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I ran through Bridgewater College’s campus this week. It’s a beautiful campus, intimate in its size, with towering trees and sturdy brick buildings. There is something peaceful and quiet about its nature. I’m not often on the campus, but when I am, I enjoy it. 

When I ran through it this week, it felt like something was different. Maybe it is just me and what is going on in my heart, but instead of the quiet feeling peaceful, it felt


Next Wednesday, February 1st, marks one year from the tragic shootings at Bridgewater College. 

Officer John Painter and Officer JJ Jefferson were killed in the line of duty, protecting the students and staff of Bridgewater College, as well as the citizens of the town of Bridgewater. 

I am forever grateful for their heroism. 

That day, my husband, Phillip, the Chief of Police of Bridgewater, was home. He received the call that he never wanted to –

Active Shooter.

Officers down.

Phillip rushed out the door and raced to the scene, not knowing what truly lay ahead.

I watched him go and I wasn’t sure if he would return. 

– – – – – – – – – – –  

I heard a quote this week – “You are immortal until God’s purpose for you is complete.” (Henry Martyn).

The quote kind of got to me as I thought about it because it felt like God was putting his finger on an area in my heart that needs refinement.


Being the wife of a police officer has not been easy. Some of the things that Phillip has seen and lived through are enough to shock you, disgust you and terrify you. And yet, it’s his job. 

In fact, it’s his calling. 

Even with the knowledge that God has called him to this position, I still struggle with the idea of losing him. I want to grow old with him. 

But God didn’t promise a long, happy life where you die in your husband’s arms like The Notebook. He did, however, promise that all of my days have been written in His book. And likewise, Phillip’s, as well as yours. 

“…all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” Psalm 139:16.

So knowing that, and knowing that Phillip is a faithful follower of Jesus, I do not need to live in fear. I can still desire to grow old with my husband, but my greater desire should be that Phillip and myself are living a life that is pleasing and glorifying to God. I do not need to live in fear of death, but in ready obedience to do what God has asked of me, because my day has already been determined by my Master. 

– – – – – – – – – –

I watched Phillip go that day, unsure if he would return, but what I was fully confident of was where he was going if that day would be his last. 

Phillip’s eternity is set.

Is yours? 

And as believers in Jesus, we are immortal until God’s purpose for us is complete. Our life is in His hands. So in the meantime, may we be faithful followers of Jesus, going and making disciples of all nations, baptizing them and teaching them to obey everything that Jesus has said. 

We need not live in fear, because Jesus is with us always, until the very end of the age. 

Thanks be to God. 

 – – – – – – – – – –

One more thing – You never know when your last moment on earth will be. John and JJ left their half eaten sandwiches to respond to the call of duty and never came back. What if that were you? Do you know where you are spending eternity? If not, I’d love to talk with you about it! Email me at

For my honest and vulnerable reflections from last year, please read Thin Blue Line, Blue Glow and Tipping the Balance.


  • Avatar Bonnie Graves says:

    As Phillip’s aunt who loves him dearly as well as his family, it would be so tragic to lose him! His uncle and I pray for him often, but God has numbered our days as he says in Psalm 139. We praise the Lord for the promise that absent from the body is to be present with the LORD. Thank you for your thought-provoking devotion.

  • Avatar Normand R. Mailhot says:

    Wow…awesome reflection. I pray for my wife this way often ,especially when she’s on the road back & forth to work…this should spur us on-me on- to tell her that I love her more often…

    I expect the hardest grieving is when folks lose a loved one full of regret…when my FIL died, there was rejoicing and singing by his 3 daughters and wife near his bed…knowing where he went…he had actually , in his last moments, looked in to the corners of his room with awe as if SEEING angels, God, Jesus?…3 times…then he left to go home. We all grieved later of course…BUT…how awesome heaven will be!…reunited…especially with Jesus !

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