About the Author

Andrea is a writer and pastor’s wife in Tampa, FL. She works as a project manager for a creative studio and volunteers as kid’s church director at church. She spends her creative energy exploring her city, chasing around her two kids, and writing about femininity, motherhood, and leadership.

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  1. Andrea,
    I can’t imagine living what you lived through with small children?? God certainly poured out His grace upon you to do hope and community next to fear and tragedy. I do agree with you that fear and hope and coexist. It’s not always an either/or proposition….oh that it was. We are human and fear and anxiety will sneak in sideways if they have to. This is the second time this am. that I have ready Philippians 4:7. I think God is really trying to get the message across to me, that in this fear-filled, anxiety ridden world, it is only HIS peace that will guard our hearts and minds. We can’t muster up brave on our own. We need His peace to stand guard over our hearts and minds. Claiming His truth with you today. Thank you for sharing your raw testimony so that we might have hope.
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

  2. Thank you, Andrea, for your courage in living this story with such grace, and for affirming in the midst of it all the truth that is so foreign to our privileged North American ears and hearts: On this planet we live with one foot in celebration and one foot in lament. The dissonance will not be over until we see Jesus.

  3. This brought tears to my eyes. Tears of sadness for the suffering in this world, but tears of joy for the good that comes out of tragedy as our Creator flips it on its head. Tears as I see what your community did when threatened, they banded together in love. God is steadfast in working all things for our good as we turn to him. “Do not fear, I am with you.” Thank you for sharing this truth.

  4. Such a beautiful reminder for my family as we prepare to bury our 4 month old nephew tomorrow. God is with us in every tragedy! Blessings!

  5. Andrea,
    I’m so sorry you all were faced with such a terrifying tragedy.
    Then Hope came, waving (his little arms) away……, May we never loose it (Hope).
    Blessings to all,
    Penny

  6. “This season I saw peace amidst confusion, joy despite deep pain, and hope in the face of fear. Ignoring one without acknowledging the other wouldn’t tell the whole truth of what happened in Southeast Seminole Heights this fall.”

    There is so much truth here about experiencing these opposite feelings at the same time to feel the whole story. My friend just wrote a book about fear called Breaking the Fear Cycle, it’s excellent and has her raw story of experiencing peace in tragedy.

    Thank you for sharing how your community came together in the midst of fear I can’t imagine.

  7. Thank you for this post today. As we are living it right now..in our city , in our community , in our home . My son goes to MSD and our story the same here in Fla. bitter sweet is what comes to mind… lives changed for ever… God grant us peace in such trying times…. be blessed

  8. Oh, goodness. :'( So sorry that you lived through that, Andrea. I often prayed for your community during that scary time. — And, isn’t that just one of the truest mysteries of the faith—how heartbreak and hope can be fully present at once? Such a faithful God we serve, that even in the midst of pain, we have access to peace. — Will say another prayer for your community today as you all continue to move forward. ((hug))

  9. I have found it to be true though Proverbs 4:23 says for us to guard our hearts, it is His peace that really has to.

  10. Andrea,

    What a story & a testimony! It’s a shame that it takes tragedy to bring communities together. Hope & fear can & do coexist. We are fearful of the unknown, yet we have hope that God can bring some good out of it. We must not distress over tragedies, but pray for the victims & their families. We must get out & show our neighbors the love of God by coming together as a community & sharing in the pain.

    Blessings 🙂