I have been blessed with four-year-old twins that are incredible. I do the best I can to raise them with an understanding of Jesus and how special and valuable they are, not only to me, but to God. They are a large part of my heart. As a parent, I never want anything bad to happen to them. I want to wrap them up and protect them from anything evil or harmful.
I don’t have any traumatic stories where they have been incredibly sick, facing a terminal disease, or losing one of them. They have been healthy, vibrant, and loving kids. I write this with the understanding that although I know what it’s like to lose someone close to me (my dad) and face those really hard moments in life, I’m sure that having your child go through immense pain or especially loosing a child, is nothing that I have experienced. I’m sure that it would rock me to my core. If you as a reader have experienced that, you have a story and an identity that I respect and honestly, I pray doesn’t become mine.
Nancy Burphy’s fourth philosophy: “It is my heart that the enemy attacks, therefore my heart has to be strong,” is not one that I want to think about. However, it is incredibly true. The first “heart” in that statement is our in reference to our children.
If we are living a life that is in pursuit of Jesus, especially if we are showing His love to others that don’t know Him, we will be attacked. Evil knows that one of the most effective ways to turn our hearts from God is to attack the areas most precious to us.
A few years after I had moved to Indiana, Nancy’s son, Roland, was shot and killed in his apartment. Roland was a few years younger then me. It was a senseless act. In fact, his killers even attended his funeral. How does a parent deal with that? How does a parent eventually look those murders in the eye and forgive them? I have no idea. You’ll have to ask Nancy, because she did. It is one of the many reasons I have such immense respect for this incredible woman. She lived the very nightmare every parent dreads, and still, she forgave.
For me, the idea that my “heart” can be attacked is wretched. But the truth that I know is that God is bigger then any attack, this is what I am wrapping the strength of my heart in. I’ll be honest, I won’t even begin to pretend like I know how I would react in the face of an attack Nancy lived. But I do have hope.
Executive Coordinator – God of Hope