On October 2, 2006, Terri Roberts was sitting on the patio at work eating lunch with her best friend. She heard sirens and helicopters in the distance and realized that something of huge significance was occurring. She offered up a prayer for the responders to that emergency and before she answered a telephone call that would change her life forever.
A crime of incredible consequences
The helicopters were responding to a situation involving Terri’s son. He had committed a crime she could never have predicted or anticipated. He had killed and wounded several young Amish girls before he killed himself.
There were no warning signs to her, no reason to believe that this could possibly occur. She couldn’t make sense of it; though later, notes from her son were discovered by his wife (he was married and had children).
Afterward, Terri and her husband began to process this horrendous event and grieve the loss of their son. Because of his crime, they thought they would have to leave the area and start life fresh somewhere else.
The night they decided to leave…the unexpected happened.
CNN explains that Terri and her husband received a visit from Amish neighbors. You can imagine the pain they must have felt when they saw so many neighbors they loved who suffered the loss of these precious girls. She and her husband struggled to hold their head up.
The spokesperson for the Amish community astounded them with these words, “We forgive you!”
They were awed and speechless.
Since receiving forgiveness and moving forward, Terri has been busy helping others who have experienced similar tragedies and who need someone to talk to. She also helps to care for one of the wounded young girls.
The Amish community wanted Terri and her family to stay. In fact, they attended the funeral of her son and have been a constant source of support for her and her family.
This is such an amazing story of forgiveness that I could not resist publishing it.
Many of us struggle with anger, bitterness, hurt and pain caused by others. Yet, here is a story of intentional and direct granting of forgiveness that brought healing and inspiration to these devastated parents.
Very much like the Amish, we should realize the power of granting forgiveness for those who have hurt us. It is a blessing that God has given us that we should be granting to others who have hurt us.
Please check out Terri’s web site at www.joythroughadversity.com. I am quite sure you will be blessed and inspired as I was to hear this incredible story. Her story is also soon to be released in a book.
Who are the people in your life who need to be forgiven?
Is it your children, your parents, your friends or even your spouse? The power of forgiveness can change the course of someone’s life as it did Terri Roberts and the entire Roberts family.
Gerry Vassar, President/CEO, Lakeside Educational Network