Friday, December 14, 2012

Be the Change: A Mother's Heart Breaks for Connecticut and for this Nation

**Written 4 years ago right after the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shootings...
“Be the Change You Wish To See in This World” Mahatma Gandhi
I am in tears.  My hands are shaking.  It took me 45 minutes longer to put my kids down for a nap today because I didn’t want to stop hugging them.  My 16 month old kept saying “nuggle” (snuggle) and so I did.  Every time she said “nuggle”, I hugged her a little tighter.  Tears were welling up in my eyes.  While I was snuggling with her, my 4 year old came over and asked me to put my arm around him while he hugged my leg.  It was then that I broke down crying.  Tears of sadness and heartbreak for all the moms who will never hug their child again.  Tears of joy for the gift of being a mother.  It was if they knew what had happened today in Connecticut.  It was if they knew that I needed to love on them a little more.  I love my kids so much that it makes my heart ache.  What can I do to change this world for them? 
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
I cannot imagine how it must feel for the moms who lost their babies in the tragedy today.  I can’t even fathom the pain they must be going through.  As mothers, we are given such a special gift to hold our babies inside of us for so long.  And we love these gifts from God from the time we find out we’re pregnant.  No, I take that back.  We love them even before that---we love them from the time the desire is put into our hearts to be a mom.  And the love grows and grows as the baby grows.  We carry them in our wombs.  We endure sickness, pain, discomfort, weight gain, and we love it!  Why?  Because we are their mother even then and no other person can have that same closeness with them as we do.  We feel their every movement.  We take every little punch and kick.  We smile at every roll and twist and hiccup.  The bond that forms between a mother and her unborn baby is indescribable!  And then we give birth and we get to meet the little one who has been so much of a part of us for so long.  The little one that we have so much love for already.
Benjamin:  A Mom totally in love!
And I remember after my son, Ben, was born feeling overwhelmed with fear.  When he was inside of me, he was safe.  I knew that he was getting enough food and fluids and that he was totally protected from everything.  I just wanted to keep him in there.  But as soon as he was out, he was so exposed.  He was so little.  He was so helpless.  And it was now my job to protect him, and it scared me.  All the things that could happen to him flooded my mind.  And it hit me just how big of a responsibility being a parent is.  My husband and I were so surprised that no one from the hospital checked in on us to make sure that we were doing ok as parents.  But then I felt so much more secure when my motherly instincts kicked right in and I realized how strong and capable I was and how strong and resilient Ben was.  And, oh, how the love grows.  And you love your first child so much, you wonder if there's enough love in you for a second?  And there is....and then some!!! 

Abigail:  A Mom Realizing How Much Love She Has

With every inch they grew, my love grew.  With every inch our babies grow, a mother’s love grows.  And with every inch our babies grow, a mom’s protective instinct grows as well.  We want to protect them from harm; from illness.  We want to keep them safe.  I still struggle with fear about the safety of my kids---at the park, on playground equipment, riding in the car with someone else, staying with a babysitter or even at my parents’ house and just pretty much whenever they are away from me.  And as they grow, you realize how much more their lives are not just in your hands.  And when tragedies strike like the elementary school shooting in Connecticut, I go back and forth from complete empathy and sadness to total fear for the safety of my own kids.  “I am never sending my kids to public schools.”  “My kids are never leaving the house again.”  “They are always going to stay in my sight.”  None of which is possible.  None of which is the answer. 

Hear my prayer, Lord, listen to my cry for help; do not be deaf to my weeping.  Psalm 39:12
But, what is?  We have enough to worry about in dealing with the safety of our kids growing up in these dark times so what CAN we do to feel safe in this country?  What can we do to ensure that our children, whom we love so dearly, aren’t going to be shot just going to school or going to a movie theater or going to a Safeway to meet their Senator or going to the mall?  It’s starting to feel that no place in this country is safe for us or for our kids.  I don’t want to live in a country where everyone is afraid to tell the truth to someone for fear of being shot.  I don’t want to live in a country where a Principal or a teacher is too afraid to give a detention to a student for fear of being shot.  I don’t want to live in a country where a boss is too afraid to fire someone for fear of being shot.  I don't want to live in a country where a parent can't lovingly discipline their children for fear of being shot.  I don’t want to live in a country where you can’t do anything without the fear of being shot!   Why has the violence in our country gone to this level?  What is happening?  I’m just mad.  I’m frustrated.  I’m incredibly heart-broken.  I’m so fearful.  I’m anxious for what the future holds for my precious kids---for all of our precious kids.

Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.  Deuteronomy 31:6

Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.
Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Philippians 4:6

So, what is the answer?  I don’t know.  Do we have metal detectors everywhere?  Armed guards in every school, movie theater, grocery store, mall and restaurant?  Or better yet, what is the cause?  I don’t know that either.   Is it violent video games?  Is it violent movies?  Is it over-medicating our kids?  Is it over-medicating ourselves?  Is it parents working too much?  Is it moms not being at home like they used to?  Is it the desire for money over family?   Is it that God isn’t at the center of every family? Or better yet, who do we blame?  I don’t know that either.  I’m sure all of our minds are scrambling to find something or someone to blame.  The shooters?  Their parents?  The guns?  The person who sold them the guns?  Our President?  Our country?  Ourselves?  And there may even be some of us blaming God. 
Something has to change, America!  We cannot live in fear.  I do not want to be the mom who wakes my son up for school for the last time.  I do not want to be the mom who helps get my daughter dressed for the last time.  I do not want to be a mom who eats breakfast with my kids for the last time.  I do not want to be the mom who kisses my boy for the last time.  I do not want to be the mom who waves good-bye to my girl on the school bus for the last time or drops her off at school for the last time.  And it’s just not right that any mom should have to experience the last time with a child!  It’s just not right that any mom should have to experience the loss of a child for any reason but especially not for this reason---a senseless, heartless, violent act of evil. 

I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. Psalm 40:1
My heart breaks for the Connecticut moms who had to experience the last time today…the last moment with their child…the last memory…the last smile…the last hug…the last kiss…the last wave.  It’s just not fair!  A mother shouldn’t have to go through that.   No parent should.  And my heart breaks for this nation. 
Because I am so full of heart-break, anger and fear right now and because there are so many questions that I don’t know the answers to…I have stop my head from spinning for a minute to seek the truth.  And the only truth that I know and the only thing that gives me any peace at a time like this is to remind myself that God loves us.  God is saddened by what happened today.  And even though it’s hard for us to imagine, God loves our children even more than we do.  And if you’re a mother, that’s a lot of love!  So, instead of choosing anger or hatred or fear which come so easily when a tragedy like this happens...I am choosing to focus on two things:  God’s love and change.  I am going to pray for God's love to surround every mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, husband, wife, brother, sister, son, daughter, aunt, uncle, friend, or neighbor who was affected by this shooting in prayer, and ask God to surround them with His peace and comfort.  I am going to pray for God's love to surround our country and unite us all.  And I am going to pray for change!  All of us—together—have to focus on change in this country.  Positive...Godly...Change!!
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up,just as in fact you are doing. 
1 Thessalonians 5:11

Love the Lord your God with all your heart; with all your soul; with all your strength; with all your mind; and Love your neighbor as yourself.  Luke 10:27
Every single one of us needs to work together and seek God’s wisdom on how we, as individuals, can change to make ourselves better, our families better, our country better, our world better!  WE have to be the change that we want to see in this world!  I don't care how much we've heard the phrase, be the change, it is time for us all to live it!  To really, truly change.  To really, truly love.  To love more.  To pray.  To pray more.  To hug more.  To kiss more.  To encourage more.  To uplift more.  To appreciate more.  To laugh more.  To spend more time with family.  To have more joy.  To love our God more.  To be more content.  To make things simple.  To appreciate the little things.  To love our neighbor more.  To spend more time with our kids.  To be more forgiving.   To love ourselves more.  To be committed to making this world full of God’s love!  To be committed to being His Light in this world of darkness!  You need to be the change.  I need to be the change.  We all need to BE THE CHANGE!!!



  1. YES!! Christine, thanks for sharing this post with me. I love that Ghandi quote. We indeed need to be the change we wish to see in the world. I also loved your words when you talked about loving your child/children even before they were born, as the desire to be a mother was put in your heart. I am a young woman yearning deeply to find her Mr. Right and to be a Mom. Your words made me smile and made me realize that the desire of my heart one day will be fulfilled in one way or another. Maybe just not in the way I expected!

    1. Amen! I'm so thankful that God used my words to make you smile and bring you hope! His timing is always perfect even when we don't understand it! Praying for your heart while you wait on Him!

      Praying that we call can find ways to be the change in this world!