Join Me As I #PrayForTownville

Today has been very emotional. When I tucked my 7 year old into bed tonight I held her a little tighter for a little longer and said an extra prayer for her safety. I have shed many tears today over a situation that didn’t involve my children, but it hit really close to home.

The Townville Elementary shooting is now national news. Early this afternoon Ben and I sat in our kitchen eating a late lunch when I took a moment to scroll through Facebook. I scrolled through the usual funny and/or political memes and random friend posts. When I saw a post from a local crime beat group I almost ignored it. This morning one of the local county police departments ran drills, and I had already seen many many posts from people freaking out because they thought the drills were real. I quickly scanned the post and scrolled on thinking it was yet another post from someone frantic because they misunderstood the local scanner, but something caused me to scroll back up in my feed for another look.

I read the words, “Townville Elementary School” and “possible shooter”. Something in my gut told me this wasn’t a drill. I immediately started searching the local news outlets, but nothing was being reported. I told myself I was overreacting. It would be on the news by now, or we would be notified of a school lock down by now. I sat down my phone and moved on trying to convince myself it was another drill, telling myself I was now that frantic parent who had read a drill report wrong.

I had barely made it into the shower when Ben burst into the bathroom yelling out “your sister just text you. There’s been a shooting at Townville Elementary. It’s all over the news.” My heart sank, and I dropped to my knees in the shower praying it wasn’t true, praying if it was true for protection over those children and their faculty.

It wasn’t my daughter’s school, but it didn’t matter. Where we live, everyone is your neighbor whether they live in the next house over or a few towns away. Townville is technically in the next county, but it borders our own. Townville is one of “ours”, and we know many who live in the small farming town. I personally wanted to move there a few years ago until the crime rate began to rise.

Today, 4 of our own were shot, by a child no less. He is fourteen years old! Yes, he’s still just a child. We have no idea what he was dealing with, going through…what could possess him to kill his own father and open fire on the elementary school next to his home, but this 14 year old’s life is now over. His father is gone, and his mother has to live with the fact that she has now lost both her husband and son. Three innocent people were injured, including two children. Thankfully, they are all alive, but a 6 year old boy is currently in ICU with a gunshot wound to the leg that hit an artery.

I pray for healing mercy for that child.

I’m thankful for the volunteer fireman who arrived on the scene and wrestled the shooter to the ground. This true hero may have saved many more lives. I’m thankful for our law enforcement and rescue personnel who acted quickly.

When I picked my own child up from school 30 minutes away from the shooting location, it was a somber sight. Students were kept inside the school with faculty and staff guarding the entrances and pick up lines. Students were escorted outside one by one to their cars, and I saw the looks on those teachers faces, the tears in their eyes, and the worry that it would have been their school, their students…OUR CHILDREN.

I admit I’m terrified of the world we live in today and the future my children face. I ask you to join me tonight as I pray for the teachers and children who were injured today, for the innocent children who witnessed such a horrible act, and for the first responders and officers who handled the situation. I ask you to pray for our future and the safety of our children in schools everyday.

I’m so thankful my daughter safely returned home to me today, but we never know what tomorrow will bring. I can assure you I will make a few extra trips into her room tonight for extra kisses, to snuggle a little longer, and to say an extra prayer of protection. And yes, my determination to home school next year just increased tenfold.

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Jenn is from Upstate, SC, and loves that she gets to work from home to be with her two little girls. Jenn has been happily married to her very own Superman, Ben, for over a decade, and spends her time reading, writing short stories, doing freelance work and blogging, crafting, riding motorcycles, watching Clemson football, and enjoying life with her family.

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  1. Connie Roberts

    I read about this shooting. What a tragedy. Another one. Again. I’m sorry this happened so close to home. After all your family has been through I can’t imagine. Hugs to you all.