God Will Walk With You
Steve and I believe that we have the most adorable grandson. He is creative, funny, kind, and smart. At 20 months old, he is smitten with everything buses, tractors, cars and trucks. A few weeks ago, we had the opportunity to spend some special time with him, and we knew just what he would want to see—the buses that line up at the school down the street from our house. He smiled, he laughed, he pointed. It was amazing! We just delighted in his joy and laughter!
Steve would do anything in his power to protect him. Our grandson’s awesome parents, Eric and Halie, would echo that sentiment. Yet in the last few weeks, I have been forced to ask myself at the deepest level, am I doing the same? For our precious grandson, for my church family and for all of God’s precious children? How am I preparing to protect those whom God places around me?
Sexual abuse, depression, suicide, loneliness, grief, addictions and spiritual abuse are real. God’s precious children hurt. No matter the age or the gender, immunity is not possible. This broken world in which we live means that brokenness will touch us and those we love. We are wise to be prepared. God provides you and me the opportunity to look brokenness in the eyes and walk with others. We are given the gift of bringing the presence of God’s love and light into a space where darkness wants to prevail, where shame and hiding are disguised as safety.
The book of John reminds us of the power of the light of Jesus Christ. John 1:1-12 tells us that before time, Jesus was with God, He is life, and He is light. John 3 points to the tendency to love darkness rather than light, and the power of Jesus to conquer darkness.
We may not always have the power to protect. We do, however, have the power to be present and to bring the presence of the light of Jesus Christ into dark situations. We do have the power to come into the presence of the all mighty Father, asking Him to prepare us to bring His light. As we listen during prayer and Bible study, God will guide us in proactive next steps.
We must intentionally plan and prepare to protect those around us. We can choose to preemptively know signs of abuse, emotional trauma, and isolation. We can become aware of phone numbers and resources that may be needed and helpful at a later point. We can choose to have conversations now that open the way for others to know you are a safe person to speak with. And above all else, pray. Pray for God’s wisdom and direction. Pray for Him to help you lean into the lives of others. Pray for Him to guide your heart to those who need your presence. Finally, pray for obedience to take the next steps needed for and with others. - Caroline Poe
Numbers to Know:
Emergency: Call 911
Reporting Sexual Abuse: 1-800-252-5400
Safe Haven (Domestic Violence): 1-877-701-7233
Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
A few books I love:
Michelle Cushatt – I Am https://michelecushatt.com/
Andrew Bauman – Stumbling toward Wholeness https://andrewjbauman.com/#books
Natalie Hoffman – Is It Me? Making Sense of Your Confusing Marriage https://flyingfreenow.com/
A few counselors:
The Tarrant Baptist Association has a list of counselors they recommend. https://tarrantbaptist.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Counselor-List-for-Website-10.2.19.pdf
Our staff members have counselors they could recommend as well.