That Christmas We Grieved

Photo Credit David Enge

Photo Credit David Enge

Two and a half years ago, the unthinkable happened. My friend, a beautiful young mom of two, went missing.

One average but luscious mid-summer evening, she attended a women’s Bible study at my house. By the end of the night, after we had closed in prayer, there were tears in her eyes. “I need to spend more time with Jesus,” she said.

That was the last time I ever saw her. An agonizing two months later, her body was found. And the police charged her husband with first-degree murder. Our church community teetered in shock.

The day after his arrest, her husband—her alleged murderer—phoned us from prison. “Will you take care of our boys?” he asked, his voice cracking.

My husband Andrew and I stared at each other, dumbfounded. Our own two children were nearing their preteen years. Were they ready to accept a new set of siblings into the family? In a fog of grief, we prayed for clarity. Yes. The clarity came. Our children would be mature enough to handle the change. We would obey God’s command to care for orphans. Amidst a whirlwind of transition and uncertainty, we agreed to grow our family overnight from four to six.

We had no idea what we were getting into.

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