I have some writing to do. The last few months have been hard.. too sorrowful for words.
I’ve been praying for words for the last several weeks, because I know that if I don’t write now it’ll be several more months before I will be able to write again. We have our first “court setting” in April. We don’t know if there will be a trial or not. We do know that we “have” to go. I’ve been asked the question several times. Well meaning friends don’t want us to “have” to suffer through a trial. They don’t understand what staying home would feel like… how it would be an abandonment of Joel.. a denial of our love for him.. how it would look to a jury. They need to see that Joel is important to us.. that we love him.. that he is a real person.. that loosing him hurt us.
If Joel’s shooter takes a plea bargain or pleads guilty, we won’t have to face a room full of jurors. Either way we will have to face Joel’s shooter (Tim) and a judge and a sentencing. There is even more evidence against him than we realized. He passed his mental evaluation. When the woman from Victim Services called to tell me the “good news,” she couldn’t understand how I couldn’t be glad with her the evening before the first anniversary of Joel’s Heaven day. We’ve been told that a trial won’t help his case, but if or not we have go through one is up to Timothy; up to if or not he has enough courage to stand before a judge and plead guilty.
My heart toward Timothy remains the same as it has from the beginning. I pray that when we meet him for the first time, that we will be able to show him God’s love and forgiveness toward him.. that that Love will overwhelm him and bring him and his whole family to salvation.. that one day he will live a life that is truly free and happy and full of love and salvation.
Please be praying for us, the other families involved in the case, and for Timothy..
Ephesians 3:14-21 “For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height – to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”
You WILL be able to share God's grace through your love for Joel. I, like many others, can't fathom the depth of your pain…as you know God's grace goes so much deeper…He will speak through you and I hope you will be given the opportunity to show that grace to Timothy. I am glad you posted this, because I now have a name to put to prayers. Timothy has opportunities that were taken from Joel…if he can serve them in the way that Joel's heart for Christ would serve, what a glorious gift to Joel's legacy. What a rejoicing there will be in Heaven to see the souls that were saved out of this tragedy. I am lifting you up in prayer and know that while those around you may be stuck for words or not quite know how to comfort you that we are covering you in prayer…and we are all blessed to see God's mercy working through your heart of loss.
My dear sister, my heart is with you. Both in your sadness and your willingness to forgive.