Thursday, May 5, 2016

Grieving For My Niece & Trying To Forgive Her Killer

"I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.
My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth."
Psalm 121:1,2
(KJV)

My heart is so heavy, as more details emerge concerning the heinous murder
of my precious niece, Victoria.
(Read original post here.)

I have been overwhelmed by the love and support shown to us in the aftermath of this tragedy.
Your precious comments, emails, acts of kindness, and prayers through this ghastly ordeal have meant the world to me.
I could never begin to thank you enough.

Yesterday, I heard a horn blowing in our driveway and walked out to find these beautiful flowers,
sent from our precious friend, Cindy.


I was completely overcome with emotion as they were handed to me.

Thank you ALL so much for all you have done to support and love us through this.

To say we are still in shock is such an understatement.
There are just no words.
At. All.
They fail me.
To even type the words "murder" and "Victoria" in the same sentence just doesn't compute.
What happened to her is incomprehensible.

I will never stop missing and thinking about her.
I will miss our phone calls and will forever reminisce upon the days of our growing up together.
I keep remembering how much my heart went out to her the last time I walked away from her hospital bed.
Zach and I had driven the 2 1/2 hour drive to be with her during the time of her last surgery.
That was the last time we saw her.
She seemed so alone....so pitiful.
I hated leaving her that day...perhaps down deep I suspected she wouldn't be with us much longer,
but my suspicions were based upon the many health issues she dealt with throughout life.
I never dreamed she would be forced to leave us so early...and by way of such unimaginable violence.
It makes my heart ache to think of what she endured during those last moments of life....
and to know that the face of her killer was the last face she saw.

God, please rest her soul.
Jesus, please hold her close.
Please let her know how much she was loved...
how much we will miss her...
how much we mourn her loss.

What amazes me is that a human being could possess the capacity to inflict such
horrific, vile injury and be filled with such strong rage that it would overpower every other emotion, 
and enable them to snuff the very life out of another.
That one could do such things and walk away from the scene without evident remorse
just completely boggles my mind and leaves me speechless.

How does a person come to such absence of conscience?
It makes me think of I Timothy 4:2...
"Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron..."

Seared with a hot iron.

Seared means...
"cauterized, which destroys the spiritual nerve-endings.
After this, the person no longer feels obvious impulses.
Their feelings are rendered insensitive."

If spiritual nerve-endings are cauterized, there is no feeling.

Ephesians 4:19 says, 
"Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, 
to work all uncleanness with greediness."

Being past feeling.
Can you even imagine?
Past feeling.
Insensitive.
Numb.
Callous.

Only one in such a state could repeatedly insert a knife into the flesh of another person.
He even stabbed her face.
Oh, dear Lord, help us!
I must say that I am struggling.
I feel so tempted to open the door of my guarded heart and allow just the slightest tinge of hatred
to slip in and lodge there.
There are moments when I sense bitterness walking closely behind hate,
and I nearly succumb to them both.
I look at his picture online, and I read that he is still on the loose,
and I wonder...does he realize what he has done?
Does it even cross his mind to care how much he has hurt us?
Does he comprehend how very precious her life was...to her, to her little girl, to so many others?
Does life mean so little to him?
How does one come to a place of such disregard for it?
Where is he hiding?

As I think of my dear niece and I look into the eyes of her killer on my laptop screen,
I find that the only way I can come close to beginning to forgive him for taking her from us,
is to remember one thing.
Beyond his eyes....stone-cold, void of emotion, and empty...is a soul.
This man seems more like a monster.
Surely only a monster...or an animal could do what he has done.
Could a human do this?

In reality, he has an eternity-bound human soul that our loving Lord and Savior bled and died for.
He will one day face Almighty God.
He will give an account for every knife wound inflicted, along with every other deed done in this life.

"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad."
2 Corinthians 5:10

What strikes me as utterly tragic is this...
when he stands there on Judgment Day,
will he stand there unforgiven?
Will someone, at some point, have found a way to introduce him to Jesus...
the One who forgave His own murderers while hanging, blood-soaked on a cross?
Will my niece's murderer ever repent and surrender his all to Him?
I find it hard to imagine that he even can be forgiven.
God's Word hidden deep in my heart reminds me that he can.

