OUR American Soil: Rich in History, Broken for Humanity

December 17, 2012

I was up late last night and couldn’t sleep…
Gabe kept asking me if I was okay because I kept trailing off into deep thought. I couldn’t stop thinking about the parents who couldn’t kiss their babies goodnight.
I don’t think I can continue to post until I place my heavy heart into words, and express my deep sympathy for every life affected in the Newtown Tragedy. I haven’t been able to get it off my mind. I am thankful we don’t have cable since it would be difficult to pull away from the coverage. I have tried to process it through prayer, and accept that there may never be understanding, but that it will leave a lasting impact on our nation.

On American soil there is a rich history of lives lost for freedoms….
We have fought to run our own democracy, 
we have spilled blood for the freedom to worship,
we have fought for rights to vote,
we have spilled blood for racial equality,
we have fought for peace in other nations,
we have spilled blood in defense of nations in need.
we have fought for the safety and protection of citizens,
we have spilled blood to battle terrorism.

In Sandy Hook, the blood of the innocent was spilled and there was no cause or reason…
they were robbed of life because a troubled soul was looking to make a mark in the world. Looking to be remembered.

I realized that this was the lowest of the low. There is no honor or glory or cause or reason why these lives were lost….we don’t even have terrorists to blame.
we may try to still find a cause to get behind to process it. More gun control, more attention to mental health issues, more security in schools…
regardless of these, one thing became so clear to me..

Our nation is aching and we are all very broken. As I was writing this post, my son was playing trains next to me, and I heard him mumble, “they all got damaged.” All his little trains were all stuck in play-do and he was helping them out. It hit me that we really all have damage. I don’t know the solution, and only God can see the depth of the pain each person carries. All I know is, that we can each do something a little more.

At the heart of it, we all have a deep need for love and to give love to others. It is in our nature. There is so much brokenness around us. Its time to invade each other’s space. Let go of our fear to love others out of our comfort zone. The community of people who have risen to surround and comfort Newtown is a glimpse of how we should always be to each other.

Well my resolution from this day forth is to be offensive. To love people I disagree with, invite someone hurting into my home, to bless my food and pray with my family in public, to greet strangers with a smile, to give a “Merry Christmas” without fear of offense, to offer time to those who may not have anything to offer in return.

We all have our American Soil in common. It is beautiful, rich, and full of history. We can fight together through our differences, and hope for a more peaceful world for our children. It starts with the small things, and a big determination to change our own lives, but we are only human. I have seen God pushed out of our schools, our pledge of allegiance, and slowly our nation. I hope we can bring Him back to our lives without fear. We need Him now more than ever to take our faith and hope and move mountains for us. But even when we shut him out, he shows up. He is in each and every act of kindness and love we are sharing to Sandy Hook. He will continue to bring them comfort.

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May the parents and loved ones of each and every victim be surrounded with love, peace, and comfort this Christmas and throughout the year.

Leave a Comment

  • Beautiful post, Anna. So very well said.

  • Anna, this post brought me to tears. I’ve had a hard time pulling my mind from this tragedy, knowing the horror that so many are experiencing. I think the natural response to a tragedy like this is to bring in those close to us, and wall off the rest, but it’s time that we, in vulnerability, step out in love. I’m often convicted to share my faith when I think, “If my faith is worth believing in, then how could I not humbly share it with everyone I encounter?” What a good reminder this has been. Your posts are such a blessing! Xo, Katie

  • Anna,
    you have such a beautiful and sensitive soul! I have been greatly troubled lately too about the happenings of the last week and one of the little boys was born the same day that my sweet Sepriana was born…how that hit home hard!! My family will join you in being Offensive. Our children need to see that we are not afraid to live our convictions out in the open. Thank you for sharing your heart!

  • Beautifully written..
    I know I just can’t seem to post anything related to fashion today…it just need a few more days to digest. My heart just hurts and sending my lil guy off to preschool today was nearly impossible.


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  • I’ve been praying Psalm 34:18 for those in CT since I heard about this on Friday. Thanks for sharing the heaviness in your heart through words. Love your resolution to be offensive, and all that that entails.

  • I’m also glad we don’t have cable, and I think that news coverage will make it even harder for those parents to cope with their loss. I really believe there is some damage, but I don’t think is one person’s fault, is the sum of many things that are screwed up.

  • Well said Anna. You are right. We need to all start stepping out of our comfort zone, and embrace those who might be different. We are all God’s children, and all in need of love, care and support. Everyday. Not just in the days immediately after a tragedy such as this.

  • Thank you for posting this! I am a college sophomore studying interior design, I read your blog every day. You are such a great role model for me.

  • Beautifully written. This world needs more courageous love.

  • Thank you, Anna.

  • I couldn’t of said this any better! Thank you so much for sharing, this is beautiful and amazing!

  • So true, thank you for posting this

  • Thanks for putting into words how a lot of us are feeling, Anna. You have a gift for expressing yourself through writing and I love reading your thoughts. I usually rush my meal prayers and say them quietly in public, so as not to “offend” or seem self-righteous, but I think I’ll say my prayers a little louder and prouder, thanks to your post. Also, I was feeling bad because I was yelled at the other day by a man who is crippled and was walking to church in the rain. I offered to walk with him and put my umbrella over him. He had some choice words for me. Again, thanks to your post, I’m looking at it a little differently. Maybe he will remember that somebody cared. I love you!

