A Letter to My Daughter, and Students of Umpqua Community College

KorJoe

I’ve had a lot of thoughts and feelings since Thursday, October 1- the day a madman opened fire in our Community College, killing 9 students, injuring many others, and forever changing the lives of so many students and families.

“My 17 year old should NOT have to deal with this. My girl should not be notified that she will no longer meet in Snyder 15 because it has been writhed with bullets; because it was turned into a murder scene; because God’s people were martyred for their faith right there, where she sat learning how to write business memos.”

These are just some of the emotions I’ve felt.

“Why should my child have to sit in math class feeling the pain and sorrow of that empty seat- the one 59 yr old Kim sat in just yesterday, before her life was taken from her?”

But you know what? This horrible tragedy is an eye opener to us. This sorrow, and our feelings of anger and emptiness, confusion and unbelief- these are emotions given to us for a reason. That reason is not to respond in vengeance.

I’m desperately grasping for a way to turn my mind from it, desiring God would turn time around and make it go away. But that’s not going to happen. Yes, God allowed this for reasons beyond our mind’s ability to grasp and I’m looking for ways to be thankful.

Of course I’m selfishly thankful my girl wasn’t there- that it happened on the only day she wasn’t in that room. And then I think about all those families. The “what-ifs” still flood my thoughts, and they remind me how precious this life is. Our time here in this tent of flesh is short, like a vapor, here one day and gone the next.

I hope we can all wake up with that reality. When we are bombarded with weariness and burdened with sorrow, let it take our minds straight to the truth that this life is but a moment and eternity is forever.

Pray

So as my girl returns to classes on a campus that will never look the same, as she seeks out her new classroom and scans the faces seated beside her, the smooth walls not riddled with bullets, may that moment of fear turn to all of God’s truths.

As she attempts to hold herself together and grasp equations and new math laws, silently mourning the woman with long grey hair, let my baby quietly pray for Kim’s family, for this community, for our nation, and for the condition of her own soul before God.

I pray this drives her heart to her Savior and opens her eyes to the evil that surrounds her. That she may understand that this war is not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers. That she is at war with the ruler of darkness who seeks to destroy her life and soul.

Without obvious, heart breaking, life shattering evil, we grow blind to the hidden wickedness surrounding us. We forget the goodness and all-powerful God who paid a great price for our great sin because of His great love. How can we go a day and not acknowledge that?

So I’m taking this anger, grief, sorrow, and great burden and turning it to prayer and praise.

God is good, Korrie. He is perfect and His ways unsearchable. His love for you reaches beyond the heavens. Satan is your enemy. He hates you with a hatred far greater than you’ve ever felt. His desire is to destroy you and everyone you care about.

Satan Is Real.
His Wickedness Surrounds You.
Don’t Ever Forget That.

And don’t let that reality overshadow the Tenderness, Compassion, and Grace of your God who quiets you with His love and rejoices over you with singing and Gladness.

Do not fear, let not your hands be weak. The Lord your God is in your midst, the Mighty One, will save!

Candlelight

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4 thoughts on “A Letter to My Daughter, and Students of Umpqua Community College

  1. Many of my friends including myself are praying for peace, strength and comfort for you and all the families involved. Jesus told of a generation that would be so evil before He returns. There is a reason why our society doesn’t want to believe in God, have the Ten Commandments, pray and is making sin legal by law. That;s because insane evil is abounding. This is the generation Jesus was talking about before His return and Israel being a nation on their land is scriptural proof of it. God bless!

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  2. While I do not necessarily hold w/ your specific religious beliefs, I DO embrace the spirituality of your statements. Look up, believe in the power of love, hold each other up, be grateful for all that is Light and love, and encourage it in others. My heart is holding yours as you mourn. Bless you for writing this letter….may your daughter find strength, love, and abiding peace each time she reads this for the rest of her life.

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  3. Please say a prayer for Susan who looks up, and holds up, but doesn’t recognize to whom she looks up. May the Holy Spirit continue softening her heart to acknowledge the only God who knew her within her mothers womb, before she was born. The only God who gave His one and only Beloved Son to die for her sin, obliterating this sin from His sight, so that she will live eternally in heaven. The only One who loves her so much and so personally that He knows the number of hairs on her head. Who, even while she still denies and resists in her own will, and even though He knows she succumbs to sin, still loves her far more than we can even comprehend. I trust He mourns also for each life lost at UCC, and also mourns for the families, community, and nation.

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