I have been trying to comprehend the loss we have seen this weekend, but I can’t. My heart is so heavy with sadness. The only way I can even begin to work through this is by writing…Not everything I’m about to say is perfect or eloquent. Some of you may not agree with me, but this is as far as my brain has gotten with these tragedies. I’m still trying to grasp for reasoning and understanding. I don’t know if we will ever get our questions answered..
Saturday morning (6/11/16) I woke to the news that one of my favorite artists, Christina Grimmie, was murdered in cold blood at a fan meet and greet after her concert in Orlando, FL. Christina was a beautiful soul. She was young, vibrant, extremely talented, and God loving. I have followed her on YouTube for many years, way before I found my creative outlet in video making. I was so proud to follow her success! She deserved every second of it and she will forever be an inspiration to me. I don’t understand how one person can decide to end a life like that. Especially to take her from this world in front of her friends, family, and fans. She had so much life ahead of her. It’s gut wrenching. This is a death that has really broken my heart. I thought there would be no worse news this weekend than this, but I was wrong.
Sunday morning I woke to the news of a mass shooting at the gay club Pulse, also in Orlando, rocking the LGBTQ+ community. I sat in shock, with the rest of the world, wanting answers. How can someone have so much hate in their heart? Those 50+ people killed and 53+ injured were/are someone’s family, friends, lovers, co-workers, and the list goes on. They were people. Above everything else, above their sexual orientations or gender preferences, they were people. And they were taken from this earth in a senseless act of hatred.
This violence has to end. Was it not just 100 years ago we were depriving American people of basic human rights and treating them with distaste? Yes, I’m going there: slavery and segregation. Oh! And what about the Native Americans? The list can go on and on.. We already cringe when opening our history books looking back on those dark times in our country. I thought the whole point of recording and studying history was so that we learned NOT to repeat it. Not to mention, racism is sadly still alive and well today. The only difference is guns were not as readily available back then as they are now! Something must be done. Do we want our future children to open their history books and see even more deprivation of human rights, violence, and indecency? I don’t. Discrimination is real. Gun violence is real. It is very real and we have to stop acting like it isn’t. Otherwise how will we ever put an end to these tragedies? What is it going to take for us to put aside the differences and come together as a human race? ONE race. ONE people. ONE world. ONE love.
I can’t sleep. I can’t eat. Sometimes it even feels like I can’t breathe. So, I know there is no way that I can ever fully understand the pain of those who have been directly affected by these murders. I pray that they find comfort in knowing that their loved ones are no longer in pain. They are safe. And they are loved.
When I don’t have anywhere left to turn, I find it best to turn toward Jesus. I’d like to share a quote with you from the only song that has given me comfort through this incredibly painful weekend. It is from Hillsong UNITED and called Even When It Hurts. It goes like this:
“Even when the fight seems lost
I’ll praise You.
Even when it hurts like hell
I’ll praise You.
Even when it makes no sense to sing
Louder then I’ll sing Your praise.
Even when my time on earth is done
Louder then I’ll sing Your praise.”
Remember to spread love, not hate. If we do not forgive, as unimaginable as it may seem, then their deaths will have been for nothing. And it seems those who committed these horrible crimes were the ones who needed love the most. So, let us love our neighbors. Let us love those who don’t deserve it. Because love conquers all. Love is love, and you never know who might need it.
I would like to do something I have never done before, which is to end with a prayer. If you’re not a religious person or it makes you uncomfortable, that’s okay, skip it. Thank you for reading and please continue to send your well wishes and positive vibes to those who need them most, right now. You can also skip to the bottom where I have links to donate your support and help. If you would like to join me, religious or not, please feel free to keep reading.
Dear Heavenly Father,
I pray that you blanket this country with healing. Please comfort those who have been directly affected by the sudden ending of these precious lives. I pray for Christina, her family, friends and fans. That You will help us to find peace in our hearts from her untimely passing. I praise You for those who acted quickly to prevent any further harm to standers by. Especially Mark Grimmie who leapt, instead of to his sister’s immediate aid, to prevent the shooter from harming anyone else. Thank you for giving him the gift of bravery and the ability to react quickly in such a chaotic situation. I know that Christina is with You now and boldly singing Your praise with the Angels.
Lord, I pray for those in Orlando involved in the mass shooting at Pulse. I pray for Your aid to the doctors working tirelessly to help those who were injured and are fighting to keep their lives, right now. I pray that the families of those already passed will find comfort in You. That You have welcomed their loved ones into Your Kingdom with arms wide open. I pray they know their loved ones are safe and far from harm, now.
God, I also want to pray for the two shooters. I pray that You are with their families during this difficult time. They are hurting just as much as the rest of us. I cannot imagine the grief and confusion they feel that their loved ones could commit such horrible crimes. I pray that You soften their hearts and ours. I pray that You help us to find forgiveness for the shooters. Lord, they needed Your love. We need Your love, now. Please help us to continue to show love in Your name and maybe these acts of violence will subside.
Our hearts are heavy with the pain of these events. But I know that You are working to heal us. That is why even when it hurts like hell, I’ll praise You.
It is all these things that I pray in the name of Jesus Christ.
You can donate to help the Grimmie family give their daughter a beautiful send off, here.
You can donate to help the Pulse Orlando victims, here.
There are many blood banks set up in FL to help the survivors who are fighting for their lives. You can find the closest one to you, here.