This is part of my family. There are 2 more daughters, 2 more sons-in-laws and 2 beautiful grandchildren that live elsewhere. Today I discovered that I would die for my family.
I also discovered that I would kill for them too.
The day started out great. I decided to take the 4 youngest kids with me to pick up our turkeys in town. Normally, I would've left the kids at home to work on their schoolwork. But, not today. I just felt like they needed to be with me today.
We also ran some other errands then hurried home to make some lunch. Arriving home, my son Tj and I stopped at the family room refrigerator to put away the raw milk. The other 3 children ran upstairs with the rest of our goodies. Tj and I then went back up the stairs, passing Matthew, who was on his way back downstairs to unkennel the dogs and walk them.
Seconds later, as Tj and Heather headed out the back door to deposit the new chicks in the coop, (the turkeys didn't come in, but we found 6 more cuties we couldn't live without!), Matty came back up the stairs and quietly said, "There's a man in the exercise room."
My heart stopped, but my head told my feet to move. I went to the gun safe, grabbed a gun and loaded it (who knew?), then headed down the stairs. I didn't think about the intruder maybe having a weapon. I didn't think about the fact that I'm an out-of-shape 42 year old with way more bark than bite. All I could think about was the fact that there was a stranger in my home.
IN MY HOME!!!!
A parent tries their best to provide a safe place for their children to grow, a place where they can reach their full potential. A place that is the starting point of the rest of their lives. A place that they can also come back to. A place of rest. Of love.
As I entered the room that the intruder had broken into, I could only think about my children's safety. The window was open, screen lying on the ground and the closet door wide open. I closed the window, making sure the lock was set, then checked out the other 2 bedrooms and bathroom. Realizing that nobody had entered those rooms, I made my way outside and around the house. Not seeing anyone, I went back indoors and called the sheriff.
Within 5 minutes, we had 4 deputies and a canine unit searching our woods and looking for fingerprints. While they didn't find the guy, the evidence points to the fact that he was in our home, and had only gotten as far as the room he broke into. The evidence also shows that he was in our home when we were downstairs, probably hiding behind the closet door.
The whole ordeal lasted just under 3 hours. After the deputies left, the reality of what had just happened hit us.
Like a brick wall.
I could've shot someone. Somebody who only had to ask for food or money and I would've gladly given it to him. Somebody who probably has people in his life who love him. Someone who made a very bad decision that could've cost him his life.
Psalm 27:1-3 says, "The Lord is my light and my salvation-whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life-of whom shall I be afraid? When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh, when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident."
I will not live in fear, nor will I take my children down that path.
Tonight I will be holding my kids a little closer. I'll be praying a little longer.
And I'll make sure to thank God that nobody was hurt.