Finding the Calm Among the Storms

My heart is broken.  I have no words to describe the deep ache that lies within my soul as a mother, fellow American, and believer in God. The evil or mental illnesses that have perpetuated the horrific crimes this year alone around the world are enough to make even the strongest soul, break. 

The latest of these being the tragedy that became of an entire school in Connecticut this past Friday.  27 total lives were lost because of one man's unknown intentions.  I, like the majority of the world, was devastated at the news. 

My first reaction was to cry, then to pray for the families, then to be honest, my next emotion was anger.  Anger that yet another place where I have little or no control over my son's environment had safety challenged and defeated. I was so angry at the loss that over 20 families experienced that day.  Anger at the lasting mark such a tragedy has left on other little lives, a community, a nation, and ultimately the world.  Anger that such evil exists and that it can penetrate such innocence and purity.

I have never truly felt as if my son was 100% safe.  There is always that lingering possibility that something evil will enter every effort I have to keep him safe.  I think like all parents on Friday, it made this evil in the world just that much more real and left me feeling helpless to the possibility that it could have just as easily been my son in that classroom.  There is really no "safe place". 

So, how do we as parents help our children cope with such a tragedy? How do we give our children a sense of security and covering with a world that is falling apart?   The simplest answer I can give is: truth.  Give them truth. 

After sharing tears of grief together over the lives lost, my son and I talked about good and evil.  We talked about the promises of the bible and how important it was to reach as many people as we could with the good news of Christ.  The promises of His love, grace, and mercy.  As we started to pray for the families affected, my son stopped me and said, "But mom! All of those kids are in Heaven with Jesus!  They are happy!"  What divine understanding in such a young child.

Many parents are reaching for answers and for resources on how to help their kids cope with such a tragedy.  I have done some research on some links provided to me from a friend here at Family Talk.

1) Keep the media away from your child's eyes and ears.  Constantly bombarding them with images and news of the fearful event will be overwhelming and have terrible lasting effects.

2) Pray with them.  Calling upon God and the Holy Spirit to intervene in times that are out of our control will teach our kids to call upon the name of God as well.

3) Renounce Evil.  It is important that children see adults willing to fight against evil and take a stand for good.

4) Look for signs of PTSD in your kids.  Changes in behavior such as acting out, withdrawal, difficulty sleeping, nightmares, or fear of a similar tragedy happening to them would all need to be addressed with the help of a Christian Counselor.

5) Try to keep them in a routine as much as possible. Keeping the normalcy and predictability will counteract the feelings of confusion and disorientation.

6) Accept your child's emotions for what they are.  Be open to discussing the behaviors in a gentle and understanding way.  Allow them to draw, write, paint, play games, write poetry or write in an journal.  As many outlets as they can have for their feelings the better.

7) Most importantly, tell your children that you love them.  Hold them close to reassure them that you are doing everything you can to protect them.  This reinforces that you are near and you are always available to cover them in your love and embrace.

For adults, we need help coping also.  If you are finding yourself suffering from PTSD, please seek counseling from your Pastor or a local Christian Counselor.  Visit here for a list of counselors.

I'll end this with Psalm 91


Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
    my God, in whom I trust.”
Surely he will save you
    from the fowler’s snare
    and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers,
    and under his wings you will find refuge;
    his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night,
    nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
    nor the plague that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
    ten thousand at your right hand,
    but it will not come near you.
You will only observe with your eyes
    and see the punishment of the wicked.
If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”
    and you make the Most High your dwelling,
10 no harm will overtake you,
    no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
    to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands,
    so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
    you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
14 “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
    I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him;
    I will be with him in trouble,
    I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
    and show him my salvation.”


  1. It took me days before being able to read articles about what happened. It scared me so much for my son's well being that children who are in a safe place were still hurt. This year as a parent has been hard, my child is only
    1 1/2 year old, and I think seeing those eyes and him grow up away from my womb finally connects me to the horrors out there for parents. I used to feel horrible, angry to each story I heard of a child being hurt, but the fear feel so much more intense now that I too am a mom.
    Thank you for your articles it helps to calm some of the fears from this year that seemed so anti children.

    Twas' 11 days before Christmas, around 9:38
    when 20 beautiful children stormed through heaven's gate.
    their smiles were contagious, their laughter filled the air.
    they could hardly believe all the beauty they saw there.
    they were filled with such joy, they didn't know what to say.

    they remembered nothing of what had happened earlier that day.
    "where are we?" asked a little girl, as quiet as a mouse.
    "this is heaven." declared a small boy. "we're spending Christmas at God's house."
    when what to their wondering eyes did appear,
    but Jesus, their savior, the children gathered near.
    He looked at them and smiled, and they smiled just the same.
    then He opened His arms and He called them by name.
    and in that moment was joy, that only heaven can bring
    those children all flew into the arms of their King
    and as they lingered in the warmth of His embrace,
    one small girl turned and looked at Jesus' face.
    and as if He could read all the questions she had
    He gently whispered to her, "I'll take care of mom and dad."
    then He looked down on earth, the world far below
    He saw all of the hurt, the sorrow, and woe
    then He closed His eyes and He outstretched His hand,
    "Let My power and presence re-enter this land!"
    "may this country be delivered from the hands of fools"
    "I'm taking back my nation. I'm taking back my schools!"
    then He and the children stood up without a sound.
    "come now my children, let me show you around."
    excitement filled the space, some skipped and some ran.
    all displaying enthusiasm that only a small child can.
    and I heard Him proclaim as He walked out of sight,
    "in the midst of this darkness, I AM STILL THE LIGHT."
    Written by Cameo Smith, Mt. Wolf, PA (my hometown)

  2. Elizabeth, I can completely understand your feelings. The world takes on an entirely different look when you become a parent. I am very glad that the words of Psalm 91 have comforted you. Lean on those words and say each promise with your son's name in front. The power of prayer is amazing, if not for any other reason but to give you His peace. Great poem as well! What a great dedication to those precious lives. Thank you for contributing!

  3. May be we are beginning to see through the lies that we can separate God from our government, from our lives, and just go to church on Sundays so we can go to heaven when we die.

    Such lies have been spread and believed and through them we have misled ourselves and the rest of the world for generations. Now we see them for what they are.

    A lie cannot live forever. Therefore, let us stop hiding behind lies and stop glorifying guns. Guns are not for everyone in a society, and if we think everyone is out to kill us, then let us examine how we live.