In the Spring of 2006, we were vandalized.
We were hit previously on Halloween of 2005.
Our 14 foot trampoline was cut around the rim with a box cutter.
The police said if one of the kids (3, 8, 12 and 15 at the time) had slipped their foot into the holes, they could have very easily lost that foot. The nylon weave is so taut that we didn't see the cuts. And because the sliced nylon was so sharp, well, you do the math.
Our white siding was spray painted.
Our roof was spray painted.
Even our wood pile was painted.
They came back 2 nights later.
Spray. Rinse. Repeat.
Our neighbours were spared.
Therefore, we knew, as did the police, that we were specifically targeted.
We weren't allowed to discuss it outside our home, because it was an ongoing case. Over time, we settled into our routine again and then...
April of 2006. Six months later. My husband was out of town. With both older boys. I was alone with a 3 year old and a stressed out 15 year old daughter. Poor girl. It affected her bigtime.
Then very late at night, I heard glass breaking.
And I felt God say, very clearly, "Don't move a muscle."
The next morning, I found this.
That little black bag to the left of the van? That's the CSI guy's goody bag.
That window shattered into THOUSANDS of tiny pieces. Our neighbours cleaned it up.
And this too.
Our world imploded into visits with the police, LONG discussions with detectives, neighbours, friends, pastors and finally the nice doctor in the ER who told me I was having "an externally triggered chemical imbalance".
I was having a meltdown. Annnnd I went on meds.
Between that weekend, and June, our lives were either normal or a whirlwind. Nothing in between.
Then one day, a crack in the case.
And another one.
We had alot of suspicions, and they proved true.
We chose to mediate with two different police forces and the families of the boys who did the crime.
But we learned, also, the lengths bullying can reach.
The fear of two of the boys was visceral and quite frightening. Two sets of parents were grieving what their sons had done. One set basically blamed the other two, even though their son was one angry and volatile young man.
The police knew exactly who did what.
So we chose restitution and a contract with the police to stay out of trouble. One of the nice police officers told the boys if any of them as much as jay-walked, they'd be in deep trouble.
I had to CHOOSE to forgive those boys. I absolutely had to.
Anger is never sated. Its appetite knows no bounds.
So over the summer, I'd see one of the boys working at the supermarket to pay off his debts. To us. I'd see the look in his eyes and change it with a "hello, how are you?"
I am not saying I changed this kid's life.
God's love for us both did that.
But I walked the road of forgiveness with that kid and sharing that experience with him was not easy, but God's grace took us one step further each day.
I received an email this morning that let me know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that grace is stronger than our trials, and God's memory is much longer than mine.
I'd forgotten about that day.
But these words brought it all back, and finally, we're on the sunny side of the mountain.
This was from his father, to a mutual friend.
By the way, remember the trouble that we had with D---- a while back? He is now Captain L----- and is making his mark as quite a leader in the Military. He is a God fearing, passionate young man. It is a good thing that everyone worked together to resolve that problem, otherwise his career would have been screwed.
I know it is quite while back but thank you. I don’t know if the Major’s still go to the church, but it would be nice to let the Mrs. Major know that D---- is doing very well. This was a significant event in his life to help him turn the corner from where he was headed as a follower , to become a leader.
I am SO proud of that young man. And thankful to have been a part of his life.