***out of respect for my dear friends and their privacy, I won't name any names, except for the deceased, but wanted to share some prayer requests with you***
As many of you know, I live less than two hours from Virginia Tech. Many from my high school have attended there and have either recently graduated or are now pursuing their Master's degrees there…and it's been a very rough couple of days.
Lauren McCain was a friend of my family- She was a home schooler, an amazing young woman, and a light for Christ. She will be desperately missed…
One of my friends from High School, a Master's student, was in Norris, and was shot through the leg- the bullets grazed his arms and his neck, but thankfully missed. His girlfriend had originally been told that he was deceased, but he has been upgraded from the ICU and is now stable…he faces surgery to repair a shattered ankle. He will never be able to run competitively again, and now faces the task of learning to walk all over again. Yet we are so happy that he is alive and will be able to recover and continue on.
However, many will not.
A family friend is an RA there at VT… and this has been an extremely hard week on a personal level and on a responsiblility level…Ryan "Stack" Clark and Kaitlin Hammerin were both close friends of hers, and the loss is palpable. Please keep her in your prayers and pray for peace and healing for here, and also strength, as she cares for the students in her charge.
Many of my friends have exhibited true grace under fire, showing class and dignity in the midst of great tragedy. Some were off campus, and are struggling with survivor's guilt. All are dealing with the immense sense of loss. Please pray for peace and healing for them all…and also that they would be allowed to grieve without being used by the media frenzy.
I find myself hugely angered by the idiocy of the media…their lack of respect for the deceased, as well as their lack of respect for the living and grieving…they are glorifying a terrible, twisted, young man who doesn't deserve two seconds of air time and then trying to point fingers anywhere but at the killer. It is hard to explain to someone who has never been in college or for whom it was lifetimes ago what we as students understand every time we step foot on a campus- we know that we are vulnerable. We always have been, smushed into classrooms and hanging out in the halls- it is the nature of the community. Different people, with different viewpoints, and learning to get along. We know that we are technically not "safe" but we go to school anyways! I wish instead that the news would spend lots of time focusing on the lives of these wonderful people who were lost, and the people at VT and their Hokie Spirit…that is the true story here. Their triumph in coming together as a diverse and large community in a time of unbelievable loss.
So pray for my friends and myself, as we process through this. Pray for college students the nation over who are heading into finals with this storm hanging in their view…that VT will be able to heal and move on, and that the college community at large will be able to focus on the positive.