Sunday, December 16, 2012

Praying For The Community Of Newtown, CT

This weekend something as simple as watching my babies sleep is priceless.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted, He rescues those whose spirits are crushed. ~ Psalm 34:18 (NLT)

My heart has been broken since hearing the news of the tragedy in Newtown, CT.  Friday morning I kissed my girls, said my morning prayer over them as they put their coats & backpacks on and sent them on their way to school with their father.  He got the job of escorting them to their respective class lines that frosty morning.

My coffee started brewing and I sat down to start my day off with FOX News...and then sat there in shock as I heard the news and read the headline that another school shooting had taken place. As if there was any way to make that news worse, my jaw hit the floor and tears started streaming down my cheeks at the news that it was not a high school, but an elementary school with the children that were victims being as young as 5-7 year old babies.  I say babies because in my eyes they still very much are...just starting their trek into the world of daily school lessons. Only up to 7 years of life experiences...which are not nearly enough years with family & friends.

As I stared in disbelief my front door opens and Charming find me sitting on the couch, wiping my eyes with my shaking hands..."What happened?", he asked. "Someone gunned down's horrific!", I answer.  There was no other way to describe a living horror story that I thought for sure had to be erroneous.  It just couldn't be possible.  Those precious little faces couldn't have been treated like that.  Those teachers couldn't have been put in that position and ultimately lose their lives.

All I could do was watch, cry and pray for the children who had survived, for the staff and children being treated at the hospital...and especially for the parents that were living the most nightmarish day of their lives.  There is no way to comprehend the incredible loss that those families are experiencing...I can't even begin to.  The closest I can come to understanding their pain was when my Grace was in the hospital at 3 days old dehydrated & jaundice or as an 8 month old going through breathing treatments because of croup...and though those moments I was on my face before God praying and crying for her health it just doesn't come close.

The elementary school my daughters attend had a lockdown occur in October 3 days before they were to go on break.  A parent had threatened to shoot our principal because he had been called to once again pick up his son.  Rather than try to deal with his son's classroom behavior, this parent's logic was to threaten to shoot the principal.  I thank God that our police apprehended him quickly and that he never got the chance to put his threat into action.  The two days after the first lockdown we chose to keep our girls home from just wasn't worth the risk to us.

Every day with our children is a blessing, no matter how much they may irritate, argue or ignore us.  There is nothing that can ever replace a child. My trust is in the Lord and I know that those precious little ones are at the throne of perfect peace, love & joy.  That is the only solace that I have.

These past nights I have held my girls a little longer, kissed them a little more, listened more intently to their words & songs, studied their faces and cherished their laughter.  Even when my head is pounding and they are screaming & fighting, I know how incredibly blessed I am to have that chaotic moment with them.

"Lord God, there is no way to understand the horror that so many families have faced in Newtown this weekend.  Be with all of the families that have experienced the most tragic losses possible. Draw them to You because in Your presence there is peace and healing. Surround them with Your peace and love. Surround them with those that can support them and hold them as they grieve. May your comfort hold them in their darkest moments. Bring Your joy into their lives. Heal them, Lord ~ Amen."

Let these be the names that we remember, not their executioner's name:

Charlotte Bacon, 2/22/06, female (age 6)
Daniel Barden, 9/25/05, male (age 7)
Olivia Engel, 7/18/06, female (age 6)
Josephine Gay, 12/11/05, female (age 7)
Ana M. Marquez-Greene, 04/04/06, female (age 6)
Dylan Hockley, 03/08/06, male (age 6)
Madeleine F. Hsu, 07/10/06, female (age 6)
Catherine V. Hubbard, 06/08/06, female (age 6)
Chase Kowalski, 10/31/05, male (age 7)
Jesse Lewis, 06/30/06, male (age 6)
James Mattioli, 03/22/06, male (age 6)
Grace McDonnell, 11/04/05, female (age 7)
Emilie Parker, 05/12/06, female (age 6)
Jack Pinto, 05/06/06, male (age 6)
Noah Pozner, 11/20/06, male (age 6)
Caroline Previdi, 09/07/06, female (age 6)
Jessica Rekos, 05/10/06, female (age 6)
Avielle Richman, 10/17/06, female (age 6)
Benjamin Wheeler, 9/12/06, male (age 6)
Allison N. Wyatt, 07/03/06, female (age 6)

Rachel Davino, 7/17/83, female (age 29)
Dawn Hochsprung, 06/28/65, female (age 47)
Anne Marie Murphy, 07/25/60, female (age 52)
Lauren Russeau, 1982, female (age 29)
Mary Sherlach, 02/11/56, female (age 56)
Victoria Soto, 11/04/85, female (age 27)

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