I'm a worrier. And an overthinker. And emotional.
Where it concerns my kids, it counts double.
The reason I bring this up is that today, I’m worried and over thinking and emotional. I heard three stories on Good Morning America about people who are abusing or killing or neglecting the children God blessed them with.
My stomach is tied up in knots about this world that I brought my kids into.
Of course this is not the first time I’ve been upset or disgusted by humanity and how children suffer at the hands of their parents or other people they love. I mean, it’s appalling if a kid is abused by a stranger or an acquaintance. But to be abused by someone they love and adore like a child loves their parents? It’s unfathomable to me that this kind of evil exists in a world that can also produce so much joy and light and goodness.
I hear these stories and picture what kind of hell these kids are living through and those thoughts stick in my brain for days or weeks or months. And then I worry about my kids, if someone would do something to them, if they would even just see something terrible, or worse. My imagination can be a wonderful place, but it can also draw up dark, vivid, scaring images that I cannot shake without a “God, please take these worries from my head” prayer.
I know I cannot control what others do; only what I do, how I react to others, and how I teach my kids to do the same. And that drives me crazy. I want to shelter my children and protect them from every evil I can envision, which would make me a smothering mother. And I know that’s not healthy, either.
What are the answers? Why do things unimaginable things happen to children? Why can’t we as a society protect them better? Why does God let idiots and crack heads and evil people even have kids? Why must these kids suffer so? It enrages me. It saddens me. It worries me.
In the shower this morning, I was asking God these questions…more like shouting him these questions. As a Christian, I know that God is with me and with those kids and even with those crazy-ass people who do these awful things. And I also know that God is strong enough for me to be mad at him sometimes, too, in my frustrated ignorance, expecting him to intercede.
It’s enough to shake my faith.
But then God nudged me as I listened to my Jonny Lang CD on the way to work and reminded me that he’s there with us all inside our heads, hearing us scream out; if we hand him our burdens, he’ll give us peace; if we give him our chains, he’ll set us free; and he’ll never leave us or forsake us or abuse us...
Anyway, it’s a beautiful song – listen for yourself (if the link below works).
It made me think that he’s probably more saddened when one of his children is hurt or killed than we are. He’s probably more disappointed and angry when one of his children commits these awful atrocities than we are.
And also reminded me of the responsibility I have to protect my kids, to love my kids, to be thankful everyday for my kids, to guide my kids…but not to control my kids. My job is to “train them in the way that they should go and, even when they are old, they will not depart from it”. The rest I have to surrender to God.