Peace in the Storm

I know, these are scary times…

With each new case of Ebola reported in the news, panic becomes more imminent.  People are frightened.  And these days, the virus is hitting close to home…  As of tonight, one person is in isolation at Boston hospital with Ebola-like symptoms, while five passengers were removed from a plane at Logan Airport due to flu-like symptoms as well.  Boston is not all that far from where I live… from where my family works.

And, yes, it’s scary.

The world we live in is scary, and Ebola alone isn’t to blame.  When I was a little girl, I’d watch the evening news with my Pepere almost every Thursday night, and the worst things reported were mischievous teenagers toilet-papering church grounds or politicians who didn’t keep their word.  These days, kids don’t watch the evening news… and to be honest, most days, neither do I.  It’s too depressing and overwhelming.  There’s sickness, and financial insecurities, and hatred that can’t be rationalized.

It makes a person wonder what happened and how much worse can it possibly get.

To be honest, when Nate and I first started to talk about starting a family, we almost decided not to.  We wondered how fair it was to bring a child into this world.  And with the scary reports of Ebola and terrorist strikes hitting the news, I found myself falling back into that same pattern of thinking.  Is it fair to bring an innocent baby into such chaos?

And I came to the conclusion, that the answer is ‘yes’.

I remember how terrified I was as a college student in Florida after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.  Whenever I’d open my Times magazine, there would be an article on surviving an anthrax attack.  There were pictures on how to best barricade your house and how to stockpile food and water.  The navy base near the college campus became a hub of activity.  And many college students left for home… or the military.

It seemed like the end… but it wasn’t.  People came together.  Churches filled back up.  Flags flew proud, and Americans rekindled their sense of patriotism.  Within time, the fear subsided; but it took a lot of prayer, a lot of faith, and a whole lot of really good people.


 

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”  For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence.”  Psalm 91:1-3  


Can you imagine how much worse this world would be without good people?  Without people who risk and sacrifice their own lives for the well-being of others?  Without people who give to those in need and who -daily – ‘fight’ evil by bending to their knee and asking God for protection, provision, and peace?

I honestly don’t want to imagine it… Because despite how much bad we hear about on a daily basis, there is so much more good.  We just don’t hear about the good as often; because panic, fear, and devastation sells.  And granted, we need to be made aware of evil in this world, so that we’re prepared to help fight it.  But sometimes, it’s nice to be reminded that there’s a whole lot of happiness too.

My pastor’s wife once taught a Bible study during which she encouraged the moms and mom-to-be’s by telling us that our children (and future children) are like arrows that we shoot into the world.  It is our responsibility to raise our sons and daughters to be the difference that we want to see and that we know is desperately needed.  And while we try to be the difference and the positive change today, our children are the change for the future. 

Because there is always love.  There is always beauty.  And even amidst the fear that sometimes seems to prevail during this day and age, there is always hope.


 

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”  -British politician Edmund Burke (1729-1797)


 

Now I prefer to see the glass half-full, and I truly believe that we’ll be okay.  Where my trust in government and hard-working health-care workers ends, my faith in God more than makes up the difference.  And since that faith is unshaken no matter the outcome of any epidemic or financial crisis, I can face today with confidence and the realization that I am being held in very loving, capable hands.  I face both life and death with Him on my side, so – when I focus on my Creator instead of the problem – there is absolutely nothing to fear.

It will be okay.  It is okay.

It’s when we give into the fear that we’ve already let evil win.

And I don’t know about you, but I’d rather just live it today… and every day.  🙂  I’d rather spend my time making a positive difference and focusing on the good around me.  Life is beautiful, and it’s meant to be lived victoriously.

And I plan to raise my baby boy with that same hope!!

It doesn’t mean that the problems go away…  But when I focus on God instead of those scary problems, I find myself on solid ground.  And I am much better equipped to live a joyful life that can be a much-needed beacon of light in a world that so often seems to be going dark.

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14 thoughts on “Peace in the Storm

  1. An excellent reminder, Nicole. Also, such beautiful photos. Natural beauty.

    I have no doubt that you, Nate, and your families with teach your son the things he needs to know to thrive in this world.

    PS – I definitely don’t watch the news.

