Everyone has one. Some hide it better than others, some deny it, some ignore it. But it is there, deep down, just waiting for an opportunity to rear it's ugly head.
So what is yours? What is your biggest fear?
Mine surfaced yesterday. I don't think we're ever prepared to face this thing we consider our biggest fear... our worst nightmare. Mine is probably similar to yours, and to many people. I hear it a lot.
"My biggest fear is something terrible happening to my loved one."
Whether they are hurt, dying, gone missing. Whether it's my husband, my parents, my siblings, my nephews, my extended family members... it doesn't matter. It is quite simply the worst thing I can imagine having to experience, and honestly I do not know what my response would be.
People ask me all the time, how do you do it? How do you cope being the wife of a law enforcement officer? How do you handle the stress, worry and fear that plagues you on a daily basis?
I really do not know how to answer that half the time. My canned response is to say that I just don't think about it. You can't dwell on it or you will go crazy, be paralyzed with fear, and kill yourself with stress. But what happens with you're forced to deal with it -- when a situation comes up that brings to life the very thing you're afraid of?
We live in Brevard County. My husband is a deputy in Osceola County - just a few miles away. Yesterday at 11:30 AM a female Brevard County deputy was shot by a guy trying to steal furniture from a local motel. She was shot at five times and died shortly after. She had worked for the agency for 15 years, had two sons in law enforcement, and a daughter in law who was a crime scene investigator.
Here's the thing. I know that God is in control. I personally believe that just because my husband has a more dangerous job than most, that doesn't mean he has a higher chance of dying. This is your destiny, the day God had planned since your birth, and it is going to happen one way or another. I could die driving home from work today. Eric could die in his sleep. That might sound morbid, but my point is that this is a part of life that is out of our control. While it is important to be aware and thankful for what we have, it is just as vital to remember the things we have no control over.
This is a tragic situation; a seemingly unnecessary death of a good person at the hands of a criminal. There is no avoiding it. Can one ever be prepared for situations like this... for their worst fear to be realized? No, I don't think so. Because in this moment, God gives grace in just the way you'll need it. I don't need to worry about the future, about the "what if's" that are all around me, because I know when and if that time comes, I will have everything I need to cope through God's grace.
Once again, let this serve as a reminder that life is a precious gift. There are no guarantees in life. We should all be so fortunate to be constantly reminded of this fact and to never take our blessings for granted.