A letter to Newtown

a letter to newtown
Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool, also blogs about motherhood at Steady Mom

Dear Newtown,

It’s been a long year.

Last December 14th we woke to a chilly, frosty morning. We went to bed with the chill and frost right down in our souls.

Blindsided with grief as a community, so many times I’ve asked myself, “Of all the places in the world…why God did you send us here?”

You are a beautiful place to live…and an uncomfortable one now as well.

Our rental lease ended last summer and we considered packing up and moving on. We looked at houses on your streets, but also in other areas of the state. Part of me thought it would be nice to leave you behind. Preserve the memories of the beautiful place we love, yet say farewell to the reminders of tragedy.

But wouldn’t you know it? Hours before we put an offer in on a house an hour away, Steve drove to work–down the same road he’s driven for the past two years–at the very moment the realtor hammered the “for rent” sign in front.

So here we are. I guess God still wants us right in the midst of your snow-covered streets and your family-friendly neighborhoods…and your saddest memories.

newtown2

My children, still miraculously unaware of what happened last year, are thrilled to stay.

Like Elijah told me one day with a deep exhale, “I love this place.” When asked why he went on, “Newtown…just feels like home.”

It’s true.

You’ve had lessons for me over the past twelve months too, and I’ve done my best to study them–to pass their tests. Lessons in grief, in perseverance, in community, in overcoming. Lessons in choosing hope in the midst of hard, can’t-see-your-hand-in-front-of-your-face darkness.

Screen Shot 2013-12-12 at 5.51.38 PMWe see the words plastered everywhere around town–on storefronts and bumper stickers:

“We are Sandy Hook, we choose love.”

You have wound your way around our hearts, Newtown, and we will never be the same. And maybe choosing love is the best tool of transformation we have in our toolbox.

Choosing love may look like a hug for a neighbor or a card for a grieving family. It may look like flowers for a teacher or the simple, everyday wonder of raising children.

Some think the opposite of love is hate and that only the evil deliberately choose it.

But the true opposite of love is fear, and in this day and age we stumble into it time and time again. 

“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.”
~ 1 John 4:18

The energy we lose to fear and worry could fuel an entire movement of radical, change-the-world kind of love. And the good news is that no one need wait for a tragedy to choose it.

newtown3

So thank you, Newtown. It’s an extraordinary privilege to count ourselves among your residents. I’m grateful for your lessons and for your healing in this remarkable community.

Holding on to the love–and hope–of Christ,

Jamie

Would you find a way to choose love today on behalf of Charlotte, Daniel, Olivia, Josephine, Ana, Dylan, Madeleine, Catherine, Chase, Jesse, James, Grace, Emilie, Jack, Noah, Caroline, Jessica, Avielle, Ben, Allison, Dawn, Anne Marie, Lauren, Mary, Rachel, and Victoria? Our town is so thankful for your prayers.

About Jamie Martin

Jamie is a mama to three cute kids born on three different continents. She serves as editor of Simple Homeschool, and blogs about mindful parenting at Steady Mom. Jamie is also the author of two books: Steady Days and Mindset for Moms.

Comments

  1. What a perfectly stated post. Our prayers are with you.
    Blessings, Dawn

  2. Inspiring and moving, Jamie. Thank you for honoring your town and those affected in last year’s tragedy in such a beautiful way.
    Aimee @ Simple Bites’s latest post: Weekend links: Christmas baking edition

  3. What a beautiful post! My prayers are with your community. God bless each and every one of you.

  4. Hey Jamie,
    I thought of you yesterday when I was listening to a program about the Newtown anniversary. The reporter was talking about the size of the town and how everyone who lives there is affected in some way.
    Prayers, love and light for you all today and always.
    Sheila Petruccelli
    sheila’s latest post: Holiday Blog Hop #8

  5. What a great post! Your town sound like a great community! Our thoughts and prayers for those grieving parents! One just cannot fathom how awful it must have been for them. Your post is inspiring and one of Hope.

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