On January 15, 2011, my daughter was killed by a drunken, stoned 19-year-old who got mad at her and shot her. She had only 4 days before she would have turned 18. Sometime in the weeks after she was killed, I was angry and frustrated, and took off running. During that run, I cried and I prayed for guidance. I was completely lost as to the direction to take in the wake of losing my precious Amanda. I wasn't sure I could survive.
But God reached down, picked me up, and set me on this course, this course of running to raise awareness of the dangers of teen substance abuse, to praise His holy name and declare to the world that only by the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ can I survive such a tragedy, and to remember my beautiful daughter who was taken from this world way too early.
Today's verse is sort of analogous with my journey through the tragedy of losing Amanda.
"When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins," ~ Colossians 2:13
While I hope and pray that none of you find yourself lost in the storm of losing a child, we all start out lost as sinners in this world. I was dead inside in the weeks following Amanda's murder, just like I was dead in sin before I placed my faith in Christ. But just like He forgave my sins when I invited Him into my heart, Jesus Christ made me alive again after Amanda's death. He gave me peace in the worst of storms. He gave me a purpose when I could see none. Yes, the love, grace, and mercy of Jesus Christ are the only reasons I can run today, and the only reasons I can go on living.
God made that peace available to everyone when He sent His Son to die on the cross for our sins. By believing in Him, anyone and everyone can have eternal life and the peace that comes with it. With Him, every one of us can survive any storm.
If you don't know Jesus as your personal savior, if you're missing the faith, hope, and love written about here, if you want the peace that we as Christians have in our lives, please visit our Got Jesus? page for step-by-step instructions on how to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior.