The One Where I Have No Words

     My son turned thirteen this week. I thought it was going to be traumatizing for me. And I have to say it s weird having someone who lived INSIDE of you who is almost 5’9″ and weighs more than you. He thinks I should thank him for eating so much food now too…less for me. (I am down 5 lbs. so maybe there is something to that) Last night, my husband said he had expected to see a blog from me about having a teenager now since it had been awhile since I’ve written anything. My response was of course that I’ve been busy. And I have been busy. Good busy…blessedly busy. Volunteering in classrooms, organizing Spirit Wear sales for baseball, Christmas shopping and decorating. And meeting and beginning to work with an amazing group of people, the #4500, thanks to Brandon Hatmaker. ( I promise I will write a whole THING about this!) But the real reason I haven’t blogged for awhile is that I have had no words.

     I got a little blurb on the Today Parents blog recently about teaching our kids to be kind by being kind. But then… I put on the news, or FaceBook, or anything really, and it’s just hard. Over 100 people killed in France, with hundreds more injured. Syria. Beirut. Russian planes. ISIS. The front runner for the Republican nomination for the President of the United States of America is a racist at best, indicating we should build walls and monitor Muslims, similar to the Nazi rule under Hitler. Close the borders to Syrian refugees from many leaders. Black Lives Matter. Blue Lives Matter. Preacher’s wife murdered in her home while her toddler looks on. Shootings in schools and on the side of the road. A five year old dies of cancer. And please let us not forget the drama over a red cup for the Love! Then yesterday, in my very own town, a teenager commits suicide. So, you see, I have no more words.

     But I am the mother of a teenager, plus three others, so I NEED to have words. The teenager heard about another teenager killing himself and I want, no, NEED him to know that that is not the answer. I tell him that Life is sometimes hard. And high school can kind of suck. People can be mean, but his dad and I will ALWAYS have his back and do WHATEVER he needs to feel safe and know he’s loved.

     We tell our kids about ISIS and that there are evil people who are full of hatred, but MOST people are not that way. Most people are good. We remind them “Be not overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21 and “If it be possible, as much lieth in you, live peaceably with ALL men.” Romans 12:18. And John 13:34-35, “A new commandment have I given unto you, that he love one another; as I have loved you, that he also love one another. By this shall all men know that he are my disciples, if he have love one to another.” These are the things we have to remember, because I have no words.

    I also pray without ceasing, because I need no eloquent words. I pray for the family of a young boy with so much to live for, who thought he had no choice but to end his life. I pray for the preacher and his young son. I pray for the parents of the boys that are killed by police and for the police who bravely protect us each day. I pray for the man who held his wife while she did in a theater, then had to go home and tell his son. I pray for the parents of the young children who have been lost to gun violence. I pray for our leaders and politicians. I pray for the teachers. I pray for my kids to be healthy, and kind, and brave. I pray that they are never faced with a shooter in their school, because Lord knows my little guy couldn’t keep his mouth shut for five minutes in a lockdown scenario! I pray for our world, in which these prayers are even necessary. But I have no real words.

     I will gather with my family, intact and healthy, tomorrow. Because I am blessed and have much to be Thankful for. I will continue to try to teach my children to be kind. I will try to teach them to have an open heart and an open mind. I will try to teach them to be a light in the dark. But it will have to be by my actions. Because there are just no words.

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