There are tragic events that take place every day around the world. Many of these events are overlooked by news outlets and unreported. Maybe you would agree that as Americans, we live in ignorant bliss. We are privileged to go about most of our days in relative safety and comfort. Our first world problems are a sad joke in the face of the struggles people from other countries face each day, just to survive.
But when tragedy strikes so close to home, it shakes us up.
We’ve all been shaken up by the events that took place in Orlando last week. One horrible, hate filled tragedy after another. And then an act of nature. Not a gun or a madman with an evil plan, but an animal, in the happiest place on earth.
The Disney World tragedy hit particularly close to home for me. I can’t even imagine how horrifying it must have been for those parents.
I don’t want to imagine it. I can’t allow myself to imagine it.
But it could have been us.
Our family loves Disney World and the thing is, my tiny children have run up and down those same sandy beaches. We’ve sat on every one of the beaches that encircles the Seven Seas Lagoon.
One of our favorite things to do while staying at any of the Disney resorts is to resort hop. We have generally stayed at one of the value resorts, but always plan a day or two to ride the monorail around and eat at the other “fancier” resorts. We’ve had dinner with Cinderella at the Grand Floridian and sat on the beach to view fireworks over Cinderella’s castle. Each resort offers daily activities on their beaches, including games and movie nights. They even provide lounge chairs, right next to the water.
This past time we were at Disney World, we stayed at the Fort Wilderness Campground which is nestled on Bay Lake, directly connected to the Seven Seas Lagoon. We sat on the beach every night to watch the fireworks. There were beautiful white lounge chairs positioned only 2 feet away from the water. Yes, the signs say “no swimming” but my kids played in the sand and even waded into the water up to their ankles. No one ever got after us for this or seemed to care. We were care free. We were at Disney World, what could go wrong?
We’ve made the same mistake that most Disney visitors probably make during their stay. We settle in, get comfortable and forget that Disney World is not a bubble. We trust Disney, maybe a little more than we should. Danger exists, accidents can happen, wildlife exists and will do what it pleases (as seen in the pictures below from our campsite at Fort Wilderness).
I’m a just home decor blogger
and sometimes a lifestyle blogger,
so I struggle with finding my voice in the wake of current events, natural disasters and tragedy.
I’m just a white, homeschooling/full-time mom, lifestyle blogging, pastor’s wife. Who even wants to know what I think?
But a thought just hit me the other day; what if that mom who lost her precious little boy was a reader of my blog? I have written a lot on the subject of Disney World vacationing. What if she found my blog on Pinterest and used one of my posts to plan out their trip? What if she is a regular subscriber or reader? I don’t know if she is, but I want her to know how sorry I am for her loss. I wish I could wrap my arms around her and cry with her, or maybe offer to bring them a meal. But the last thing I would do is judge her parenting, because it could have been me.
I want to express my deepest concern and heartfelt prayers for the people of Orlando. But what else really needs to be said? Especially when too much has already been said.
I have heard hateful things shouted at gay people and parents alike this past week.
So on behalf of a white, stay-at-home, blogging, pastor’s wife, my heart goes out to the families that lost loved ones in the hate fueled shootings. I fully believe in God’s unconditional, unmerited love for all people. I hate what so many crazy, loud, obnoxious people have shouted in the name of religion, specifically my religion. We may be very different people, we probably disagree on some things and hold different beliefs, but we were both created in the image of God and I value your life.
On behalf of a Christian, homeschooling, pastor’s wife,
my heart breaks for the parents of the little boy pulled into the water at Disney World,
for the family members that lost loved ones in the club shooting,
for the family and friends of the singer that was shot,
for any other parents carrying the burden of a deadly accident or devastating mistake,
for all individuals that have been on the receiving end of hateful words shouted in the name of Christianity…
My heart breaks for the pain you are experiencing.
I want you to know that not all Christians are jerks.
Not all parents are judgmental.
Not everyone on the internet hates you.
No one is perfect.
We all make mistakes.
Death is terrible,
but it’s not the end.
This world is scary,
but God is near.
I believe that love has already won, because Jesus broke the chains of death and He’s coming one day to make it all right. He’s pursuing us and loves us unconditionally. The world is sad and full of hate, but Jesus is stronger. There is hope.
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore… (Revelation 21:3-4)
I must say I have not heard someone speak like a truer Christian in a long time, it feels so nice… Life is not easy and so hard to understand sometimes. I’m great full that I found your post and will look forward to more. You are inspiring. My family loves Disney world, we are from Indiana and have been there several times. The first time my son was 6, he is now 24. I also have a daughter that is now 35. I also have two grandsons ages 5 and 6. I have had MS for 15 yrs . Look forward to reading much more from you!
Thank you for the kind words!! I’m so glad you found your way here to my little blog, and even more that you found something that was encouraging to you! Praying you have a wonderful day :)
Hi, Sarah: I just wanted to tell you how your Orlando post touched my heart. I have been following and enjoying your blog for awhile. And like most people, I discovered your wonderful blog by chance, when I was looking for American Girl clothing patterns for my daughter.
Your post above moved me to tears for so many reasons. First, because you wrote so beautifully and I think expressed the way many of us have been feeling.
I live in the province of British Columbia in western Canada, I am a Christian and I love all things Disney. I thank you for your words because I do not want to be lumped in with that brand of Christian who spews hate.
I have been to Disneyland many times, but we made our first trip to Disney World when our daughter was eight (she’s now 11) and needless to say, it was utterly magical. I have enjoyed reading your Disney-related blogs, and like you I was horrified by what happened to that beautiful child doing what so many of us have done and in a place that we love and that is an escape from real life, if only for a few days.
I can’t begin to comprehend the pain and sorrow the families who have lost loved ones in the past month, both at the Magic Kingdom and at the nightclub in Orlando. My thoughts and prayers go out to all of them.
Anyway, Sarah, this is a long-winded and rambling way of thanking you for your beautiful words. They are much appreciated. Keep doing what you’re doing.
I appreciate your rambling words so much!! Thank you for the encouragement. I always wonder if the message I’m trying to convey is clear at all or if my words are just more noise added to the internet. I also hesitate to post on such topics, but your words have helped me feel like it’s worth it, thank you! :)