Week-Old Thoughts Still Fresh Today

I wrote the following a week ago, last Thursday, just hours after the unfathomable happened in our little town of Thousand Oaks. However, soon after attempting to put words to my emotions, we were swept away with a crisis of a different nature—fire. So the words sat completely forgotten and unnoticed until today.

A week later, these emotions and thoughts still fit, though the power of the Holy Spirit has begun his healing on many (Psalm 147:3).


November 8, 2018

I’m not a news watcher. Until my community became the feature on every news station and social media outlet.

Sadness overwhelms me. The victim list has not been released, but whether I recognize a name or not, each one is a brother or sister to me. We are all in this together. And I see that more than ever, especially as people line up around the block to give blood. As kids stand outside their school to honor the passing of a fallen police officer. As friends from all over the country (literally) send their condolences to me and others who call Thousand Oaks our home. As our community gathers for a prayer vigil outside the city buildings early this evening.

We are all in this together.

But all I want to do is hide under the bed. And then all I want to do is bring home all the kids I love so much who are away at college. Bring them home and . . . stick them under the bed with me?

The enemy wants exactly that. For us to hide. To cower. To shrink from everything—the intimidating, the challenging, the terrorizing.

We are all in this together.

So together we stand. Stand against what is not holy, not righteous, not loving. I came upon this verse yesterday, oddly enough, and it continues to play in my head:

 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand (Isaiah 41:10).

I’m not going to pretend to understand the ways of our heavenly Father; just as I can not begin to understand the ways of a troubled/disturbed young man.

Please, though, do not run and hide. Do not cower. Do not fear.

This is the time to expose our love to the people. Love to all.

HE is all in this together with US.


(The sweet bird of hope pictured was drawn by an elementary school student and sent along with classmates' stars to give peace and hope to our community.)


Please know that I read every single comment posted; however, this program does not allow me to respond on the site (or at least this Creative Farm Girl has not yet figured it out).


  • Hi, Amy … Your reflection is so vital to hear, especially for me and others in Santa Rosa. Last year’s fire both scared and scarred us. You can see that in how we respond to smoke now. We burst outside as if to say “Smoke, I will defeat you!” or seal ourselves in as if to say “Smoke is our life forevermore.” I understand these responses entirely: yet, they are variants on hiding under the bed. It’s much more uncomfortable, but honoring of all who have suffered to stand and face the truth. Acknowledge the horrors of shootings. Acknowledge the toxicity of smoke. Most importantly, reject the notion that our hope and beliefs aren’t meaningful: giving up on change is fundamentally different from bearing witness to challenges. For me, our attitudes and actions flow from our hopes and beliefs and so, in fact, they lie at the core of what we find meaningful. Thank you for your words, Amy, as they reminded me forcefully and hopefully of that … peace, robert

    Robert Rogers
  • Beautiful words, Amy. I love reading your thoughts. Because God is with us we can stand without fear. Just a couple pages from your verse God says, “Do not fear for I am with you. I have called you by name and you are mine.” We only fear when we think we have to handle it ourselves. But we are never alone with our mighty and personal God. Thank you

  • Thank you Amy. I see the CLU kids everyday at mealtime. From wrapped in blankets walking around without direction to sitting together laughing is the manifestation of the healing God is bringing to the campus.

  • This is so beautifully written and is something a lot of people should read.

    Megan Perez
  • So good.


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