As I reflect over the last couple of days in what has and is happening in Thousand Oaks, CA with the shooting at Borderline Bar & Grill and now the wildfires in the same area, I pause to pray for those who have lost loves ones and for them to find comfort in those who are there for them.
The Pepperdine University community lost a student who was only a freshman due to the shooting at Borderline. I cannot fathom the heartache her family must be going through in losing her at such a young, vibrant age. My heart & prayers go out to Alaina Housley’s parents and her entire family. Her parents and uncle & aunt, are alumni of Pepperdine.
Why does this touch my heart so much?
The events do hit close to home for me. I lived on the campus at Pepperdine for 10 years. My dad was the full-time preacher for the church on campus, my mother worked as an administrative assistant in different areas on campus during the 13 years my parents lived there, my sister is an alumnus, and I worked on campus in different areas over the years. Pepperdine, Malibu, and the church on campus were all a big part of my life and will always be considered one of my homes. I am grieving with this community, thus the reason why I’m sharing a photo of me wearing black and a Pepperdine sweatshirt in the above photo. I have been praying and meditating for all who are affected by this tragic event as well as the wildfires.
Many of my friends have marked themselves safe through Facebook from the wildfires. Many are under mandatory evacuations. Some like those on the Pepperdine campus are either in the cafeteria or the gym which are safe places on campus during the wildfires. Pepperdine has seen many a wildfire and it has withstood each one. In the 10 years I was there and the 13 years my parents were there, there was minimal damage on campus anytime there was a wildfire. It is scary any time, but especially when it is your first time experiencing one. Those who are in other areas of the fire, I pray earnestly for their safety.
As I reflect over the last couple of days, the following prayer I keep saying & editing:
Heavenly Father! Lives have been lost today; cradle those souls in your arms. Uplift and give those who are grieving comfort to get through the hard days ahead. Hold them close and may your love radiate through others’ words & actions. Precious lives, Lord, give those who are in harm’s way of the wildfires refuge! Let them all know how much they are loved. May we rest in your grace & peace. Amen.