|Hailey Owens - age 10, kidnapped, killed, loved and missed.|
source unknown from family Facebook page.
This week, shocking evil moved in close to a family within the circle of my own family. I can't help but imagine the same happening to one of my own children. I can go down the road of their confusion, fear, pain...it's overwhelming. I can imagine my own panic, anger, desperation, confusion. There are no words for circumstances like this. I think we can only sit with the family in their grief.
This I do know: Hailey's life is not defined by that last night. The years of innocence, childhood wonder, emerging tween, giggling girlhood and the smile that was adored by her family is what defines her life. She is precious to God and to her family. I don't know and cannot explain why horrific things happen to people everyday. The horror close to home reminds me that there are people, children suffering throughout the world. I believe God is with each one. I believe there is supernatural peace and strength to cope in final moments. I believe the comfort of Christ immediately erased the pain for this little girl as she entered heaven. I do not believe this was God's plan for Hailey's life - but I know He did not leave her alone in her most desperate moment.
It is for we who remain that must grieve, work out the non-understanding and somehow step into a faith that believes. Yes, righteousness ultimately defeats evil. But until then we must live with the hope that when evil enters our personal world, we are not alone. We must choose to believe He is good, even when our reality isn't. We must let go of our demand for an explanation and choose to trust.
My initial reaction is to lock my children in our seemingly safe home, warn them off any contact with others and attempt to keep them in isolation and protected. It is terrifying for me to consider that in truth, I cannot protect them. Even when they seem old enough for discernment, even in my own neighborhood, even when trusted adults are watching.
As I talked with Mr. Wonderful about the horrible events, I lamented the fact if someone wanted them, there is really little I could do. I feel powerless. "But we can help them be less desirable, less targeted." He is so right. Let us not instill our children with fear, but with confidence and knowledge about how to remain safe.
To the family of Hailey. I'm just so, so sorry for your loss. You have lost so very much. In the middle of this horrible grief, remember the ones still with you and treasure each moment. We all want to help, but we don't really even know how, so if we are foolish, forgive us when you can. You are the strong ones. We will hold you up.
To anyone else who happens to read, how do you balance caution with confidence when preparing our children for this big, bad world? I'd love to hear from you.
Quick Synopsis Here: Fox News