2.19.2014

Parenting During Tragedy

I don’t know how many of you have heard about the TRAGIC abduction and death of the 10-year-old girl in Springfield, MO (Article). These things always hit home when that Amber Alert comes across my phone and I realize that it is so close. I think our culture has desensitized us to these things a lot of times because we watch so much of it “acted out” on television- the lines of reality get blurry (see my article on movies here). But when it is in your backyard, you can’t help but be affected. Praise God when it still SHOCKS us. We are not supposed to be numb to it. My heart literally breaks for that little girl and her family- several things have come to my mind when processing something like this and I wanted to share them with you (you know I love bullet points!). The ONLY good that can come from tragedy is, if we as humans learn and grow through it. 

"He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:4)

  1. God Wins: That evil man DID NOT WIN. Just because that precious girl died in the end, He loses. She is in the arms of her creator and savior for eternity. I cannot Biblically back this up, but the very nature of God would not allow an innocent child to perish for eternity, I have no idea if she knew that Jesus was “THE way, THE truth and THE life” (John 14:6) but I guarantee that when she saw His face...she knew! Let’s find peace that while her earthly body perished...she was renewed in the Heavenly's! (2 Corinthians 4:16) Let’s pray for her family to receive peace and comfort from the only ONE who can truly provide them with that (John 16:33). We can take heart, God Wins. (Philippians 2:10-11) In the Eternal Perspective, that little girl wins- she is in eternity with God in a place where there is no pain, no hurt, no strangers, no flesh- perfection. God alone will take care of the evil doers (Romans 12:19), trust Him.
  2. Hug Your Babies: Let’s stop and hug our babies. Let’s take a deep breath and thank the Lord for them. Life is short and we are only promised today. These things are reminders that anything can happen in this crazy world and we do not need to "sweat the small stuff". "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." (Matthew 6:34
  3. Open Our Eyes: Lord open our eyes! How many people saw that little girl and did nothing or how many people were in the area and were too distracted to notice. Let’s beg the Lord for his vision for the hurting- there are so many hurting people EVERYWHERE and most of the time we are too busy to SEE. Lord open our eyes and give us courage to be Your hands and Feet! Pray for discernment- John 7:24 "Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.” 
  4. Use our Minds: We need to be smart, sisters! This world is not like the world where we grew up- countless hours playing outside with no parental supervision; sleeping over at people’s homes; technology; being dropped off at the mall. We need to be smart where our children are concerned and we need to protect them, NOT fear for them. We need to be smart when something doesn’t feel right. The Lord places these things on your heart. Do not let the pressure of what everyone else does with their kids dictate what you know is right for your kids. The pressure comes early so be prepared for it and pray about it. Pray that God would give you wisdom and courage to say “no” to something that everyone else says “yes” to. "Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong." (1 Corinthians 16:13)
  5. Talk, Teach, Train: We need to discuss the ever present reality of evil in this world and how it makes us yearn for eternity where no evil exists (God himself set eternity on our hearts. (Ecclesiastes 3:11) We need to talk to our kids about the reality of this world and teach them how to react to each circumstance that may arise. Train them up in the way they should go...(Proverbs 22:6)
  6. DO NOT FEAR: The Bible says Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10)- he doesn’t just want this little girl to suffer and die, he wants people (Christian and non-Christian) to FEAR. Satan wants us to want to lock our children up and fear for them. Satan wants us to doubt the God of the Universe and His provisions for us. Satan wants to steal our joy and kill our faith and hope in God.  Satan wants to destroy us. Let’s stand up and say- I will NOT fear, I will trust My God! 
Here are some of my favorite verses on “Fear” - Hang them on your wall if you need to because we are NOT to live in fear, we are to live in freedom from the bondage of fear! Let's teach these to our children and give them tools against Fear! 

15 Verses to Fight Fear!
1. "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." (1 John 4:18)
2. "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." (Isaiah 41:10)
3. "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me" (Psalm 23:4)
4. "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)
5. "The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? (Psalm 118:6)
6. "For God did not give us a Spirit of fear but of power and love and self-control" (2 Timothy 1:7)
7. "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)
8. "The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” (Deuteronomy 31:8)
9. "Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell." (Matthew 10:28 )
10. "For you did not receive the spirit of slavery leading again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry, “Abba, Father.” (Romans 8:15)
11. "Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14 But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.” (1 Peter 3:13-14)
12. "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." (1 John 4:18) 
13. "For I am the Lord your God, the one who takes hold of your right hand, who says to you, ‘Don’t be afraid, I am helping you." (Isaiah 41:13)
14. “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine." (Isaiah 43:1b)
15. "So we say with confidence,“The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” (Hebrews 13:6 )




4 comments:

  1. Loved it Jenica! Well written. I need to tune in to your blog more often. We all need to be sisters in Christ

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  2. We heard from a reliable source that this sweet girl received Christ two weeks prior to her passing. Though this news does little to erase the deep grief here, it is comforting to know she may truly, remain "in the arms of her creator and savior for eternity", as you stated.

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