Posts tagged joy
The darkness of a tragedy, the light of hope...

These past few days have been intense for all of us dealing with the darkness that resides in our world, and the questions that come with such a horrible tragedy. Although I knew none of the victims, I feel the weight of this horror significantly living only 4 miles from the theater where this happened. I have been to see movies there, it is the closest theater to our home as a matter of fact.

 I woke up Friday morning to the horrifying news, as we all did. We desperately tried to get a hold of my sister-in-law {who had just moved to Aurora on Wednesday}as they flashed images of the apartment complex that looked exactly like theirs. We didn't hear from them and the fears race, but without a tv set up in their home yet they had no clue what was going on, and it wasn't their apartment complex but it was a few streets up. 
Their family was fine.

 At first these things, they feel like a movie, like it's not real. You know it is real, but it's like your mind cannot comprehend it. I watched the news non stop until I had a play date with a friend at the pool and then returned back to the news. It becomes like a sick addiction, you feel your soul being crushed under the weight of it all, but you can't stop watching and your mind starts to feel numb.

 That night my husband and I went out for a date and as we were deciding what to do, we couldn't even imagine going to the movies. We ended up going to dinner and you could feel the sorrow and edginess of people. There was a police officer taking care of a fender bender in the parking lot and you could tell the flashing light made people nervous.

 Saturday we had to go get something from a location of my husbands work and then were going to run some errands at a near by mall and drove by the theater. The amount of media trucks and vans were immense to the right of the road and on the left the vigil on the side of the road.

By that night, when they released the names of the victims I started to really feel it. I hurt deeply for those families and couldn't control my thoughts of picturing what it might have been like for those people in that theater as I read account after account. I didn't want my husband to go asleep before me, I felt so anxious.

 I am an empathetic person in many areas in my life. I put myself in other people's shoes and imagine what it must feel like for them and often experience intense emotions. I think I carry a little bit of that weight, not because I try to, it just happens. The heaviness combined with many other aspects mounting in my life seemed to cause a break in me. I felt so similar to those times during my depression. 

 Saturday night I just felt so strange, anxious, heavy, broken. I just sat and cried. 

My two and half year old son said, "don't cry mommy" and brought me the paper towel he had used during his dinner. He is such a sensitive soul himself.

A whole bunch of old feelings that I had thought I had left in the past came flooding in. I didn't trust anyone, everyone is constantly talking crap about me, no one likes me, I bet my sisters hate me, not just my sisters, everyone! All the reasons I have given everyone to be annoyed with me, not like me. All the reasons I will never move into any kind of actual ministry or leadership position because I can't stop thinking about what everyone thinks about me, as if it should matter so much. 

 On our way to church this morning I was still feeling so weird. I knew I needed to go so I could hear some truth, so I could pull myself out of this. I did not feel like it. 

I do not know why I wear mascara some days because I just cry it all off. When this type of thing hits me, I just can't stop it. Daniel just rubbed my arm as we drove and as we pulled into the parking garage Ashton says to me "don't worry mommy". How profound he is in his little toddler way. I assured him mommy was OK.

 Church was a good place to be. We, of course, talked about the horror from a few days before. There was both a heaviness of grief there and a resolution to seek light and truth. It was right where I needed to be. We all prayed together for our community and the tears once again streamed down my face as we asked God to heal this broken town. More than anything I prayed that hope would replace the deep fear, in myself, in all of us.

It's so easy to get sucked into fear, to let it live in our hearts and minds until it is in control instead of truth or love.

But we have to fight that, we have to fight and believe that light and joy will come in the morning.

This is a time for grieving such a huge loss, but this is not a time for me to give back into the darkness that likes to prevail in my life. That there is still truth and hope.

Tonight was the vigil as I am sure many of you may know. We thought about attending but thought it might be too much with our little one. But as Mayor Steve Hogan stated tonight
"while our hearts might be broken, our community is not".
The road to normality will be a long one for our community. Watching the memorials of the victims on our local news right now, and these types of things are simply not just gotten over, such precious lives lost for no good reason.

Instead of hearing the stories and grovel in the depravity and fear of it, especially being so close, I want to instead choose to pray for those grieving their loved ones or recovering from serious injuries. To be proactive with my thoughts and turn fear from an assault to fuel me as a reminder to fight for that hope and light for others who may not be able to fight for themselves right now.

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