Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Forgiven by Terri Roberts with Jeanette Windle

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This is an amazing story of forgiveness.  Remember the Nickel Mines Amish School shooting? This is the side of the story told by the killer's mother, Terri. She talks about the shock and horror they felt when they heard their son had done this awful thing and then she talks about the way the Amish extended forgiveness immediately to them and how in the years that followed her and her husband Chuck became very good friends with the Amish.

It's a story of grace and forgiveness and healing after a tsunami swept through and destroyed the old normal.  It's a story that is pertinent today because forgiveness is always pertinent. I can't imagine being Terri and Chuck or Charlie's wife, Marie, left to deal with the aftermath of such a disaster.  Trying to understand what would drive a man to do such a heinous crime; a man who was a family man, who provided and took care of his wife and children.

Terri talks about learning to give thanks in everything as she battled breast cancer and then when "The Happening" (as the Amish called it) happened, she felt God telling her to give thanks again in everything and it was hard for her to do, but as she was willing she could find things to be thankful for.

To me, it is an amazing testimony of what God can do when you are surrendered to Him. The Amish extended an open hand of forgiveness, they would go along with Terri as she gave talks on what she had learned and they would call her to help others in their group extend that same forgiveness.

In her last chapter entitled "What Now?", Terri gives a few pointers on what to do.

1. Move forward. This involves taking a deliberate step while still maintaining a perspective of grief and pain.

2. Think on These things. When dark times or memories of the sad event want to occur, think about the happy memories.

3. Practice forgiveness. Bitterness will lead to the choices her son made and that is not good.

4. Make right choices.

5. Share your story with others. It might bring healing to another person.

6. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate! Be willing to ask hard questions even if it may make you seem nosy.

7. Pray with Thanksgiving

8. Focus on Eternity.

I highly recommend this book.  It touched me and I want to reach out and offer forgiveness easily and quickly.  Nothing in my life has been close to as traumatic as having my son kill innocent people and then commit suicide, but life isn't a picnic and living with people and building relationships requires a forgiving spirit to work through misunderstandings and I want to do that.

At the time of her writing, Terri had just found out that her cancer was back, Stage IV. She didn't know what the next bends in the road would look like, but she was determined to walk them with God.

This book was given me by Bethany House Publishers for the purpose of reading and writing a review.  All opinions expressed are my own.

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