Run, Hide, or Fight

I take a deep breath, the kind you take before plunging into deep water knowing it's going to close over your head and leave you without air. I can't believe what I'm getting ready to speak into these three pairs of young blue eyes.
But is any mother ready to show a glimpse of evil to their innocent? All through history mother's have had to pause childhood with an introduction to a darkness in order to fight for the lives they cradled in their arms.
With multiple alerts, warnings, and PSA's our county has been issuing it would be foolish for me to march my family unprepared into potential war zones. Parents diligently train the dangers of crossing roads without looking both ways, medicine cabinets, and cleaning supplies. We'd be foolish to ignore the very real danger for active shooter situations, though my heart clenches with acceptance of that.
And so in the car, where I have their undivided attention, where the best and most sincere conversations have taken place for us, we talk. We make a battle plan.  
I prayed through the words and God prepared their hearts. I hear myself saying the words but I know
they weren't mine... 
This world is not our home. They know this well. Evil people with no love for God want to practice things that please Satan. The Bible says to put on the full armor of God, not once a year, not when we think there's a battle, it says put it on, as in have it on all the time. 
The foolish are unprepared, we need to be prepared so in the day of evil we will be able to stand firm. Those little pairs of eyes brim with excitement, this is their language. They are fighters to the heart and will defend their God and faith to the end. 
And now I hear myself speaking things beyond what we have talked about before. We step off into the conversation of evil in tactical vests and semi automatic weapons. I talk about shopping malls, parking lots, sporting events, and grocery stores being places we don't just go to, but go to prepared. 
If I say 'drop to the ground now', 'run to that exit door', 'take your brothers hands and run as fast as you can', 'you must be silent, no one make a sound', you have to be ready to do exactly what I say. We review how to dial 911 from a locked phone, and make a game of spying all exits when we go inside buildings. Their little faces soak in the words. 
Run, hide, fight, in that order. My oldest decides fighting is the first choice as he'd rather take the bad guys out so they can't hurt any more people. I tell him he's the bravest guy I know and one day God will use that, but for now, while he's still working on his growing muscles, he needs to follow the team plays and protect his family by doing exactly what I say if we ever face this evil. 
I hear myself charge them, "God has not given us a spirit of fear..." We don't walk into public afraid. We walk prepared, always. I see God guarding hearts. There's no fear. These drills could save lives and they swell with pride to now possess such a knowledge. 
I don't speak of the other things in my heart but there's more I will tell them as they grow strong enough to carry it. 
They'll need to know if anything ever happened to me, they need to take care of each other and get to safety. They need to know how to defend themselves if I can't. I don't share this heaviness with them now, but in my heart I know they would be a force in the unspeakable. 
God is good. "Run, Hide, Fight" drills in place. No fear. No bad dreams. Just perfect peace, strength, and trust in our great God. "The Lord is with us," I remind them, "what can man do to me?" Agreement, camaraderie, we are a contingent of the Lord's army. We are prepared, daily, practicing, and praying. 

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
Ephesians 6:10-13


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