I wanted to share with them that sometimes it is better to give than to receive. I wanted to put together a "Project Sandy Hook" box. At first I thought we would all create together a banner of sunshine since we're from Hawaii and all, then I thought oh maybe some flower leis of aloha.

    I was looking for some advice on what to say to my kiddos, and your post helped. Thanks Laura.

  8. Beautifully and truthfully said, I had to post something on my own blog too, just to process. #prayingforNewton

  9. That was perfectly written.

    Happy Birthday to sweet Asher.

  10. Wow beautiful words. I completely agree with u. Once I found out what had happened I cried so hard and so much. I couldnt believe it. It btoje my heart to see and hear that. I could never imagine losing one of my kids. Ive heard and read ur story. And I know it is only through ur faith and God that u were able to go through that and continue to talk about it...and to be a witness allowing others to hear ur testimony. I love to look at my kids and just stare at them every day for a moment and just take in that moment and give many many thanks for my lil blessings. Ive done it since they were born. It hurts me that so many ppl take advantage of the good thing they have. Unfortunately, many times it happens that in order for us to appreciate something a tragedy has to happen and hopefully makes us change for the better.

    When I heard about the shooting my first instinct of course was harsh about that man. To do that to all those children. It wasnt until sundays message that Pastor Steve brought it to my attention about what possibly couldve happen to this young man to do such a thing. And of course nothing could ever justify what he did. But it definately brought up the awareness of possibly being able to stop a tragedy like this from happening. I try my best to smile and speak nicely to whomever i come across..its just in my nature. A smile can go a long way. U mever know whose day u'll make.

    Thx Laura for this blog. Brought tears to ny eyes.

  11. This is beautiful and eye opening. I have had such a hard time turning on the tv and listening to the news. My heart is broken for the families, for the teachers, the community, and our country. I hate to think that this is what our world is now. Just 20 years ago when I was 7, it wasn't like this. At least not to this extent. I do agree. We need to see this...we need to allow it to penetrate our hearts and leave a wound. We need to hurt from this so that we never have to experience it again.


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