This is our story: January 29, 1999, in a quiet suburban neighborhood in Yorkshire, Virginia; my two teenage daughters, Stacie age 16 and her sister, Kristie age 14, were brutally attacked in our home!
During an attempted rape Stacie fought desperately to fight off her attacker. She lost the battle and was murdered, when the attacker stabbed her to death. Kristie upon arriving home two hours later was met at her own back door by the murderer. Unsuspecting, she entered her home and upon finding her sister, was forced to the basement. She was raped, bound by her own shoelaces, strangled, both wrists cut, stabbed twice, and her throat repeatedly slashed, where she was left for dead.
This is our journey. Upon receiving this heart wrenching news, I was instantly thrown into a state of shock. My oldest daughter had been murdered. A parent’s worst nightmare. As if that was not enough, I was told my youngest daughter was not expected to live. My life was over! The attacker of my two young teenage girls, not only pierced the heart of my eldest daughter, but pierced my heart!
I was consumed by a grief so heavy, it shrouded me in complete darkness. That night, I sat by my youngest daughter’s bedside, who had endured over five hours of surgery, I prayed for her life and healing. Never taking my eyes from Kristie’s face, listening to the monitors and machines pumping oxygen into her lifeless body, and holding her hand; I prayed. Pouring my heart out to God, pleading with Him, not to let her die.
My beautiful girls came face to face with evil. I could not wrap my mind around this brutal and heinous crime against my family. I was completely numb and helpless.
By the grace of God, Kristie survived the attack. Together, stumbling blindly through each second of the day, a week later we found ourselves at Stacie’s funeral. A Jr. ROTC cadet at her high school, Stacie was given a full military honors burial by her fellow comrades.
Lorraine and Kristie struggled with survivors guilt and depression reeked havoc. For seven long years Lorraine grieved the loss of Stacie, and Kristie’s attack. Unwilling to give the offender control over their lives, Lorraine found that through speaking she found healing. The burden was heavy and she could no longer carry the load alone. Lorraine cried out to the Lord and asked Him to take the grief and heartache. The Lord answered, “I will not take anything from you, but you can surrender it to me.” Lorraine didn’t know how to let go, without snatching it back and reprimanding the Lord for not doing things her way, or not doing it fast enough.
Eventually, the Lord showed her how to leave her burdens at the foot of the cross. She was finally able to lay them at Christ’s feet and walk away empty handed, free from the bondage of grief. Lorraine promised to serve the Lord however He so desired.
A few months later, she heard a strange word… Forgiveness. Strange to Lorraine because this was not something she had ever thought about. But the thought kept persisting. Until she understood what the Lord was asking. Forgiveness is a journey. A journey that took Lorraine another two years to walk. That journey lead her back to the promise she made the Lord and the Lord opened doors she never imagined.
If you’d like to learn more about Lorraine’s journey, schedule her to speak at your next event.