“My tears have been my food day and night, while men say to me all day long, Where is your God?” Psalm 42:3
“Why are you cast down, O my inner self? And why should you moan over me and be disquieted within me? Hope in God and wait expectantly for Him, for I shall yet praise Him, my Help and my God.” Psalm 42:5
I haven’t been sleeping much since Friday. I can’t stop grieving. I can’t stop thinking about the last horrifying moments of those innocent children’s lives. I can’t stop my stomach from churning… my eyes from tearing up at the thought of their sweet lives ripped away in an instant. I can’t stop thinking of the heart ache their parents are facing every second while I’m able to wrap my arms around my girls tonight. All day in my mind, I see the faces of 6 and 7 year-olds I have never met and all night I constantly check on my girls while they sleep.
Tonight I sat in Cammie’s room and just listened to her breathe. I put my head on her chest and heard the steady soft beating of her heart, remembering with extreme clarity the moment my doctor could first hear her heart beat before we even knew if she was going to be “Camdyn” or “Cole” and before I knew just how deep a mother’s love could be. Before she entered this broken world that feels infinitely darker tonight than it did this time last week. I smelled my baby’s head and kissed her face so many times that it made her stir in her sleep. I held her tiny 6 year-old hand and knelt by her bed as I prayed for wisdom and peace… begging the Lord to protect my girls and asking forgiveness for all the days and nights that I did not make praying for them a priority. I prayed that I would be the mother they deserved and that they would love Him with their whole being.
I repeated this prayer over Chloe while she lay in her comfy bed sleeping soundly. I imagined the parents who had tucked in their children only a few nights ago and now their beds were empty… the blankets cold with the absence of little warm bodies. My Chloe smiles and talks in her sleep. When I kissed her forehead and told her I loved her out loud, she faintly smiled. I want my girls to hear it even more now. Within days of finding out I was pregnant, Chloe had her name. I just knew she was a girl, so I called her “Chloe” throughout my entire pregnancy. I have loved her from the second I saw the “positive” pregnancy test. She was my dream come true, my first-born. She made me a mother and forever changed my life. She is an amazingly intelligent, loving and empathetic 8 year-old. How I love being her mother.
I can’t stop thinking of the mothers who have stories just like mine. They loved their children as I love my girls and those precious children are gone. I am writing here tonight to keep from banging my head against the wall screaming out to God in confusion and sadness. I am using writing as my form of therapy, but it’s not helping as much as I had hoped. With each passing day I am more dismayed at the world my girls are inheriting.
My pastor gave a message recently where he told the story of Beethoven’s struggle with his gradual deafness. When the deafness got worse, he sawed off the legs of his piano and would lie on the ground with his ears to the floor desperately banging the keys as hard as he could to try to feel something – a vibration… anything – so that he would know that the music was still there. He stayed as close to the instrument as possible even when he couldn’t hear it anymore. My pastor related this to when we are waiting on God, when we pray and pray and pray but we don’t hear Him or we don’t get the answer we were hoping for. When we feel like He has abandoned us, when his ways are hard to understand – that is when we must continue to cry out to him and pray ugly, raw prayers while we keep our ear to the ground… because He is still there. We must stay as close to the instrument as we can even when we can’t hear it. He is here in our midst – even though our world seems completely void of all light, even when a psychotic dictator has millions of innocent people sent to concentration camps and brutally murdered, even when planes fly into buildings and buildings fall from the sky, even when cancer and incurable diseases ravage our bodies, even when tornadoes, floods and hurricanes take out entire cities, and He is there when children and teachers are tragically gunned down in a place where they are supposed to be safe…
He was there. He held them close and whisked those children to safety… nestled within his arms. His ultimate protection is what keeps me from living in constant fear of this world.
I am at a loss, but I don’t want to become numb. I don’t want to live here anymore, but that cannot stop me from living. I don’t want to call this world my home, but for now it is. I just don’t have words for the ache anymore. My ear is pressed to the ground and I am frantically banging on the keys, God, because this hurts too much. It came too close to home for me. It could have easily been Cammie or Chloe and I can’t fathom that kind of agony in my life. We are all hurting right now and we need your comfort and peace. We just need you and the hope and restoration that only you can provide. Sometimes we can’t feel you, and we don’t understand. Sometimes your peace seems so far away but we are crying out to you… with ears to the ground.