Snuggled warm in bed.  Watching our sweet baby boy on the monitor.  Telling my husband how good this life is.  There is a loud noise?… it came from our son’s room.  I wonder if a picture could have fallen?  What else would be so loud?

Run in. See smoke.  Grab the baby.  Lay on the floor in our room.  I think, what the hell?  I attempt to nurse our now screaming baby while Brent attempts several times to get through to the Richmond Police.  Stand up… but he yells stay down! Third try, get the police on the line… WAIT.

15 minutes later… call police back? Where are you? When are you coming?  Oh you want someone at your house now. Ok, be there soon.

Police come.  Look around.  I beg to leave the house… gotta get the baby safe.  The police joke, must have been a kid playing? Playing, I think? Do they think this is funny?  Do they think bullets inches from my baby is a game?

The police laugh.  Soon they leave.  We travel to our families home and think what just happened?

That’s night one.

 


Soon we decide we gotta go.  4 bullets but many holes. Patch things up.  Sell our home.  Live with Mom and Dad.  Move out.

Loud noise.. jump.  On my own… scared.  Ashamed. Confused. Nightmares? Why. Panic? What. Fear? How.

Sleepless nights and scary dreams.  I’m always wondering what could happen to me?


Now, I am finally free.  I’m no longer scared.  I’m resting again.  Now able to forgive those who handled our ordeal so poorly.

This is where I am now. Finally, able to process some of what I have felt over the past two years.  Feeling very ashamed and confused by the fear I’ve dealt with for a long time.

I know it’s not the scariest story… and I could have been so much worse. I thank God it was just holes and a lost house over and over again.

I learned some things, though and I am sure will keep learning from that moment…unexpected events like that, have a way of teaching us.. well, when we let them…

I now know first hand that fear is powerful. I am sure that no act of violence is without lasting consequence. There is no such thing as a violent crime or gun crime that is not a big deal.

I really am SO thankful no one was hurt in our story. My heart hurts for those who haven’t been as lucky as me. Nonetheless, what happened to our family was challenging.

On NPR I heard a story about a man robbed at gunpoint, he wasn’t hurt, but he described the fear that tore apart his life after this one night.  I cried.  His story could have been much worse.. but there are always very real consequences in even for the most lucky, with this sort of event.  The beautiful part of that story was that both the victim and criminal have since found grace and forgave each other. Thank God.

I now know the effects of even the smallest act of this nature are so much farther reaching than just the event.  They scar. They steal. They cause pain.

Whoever shot in our home could have stolen our lives so it is by God’s grace we have been spared.  They did steal our home. For many months they stole my peace.  It is only through God’s goodness that my peace is now restored.

I forgive them.  I am sure they don’t know what their senseless act created in my life, how could they know?


I share this because I want you to know that trauma is powerful.  I wish I could talk to the police that responded and explain that their response lacked compassion and sensitivity. I’ve had to forgive them too.  I pray they are able to meet others in that moment of distress with more grace.

I know, I will no longer underestimate the power of violence nor the power of Jesus to overcome it’s grip on us.  I am so thankful for his mercy. It has carried me through

Amanda

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