Triumph over Tragedy
I love stories about triumph over tragedy. One Light Still Shines, by Marie Monville, wife of the man who committed the Amish Schoolhouse massacre, is that kind of story.
The subtitle of her book, written with Cindy Lambert: My Life Beyond the Shadow of the Amish Schoolhouse Shooting, remind me of the familiar words by David the Psalmist in Psalm 23:4 (NKJ):
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
On October 2, 2006, Marie’s husband of ten years entered an Amish schoolhouse in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and did the unthinkable. He shot ten young girls, five who died. And then he turned the gun on himself.
Secret of Marie’s Triumph over Tragedy
Most of us probably heard about the tragedy and grieved with the Amish families who lost precious children. Since that time, people have asked 28-year-old Marie how she could possibly emerge with such triumph over tragedy. This devoted woman of God shares her “secret” in the prologue of her book:
No matter how tragic your circumstances, your life is not a tragedy. It is a love story. And in your love story, when you think all the lights have gone out, one light still shines.1
A True Love Story
Indeed it does. Especially in the life of Marie Monville. February is the month we emphasize “love.” But this is one love story that’s not fiction, but a true story based on one woman’s courage and faith. I encourage you to read her book. It’s not a story filled with trite phrases or glib responses, but it shows a soul wrenched by tragedy, yet drenched by the unspeakable love of God.
Her Story Is About Your Future
Her story is one of love and forgiveness, of hope and mercy, sometimes from the most unexpected places. It’s a remarkable story. But Marie would not say it’s because she is remarkable, but that her God is. Her book cover quotes her own words, “My story is not about my past, but about your future.
We All Have a Love Story Being Written
Marie is right, you know. Life is not a tragedy. And we all have a love story being written in our own lives. You may think the lights have gone out in your own life. But just like in Marie’s heart, we, too, can choose to let that one Light still shine. If we follow that Light, one step at a time, we’ll discover that love story for which we were all made.
You can read more about Marie’s book here. I discovered this book recently and couldn’t wait to write this review of her story.
1 Marie Monville, One Light Still Shines (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2013).
How has God helped you triumph over tragedy?