As June 10 marked three years since this tragic day, some great things have come about. First of all, we left for MFUGE this day. It was a tough decision in planning, but Belinda felt that was when we needed to go. She did amazing that day and was able to share that night with our students how they had played an intricate part in her healing. She shared that on that day three years ago she would have never thought she would laugh on the anniversary. However they have helped her experience joy on a day that could have been dark. Also while at camp Belinda was able to have conversations with two other people (her track leader, and our camp pastor) who had experienced the same situation. Living in circumstances that have been extremely lonely, she felt comfort in knowing there were understood how she feels. I have seen her make great leaps in her healing.
As we had many conversations in the week leading up to this anniversary, we shared with one another the things that we have learned and the ways we have grown. I have learned many things, including how I do not want to be toward others. I have gained a greater desire to be empathetic toward others personally and in my ministry. I shared that while I wish these things had not happened at all, and that I would never wish them on anyone at all, I am thankful for what God has shown me through them. Romans 8:28 and Genesis 50:20 are real to me in a way that I would never had imagined before.
Romans 8:28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.Genesis 50:20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.I am extremely thankful for how God has grown us in the midst of these dark days. I know that I have learned to depend on God when most everyone else let me down. I have learned that while it is not His will for evil to have its way, He still works in these times. I know that He is redeeming us and drawing us to Him as we grow closer to that day when "He will wipe every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain;..." (Revelation 21:4). There will always be deep scars that serve as a reminder of sin in this world, but also to remind of how much healing He has done in us.