Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Where will I be?

I have a heavy heart this morning. My husband just left for work and we hugged tighter than usual, both of us with tears in our eyes as we pulled away. There was a tragedy in our town yesterday. A man was doing his job and another man, dealing with mental illness, shot and killed two people. The man doing his job and an innocent bystander. Others were also wounded.

An interesting fact....I am connected to 4 people involved in the tragedy. My husband was friends with the first victim. I went to at least junior high and church with the shooter. The other victim has family at my job and a wounded by stander is a friend of a friend from out of town.

As the events unfolded yesterday I was quite unaware. I was seated at a tiny ethnic restaurant, talking with a gal, sharing parts of my story, hearing parts of her's. Our lunch took two hours, not unusual for me. When we exited the restaurant and I checked my phone I had several missed calls and texts, wondering if I was ok, what was going on.

I had no idea.

A quick phone call to my mother in law and mom and I came home. The rest of my information for the day came via text, I did not turn on the television or computer. Apparently we made it on to a major news network.

I tried reaching my husband, whose job sometimes brings him close to dangerous people. No answer. I left a message. I texted. I took my kids swimming, trying to pretend like all was ok. As I was making dinner I received a text with the identity of the shooter. I immediately called my friend....are you kidding me? It was a guy I had algebra with. I remember him.

Unreal. My husband came in from work, with tears in his eyes. I didn't realize how well he knew the first victim. This had all hit so close to home. After a few minutes of long silences and quick phone calls to exchange information, I kissed my husband and left for Bible study.

This summer I've been studying the book of Esther and the repeating theme is that God is in control, He can turn the tables at any point and He works all for our good and His glory.

Yes, I've heard that before. Yes, I want to believe that. Yes, I have to hang on to that when all seems chaos.

As I read the many articles this morning detailing the events of yesterday, two quotes stood out to me. One person said that the first victim wasn't even supposed to be doing that job today, that indeed God was calling him home. And his wife was heard to have said that he was doing what he loved so much.

So I can rest in that. I can rest in the fact that God has numbered my days, that nothing surprises Him. That although I do not know what the future holds, I serve a Lord who does and He will be glorified in my life when I submit my whole heart to Him. I will not live in fear, frightened that I or my husband might die any day.

The truth is, we might. At some point, we indeed will die. I don't know where I'll be, what I'll be doing. Until then I will do what I love, I will serve the Lord and I will not be afraid.

"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


~grateful said...

I heard of this tragedy immediately (we are referring to TX, right?) as my news home page is always updated. Coming from a family of law enforcement, I certainly did pause, again, to pray for this service man's family. Seems it is those seemingly less serious issues, a domestic dispute, serving an eviction, etc,, and within seconds professionals are killed. And this innocent bystander..... I wrote yesterday in my blog about how there are never coincidences; the way this story will , has, unfold now is always so meaningful to me. SO many lives are affected, and as you said, the circumstance that places people where they are when fire errupts... Following the Aurora theater shooting, I also wrote about how we all need to learn to "observe" differently, become more aware of our neighbors, become educated on signs and symptoms of mental illness. No, this can't prevent all these tragic shootings, but it can make a difference.

I am so very sorry you and your husband were personally touched by this tragedy. Though, as you two have recognized by the intensity of your hug, it always makes us pause and give thanks for what we can so easily take for granted.

New follower - so happy to have found you via your comment on my blog.

Anonymous said...

Good words, JB. Really.

Robin said...

I love that He calls us to trust and rest in Him during the tragedies in life and that you have let Him in so you can listen with a full heart. I am so sorry for the sadness that is going on in your life, but am so happy for the opportunity for you to grow closer to Him through it all.

You are so right: nothing is a surprise to Him and I thank you for writing about this in this manner so that God's glory can shine through in the midst of darkness.

Hugs! xoxox

mommaof3 said...

@grateful- yes, Texas. So much sadness...thank you for the prayers-

@anonymous- Really.

@Robin- Thanks for the hugs and shared perspective...I love that we connect on that level- xoxo