Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Denied again!

If you've read my blog you know that almost 19 years ago, my brother Terry was murdered.

Yesterday, we protested parole for the 4th time in 10 years. I've wanted nothing more than for this man to serve his sentence for the crime he committed. We have written letters of protest before every hearing, but have never spoken to the presiding judges. I did that yesterday. I asked the Lord to give me the words to say. I cried until I got to the part where I protested their potential home plan which included this person settling in the same hometown my family lives in, where my niece goes to school. As I sat at the table listening to their lawyer go through that, I knew that's why today was the day I needed to speak out. That was unacceptable! The Attorney General representative laid out all the trouble he had been in while in prison and asked for the maximum denial of 5 years. 

As other victims came out disappointed, we were prepared for him to get out yesterday. We were prepared for the possibility of another hearing in the next year. Each time he has been denied the hearings have come sooner and sooner.

The judges deliberate behind the bench in front of you and you sit there and pray. Then we heard...parole denied--caught our breath and couldn't believe our wishes came true. 5 more years. Tears of joy! Peace! He will have 1 year left when those 5 years are up. 1 year to be out on supervision before his sentence is complete. Any protest from me will be about the details of where he proposes to live out that year of supervision. 

5 felt like a weight lifted off my shoulders. God granted my plea for justice. It will never bring my brother back, but I do believe these denials have spared others from suffering the pain that we have had to go through. 

Recently, I've seen God move powerfully when we have held our peace and let Him work in situations and I've felt His presence as He gave me the the words to speak. No matter what, God is faithful to give us peace, comfort and to be our refuge and strength in times of trouble. Amen!

Yesterday on the way to the hearing, we landed on K-LOVE in my brother's car. The new Mercy Me song, "Even If" came on...

I almost burst into tears. My brother died very young and unexpected. I prayed that God would give me assurance of his salvation and God answered that prayer. At Terry's funeral, the person singing changed his song selection at the last minute, saying he felt God leading him to sing something different. I felt God's peace wash over me when I heard the familiar tune of "It is Well With My Soul." I felt that same thing yesterday...peace. 

I'm exhausted, but I'm not complaining!  


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