That's a sentence I NEVER expected to say. You see these things happen on the news all the time. It breaks your heart. You pray for all the people affected. But you never expect it to happen to you or anyone you know.
A little before 1:30 today, I finished a final in the ag building. As I was walking out of the computer lab, I saw a friend leaving his class too. I walked with him to his truck as we talked and caught up. He informed me that he was heading to the union, and I was starving so I asked if he could drop me off at the union as he went. As we were getting in his truck ready to head toward the union, a crowd of people started sprinting toward us. They said there was an active shooter on campus in the union and asked us to drive them away from campus. At first I thought they were kidding, but then I saw the terror in their eyes and more people running all over campus in all directions. They piled into the truck and we drove as fast as we could to town, meeting so more cops than I knew were even in the town of Jonesboro.
No one was injured, not even the gunman. There weren't any shots fired. Everyone on my college campus stayed safe today. God. Is. Good.
I want to share a few things I learned from this experience today.
1. Just like I stated above, God is good. He answered so many prayers today. He kept everyone safe. That in itself makes me want to cry as I type this. Someone walked onto our campus today with a gun and everyone survived. God is SO good.
2. You can never be over-prepared for an active shooter situation. We had to go to a mandatory active shooter class my freshman year, and it was good to know what to do in that situation. But honestly, when it happened today, I froze. If I hadn't been with someone or if those people hadn't asked us to go into town, I'm not really sure what I would have done. Don't ever think "this won't happen to me", because I thought that, and look what happened today. Always be prepared.
3. So many people love and care about me. I had people I barely talk to calling me, texting me, messaging me on facebook, checking in with my parents, etc. I am so loved in so many ways. It's times like these that make you thankful for friends and family.
4. Speaking of friends and family, I'm glad I know people who will let me hang out at their house without a vehicle until it's safe to go back to campus.
5. Don't take your cellphone for granted. I know that sounds silly, but my phone started screwing up before the shooter got to campus, so trying to get ahold of my parents to tell them I was okay and call my friends to see if they were okay was more than difficult.
6. This is just a repeat of #1 because it's that important. Today was an awful, scary day, but I have to praise God through it all for watching over this campus and the town of Jonesboro. He kept me (somewhat) calm, He watched over all the students and teachers, and He was with the many police officers who were on the scene immediately.
Today was scary. This world is getting scary. But God has been, is, and will always be awesome.