I pray so hard that the Bureau of Investigation finds him SOON...
that they apprehend him quickly...
that he will be brought to justice...swiftly.
The not-so-sanctified part of me cries out for him to suffer for what he has done to her...
to my dear brother...to all of us.
It scares me to think such unholy thoughts.
I am ashamed to admit it, but a not-so-what-it-should-be portion of me thinks it would only be right for him to undergo the same, exact torture he inflicted upon my niece.
For a split-second longer-than-a-Christian-should-wish moment, 
I long for the Old Testament God to rise up and take vengeance on the wicked.
I find myself thinking that the logic of Deuteronomy 19:21 has never sounded more just.
"Show no pity: life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot."

Isn't this the kind of retribution he deserves?

Retribution...
punishment inflicted on someone as vengeance for a wrong or criminal act.

Then I remember....
Deuteronomy 19:21 was written pre-grace.
The Old Testament God is the same as the New Testament God,
but punishment has already taken place when He, Himself, willingly owned and accepted responsibility for every sin of every person and died in the most brutally-horrific killing of all time.
I find myself hating to admit it, but Jesus died for the man who killed my niece.
The same grace He extends to me for my own sins,
is mercifully extended to the man who took it upon himself to presumptuously take her life.

We Christians tend to compartmentalize sin.
It makes us feel better in times like these.

In reality, God is love.

And, I tell you the truth, dear friends,
it is HIS love upon which I now depend.
This inward fight against hate and bitterness is powerfully strong.

Love is always stronger than hate.

"Perfect love casteth out fear."
I John 4:18

Revenge belongs to God.

"Vengeance is Mine; I will repay, saith the Lord."
Romans 12:19

I ask that you please pray most for my dear brother, David.
Victoria was his youngest daughter.
His heart is so broken.
He seems inconsolable.
Oh, it hurts to see him suffer like this!
How much more must it sadden the heart of our loving God?
This is the second adult child that he and my sister-in-law have lost since last January.
(You can read about Jimmy here.)
Please pray for God to lift them up in His loving arms and comfort them and relieve their pain.

"For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; 
but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin."
Hebrews 4:15

As I opened email early this morning, this song was in our inbox.
I have listened to it multiple times today, 
as the words have washed over my soul and tears have streamed from my eyes.
I needed this.
Please take the time to listen.



If video doesn't load, click here.

And, this song.
It has blessed me in the past, but never more than it has lifted me today.
Please listen.



If video doesn't load, click here.

May God have mercy upon us all.

62 comments:

  1. Dearest Cheryl, I cannot begin to imagine the devastating pain you and your family are feeling, especially your dear brother. I continue to pray for you all, and the first song hits it on the nail...Thy will be done. God is in control, and He has allowed Satan reign (within God's limits), and I yearn more and more to be Home with Him. Just as the thief on the cross was drawn to the Savior, I pray that this murderer might be drawn to Him as well. And I pray that healing will come to your family in God's way. I don't know what that will look like, but God does. In the meantime, I pray for comfort as He draws you closer to Himself...through His Word, through the Holy Spirit, and the many wonderful expressions of love like these flowers! Tender and loving hugs, precious friend! xoxo

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    1. Thank you SO very much for your precious words...they were so comforting to me! I cannot express to you how much we appreciate your prayers during this terribly painful time. Surely God is in control, and our eyes are upon Him. Sending you much love and gratitude, dear, sweet friend!

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  2. I am so sorry to hear of this awful, terrible thing happening to your precious niece. {{{Hugs}}} My heart aches for you and your family. It is so hard when a loved one dies, but when that life is taken from them, it is just unimaginable. It isn't natural and we can't fully process someone being able to do such a thing to another.

    My family has also been touched by murder, on both my mama's side and my daddy's side. My mama's brother and his wife were shot to death as she held their 18 month old daughter. My daddy's cousin was a cab driver and was killed by a passenger. The pain, the anger...it makes it very hard to forgive. I think that you are doing good for yourself- and for us - to admit the pain and anger, what you wish but know you shouldn't. We are all human...it is normal to want to hurt them like they've hurt us. Thankfully, Heavenly Father understands and forgives us these things. He understands our pain. It is good for you to talk about it. Please know that you have prayer support out here in Texas. Again, I am so very sorry and pray that they get this evil man captured soon. {{{Hugs}}}

    Your sis in Christ,
    Suz

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    1. You are so right, sweet friend...it is unimaginable. Oh, my! I am SO sorry for the horrible losses you have experienced in your family! That is just awful...bless your dear hearts! I do trust Jesus to bless and comfort all of you, too. It just means the world to me to read your precious comments...I find great comfort in them. Thank you ever so much for every kind word, and may God bless you and your family abundantly. Sending you much love and thanks!

