Forgiven: The Amish School Shooting, a Mother’s Love, and a Story of Remarkable Grace by Terri Roberts

Book description:

Mother of Amish Schoolhouse Shooter Gives Message of Hope and Healing

Who would have believed all the beauty God would create over the nine years since that awful day. On October 2, 2006, a gunman entered an Amish one-room schoolhouse, shooting ten girls, killing five, then finally taking his own life. This is his mother’s story. Not only did she lose her precious son through suicide, but she also lost her understanding of him as an honorable man. Her community and the world experienced trauma that no family or community should ever have to face.

But this is, surprisingly, a story of hope and joy–of God revealing his grace in unexpected places. Today Terri lives in harmony with the Amish and has built lasting relationships that go beyond what anyone could have thought possible. From the grace that the Amish showed Terri’s family from day one, to the visits and ongoing care Terri has given to the victims and their families, no one could have foreseen the love and community that have been forged from the fires of tragedy.

Let Terri’s story inspire and encourage you as you discover the wonder of forgiveness and the power of God to bring beauty from ashes.

My review:

I enjoy reading these kind of books of the story behind the story. Sometimes I wonder about the people that tragedies impact after the story has been replaced in the headlines by the next big story. Roberts offers a unique perspective, not only of the story behind the story, but also the story of the family of the perpetrator and the struggles they face as they move forward in their lives.

This entire book is a lesson of faith and grace in action, especially by the Amish community. Other than the police and the extended family members, the Roberts family’s Amish neighbors were the first to come to offer support to them. If that isn’t God’s grace in action, I don’t know what is!

We don’t get answers to why the shootings happened, but this book isn’t about that. It is about forgiveness. We can all learn a lesson from Roberts and her neighbors as they forgave her son for his crime, immediately after the fact!

It is an inspiring book that offers encouragement for everyone, especially if forgiveness is an area you struggle with. I know I do!

This book is such a compelling read, right from the beginning that I had one of my studio families pick it up to browse over during their grandchild’s music lesson and couldn’t put it down. I ended up letting them take it home with them so they could finish it! It is that good of a book, right from the start.

If you are looking for an inspirational read about the power of forgiveness, this is a great choice!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

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