On Lockdown feature

Yesterday, our sweet girl came home from school talking about a different kind of “fire drill” they’d had at school. Turns out, it wasn’t a fire drill at all.

Her kindergarten class was practicing a lockdown drill. They’d had to learn how to hide, silently, in the classroom. She said some people even had to hide in the bathroom with the door locked.

Then she told us she had been really scared, but couldn’t ask a grownup for help because they weren’t allowed to talk.

Oh, my heart.

Friend, we live in a world that can be terrifying. A world that sometimes makes it feel like we should just lock ourselves in our homes, and hide from the “bad guy.” The reality is, we hear sad, scary news from news stations across the border, but they’re not stories close to home. And that’s typical of our fears, isn’t it? In our country, school shootings are very rare (the last one was two years ago, which rocked a community in small-town northern Saskatchewan). Similarly, my fears are often so unlikely to ever be realized.

We learn when we’re very small to hide from scary things.

It’s a good, protective thing that God built into our brains – an instinct that keeps us from basic, dangerous things, but it can also become a pattern, dictating how we respond to everything.

I’m there sometimes, too – lying awake at 3 AM, with my mind cycling through both real and imagined threats…Whether my daughter will be able to make a good friend at school. What a blood test result will reveal. Whether I’m doing enough exercise to prevent a heart attack in my 40’s. Whether I can handle all I’ve taken on. If I made the right decisions. Whether we’ll get into the summer camp program we need. If I’ve done enough to love my family, protect my business, build my relationships, or care for my home. Whether I locked the sliding door, or took something out of the freezer for dinner tomorrow. I know I’m not alone either – I’ve seen enough memes on social media to know that other women are up in the night thinking the same things. This midnight mind race can make a dark bedroom into a prison-like hiding place.

On Lockdown quote

And yet, I’m reminding myself of what I’m trying to teach our girl:

“Don’t worry about anything, pray about everything.”

It’s a Scripture I’m trying to practice as I preach – following the God who brings peace to the storm, calms chaos, and stills my fretting mind with heart truth.

The reality is, there are some things that are scary. Last night, when we were tucking our Girl in, and she felt scared to stay in her bed alone (thanks so much, lockdown drill), I told her we’re praying for her to be safe at school, and that she is never alone.

I can’t promise her that she won’t be hurt, or that she’ll always be safe, because she won’t. I can, however, promise her that she is free to be brave, because she’s never alone.

It’s true for us, too, you know – you and I. We may live in a world that is scary, but we can open the doors of our own personal lockdown, because we’re not walking alone. In this world, we will have trouble, friend. But, take heart, being strong and courageous, stepping forward in faith that the God of the universe, Who knit you together, Who knows the hairs on your head – has not left you to walk alone.

And guess what? We’re also in this together.

We don’t have to be silent about our fears, for fear that the “bad guys” will hear us, because when we speak them out loud, we often realize how wild they are, and we find friends who are just like us. The truth sets us free – speaking faith to our fears, and releasing us to really live.

Let’s live free, friend.