The news this past week has been horrific. A well-liked, seemingly normal, junior high football coach physically grabs a 10 year old stranger walking to her friends house off the street, throws her in his truck (with witnesses nearby), drives 5 minutes away to his house, shoots her in the back of the head and stuffs her in a plastic tub, cleans up the mess and leaves -- and then returns to find police waiting for him. No fight from him. All within a matter of 3 hours. Bizzare. Horrific. Tragic. Terrifying.
Oh and did I mention this is just 15 minutes from our house?
This has invaded my deepest fears, wrecking me. I've lost sleep this week. I've been waking up from nightmares. One night I was actually laying on the cold bathroom floor with that horrible taste of 'being about ready to vomit' in my mouth, moaning. My fears have been intense. And ugly.
As a mom of a 11 and 12 year old who frequently walk 1-2 blocks between two friends' houses (who are also 10 and 11) - My momma heart has held so much.
Obviously, I have told my girls about this -- not the details, we've kept the news off -- I feel a need to 'protect' them from too much info. We've reviewed safety and emphasized more than once why we insist they always walk with someone else when they are walking somewhere.
But the hardest thing I did this week -- was to let them go again. We let them walk over to their friends houses still. We've let them enjoy these springlike days playing in our backyard. We've let the wait outside for the bus still.
Because here's the thing I know. I can NOT let fear and evil rule our lives. We fight fear with bravery. I must show them, teach them, that trust, and beauty, and love, and goodness are more powerful in this world. Yes, we take precautions, -- but we don't let evil win.
On a side note, I've thought again about the Hunger Games series this week, and I think that's why I LOVE the end of The Hunger Games series so much. Shes chooses bravery over fear. She choose to find goodness in the world instead of focusing on the evil. So much wisdom there.