Be still and know that I am God (Psalms 46:10)
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding (Proverbs 3:5)
On my morning commute, I spend my time listening to the local Christian radio station and praying. As you have probably noticed by now I receive a great deal of my inspiration from contemporary Christian music and today is really no different. As I am driving to work this morning I am praying for my kids, especially my son who is in the police academy and who has his big test retake tomorrow. On the radio the song “Praise You in This Storm” by Casting Crowns begins to play, this song always brings tears to my eyes because it was played a few years back at the funeral of an Orange County deputy who was killed in the line duty. I didn't know the deputy but my nephews, who are/were deputies did. That deputy’s tragedy also came on the heels of our own family’s tragedy so it hit us all even a little harder than the “average” family. The deputy was killed in the line of duty less than 1 year after my own nephew (also a deputy with the same agency) was shot and paralyzed in the line of duty. Watching the coverage of this on the news brought back many difficult memories for my family, it all seemed too familiar. We had just been where they were, the same hospital, the news footage even looked a lot like my own nephew's news footage, the videos of fellow deputies and family members rushing into the hospital emergency department, it was all very familiar and heartbreaking because their story had a sad ending. Watching the funeral on television I just kept thinking about how lucky, how blessed, our family was because, had it not been for some very small circumstances, that could have been our family mourning the loss of my nephew. I remember hearing that song at the funeral and thinking about the words and the message his family was sending. It seemed to be they were saying "God we wanted you to make this all go away but You didn't, so now we have to trust in You to see us through this and even though we are going through one of the darkest times of our lives we choose to praise You." Wow, that was all I could think at that time was wow. When I lost my mom I was angry and my mom wasn't killed by someone else, in my mind this family had every right to be angry but they were praising God and trusting Him. Even now when I think about it I still say wow.
Being a police officer is not a safe job and it terrifies me that this is what my son wants to do, what he feels called to do. As I was listening to this song this morning the thought popped into my head “Why on earth am I praying for Bobby to pass these tests?? A sane person would be praying for him to fail and decide to do something else way less dangerous.” That thought was barely finished when the answer popped into my head as well, first off I’m not a sane person, I’m a mother LOL and that means that I am praying for my son to live his dream and be happy. Secondly, and more importantly I’m praying for him to be able to do this because I trust that God will protect him. I have to believe God has not led my son to choose this career path to put him in danger or to take him away from us. I have to trust that God will be with him and will watch over and protect him.
I remind myself of this every time I think about all the horrible things that can, and do, happen to police officers and I sometimes wonder what would make my son different than the deputy that was killed, or what would make my son different from my own nephew who was shot and paralyzed. I am sure that the deputy who was killed had a mother who prayed for his safety each night, and I know my nephew has a mother who prayed for his safety every night. The answer to that is nothing, nothing makes my son different, that is where the trust comes in. I just have to trust that God will protect him. God has a plan for my son and I have to trust that plan. I remember when my nephew was shot, I remember someone asking my sister-in-law how she could believe in God after what happened and her reply was simple – How could I NOT believe? My son is ALIVE. She was devastated at what happened but it didn't shake her trust in God or her faith that everything would work out according to His will. I pray that I am never in the situation of my sister-in-law or the mother of deputy who was killed but if, heaven forbid, I am I hope I can lean on God and continue to trust Him. My mom always said that God will not give you a burden you cannot bear and I have to trust that, I have to trust Him.
I think that as I pray for God to protect not only my son but all those who are out there every night to protect us, I will also pray for their mothers and for God to give all of us mothers peace and a heart to trust Him. My mom used to say it takes a strong woman to be the wife of a cop; this was a compliment directed at my sister-in-law, but I believe my mom was selling herself short, I also believe it takes a strong woman to be the mother of a cop and I pray that God gives me peace and strength I need as my son gets closer and closer to his dream (and my nightmare).