I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33 (emphasis mine)
I woke up to get ready to help my church with their online campus and I got my phone and walked downstairs. It was Sunday morning, June 12. It was about 9:15am. I had gone to sleep the night before around 11:30pm and had no idea what this day would bring. As I walked downstairs, I looked at my phone and there was a text from a news app I have on my phone that read, “Shooting downtown Orlando, 22 dead and many others hurt.” I had to close and open my eyes a few times and read it again. I remember thinking right away, “this is here in Orlando, by my own home?” I got my husband and had him read the text too, was this a text in error? I immediately turned on the TV and was shocked with what the news was saying. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Then later in the day at a news conference they said, not 22 perished, but there were 50. I gasped. Why Orlando? Why us?
It has been almost a month ago that these awful things happened. It has given me some time to reflect on my city and all the things God has used and grown through this awful time.
We are a city of diversity.
We are a city of uniqueness.
We are a city many look forward to all year to come and visit.
I looked for how God was going to work and use this for His glory. How do we talk to our kids about this? What do we say? Unfortunately, our world is sinful and there are people that do bad things, but we don’t have to feel defeated. We don’t have to feel afraid. As Christians, we trust in Christ. We trust in His perfect plans. He wants to use each of us to reach out to those in this time specifically to share Christ’s love. I remember on Monday morning feeling empowered instead of defeated, empowered by Christ’s power and His strength through this awful time. We never have to feel defeated, Christ has us. He is so absolutely in love with us and will always use the bigger struggles to show Himself, our need for Him.
After some time, I started saying “Orlando, Why not us?” We are a community. We are a unique group of people, with unique needs and diverse. We are a community that is family and that works together no matter the differences. In thinking over those things I was thinking about we as parents being a unique community as well. We are a unique group of people with unique needs and we are diverse in that our kids have unique and different struggles.
God gives us power and strength to overcome so many things with our kids. He gives us moments to use our struggles for His good, for His glory. We can either crawl up in a ball during struggles or we can use God’s power and stand up firm. We can use our current struggles to help others. When we help others, I picture God with the biggest smile.
Are you using your struggles for His glory or will you choose to crawl up in a ball? I am making the choice to use ALL things for His glory.