“Dear God…what will the neighbors say?”

It was Tuesday, September 22, 2015, just four days after my father went into the hospital, and just two days after our oldest daughter turned 18. It started off like every other day. I woke up, did my normal routine, and then headed off to work. After I backed out of the garage and put the car in gear to go forward, as I looked back at the house, like I always did, something different caught my eye. Something I wasn’t expecting to see. That was when everything changed.

“Dear God…what will the neighbors say?” Selfish thought really. It was just one of a thousand others that ran through my mind as I stood outside my home that morning looking up at that broken screen to my daughters bedroom on the second floor.  

I heard of others that had suffered such a fate, but not us, we did every right…right? Our worst nightmare had come to pass before our very eyes.

When the police arrived, they did their investigation as they walked over the dirty laundry to push open the broken door to my daughters bedroom.  My beautiful wife, of almost twenty years, sat on the couch with her head in her hands, sobbing. Her mother and father tried to be of some comfort, but nothing could hold back the raging river of emotions that poured from her heart.

It was odd, but in that moment I found it hard to cry. It was all so fresh…so raw. Our daughter just disappeared without a clue, without a trace. She ran away.  

The kind officer said he could do nothing. She was 18. Legally…an adult, but emotionally…still our baby girl. She had the legal right to leave without our consent. Didn’t matter if she didn’t finish high school. She had the law on her side. Case closed.

In the days to follow, we found her in a bus station making her way to Salt Lake City, Utah. Who the hell was in Utah?

She had been robbed, malnourished, and limping on a sprained ankle. The only thing that persuaded her to return was the knowledge that her grandfather was coming home to die. To not be there for his last moments would have been a bigger regret than anything else she had done. Thankfully, she came back, but not home. She moved in with her grandmother.

Since my father’s passing, the struggles have only increased. The trials appear to have no end in site, and the advice and comments from others continue to fly around like swarming gnats, some of it is comforting, but others…hard to receive.

After a decade of watching my wife suffer from an illness that robbed her of the ability to drive, perform duties on her own at times, and take away time, by keeping her bound in bed, I had hoped that we would begin a new and brighter chapter in our lives. But unfortunately, the dark saga continued, and took on a much more sinister turn.

By all accounts, we should have given up and called it quits. I even had one neighbor ask me, “How are you able to keep going?” In that moment, I knew why my wife and I were able to move forward with Hope. I told him, “If it were not for the love of Jesus Christ, I would go insane.”

Our happiness, for now, is gone. But our joy and peace remain, because our Lord comforts us daily.

My wife and I wanted to share this piece of our lives with you because we know that there are others out there like us. Others that have been struck by tragedy, but feel like they have no where they can turn to for help. Maybe even worse, there are those that want to do something drastic to take away the pain.

If you are struggling with events and situations that are beyond your control, and you’re looking for someone to share your burdens with; someone that will really listen and help you find true peace and joy, then we want to invite you to our church, Village Bible, as our guests.

Neither my wife and I, nor anyone at Village, can change your circumstances, but we can point you to the One that can give you comfort while you are in the midst of the storm. We can cry with you, get angry with you, or just bring a meal as we pray together, asking the Lord for His help.

Please join us Sunday mornings at 10am.  We are located at 695 Pushville Rd in Greenwood, IN (one road south of Worsthville Rd, off of US 31).  We would love to come alongside and share your burdens with you. Check us out on the web at: http://villagebiblechurch.net

“Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2)

God Bless,

Jeff Sievertson

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