    • Thank you, Janelle! I love New England in the autumn, and it always inspires me to go for a walk with my camera. I think that the feeling most people get once spring arrives is the feeling I experience once the colors start to appear. 🙂
      And watching the news is so overrated… I refuse to watch it these days too!

  2. Beautifully written, Nicole!! It’s easy to get caught up in the news. The other day, I asked if we could change the channel because I was “sick of hearing so much doom.” While I want to be up to date in current events, I’m so sick of hearing all the negative things going on (especially since, like you said, it hits so close to home…and work.) And I love your approach to raising kids in this world! I imagine I would have the same thought process. Brady is one blessed little guy…and so incredibly special. 🙂

    • Thank you, Sarah!
      And keep focusing on the positive things, instead of all the scary negative stuff, for sure! There’s a lot of good happening, and – being a nutritionist in a hospital – you’re a part of that. 🙂

  3. This is beautiful. Living in Dallas, we have had a lot of conversations with family about the Ebola crisis. Surprisingly, there really hasn’t been much indication of concern here in our area. I saw a few people with masks on at the State Fair, but people really were going about business as usual. I think the timing is bad since there are stomach bugs and the flu going around at the same time.
    Also, I would listen to the conference calls with the media that they had in the first week of the whole Ebola thing here. I remember one news organization that asked a question, the director answered it, and then the next day that same reporter twisted what he said. A lot of it is blown out of proportion for a)ratings and b)if it gets worse, then they will have been on the front lines of that news.
    I worked in that field in college, and not every reporter is trying to be this big investigative, blow the top off of some crooked scheme, reporter, but there are a lot who are. I like to watch my local day time news because it is a lot more balanced – they even highlight kids who want to be adopted and lots of service opportunities.
    I know this is long (sorry!), but I love what you wrote. We have to be a signal of hope in a world filled with fear. God works through a lot of those stories too. That’s usually what helps me – looking for God in the details, and how He will use those terrible stories for good. 🙂

    • I’m really glad that Dallas is being strong and moving forward with business as usual! Giving into fear is sometimes the easy choice, but rarely the right one. And, yes, I happen to agree that it does get blown out of proportion most times, because news stations and papers want to report thrilling reports…
      And I definitely wish our local day-time news reported encouraging stories like that! We get those stories once in awhile, but – for us – the local news is the Boston station (we don’t have a small, local station) so it is usually still pretty hyped up on bad things. It makes me want to start my own newspaper that ‘only’ reports the good things going on in the world. Ha, ha. 🙂
      Oh, and I love that… “Looking for God in the details…” That is absolutely true and beautiful!

  4. My mom-in-law always says that the only thing any of us can do is to try and be a better person today than we were yesterday. If we all do that then the world around us would already be a better place. And I agree. Those are the values I want to give to my children. And trust that God will hold their hands and look after them just as he has always done for me.

  5. “Because there is always love. There is always beauty. And even amidst the fear that sometimes seems to prevail during this day and age, there is always hope.”

    Yes. Yes. Yes.

    Life can be so uncertain and often scary, but there is so much beauty to be found as well. And we can’t live in fear. We just have to remember… there is always hope. 🙂

    • Yes! I’m learning – more and more – to focus on the source of Hope and to not keep my focus on the uncertain things of this life. 🙂 That’s when I truly start to feel peace and begin to focus on beauty instead of fear.

  6. This is beautiful and so, so timely. I love the idea that our children are arrows to the world. We can do good ourselves and we can raise them to do good and to raise their children to do good. It can make a difference.

    Thanks for writing so honestly and from the heart. ❤

  7. Love this reminder. No matter how crazy and messed up things seem to be, there is always hope for better things to come down the road.

    Also, the media tends to show whatever gets the most eyeballs and unfortunately, the bad stories tend to reel people in a lot. It would be nice to turn to the news for an inspirational start of the day rather than fearful anticipation of what the next ‘bad’ thing happening is!

    • I agree!! If I could, I would love to start a newspaper that focused solely on the good things that are happening… Like babies being born, and lovers being married, and toddlers taking their first steps, or little boyscouts helping the elderly to cross the street. 🙂 Who knows, maybe someday. But for now, we have blogs that we can use to remind people that there are still reasons to smile, laugh and hope!! 🙂 There will be bad days, but the good ones will overshadow them if we keep our focus right.

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