Overcoming Fear: Responding to the Aftermath of the Chattanooga Shooting

  
As a military spouse, I have experienced the last few days much differently than the average civilian. I buried myself into my work on Thursday after I heard what was going on. I didn’t even allow myself to think about it. Although, by the end of the day I started feeling overwhelmed with emotions that I couldn’t allow myself to rationalize despite my M.S. in psychology. I threw myself into my work again on Friday although I chose to slow down for a couple of moments and chat with friends and coworkers and consider what they are facing, feeling, and experiencing. 

Chattanooga is a beautiful place. Chattanooga is full of beautiful people. People that live here, people that work here, attend school or church here, and people just passing through. Many beautiful souls pass across our bridges in the heart of downtown everyday. As a result of the senseless attack on Thursday, five of those precious souls have left this Earth. Four marines and a sailor will never see their families again. 

It’s heartbreaking. 

As a military spouse I first responded out of anger. My husband is not only a soldier in the reserves but also a DOD employee. I was angry because they are not protected, and therefore by law unable to defend themselves against such an attack. These brave men were shot down in a gun free zone. Thank you Jesus that the Chattanooga Police arrived as fast as they did to end the violence. My heart aches that as of today, a total of five brave men have lost their lives and countless others remain broken and confused. 

In listening to my friends sharing their thoughts on this tragedy, I learned of their disbelief, compassion, and fear. I learned in those conversations of how it’s scary to realize you live three houses down from a man who plotted and carried out the murder of military personnel, just miles from where you work. I learned that it’s scary to realize you were going to the same college as the killer, while he was attending. I learned it’s scary when your child knew the killer when they attended the same high school. How it’s scary to think your son was supposed to be at the recruiting office that morning, where the terror began. How it’s scary that you cannot understand and can only speculate what drove this person to carry out such a senseless, deadly mission. And I heard the many questions. Why? Was he really acting on his own volition? Is he a terrorist? Is he connected to larger terrorist entities? Is this just the beginning? What if ___? So many questions in the minds and conversations of locals here in the Chattanooga area…

What continues to come to my mind is this song:

Always | Kristian Stanfield (<—Click the link to hear the song)

My foes are many, they rise against me

But I will hold my ground

I will not fear the war, I will not fear the storm

My help is on the way, my help is on the way

Oh, my God, He will not delay

My refuge and strength always

I will not fear, His promise is true

My God will come through always, always

Troubles surround me, chaos abounding

My soul will rest in You

I will not fear the war, I will not fear the storm

My help is on the way, my help is on the way

Oh, my God, He will not delay

My refuge and strength always

I will not fear, His promise is true

My God will come through always, always

I lift my eyes up, my help comes from the Lord

I lift my eyes up, my help comes from the Lord

I lift my eyes up, my help comes from the Lord

I lift my eyes up, my help comes from the Lord

From You Lord, from You Lord

Oh, my God, He will not delay

My refuge and strength always

I will not fear, His promise is true

My God will come through always, always

Oh, my God, He will not delay

My refuge and strength always, always”

God has not changed. History is plagued with devastation, battles, and victories. War has actively been a part of our lives in America for over 10 years now…It was a part of our lives many times in the past, and will face us as we move into the future. The one constant that will not change is that God is still God and we do not have to live in fear.

“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and self-control.” (2 Timothy 1:7 AMP)

Jesus-followers: You have been given the spirit of courage. The spirit of love. Of a calm and well-balanced mind and self-control. As we mourn with our neighbors, let us fill our hearts and minds with the Word. Let us spend time with God in prayer. Let us be the voice of peace, life, kindness, love, courage, and joy. 

“Without vision, people perish.” (Prov 29:18)

We are not lost for our vision remains with Jesus. We are not defeated. Our battle is won through putting on the armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18)

  
Friend, if you are feeling afraid and cannot take your eyes away from the news, can I call you back to the One Who saves? The One Who gives true peace. The One Who reigns on high? 

Turn your eyes from the source of fear to the source of life. 

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong, vigorous, and very courageous. Be not afraid, neither be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)

We are the light of the world. 

   

Shine during this dark time. Put your faith into action with love. Give to the families who lost their loved ones (Click here learn how to give to the families.) Be salt and light. Don’t be the authors of chaos or turmoil but share the message of Christ. 

  

With love for my city, country, and (most precious) my Savior,

Amy

#ChattanoogaStrong #NoogaStrong #HopeInTheLord #JesusGivesCourage #JesusBringsHealing #PutOnTheWholeArmorOfGod #PrayForChattanooga 

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Army Reserves, Chattanooga Shooting, encouragement, faith, Military Spouse, prayer and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s