II Chronicles 7:14

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Too close to home

You know, we see headlines and hear reports all the time of horrible things happening. Children being shot in schools, killed in fires, earthquakes, tornados, hurricanes, beaten to death...etc. If a person doesn't put up some sort of wall mentally to this stuff...it can really mess you up. But every now and then, something seeps through that wall and I can't get it out of my mind. I remember a year or two back when a grandfather was taking his 5 yr. old grandson fishing and nearby, across the field some police were shooting at something (I can't remember what --but it was an animal I think) and the bullet hit the little boy right in the head and killed him instantly. That story loomed in my mind for days, maybe even weeks, imagining what that grandfather must have went through at that horrendous moment. Obviously he was a loving, caring grandpa to be taking his grandson fishing in the first place. They probably had a close bond with one another. Then to suddenly see him laying on the ground, blood pouring from his head and his life instantly gone. How does anyone deal with something like that? They don't--unless they have God in their life.
Well, as I'm sure most of you know, Steven Curtis Chapman's young daughter was killed last week as her older brother unknowingly ran over her in their own driveway. I have tried and tried to put that story out of my head...but time and time again...I find myself thinking through what each person in that scenario must be experiencing right now. It's sickening. Literally, I get sick to my stomach if I allow myself to "go there" for more than just a second. Tears spring up instantly in my eyes and I can feel the lump in my throat forming. How does a parent handle losing a child? --especially tragically.
Early this morning as I sat in my office working I was nodding off. I decided it's been a long weekend so I "allowed" myself the luxury of going back to bed for a quick 15-20 minute nap. However, I was awakened before my time was up with one of the most horrible, heart-constricting feelings I have ever experienced. I was having a dream...but it felt SO REAL. I had been standing in a parking lot with Matt, his dad, the kids and some friends. (It was the K-Mart parking lot in my home town and I can see it clear as day). We were talking and about to get in the car to leave when Brooklyn and one of her friends spotted someone across the parking lot they knew. They took off running across the parking lot and I looked up and hollered at them "Hey! You don't run across the parking lot without looking and asking first!!!" Then as soon as I got those words out, I saw Grant out of the corner of my eye take off after them. Except this time, in my peripheral vision, I could see a car coming fast from the other way. I screamed at Matt (who was closer to him than I was) "GET HIM!!!!!" but it was too late. The car had already hit him. The front bumper knocked him down and as his little body hit the ground--ba-bump..the car rolled over him. I took off running toward him but suddenly all strength left my body and I fell to the ground screaming "OH MY GOD! MY BABY!"
That's when I woke up.
Now, 3 hours later, I am still totally tore up about this. I know it was just a dream, but yet, it's a reality that SCC's family is facing right now. I have prayed and I have listened. I have done some soul searching this morning because I just don't understand how things like this happen to Christian people. I pray protection over my children and my family every morning and I know Matt does too...and it is in that...that I have 100% complete confidence---no doubt whatsoever---that nothing like that could or would EVER happen to my children. Anything to make me think that there is a "snag" in that type of thinking sends me into a tizzy.
I want to pretend that those stories and dreams like that don't affect me...but they do...and sometimes (like now) I just can't seem to shake it. Is God trying to tell me something? Show me something? Warn me of something? Am I being lazy in how carefully I watch over my children? Yesterday at the lake, Grant was jumping off the side of the boat and even though I was loving seeing him have SO much fun and just being a little boy...I found myself thinking things like: what if he hits his head on the side of the boat when he jumps? or what if he goes too far under and gets stuck underneath the boat? Or what if he swims too far out and a seadoo hits him? I know those kinds of thoughts are from the devil...but sometimes I wonder if we shouldn't allow ourselves to think of the "what if's" so we can be smart and keep anything like that from happening....??? One thing I know...a mother's heart is a delicate thing concerning her children. Where the "line" is of being cautious and careful versus over-protective and obsessive is a difficult one to find sometimes--when you're the mom.
How do you guys deal with this kind of stuff? I'd love to know...

9 comments:

Simmons Girlz said...

At church on Sunday, the preacher talked @ this very subject...No where in the bible does it say bad things wont happen, they do. But be of good cheer He has overcome the world. And because of Jesus, we have the power to speak to those things that try to come against us. You remember that book Matt said he had at my house the other night, the Belivers Authority...its knowing who we are in Christ and what authority we have...
As a mom, I do have feelings and thoughts that come to me, but I really try not to give them room to grow...One thing the pastor talked @ that touched home with me, was listening to your inner man...that most spirtfilled christians honstly say that things happended when they did not listen to their spirt man who told them not to go or do it, and the did not listen...For me that is my biggest struggle, that I will miss my inner man...

Michelle said...

