On a happy note, Matthew encouraged Noah and Eli outside yesterday. They would not be alone and they actually played in our other neighbors yard where they couldn't see the scene, but they did go outside and I even heard some laughter. As I talk to the rest of my kids we try to remember and treasure the time we did have with Puppy rather than focusing on how tragically and quickly his life ended. We still step over boards that kept Puppy out of the living room even though they are gone. We still expect Puppy to come running when we drop a crumb or walk in the door. There's no telling what will bring a tearfall but we are intentionally trying to move forward treasuring the love and memories. We feel your prayers as God is slowly helping us heal in the midst.
I have a niece who is autistic and she is one of my greatest joys. When she heard that our Puppy had died she decided to pray. (For her own protection she doesn't know the whole story of how.) After she was in bed for the night my sister heard her moving around upstairs and found her seeking privacy in the bathroom to pray. She insisted that she needed to pray so my sister gave her 10 minutes. After 10 minutes she put her to bed. A few minutes later my niece came down the stairs very happy, telling her mom that God said, "Yes." My sister inquired the next morning and my niece said she had two things she had to ask God. First - would we all be safe. Second - will Noah and Eli ever be happy again. She could not have known those were my two deepest questions and I am treasuring and clinging to the promise from the mouth of a babe. Sometimes when the darkness threatens to consume and swallow me up I remind myself aloud, "God said, 'Yes'." Prayers for protection would be much appreciated as Eli keeps asking who Chris will kill next and I can't say I don't wonder with him, but I will cling to the promise that no matter what happens here I have a home in Heaven and so do all of my family members.
That brings me to the thing that keeps going through my mind. This man needs prayer for healing and salvation. I am humbled and amazed when I think that my own sin brutally killed God's own son right before the eyes of his mother and Father, yet if I ask God, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins. He not only forgives but offers freedom and life abundantly forever. Yet there are many who know about the story and they choose not to accept that forgiveness. They try to justify in so many ways through good works hoping that the good will somehow outweigh the bad. They compare themselves to people like Chris and claim they aren't that bad so somehow they should get a free pass. But please hear the heart that is bleeding for you if you are one who has not received the free gift of salvation. All of our sins brutally killed Jesus who was absolutely innocent. Everyone of us is guilty of sin before a holy God. Just as Puppy took the bullet that could have gone crazy and struck one of my children, Jesus Christ took the bullet called sin that would have killed each of us and because of his unjust sacrifice we are free to live in the safety of His home, if we will just accept the invitation. That my friends is radical undeserved forgiveness and if my God can forgive me, then somehow with His help we will be able to forgive, also. Please pray for Chris that he also will give his heart to Christ who can heal all the pain that is built up inside him that would cause him to react to a Puppy in such an irrational manner.
If you have never known the joy of forgiveness would you please pray to our loving Savior and ask him to fill you with His Life. Let me know you have so I can celebrate with you. If you don't have a church find one and tell them so they can encourage and celebrate with you. If you live near Bowling Green, I happen to know a church who will do just that. It is Dayspring on Route 25 and you are invited anytime. (Sun 9 or 11, Wed 7)
If you do know Jesus and you have a home church then please pray with us. This is the prayer we would like you to agree with us on.
You know every detail of what happened last week and you know how deeply everyone involved is hurting. Please be near to the broken-hearted and bring healing. Give peace where there is fear and comfort where there is pain. Help us to forgive the unforgivable despite our desire to become bitter. Do not let bitterness have it's way in our lives. We pray that you would protect us and not allow any more harm to come to any of the people involved. Please provide us the ability to get a fence and to know when it is safe again to bring another puppy home. Be our defender and let Truth reign in this situation. Give us patience as justice seems too slow and the void that was Puppy screams for justice. Help us to lean into You and give us strength for each new day.
In Jesus name,
Thank you again, to all of you. Your prayers have literally carried us this far.
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