One Light Still Shines: My Life Beyond the Shadow of the Amish Schoolhouse Shooting

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 and move forward from such a tragedy with so much triumph.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).

What about You?

How has God helped you triumph over tragedy?  I’d love to hear your comments.

It’s Your Turn

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2 Responses to “One Light Still Shines: My Life Beyond the Shadow of the Amish Schoolhouse Shooting”

  1. Kris Brown on February 3rd, 2014 10:35 am

    I have learned things through adversity that I could have otherwise not learned .. I had major surgery 5 times before I was 19. I lost a husband at a young age, a daughter in the prime of her life. I am now facing the adversity of early-onset Alheizmers. The fates have not been kind; but the fates shall not have the last say. My Faith in God shall have the last say. I do not know what the future holds, but I do know that God will hold on to me throughout my future. God has consistently turned what others deemed as tragedy into triumph. For that, I Praise God. My Redeemer is Faithful and true.

  2. Rebecca Barlow Jordan on February 3rd, 2014 4:19 pm

    Kris, thanks so much for sharing your powerful testimony. I know it will encourage others, just as your life has encouraged so many through the years. Your life has not been easy. You are precious in His sight! And yes, I so agree. Our Redeemer is Faithful and true.

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