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  3. This is a very brave and powerful post, Cheryl. Thank you. It must have been very painful to write it whilst the shock and anguish of your sad news is still so raw in your hearts. But thank you again for your courage in writing this; because somehow, somewhere, rest assured it will have helped others reading it and suffering similar situations.

    Please be assured that we are praying for you and your whole family at this very difficult time for you all. Emotions are obviously all over the place right now but in our confusion and despair the one certainty in all this is that God is in control. He has allowed this tragedy to happen for reasons best known to Himself; and our questioning will not lead us anywhere, natural as this quetioning is. However, by keeping our focus on Him, by leaning on Him for some comfort and consolation, we strengthen and re-affirm our Faith and Trust that He will see us through our difficult times to better things to come.

    Cheryl, I hope that what I have written on my Blog about Hope today, may be of some comfort to you and yours.

    Praying for you all.

    God bless.

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    1. Thank you, dear Victor. Yes, your post was very helpful and comforting and encouraging. We appreciate you so much and thank you for your kind words and faithful prayers. God bless you abundantly.

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  4. Hi Cheryl, I want to begin by thanking you for your comment on my honeybeeborn blog, it came through my e-mail, but I can't find it on the blog to recomment back to you. I am not ignoring you. I searched your blog a little bit and I am saddened by this hurt in your life. No one deserves to be put through such a tragedy. It is all because of sin. I agree with you, that Jesus died for this man. And I will pray that he accepts Christ as his personal Savior. No one on earth can bring back your niece, but God can give comfort and peace. I will pray for you and your family.

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    1. Thank you so much, dear Ellen. As I read your words, I thought of the Scripture where David said that his baby could not come back to him, but he (David) could go to him. One day, there will be a glad reunion in Glory, and there will be no more sad good-byes and no more evil. Thank you for stopping and for your precious words and encouragement. God bless you!

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  5. Cheryl, I can't imagine your pain right now! yes, as you know, i'm new to your blog. in the middle of grief, to be struggling with trying to forgive. i think the promise of GOD in Paul's letter is comforting at times like this: And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (Phil. 1:6)

    the only way forgiveness takes place is through a miracle of GOD working it out in you. yes, you must cooperate for sure! you cannot hold onto the resentment and feed unforgiveness stewing in your soul. often, it can hurt you more than the person who you need to forgive. but we also need to see it as a process.

    it doesn't happen overnight...as much as we would love for that to be! add the entanglements of grief and loss to the equation and you realize that it will take time. we are broken, our world is broken.

    but there will come a time when the pain will begin lessening. You will realize He is working forgiveness in your heart that you know only came from Him...and you will be thankful for the grace He has grown in you because you know it was not natural. And that's what the work of GOD is, isn't it? hallelujah!

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    1. Thank you, dear Martha, for sharing your thoughts. I so appreciated you taking the time to say what God placed upon your heart, and I loved the Scripture you shared. May the dear Lord bless you abundantly, my friend.

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  6. Oh Cheryl, I wish I could sit with you and help. What horrible sadness and shock you must all be in. I am so sorry.

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    1. How very sweet and kind of you, Rhonda. Your words and concern are so comforting and such a blessing. God bless you richly, in return.

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  7. Dear Cheryl, I think every feeling you are fighting against is so human, please don't put yourself down for having them. Of course you feel horrid, you feel like striking out, your mind is in such pain for your niece, brother and your own family. This is an unimaginable sadness and tragedy. And I'm not sure those words even cover what you're going through.
    May God send his powerful and healing grace to you and yours as you walk these next days. He knows you so well, and knows what will help. He loves you with an everlasting love and he will not disappoint.
    I do pray that this man is found and brought to justice.
    Thanks be to the Lord who has given you such wonderful friends to pray and be a comfort to you. God is working, even now. May he show you today his tender mercies.
    Blessings,
    Ceil

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    1. Dear Ceil! I am struggling so much to try to keep the right attitude and not hate. Thank you for your kind words and for reminding me that this is all human and normal. I so appreciate all you said and trust God to abundantly reward you for being so kind. Yes, He is working....I choose to believe that. I am not sure why He allowed it, but surely He doeth all things well.

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  8. I'm praying for you, dear friend. I feel so burdened for your loss, and will pray for the man, too.

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    1. Oh, dear Hannah! Thank you so very much for your sweet, kind words an prayers. They truly mean so much. I know you have a lot on your mind as you prepare to leave, and I am praying for you, dear friend.

