It's been a dark few days in the country. Really, in this world. I haven't slept well the last few nights because my heart just aches for those involved in the tragedy in Newtown. I cry for those parents that lost their babies far too soon. I cry for those first grade students that saw their teacher get killed right in front of their eyes. I cry for the teachers that had to go through this and loose their former students, colleagues, and friends. The whole situation makes me so sick and so, so sad. I just don't even understand it. I don't think anyone does, nor will we ever.
Over the past few days, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have of course been abuzz with opinions on mental illness, gun laws, and school safety. I by no means want to get into any sort of political debate. Quite frankly, I don't know enough to debate these things and would rather keep my opinions to myself. There is, however, one statement I keep seeing that literally makes my heart break.
God is no longer in our schools.
I am so tired of people/the media insinuating that God isn't in our schools anymore. That statement is crazy, and just NOT true. I'm not sure what God you serve, but the God I serve can't be kicked out of anywhere.
I taught for three years in the public school system and let me tell you something, I felt God more in my school building than I did almost anywhere else. Yes, even in church. Can you believe that? Do you know why I felt God so strongly? Because I asked him to be there with me. I begged for him to be there. I asked him to give me the strength to love those kids that were hard to love. To not give up on a student and consider them a lost cause. I desperately needed him to be there with me.
And he was. Every single minute of every single day. I felt his hand moving me along through the toughest situations. He was there with me, helping me show my student's his unconditional love. Teaching them about Jesus not through scripture or prayer, but through love and actions.
You see, we can't kick God out of schools. That's not how he works. Let me be cliche here for a moment and say that God lives in people, not in buildings. Even in a school building where 80% of students live below the poverty line, and there is so much anger, God is there.
As a mom, it's my most important job to teach my son to take Jesus with him wherever he goes. To love others the way Jesus loves. If I can't teach him this, than nothing else matters. I want him to always take Jesus with him and know that God cannot be "kept out" of anywhere. If he wants to pray in school, he can pray in school. If he wants to share his faith in school, he is free to do so. No one can stop him. I will make it my number one priority to teach him that. That is my job, not his teacher's. If God is in the homes of the students, then God is in our schools. And every school I've been in, I have felt God's presence there.
God was there at Sandy Hook, and it's absurd the state otherwise. This horrific event did not take place because "God wasn't there". God weeps, just as we weep. His heart is broken just as ours are.
So please, stop pretending that God isn't in our schools. Because he's there, and he always will be.
**This blog says it better than I do, but I needed to get this off my chest.**