My heart has been heavy the last few days. A deep sadness has rested on my heart.
There has been much in the news recently about a family whose 13 year old son was abducted and murdered by a serial violent pedophile. It took the family and police 10 long years to find their missing boy and bring to justice the evil man who perpetrated this shocking crime. My heart aches for this family, for their bravery and their single minded commitment to finding justice for their son. The case is now closed, justice has been served and the monster is now jailed for life. Yet this family will never be the same again. Their precious boy will never come home. Wounded for life. They have used their pain and incredible heartache to start a foundation in Daniel's name, to protect other children from such horror.
Our family has lived through its own heartache. We have been touched by brokenness and sorrow. Those who prey on children destroy the lives of their victims and their families. It is a difficult road to travel in the aftermath of such evil. As a parent of a child who was preyed upon, there is a pain so deep that overwhelms your heart and mind that you wonder if you will ever recover. To acknowledge that you were negligent in your duty to protect, to bear the guilt of it even though many kind friends say it wasn't your fault. It has been a difficult journey to take and one I wish that I did not have to travel.
The nightmare begins for you when the child is old enough and strong enough to share the terrible secret they were made to keep. They have been living their horrible nightmare for much much longer. Your heart breaks over and over again as you watch them struggle through the healing process. It is a long and terrible one. The sadder and angrier they are, the guiltier you feel. There were days when i felt that I could not bear the pain. My heart hurt as if it was physically broken. I clung to my heavenly Father's love and presence. I rarely asked why had this happened. My questions and recriminations were aimed at myself. Why did I not know these people were evil and not to be trusted? Why did I not notice at the time that things were terribly wrong? For many long years we dealt with our guilt, our pain and our sorrow.
Hanging on to hope is all there is...
But healing does come..
But one day
You learn how to smile again. You learn that healing and hope and joy are possible once more.
You learn that forgiveness is possible. That you can move forward and onward but you are never ever the same.
You are stronger, wiser and much more compassionate.
You know what really matters in life and what doesn't.
Pain and sorrow does that for you. It teaches you to value the important things in life.
Family. Love. Forgiveness. Peace. Grace. Goodness....