the ripped sticker

John 16:33 says “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart, for I have overcome the world.”

Genesis 35:3 says “He has been with me everywhere I have gone.”

1 John 4:4 says “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”

I want to share something real and raw with you today. I work as an intensive out patient therapist and often see my families in their homes. Many of my families do not have the means to live in the more “desirable” areas, and some neighborhoods are rougher than others. One particular family I visited lived in an apartment complex in the worst part of town. The family, though, was nice enough and I never had an issue with them. I did have an issue, however, one time when I left their apartment and came out to my car.

I’ve had a thin blue line sticker on my car for the past couple of years. It’s a very small black one (think a 1-2 inch square or so) with a blue line through it. Small, barely noticeable, and tucked in the upper corner of my back windshield.

And when I came out to the parking lot that day, it was torn off of my car and ripped to pieces on the ground.

At first I was scared. I spotted it on the ground and  immediately glanced around at the people milling around the parking lot and hanging out of the nearby windows, wondering if it was one of them. My hand went to bulge of the pepper spray in my bag and I quickly got into my car and locked the doors, reversing and leaving the property as soon as possible. A few minutes down the road, once I was in a section of town that felt safer, I pulled into a coffee shop parking lot, turned off my car (but kept the doors locked) and felt my eyes start to well up.

I felt scared, still, but I also felt mad. I felt enraged that someone had the audacity to vandalize my personal car. I felt victimized for being singled out simply because of my blue support. But mostly, I felt sad that this is the world we live in.

My heart hurt as I thought of the officers we’ve lost (the numbers high for this year alone, and it’s barely June) in the line of duty and specifically those murdered simply for being cops. These people, our officers, put their lives on the line every day for us, whether we are thankful or not. Their families (us) kiss them goodbye each day, not knowing if they’re going to walk back through our front door. We sacrifice holidays, weekends, dinners, and a 9-5.

And we should be proud of all that. We should be proud of our officers and their calling and we should be proud of ourselves for supporting them. But there will always be those who disagree. There will always be people who rip down our blue support stickers and flags, egg our patrol cars, stare down our thin blue line shirts, and say cruel words when they see us out with our uniformed husband. Awhile back I wrote a guest post for Police Wives of America about why I keep our blue life on the quieter side (you can read it here), and this incident was a prime example of that. It’s an example of why I blog here instead of under my personal page.

But regardless of how loudly you proclaim your support for police. Regardless of how the media decides to portray our officers and their profession. Regardless of the comments you see on Facebook and the looks you get in town. Be proud. Keep loving your officer. Keep supporting them, and their brothers and sisters in blue.

For we know who holds tomorrow, friends. We know whose hand is protecting us. Take heart in this world, for God’s love is bigger than any of the giants we face. And that love and power is in you.

Lord, You know my heart. You know how discouraging it can be when the world lashes out at my officer and my family. Please take that discouragement and turn it into encouragement. Remind me of the goodness of our world and of Your word. Help keep my officer and I encouraged when it seems like the world is ganging up on us, because You, Almighty Lord, are on our side.

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