It seems as if the whole week has been filled with news reports and alerts about France and Belgium. Terror has seized both nations after the ISIS attacks in Paris and the terrorists were linked to Belgium. Seeing these news flashes, a national feeling of empathy towards all those affected spread like wildfire in the United States. However, for most of us watching from television screens or cellular devices, worrying about what's going to happen within those countries borders is the least of our worries. Most of my friends can turn off the news and not wonder what will happen to these countries in the following days, weeks, and months. As much as I would love to be able to push the recent attacks to the back of my memory and not be distracted by a news alert featuring Belgium, I can't. As much as I would love to be able to say I'm not scared, I can't. When the place you call "home" despite having permanent residence in the United States for your whole life is practically turning into a war zone before your eyes; the one thing you can't help but feel is a growing pit inside your stomach; that growing pit is fear.
As fears of more attacks have lead to a level four security level in Belgium (the highest level), one might feel safe knowing that the military and police forces are ready to go at a moments notice. However, I don't feel a fear for a lack of help in a time of crisis. Being half way around the world from Belgium, I don't really feel fear any fear about what's going to happen twenty minutes from now. However, I do feel a fear. It's a fear that doesn't ease with growing news reports. I fear for my family and friends. I fear for them because no one knows what'g going to happen tomorrow. I fear for them because they are on the other side of the world, in a situation that I cannot even begin to relate to or even try to comprehend.
However, despite this growing pit of fear that seems to stay with me I've found ways to put my mind at ease. I've found that despite the terror, God was still present and isn't letting people down. Bible verses (1 peter 5:7, psalm 23:4 and psalms 56:3-4 to name a few) are marked and read whenever I realize my thoughts are turning away from what's going on in front me to what's going on 4,500 miles away. I look back through "Motivational Monday" quotes and remind myself of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's famous words: "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." When the motivational quotes don't help; I do what any scared twenty year old college girl does very well. I call my mom.
The fear that's been staying with me the past week probably won't be completely gone for a while. However, I know that despite the evil that was present in Paris this past weekend, the good in the people present in Paris during the attacks will forever outrank the atrocities that took place. It is because there was so much good showed during a time when Paris seemed to go through Hell that there is still a strong belief and faith that everything will be alright. It is this belief that makes the growing pit of fear inside my stomach vanish, if not for a while, at least a little bit.