Thursday, September 1, 2016

How Murder Shaped Me


1994, my high school graduation year, hope abides. Life has no limits. I feel as if I can rule the world. I endured suffering and fear at the tension and anxiety the class bully threw on everyone but this year I was in college. My life was finally free from the tension. Or was it?

That year, two girls were heinously murdered by three kids, all around my age. One of those perpetrators was this class bully we all feared. By all aspects of what information I have seen on the matter the crime was intentional. Some kids, 17 year olds, decided they didn't like some other kids so what did they do? They murdered them in cold blood. Kids, I went to school with, in my small town. The story gets even worse, to cover up what they did, they tried to burn the bodies. The mother of one of the perpetrators helped and then made them a pizza. What?! Is this the world I live in?

I didn't realize it then but this instilled a deep rooted fear in my life. Because I didn't know what to do with this horrible information, and didn't know how to grieve or filter it through a biblical worldview, for the next 21 years I would suffer with an unknown depression. A darkness that overwhelms me every anniversary month of these murders. The mind amazes me at how it tries to cope with hard things.

How does this shape us? Any trial or pressure we experience in life exposes the things we worship or don't worship. In my experience with these murders, I erected an idol of self-protection with some companions of control. These idols control our behaviors and responses to life.

What it exposed, despite the catechism and all the sin stained world I had seen, I wanted to believe that all people were inherently good. Much of the world wants to believe that too. Our fictional media often molds our thoughts to fit this box. Yet, we are born sinners. Nothing can deny that. I was glad to replace these thoughts with truth.

Yet, when I replaced these thoughts with truth of the real world, the idol of self-protection and control took over. If I can only control my environment then I will be safe. If only I can protect my self then I will be okay. I will do this at whatever cost possible. Then knowing this is not possible, depression hits and hopelessness takes over. Every anniversary month.

When God revealed this thought pattern, freedom came. We cannot trust ourselves to be sovereign. That job belongs to God alone. If we trust in God and His perfect plan, despite the confusion, we will be at peace in His capable hands. Nothing can come our way without His permission. Nothing. We have no need to fear or try to fix things or build walls of self protection. God is in control and God is good. That is all. I do not understand His thoughts. I do not understand why murder takes place besides the fact of the wicked condition of man. We are all capable of murder. We are all slaves to the sinful flesh apart from Christ. As the Bible says, "There is no one good. Not even one."

But in Christ, all things will be made right and all things will be restored. In Christ there is justice. In Christ there is hope.  So this October, I will be able to rightly tell this depression to leave because there is hope. "God is my refuge and strength, a very help in times of trouble." I pray this for each person involved or effected by this horrible incident so many years ago. I pray that we learn to put our hope and trust in Christ alone. May His peace comfort and strengthen each one.

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