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When my daughter asked

When my daughter asked about the school shooting that happened recently, I realized I should have thought more about what to say.

Matt and I had decided to NOT tell our children. They are too young. There is absolutely no benefit to them knowing that 20 children and six adults were brutally gunned down in a place where my children feel very safe. But Kadence had heard the news Friday at school and when she saw us watching the President’s address last night I could see that look in her eye.

She was on guard. Nervous. Sad. Scared.

So I explained to her what happened in a way she’s used to. I told her Evil did it. I told her she is safe at her school. I told her that her dad and me and her grandparents and her aunts and uncles and all the people at the school and around Mt. Vernon would keep her safe. I know that’s a lie. There’s only so much we humans can do when Evil comes.

And I’ve never been one that really “lies” to my kids. We told them right away about the Santa Claus hoax and we have pretty open discussions about animals dying and other uncomfortable subjects. But when I heard myself telling this lie I couldn’t stop. It just blurted out.

I have never, not even once, felt unsafe going to Mt. Vernon schools. Probably Matt would agree. I have complete faith in all of the teachers, staff and administrators.

But when Evil comes, it’s not a battle between the good guys and the bad. It’s something larger.

One of the only comforts I have about all of this (and I told this to Kadence) is that I KNOW Jesus was right there the whole time. I KNOW that those scared little babies were ushered directly into Jesus’ loving and comforting arms. I KNOW they are at peace. They are not scared anymore. They are fine. They are safe now.

But what about us?

I can’t lie and say that it wasn’t difficult to drop off my little ones this morning. They looked extra small. Extra vulnerable. But I dropped them off anyway.

Because Evil isn’t going to win this battle. Evil isn’t going to win this war. God wins every time.

No matter how many gun laws we put into practice and how many security systems we install and no matter how paranoid we become, “this” will happen again. (Insert whatever Evil you want in the “this” slot.)

Our world is a land of fallen. And in this fallen world we hold certain things up, like being a legend, above other moral (and “boring” and “uncool”) attributes. I’m as guilty as any other human being. We talk about the legends for decades and centuries to come. They are written about in history books and are the subjects of 24-hour newscasts. Legends — good and bad — are remembered. And in our society, you have failed if they aren’t talking about you and you aren’t in the limelight.

Sound familiar? A guy grows up being quiet, smart, nerd-like and very ordinary. Never really was noticed much. He is sick (probably literally) of being “that guy.” Probably had always dreamed of being a star. A legend. Will do anything, anything for notoriety.

All of that is just my theory. I know there are lots of circumstances, including probably mental illness, but I believe with all of my heart, that Evil is using the deep desires of our hearts to be noticed and to be somebody to wreak havoc on the earth. On the other souls we exist with. Just to be a legend. Either across the world. Or in America. Or in our hometowns. Or in our families.

So as I tucked my little nervous third grader into bed last night and I looked into her eyes, I realized I needed to tell her the truth. We can’t save her. We can’t legislate safety. Her only hope can be in the only being that is more powerful than any Evil. God.

I told her that if/when she is scared, she simply needs to say the name of Jesus and He will be there. Right by her. Immediately. And she will always be safe in His arms. No matter where she is. No matter what Evil is doing to her or around her.

God wins. Every time.

Categories: Life on the farm


My name is Ginia Oehlschlager and I'm a small-town gal from Missouri. Join me as I document my crazy life on the farm with my husband and four kids. I'm always looking for frugal, simple ways to live the life God set before me. Where faith, family and fun come together on the farm.

11 replies

  1. My little girls are too young to understand, 5 months and three, but I have thought all weekend about the parents in your shoes. I am glad that you found words and strength to handle this. It is truly only Christ that can offer hope and peace. It makes me think of words from an old hymn- “How sweet to hold our newborn baby and feel the life and joy he gives, buy greater still the calm assurance this child can face uncertain days because He lives.”

  2. Ginia- I sheltered my kids from the news all weekend. My husband and I struggled with weather to tell them or not. We decided to not. Maybe that was a bad choice because I am sure they will find out at school today and be filled with questions. You have no idea how much this article has helped me to form answers when the questions come. You are right. God wins every time!! Thank you!

  3. Pingback: Hope | doverjoyed
  4. Ginia, very well said. You put my swirling thoughts down on ‘paper’. Thank you. My children did not ask any questions. They are 12 and 15. They know Evil is around them. But, I will tell them what your told you daughter…. because you are never too old to know that you can call on Jesus.

  5. If it is any comfort to you at this scary time, we are resolved to fight to the death to keep your children safe at school. With God by our side.

  6. Ginia,

    Thank you so much for your words! I told my kids the same thing this weekend… If something or someone scares you, call out to God. PRAY! He IS there. Waiting, arms open, to hold you, comfort you, give you peace, and when the time comes, to walk you home.

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