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  9. @ Cheryl
    wonderful, precious friend, I have only words to trying to help you, but I think, indeed, I'm sure that the comfort and the help can come only from God, in Whose arms I'm sure she's lying ... of course, the horrible pain is for those who survive and go on grieving all their life long !

    Sending much love, hugs and more hugs to you, thinking of you and praying for you all ...

    Dany

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    1. Yes, dear friend, you are so right....but your precious words ARE such a dear comfort, too. I so appreciate you, and I am using my beautiful bookmark, and each time I look at it, I think of you and your incredible kindness to me. God bless you abundantly, sweet friend.

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  10. Dearest friend, words would not, could not begin to tell you the depth of my sorrow over this terrible incident. I truly am at a loss. I know that I know that God is in control. But oh, life itself sometimes spins out-of-control and beyond our feeble attempts at comprehending its twists and turns. I suppose this is why we are counseled to *lean not* on our own understanding. For indeed, sometimes life does NOT make sense. I will be praying for you and your family as you strive to bear this unbearable grief. I will pray that justice prevails. I will pray for God's supernatural strength to find forgiveness, so the enemy doesn't gain a foothold in any heart that follows the Lord. And I will pray for those who need Him so desperately at this time.

    Please know that I grieve with you - "mourn with those who mourn." I do, indeed.

    Thank you for your very honest words here. For expressing the very real struggle of the *flesh* against the spirit within us. Your honesty and vulnerability will help so many who struggle to find God in the midst of anger and grief and inconsolable powerlessness.

    Love you...GOD BLESS.

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    1. Dear, precious Sharon! Your dear words and empathy and compassion are beyond precious to me. I know you truly do mourn with those who mourn...how I love and appreciate you and your heart for God and others! May the dear Lord bless you abundantly.

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  11. Oh, my dear Cheryl. I had no idea this had happened to you and your family. I am so very sorry for your loss and your grieving heart. So many things in life we will never understand, and it's during those dark times of confusion that we have to place our faith and trust in a God who loves us. That's all we can do. You and your family are in my prayers.

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    1. You are so right, Gayle. I don't think we will ever understand on this side of eternity, and when we get to Heaven, it won't matter anymore. You will never know how very much I appreciate your prayers and love and support. Sending you much love and gratitude, in return.

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  12. I am praying for you and your family as you face these days without yet closure. I pray, too, that the killer is found and becomes saved. I am so sorry for all your pain. But I know you are close to Jesus and He comforts the brokenhearted. I send my hugs and love, Cheryl.

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    1. Thank you so much, dear Mary! Jesus is the healing balm for all of our wounds, and yes, dear friend, He surely comforts and is close to the brokenhearted. So thankful for your kind words of comfort. God bless you for praying for us and being such a long support. Sending much love to you this day...Happy Mothers Day!

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  13. Cheryl, I am praying for you and your family. I have been so grieved over Victoria's death and the whole situation. Like I've always said, I wish you and I lived closer. I wish I could be there now to wrap my arms around you and to pray with you. There is so much going on with all of us. 2016 has surly been some kind of year so far. There is so much to pray about. I feel a urgency for some serious prayer. There are so many things that I know that I am not yet able to understand. Only God knows. Often times, I don't even have words to pray. I watched this video on youtube a couple nights ago and I want to share it with you because I thought of you. This is my song to you, dear friend. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J3S-JG9qiBY The McKameys- The Holy Spirit Prayed

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    1. Yes, dear friend, it would be a wonderful comfort to kneel and pray with you today. Thank you ever so much for sharing that song and for your dear words and loving friendship. You are dear to my heart, and I love you so much. God bless you with your own sorrow over your dear Daddy's illness and problems. I am praying for you, too. Keep encouraged.

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  14. Cheryl, I am so sorry about the loss of your niece. I remember after the murder of an uncle - dealing with the understanding of grace and showing it to others even when they don't deserve it. It is hard. I am praying for all of you!

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    1. Oh, my, Abbi! That is just awful that your uncle was murdered. God rest his soul and comfort your hearts in times of grief. I so appreciate your precious prayers for us. God bless you and your family. Thank you so much for stopping by.

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  15. P.S. I mentioned this post in my latest blog.
    Love you!

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    1. I read it, Chris. Thank you ever so much for your precious support, love, and friendship. Love you, sweet friend.

