How do you deal with senseless acts of violence? Do you ignore it and move on or do you go at it with full force?

I choose to talk to God.

I remember September 11, 2001 in great detail. I remember where I was and what I was doing and everything that was going on around me when I saw the news. I stood there in horror as the 2nd plane hit the South Tower. My husband and I were able to visit the 9/11 Memorial last month and felt very raw emotions but ultimately a sense of peace in being able to pay our respects to the victims of that tragic day.

A few years ago as I'm waiting to pick up my children in car rider line at school, I learned of the elementary school shooting in Connecticut.
I lost it. I thought, "What if that happened here!?" My tears flowed and I broke down. It's hard to come to terms with violence and the inability to protect my children through all circumstances. You see, I don't want to be an overprotective parent. I want my children to explore and discover and experience the world. I don't want to stop them from realizing their full potential, but what a fine line to walk when I also want to protect them from all the bad that is out there. I resolved that day that it was up to God. I'm helpless without Him and all I have is prayer.

That's what we teach our children. They are better because of it. We don't cover up what goes on in the world, we don't over-expose it either, but we inform them to a certain extent and answer their questions. They will be the first to tell you that we don't have all of the answers. But they know that God does and that He is with us.

And then it happens here. In our town. To our people.
And it affects us all.
Now I know that everyone is different and that people deal with tragedy and loss their own way and I respect that. But I have to share that my choice to leave it in God's hands is continuously reinforced. That day in particular, I'm pretty sure he talked back. I think He does all of the time if we are quiet enough to listen. Here's what happened.
We started a conversation with a supplier from Medugorje for St. Benedict bracelets for the store. Like most Catholics, I consider Medugorje the Mecca of miracles. In fact I am completely mystified by the wonder of it all. Our conversation began in the month of July and was ongoing through the media coverage. They offered to pray over our bracelets.
We've ordered lots of things for the store but never have we had a supplier pray over the merchandise for strength and healing for our community.

And the comment, "Stay Strong" is what I honed into. It was God's reinforcement that all of this is in His hands.
STRONG--It's what we as a community adopted as our mantra. #LafayetteStrong