when you hear about the heinous shootings and killings at the elementary school across the expanse of the country and the entire expanse of fear you've ever known floods in through your eyes and ears straight to the part of your heart that can't imagine life without your 4 kids and your heart pumps all that fear instantly through your whole body and out through your tears and sobs. and you remember how only three years ago you were wrecked by fear of nearly everything and you know you don't want to go back there to that insidious place with heavy chains so you stop to think about the truth about this moment, here and now, with the great darkness looming.

this is the truth that you were brought into and on which you settled confidently three years ago and the truth which you have claimed every day since: there is only one fear of one thing that has any value at all and all other fear is misplaced fear. there is only one thing that deserves fear, for the FEAR OF THE LORD IS THE BEGINNING OF WISDOM because the Lord is the first and last and every single thing has their being in him whether or not they admit it. you are made to fear but you must choose carefully where your fear is directed because the thing you fear is the thing that will own you.

you, charissa, chose to fear the Lord because he knows the details about the yesterdays and the tomorrows and he has written love throughout and into all the days and he hasn't promised that no evil will befall but he has promised that no evil will destroy you if you trust in him and you can trust in him because he loves you and shows his love for you and he knows all of you and wants all of you because what is love if it is not complete? he is the god you trust because he experienced all the evil and death you can ever know and he conquered it. he beat it. love wins. god is love. death is powerless and the scary things are powerless and the evil is powerless against your eternity and to fear anything but god is to disown the rights of love that he gave to you freely. grace.

when the heart is still heavy with despair about the days events and the evil that lives close by and you mourn for the parents and families of kids you will never know but you trust assuredly in the promises of the one who was and is and is to come.

let love and faithfulness never leave you. bind them around your neck write them on the tablet of your heart