Jen, just this weekend, I stayed up late reading a blog dedicated to the SCC family. I cried my eyes out as I read all the comments left to his family. The thing that tore me up the most was that SO many parents were leaving messages of having the same experience of losing their children from horrific accidents!! I couldn't believe so many people had lost children that way. I didn't sleep well that night...I should have never read that so late because my mind wanted to go over and over it.

Many times in my life, Psalm 91 has been my saving grace when fear and worry try to overtake me. Pastor Bob has an incredible teaching on it. We absolutely can not let fear consume us. It's hard, especially because we are curious creatures and want to know the why's and the answers to everything. But I will continue to hold tight to God's word and His promises of divine protection. Without those promises I would surely live in fear.

MissGotWings said...

Jen - can't relate to having kids and being overprotective of them, but these thoughts do flood my brain sometimes when it comes to my hubby. I often find myself worried sick if he's out in the car driving and I'm not with him, or because he works in a very dangerous environment w/ adolescent criminals. But like the other commenters have said, we cannnot control those bad things that may happen to us. All we can control is our love and affection towards those we care for. I'm sure your dream was just a result of the SCC story affecting you so much and your internalizing it, nothing more. We can all use a wake-up call every now and then to remind ourselves that people, not things, not tasks, not the to-do list, are important. They are to come first in our lives. We are to shower them with affection. The rest will fall as God has planned.

jenelle said...

First of all, those kind of dreams are horrible and haunt the mind far too long.

With my first round of post pardum depression, I would constantly worry and visualize myself getting into a car accident and killing/injuring our baby. It became consuming to the point that I didn't want to drive. It took a while for me to let go of that fear and place my baby in God's hands. He loves him more than I do...

We know that God brings beauty from ashes, His strength is perfect when we are weak, and loved us enough to give His son. Take that pit in your stomach and realize what God gave you. I never had a greater understanding of what my sin cost than when I turned my fear and my children over to God.

Continued prayers for the Chapman family. May God draw them even closer and use their tragedy to reach many more.

Logziella said...

Simmons girlz is right. The Bible never promises that bad things won't happen to Christians. We live on a fallen and broken planet and bad things do happen to good people and Christian people as well..we are not exempt...in fact...I say often that we as Christians have more trials sometimes and that's because we have an enemy...the devil. Lots of people think or act like God is up in Heaven deciding what bad things will happen to what people and that simply is not the case. Many times bad things happen simply as a result of our own actions. This probably happen to the SCC family simply because the older son failed to check in his mirrors properly (as we all have done at one time or another!) and that's that. SCC is not exempt from this tradgedy b/c he preaches the gospel or is a good Christian. Now, we do have the Holy Spirit to warn us of these types of things...I'm not saying that God doesn't try and warn us...He does. But many times...we are too busy to listen. Our lives are too loud and we are not listening (myself included). And when we are warned we have those spiritual weapons to speak against things or act on them appropriatly and praise God for that!

As for the dream...that is more than likely b/c your thoughts have been dwelling on it lately.

When I get thoughts like that, I don't automatically push them away and believe it's the devil...those thoughts could be a warning but also simply b/c as parents we sometimes need to play out a scenario in our minds like that in order to keep our kiddos safe. Everything in balance. Think the situation thru...pros/cons...potential threats and then make your informed decision and then be done wtih it. It's when those thoughts want to eat us alive and we allow them to is when we will get into all kinds of fear.

That's my beliefs anyway...I hope it helps.

kc said...

I couldn't believe it when I heard about this on the news the other morning. My jaw hit the floor! I was in shock! I looked at my husband and said "why did God allow that to happen?" of course he didn't have an answer, because no one understands the why's except for God. My heart goes out to them, and I pray that God helps them overcome this tragedy. To often people turn their back on HIM when bad things happen, so I pray that they will overcome this and continue their work for God.

Bridgett Hayes said...

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JOYCE said...

Jen,you know,every Thursday night I find myself in a tailspin about going to work on Friday..thinking of the "what if's" when I'm gone,primarily my sister's pool..and I also wonder if God is trying to tell me that I shouldn't be working,etc..then I have to remind myself that God does not use fear as a guide for us,we are led by our inner witness.So,anytime I feel that fear I can't let myself get parylized by it..if I'm not supposed to be working ,God will let me know at a time when I am at peace!(I say this all on Thursday night...UGH!I'm preachin' to the choir;)

TLC said...

In Oct. of 2006 we had a housefire. We came home from church to find fire engines on our street. It was OUR house. We lost everything. How do you handle it? You just do. We were all ok, and though we lost our three kitties, all humans were fine.

I learned a lot. Sometime soon I expect that I will blog about it, but I am not there yet. It was such a devastating tragedy that I didn't write for two years. We are back in our home, completely rebuilt, and I am older and wiser.

Things happen, even if you are a Christian. But our God is good, and he will absolutely never forsake us.

believe it or not, many times "through the fire" I found peace. God is in control. I am not. The end.