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  16. Life brings us such unexpected things, and as I read your post Cheryl... I felt the spirit of the Lord moving in your heart even as you wrote those difficult things. Because we, as humans, cannot change the human emotions that come to us, raw, and ugly as they are... but what we can do is take them to Jesus, which is just what you have done, and it is that turning to the Lord that brings forth the strength in our lives to deal with, and work through those painful horrible things. Just exactly what you have done, is to take the hurt and pain of this terribly tragic incident and ask the Lord to bring mercy, love, and forgiveness instead. No, we cannot imagine the depth of the dark wickedness that exists, but we have experienced the hope that is in Christ, and that is what we must focus on. My heart is crying in sorrow with you for the loss of this precious soul on this earth, and praying, and asking the Lord for some good, for great mercy as only He knows how to give, to come forth out of this situation. We are continuing in prayer for you dear Cheryl, and praying that you have a blessed Mother's day... you do the work of a mother here as you minister in love to so many hurting hearts!

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    1. Oh, dear friend! Thank you ever so much for all you said...it meant so much. The dear Spirit of God is so near...I don't know what people do without Jesus to turn to in such awful times. I just can't imagine that she is really gone...oh, the past several days have been quite hard. God is proving that His Word is true, and His promises are firm to stand upon. I hope you are having a wonderful mothers day, too, dear friend. God bless you! Thank you SO much for your words...they were SO comforting to me!

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  17. What a terrible tragedy you are facing. I pray for you and your family and also your brother and his family. I can't even begin to imagine what you are going through. I'm so sorry to hear about your loss.

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    1. Thank you, dear Kelly....it was so kind of you to stop by and leave such encouragement here. God bless you abundantly for your prayers and sweet words. Thank you ever so much!

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  18. Such strong words in the face of such tragedy. Thank you for demonstrating the reality of what you believe.

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    1. Thank you, Michele....how kind of you. God bless you abundantly for stopping and leaving such a precious comment.

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  19. I have no words... only a heart of compassion and
    prayer to God.
    Hugs,
    Laura

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    1. And, that is so precious to us right now. Your dear prayers and concern are such a comfort to me, dear friend. Sending you much love and gratitude.

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  20. Dearest Cheryl,
    This tragedy has pressed upon my heart ever since you posted about it.
    I have thought of you and your family for days upon days and held you up to the Lord in prayer knowing and trusting that He will meet your every need for every hour.
    We can call upon the name of the Lord, and we can trust Him to meet us through His faithfulness as we cry out with heavy hearts.
    Your heart felt post here shows forth such a beautiful testimony of your walk and strength in your Savior.
    May you continue to hold fast to the One who cares for you and who will never leave or forsake you.
    Much love and hugs are sent your way, dear friend.
    Debbie

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    1. Dear, precious Debbie! I so appreciate your concern and prayers. It truly means so much to me and my family. I so appreciate your kind words here...God is so good to have allowed us to meet and walk this blogging journey together. Sending you much love and gratitude.

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  21. Dear sweet Cheryl, The transparency in which you wrote this post was more of a testimony to your obedience to the Lord in every circumstance, even the most unimaginable. Your post conveyed the inner struggle within and how the Word of God hidden deep in your heart has the ultimate victory even in such horrific circumstances.

    Cheryl, you are such an example of mercy and grace. O how pleased the Lord is with you!

    My heart continues to grieve with you and your family. You are always close in thought and prayer.

    May the God of all Comfort continue to comfort you.

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    1. Thank you, my dear, precious friend, for your comforting, kind, encouraging words. You will never know how much they meant! I cannot thank you enough for your faithful prayers and support. An arrest has not been made, so your continued prayers for that, would be so appreciated. Sending you much love and gratitude.

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  22. I pray that your writing will act as a healing presence to your wounded heart.

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    1. Thank you, dear Sue. What a kind thing to say! God bless you for your comforting words.

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  23. I understand your pain, as we too lost a beloved Aunt by murder. Her family was never the same, but God did bring them around as many years passed by. This kind of forgiveness cannot be our, but we must appropriate the forgiveness of Jesus for the man who did this.
    Yes, all those thoughts of Old Testament revenge do go through our minds, and we dare to hope that God will somehow punish him now in this world. Only God can bring comfort and I pray that he will release His gentle Holy Spirit to surround and comfort you, your brother, and the entire family. May God heal your broken hearts. Thank you for sharing with us here at Tell me a Story.

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    1. Oh, NO, Hazel! I am SO sorry to hear of your horrible loss. Thank you for your kind, precious words here. We appreciate them so much.

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  24. I pray for the God of all comfort to heal your broken heart. Words will never do justice to this situation.

