This week on our podcast, Turn It Over, I took to the mic alone to share my thoughts on the recent mass shooting in Uvalde, TX.
I’ve never been great with grief. Who is, afterall? Maybe some emotionally in touch individuals can pass through the dark valley with little trepidation. As for me, I avoid that trek like no other. I’m more likely to find a cloud 9 I can hop on and float right over all that pain. And then years later, maybe just maybe, process it on a podcast. Haha.
But seriously, with ALL of the tragedy and loss these last 2 years, the grief is unavoidable. The pandemic, the lock downs, the forced medical decisions, the school closures, the racial injustices, the food shortages, inflation, the war in Ukraine… and now the mass shooting in Uvalde. This is simply too much for anyone, even more so if you’re experiencing personal loss.
At the same time of all this fear and uncertainty, however, both personally and collectively, I have also simultaneously found myself experiencing moments of great joy and deep peace. The last two years have brought so much change to my family and so much happiness I never thought possible.
I once heard Dr. Jordan Peterson say that life is equally full of joy and sorrow. Do you believe that’s true? He says, “You suffer. Even in suffering, observe goodness.”
Do you think it is possible to hold both grief and gratitude? And if you do believe it’s possible, are you good at it? Suffering is universal and even Christ doesn’t shy away from this truth in the New Testament. But those same scriptures call us to rejoice in the Lord always! And our apostle Paul speaks of being content in all circumstances.
We live in a different world, though. Thanks to technological advances, we are made aware of tragedies in every corner of the world within a moments notice. And with that knowledge of others’ sufferings comes this weird pressure to publicly react to it. If you don’t acknowledge injustice on ANY front, then you are assumed to condone it. And so here we are… moms, daughters, grandmas, friends, lovers… caught in the cross fires of holding giggling babies and watching horror stories unfold on social media. All while being expected to simultaneously grieve correctly and publicly for every injustice thrown our way and hide our joys from each other for fear of being insensitive.
Friend, this ought not be so and you absolutely have a right to first and foremost, turn off your phone. Not as an act of ignorance and denial, but from a place to recharge so that you can in turn steward your family.
We need to be praying and asking God to help us navigate these waters. We need to guard our hearts and with vigilance, guard the hearts of our children. That means prayerfully considering what our children should be exposed to. Should they be activists at 6 and 7? Should they know the things they know now? Regardless of your stance on the topics, my only hope is that you considered them in prayer. After which, I am no one to judge, so soldier on, mama, and raise your tribe.
I would like to challenge you though to take these times as a call to arms… a call to tighten those apron strings. I saw a meme that said that, but oddly enough, as progressive as I used to think I was, I found no offense in that. As mothers and grandmothers, our battlefield is here at home. And even if you are a working mother or a single mother, your greatest weapon is your prayers! Pray for your family and get your house in order. YOU are the gatekeeper. And if you find your home is full of wonder and excitement and JOY… then sister, rejoice! And share the good news. Because this world sells bad news 24/7 and while you might feel guilty to share your good news, I’m telling you that it is indeed needed.
I want to see pictures of smiling faces, hear about your son’s graduation, toast to your promotion! We need it. We need to be reminded that life is BOTH joy and sorrow, not just sorrow. And let us ask our Father, one discernment at a time, what he would have us say and not say, teach and not teach, protect and expose, etc etc.
Praying for you,