Yes, he stole items, and no, he didn't touch me. (Although his gun did click as he held it at me, cocking it?, and he did mention my luck that he didn't rape me.)
This is the second time I've been robbed at gunpoint. The first was while Brad and I were dating, when we stared down the barrel in Brad's apartment parking lot before watching the man fly off with my car and all its contents.
But this latest violation was far more disturbing. It didn't happen in the dark of night, but on a bright, sunny Wednesday at 8:45am. It wasn't in an open parking lot, but within the confines of the place I am supposed to rest and make a life for my family. It didn't happen to a couple of single kids, but to a mother who cannot imagine how she'd be able to defend her two girls if the situation repeated.
Why would I think it might repeat? This isn't the first theft at our home of nine months. We've had multiple lesser incidences. A lawn mower stolen out of our eight foot padlocked privacy fence. The GPS and prescription bottle taken from my car. A bike a trailer snatched at night.
And while I could simply cluck my tongue at the theft of mere items, I feel chills wondering if my girls might ever witness what I did most recently... A home invasion, and the loss of peace in the place you should feel most secure.
I didn't write about it here last week for this simple reason... I wished I might first untangle the spiritual lessons/gems from my fleshly mess of fear. I know God will redeem what happened. I am already praising Him for that. But so far, my stubborn heart is clinging to anxiety, probably even more than it is clinging to Christ. I'm not proud.
See, peace is part of the fruit of the Spirit, and it is not dependent on circumstances. But if I'm honest, my peace has been rocked, (it must have been more dependent on circumstances than I knew,) and I'm not yet able to honestly say with the writers of Scripture, "whom shall I fear?" I'll tell you who I fear: I fear those who could hurt me or my children! But as I read the words of Jesus this morning:
"I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him! Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows." Luke 12:4-7
"Which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?" Luke 12:25
So, I'm still processing. Still searching for the beauty/redemption in it. Still juggling gratitude, anxiety, and practical questions (such as, how quickly can we get the heck out of this house! And how does the "peace that passes understanding" REALLY find its way into life-or-death scenarios. Because God promised it. So I'm asking for it.)
I bet I'll be chatting with you a lot as I continue to process. Satan would use a situation like this to feed fear of man and other godless things. But God turns Satan's schemes on their heads. God uses them to serve His sweet purposes. God will somehow let this draw me close to His love, and give me more of His kingdom, which cannot be stolen.
(Forgive all typos. I composed this on my iPhone, as the laptop was among the items stolen.)
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