Last night, I sat on the couch scrolling through all the headlines. I thought the pain and the fear would swallow me right up. I began to play out thoughts like, “I may never go anywhere again. I’m going to keep my family inside of our house. It’s just too scary to think of what may happen to us outside of these walls. I will shut my eyes and for a moment try not to think about it.”
Next, I imagined how I would control everything in my world to ensure our protection. Then, I felt even more powerless. But mostly, I felt extremely heartbroken for the moms and dads of the kids who could no longer be protected from harm — as of early last Sunday morning.
Immediately, I began to scroll through pictures and videos on my phone hoping to find a quick emotional escape. Staring right at me were all the reminders from an event we did this past week in the kid’s ministry I lead. I clicked play on a video and I heard the kids follow my prompting to loudly repeat, “I can trust God, NO MATTER WHAT!”
We worked hours on this event — writing the scripts, practicing, preparing, planning, praying — and it all boiled down to those 7 words: “I Can Trust God, No Matter What.”
Little did I know, that just a few short days later, I would have to reconcile my own version of trust.
NO.MATTER.WHAT. = Death.
NO.MATTER.WHAT. = Questions.
NO.MATTER.WHAT. = Fear.
NO.MATTER.WHAT. = Helplessness.
NO.MATTER.WHAT. = Pain.
NO.MATTER.WHAT. = Hate.
NO.MATTER.WHAT. = Silence.
NO.MATTER.WHAT. = Brokenness.
The questions follow, ringing loudly:
Why did a man go to a place to target other people’s children?
Did those parents get to tell their kids they loved them that day?
Why do people think the response is to spew so much hate behind a keyboard?
Did I glaze over this when I first heard it because I didn’t know what to do?
Why didn’t anyone do anything?
Does it really take a massacre for me to truly know if I believe what I say?
I sit quietly and ask, “How can I walk out this kind of trust? How?”
It’s in this kind of trust that I will not give in to the fear. I will not hide in the darkness. I will not perpetuate hate. I will not argue when real people are hurting. I will instead try to take a step into the light of the day. I will pray for God to show me how to bring the light into the darkest of places and to the hurting. Trust is going to have to look like love.
NO.MATTER.WHAT. = LOVE.
Tomorrow, when I wake up to the emotions again, I will take a breath. I will go through it all and I will remember. Moment by moment, second by second — I will trust.