It's 5 am when the baby won't stop coughing. I scoop her up and head downstairs where I can hold her on my chest and hope to get a few more minutes rest before the day begins. She's soon asleep, but despite my best efforts it seems I'm up for the day.
I log on Twitter and read a few news articles. The world is just so full of upsetting things and I'm constantly torn between the urge to bury my head in the sand and the desire to be informed. I pause at one article that makes me soul sick and then, though I know better, commit the cardinal sin of internetting - I read the comments.
And that's when my chest feels like it's been hit by a ton of bricks and that little flicker of hope within me for the human race seems dangerously close to being snuffed out. Scrolling through things other humans have said - some of them truly awful - makes me gasp for air.
These ultra-connected times bring with them good and bad. The good - we can be informed and help people that perhaps before we wouldn't know existed before now. The bad - every horrific event, every evil act seems unbearably close. The ugly - the comments section and the ease of typing things behind a computer screen that should never be said.
I shut down the computer and head into make coffee. It's hardly 6 AM and if I'm not careful, this deep gut sadness can take over my entire day. It's a helplessness that is overwhelming, that feeling of lung-crushing desperate darkness all around, threatening to suffocate every good and happy thing. How can I raise my kids in a place like this? How can I lead them in light when darkness is so near on every side?
But all is not lost. I get my coffee, settle down on the couch and pull up another website. Outside the wind rattles cold and stirs leaves in mini tornadoes down the street, but in here with my baby asleep on my chest, I find something warm. Something comforting, as only truth can be.
I have said all these things to you so that in me you may have peace. In the world you have trouble: but take heart! I have overcome the world.
In this little house, with all these little precious souls asleep upstairs, I make my choice. As long as there are people in this world who refuse to be swallowed up by hopelessness, there's still something worth fighting for.
It's 6 am, a new day, and though I'm tired and weary and soul sickened, I'm ready to begin. Leading the way with the seven I've been charged with, training up my own little band of warriors to be love and shine hope. It will take courage. It will take strength. It will take the rest of my life.
It's the only choice.
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