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    1. Thank you so much, dear Angela. Your words and visit have meant so much to us. God bless you abundantly.

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  25. Cheryl, sweet dear friend, I am praying for you and yours. I am heartbroken that you must endure such pain and grief. Continue to find your peace and comfort in the almighty God. God be with you all.

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    1. Dear, precious Naomi! I cannot thank you enough for your precious words of comfort and encouragement. You are such a dear blessing to me.

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  26. I so feel for you and have struggled with the same thing for 13 years now after my brother was brutally murdered. I fluctuate between rage and the conviction of my need to forgive. Indeed the fight against hatred and bitterness is strong and only the Lord can help us to get to the point of forgiveness. Praying for you and your family and so terribly sorry you have had to suffer this loss

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    1. Oh, NO, Su! I am deeply sorry for your terrible loss and grief, too. Bless your dear heart God bless you abundantly for reaching out to us through your own pain.

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  27. So sorry for this unspeakable tragedy. It's so very natural to want to respond with hate and bitterness, but as you said, God's way is not the natural way. Only as you give yourself to Him and take your very broken heart to His feet, He will bring healing, restoration and wholeness. Blessings on your whole family.

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    1. Thank you so much, dear Karen, for your visit and kind words They are so true. God bless you abundantly for reading and commenting.

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  28. Hi Cheryl. Such a heartfelt post. I am not sure how I would handle things if I were in your or your family's shoes. Such a tough one. Easy for me to say that Jesus died for him too. But if I were in the midst of this pain I may not feel so generous of spirit. It speaks volumes of your heart sweet lady that you can even acknowledge that he too is redeemable. Thanks for linking up
    God bless
    Tracy

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    1. Thank you, dear Tracy, for your understanding and love toward us during this time. I so appreciate you and your support and friendship. May God bless you abundantly.

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  29. My heart aches for you and your family, Cheryl. Such a devastating loss. I'm so, so sorry. You are so brave to write honestly about this. Please don't feel guilty if you can't immediately forgive your niece's murderer. Jesus understands and He will help you to forgive in time. Grieving is a long process, and forgiveness can be, too. Praying right now for you and your family. May God help you all to grieve and give you healing and grace to make it through each day! Hugs! I love the songs! Thank you.

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    1. Dear, sweet Trudy! Your words have deeply touched my heart and brought such comfort! May the dear Lord richly bless you, in return. :)

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  30. I can't begin to grasp what you and your family are going through... and I have to admit that my mind lasts in that moment of flesh longer than yours for what this guy's done.

    I'm praying for your entire family... and him. Only by your words and heart used by God could I come to that state of being right now...

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    1. Thank you so much, brother. It is all so incomprehensible, and surely God is in control. I can't thank you enough for your kind visit and words and faithful support. God bless you richly.

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  31. Oh, Miss Cheryl, my heart is so very heavy for you and your family. I am sorry for what has happened and I am hurting for you as you wade through the emotions, thoughts and aftermath. I can empathize with the pain, anger and hatred you are all tempted to feel and if I can than I know Jesus can ten times fold. He knows your pain and hurt beyond any human and He loves you through it. He cares deeply for you and yearns for you to run to Him with it.

    You all will be in my prayers.

    I'm especially writing to say how very sorry I am that I haven't sent my stationary package to you yet! Please forgive my irresponsibility! I've let some minor things over-swamp me and I am sorry for not sending when I should have. I hope you forgive me! I will be sending your package soon and hope you will enjoy it's contents. :)

    Which reminds me ... your package was such a delight to receive! Thank you so much! I loved the variety of cards, the darling tea bag holder, and the other goodies you sent. A proper thank you card will be coming your way but I thought I should let you know how much I enjoyed it so far.

    Thank you for being who you are and loving a perfect stranger through a gift exchange! I'm glad it was fun for you to shop during this very difficult time.

    Blessings!

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    1. Dear, precious Frannie! Oh, how your words blessed and comforted my heart tonight! Thank you for your kindness, your compassion, your love, and your prayers. It all means SO much more to me than I can express. PLEASE do not feel bad about the package...it just gives me something to still look forward to! I do not want you to worry or rush around or feel stressed. It will arrive when it is supposed to and when God wants it to. :) I am just thrilled that you liked your package...I had SO much fun shopping for you, dear friend. I feel like I have known you for years. Isn't it neat how the Holy Spirit unites us this way? Perfect strangers...yet, the same blood of Jesus runs through our veins, so that makes us related in Him! So thankful for you and your precious visit. God bless you abundantly!

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