  • I couldn’t have said it better, Anna. God bless you sweet friend. Thank you for your bravery to share your heart on your blog, and your faith.
    You are changing lives by every post.

    Sending you love,

  • Beautifully written! I couldn’t agree with you more. As I sit and watch all the hurt of these loved ones I can’t help but feel hurt and loss as well. I can’t believe someone so selfish would take these innocent little lives from their families. They were so tiny and defenseless. I have had many nightmares of my little one going off to preschool very soon and it makes me want to turn my back on ever leaving her or my husbands side even though I know this is not possible. Why should we feel this way? Why should we be scared of the good? It’s not fair and I can’t possibly imagine being in the parents shoes that lost thier little one on Friday. I can’t possibly wrap my head around this and probably never will.
    Thank you so much for posting, definitely touched my heart.


  • Thank you for writing this. I couldn’t agree more, and I am not “religious” and I don’t have a “religion” that I follow. I love America just like you do. I contemplate the unfortunate necessities we need every day: to “protect ourselves”, the legal system, policemen, the military, etcetera…..I can’t even imagine such a loss, and my heart goes out to the community and those families who lost their precious children and loves ones….-Jessica L

  • Thank you Anna. I was one of those people who couldn’t turn away from the television channel all weekend. I am completely heartbroken, and I cried nonstop. Prayer has been the only option for me. I can’t seem to do anything else that makes sense. The need to be faith-filled and loving was once again established this Friday.

  • Ver beautiful & well put. Thank you for taking the time to share.

  • thank you so much anna. so beautifully written and i couldn’t agree more. it’s so hard to deal with tragedies like this because of the sense of hopelessness. the questions of what is are world coming to and what happened to our country. and as you said, lives taken for absolutely no reason whatsoever. but i’m with you, from now on i’m giving smiles to strangers, and going to try to become a more loving caring person. no one ever should have to go through what these parents are going through, or the families of the teachers and i want to keep the togetherness, the love and the unity that america is feeling right now (i can feel it all the way over here in spain).

  • I echo all your sentiments. It has consumed my mind since it happened and I don’t think anyone will ever be the same.

  • Beautiful thoughts Anna! Its really so true that only love can conquer evil and it starts with each person in each family. God bless us with this grace!

  • Such a beautiful post, Anna. My heart is broken for those sweet angels, their families and everyone affected. It’s hard to even comprehend. xoxo

  • I most definitely have tears in my eyes right now…this is such a gorgeous post, Anna. This is a tragedy so large that I don’t even know that time can heal the deep wounds. My heart & prayer go out to all of the affected families. Your words are ones that we should all take into our own hearts at this time. XO Brynn

  • This post almost brought me to tears, you are so right. I will be sharing this with many, and I commend you for voicing what many are too scared to voice. Thank you for looking at this situation and instead of brushing it off, reflecting on it and letting it impact you for the better.
    God bless!
    Konnor with a K

  • beautiful post friend! such truth.

  • Amen & amen.
    “To let go of our fear and love others out of our comfort zone;” that is it. To reach our arms and be even more like Jesus, loving the sinner, broken, hopeless.

    Very wise words today.

  • Well said, Anna. I came to a very similar conclusion. It truly is kindness, love and willingness to forgive that bonds us…ALL of us. If only we could listen to our hearts’ will in our darker or more fearful moments.

  • That was beautiful Anna. Thank-you for putting into words what I’ve been feeling but couldn’t find the words for myself. It is a scary world we live at the moment and I can only take comfort in knowing that there are still compassionate people that feel just as distraught over this as I do. My heart feels so unbelievably heavy and my eyes won’t stop crying. Living abroad I feel so ashamed to be American as I hear what the rest of the world has to say about us, and it’s not good. I was really excited about moving back and now I’m not so sure anymore. And it upsets me even more that it just seems like everyone is playing the blame game over there. I think your approach is key and it needs to happen quickly, by everyone. Thank you again for sharing your thoughts. -jb.

  • Loved your post, Anna. I, too, have found it difficult to put out of my mind. A memory came to me today. There was a natural disaster happening a few years ago. Some people were looting, stealing and fighting while others were risking their lives to save others, feeding people and giving shelter. When Anderson Cooper was asked why times of stress bring out odd behavior in people, he replied (paraphrasing) “It doesn’t. Times of stress shine a spotlight on the character of a person. Some may look at it as an opportunity while most will look for a way to help others. At the end of the day, it proves that we are all the same.” I find this to be proven most when horrific, confusing events occur. People all over the world are grieving those precious lives as if they know them. It shows a lot about the human spirit. We are made to love one another.

  • Such wisdom, Anna. Psalm 34:18…one of my favorite verses. My good friend in high school had it tattooed on her foot as a reminder. My heart is still shattered from the events last Friday. I can’t get my mind off it. I’m not even a mom yet and I can sense this deep, devastating loss of children. I’m praying constantly for the families affected- for comfort and peace only brought by God, salvation for those who are questioning, and for our country’s protection as a whole.

  • So beautifully put, Anna.

  • Just this very moment, I was lamenting at the hurt I feel from some family. Your post has caused me to reflect that I can either sit in my pain, or I can offensively love them. No matter what.

    That is the stamp I want to leave. Love with Christs love all the time and to everyone.

    Praise the Lord for this timely post and for the writer.

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