Archive for the ‘Lessons Learned’ Category

Posted on: November 17th, 2014 by Laurie Coombs 2 Comments
I Am Not a Victim

The following is a repost of one of my most popular posts that I’ve edited and revised a bit. I believe it contains important truths for each of us to consider. What I’d like you to take away from this article more than anything else is this: we are not victims. “Victim” is not our identity. We may have been on the receiving end of evil, but that evil does not change our identity. Far too many people carrying the heavy label of victim around on their shoulders. Far too many of us are crushed beneath the weight of this false identity. It’s time to free ourselves.  I never intended to be a victim. Shortly after my dad was murdered, my family and I were referred to the victim services department at the courthouse. It was the first time we were called victims, but I honestly didn’t consider myself to be…

Posted on: January 28th, 2014 by Laurie Coombs 1 Comment
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God has had me in an intense season of growth over the last month or so. It has been a time of refinement through trial that started the moment I began praying for God to work absolute surrender in me. And though life has been a bit more difficult lately, I have been blessed greatly during this time by the presence of God and by an outpouring of truths He has spoken over me. Last week, I began compiling a list of all God has spoken over me during this season, and as I did, I felt compelled to share the list with you. Some of you may have learned these truths already; others may be learning these truths along with me. But either way, I believe these truths are powerful. So, no matter where you find yourself, I ask that you take these truths in and contemplate them. Pray for God to…

Posted on: September 26th, 2013 by Laurie Coombs 7 Comments
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Being a Christ follower is hard. And if you’re truly following Jesus (i.e. submitting your life fully to His leading, praying, asking for His continued guidance), He’s going to ask you to do things you don’t want to do. This was certainly the case when I was called to have correspondence with Anthony, the man who murdered my dad. You see sometimes, God leads you into the fire. Sometimes He asks you to trust Him enough to follow Him into your unknown, scary places. But His intent is not harm. Oh no, His intent is to use your time in the furnace for His purposes in your life. To bring you to a better place. A place rich in beauty and blessings. I, personally, don’t know anyone who has been strengthened through the calm, peaceful seasons in their life. Just as a tree cannot stand until it’s properly “hardened off” by…

Posted on: September 24th, 2013 by Laurie Coombs 1 Comment
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Of all Jesus taught me throughout my correspondence with Anthony, the man who murdered my dad, the most important, life altering lesson was displayed by His mere presence. Throughout this very difficult season, Jesus showed up. He was there through it all. Never once did I doubt His presence, for it was almost palpable. There were times I heard His gentle whisper beckoning “follow me.” And I would follow. There were times, after receiving another difficult letter from Anthony, I sat in confusion day after day, unsure of how to respond, unsure of God’ leading. Yet all the while, He was still there––His presence very real––urging me to “be still, and know that [He is] God” (Psalm 46:10). “Trust Me. Wait on the Me,” He said. And I would wait. Show me the way, I prayed. Show me how. And He would lead. All throughout Scripture, we see the Lord going before…

Posted on: September 12th, 2013 by Laurie Coombs 2 Comments
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Last week, I began writing my book again. It’s been a little while since I last looked at my manuscript, and to be honest, it needed a lot of work. I’ve known this for quite sometime, and at the request of my agent, I began working with a professional editor to reorganize and make the necessary adjustments needed to bring the manuscript up to publishing standards. Once this is done, it will be pitched to Christian publishing houses, so over the next few months I can certainly use some prayers for my book to find its home so that my story can reach the masses. I bring all this up to tell you where my head has been lately. I’ve been immersed in the story God entrusted me to tell once again, and what’s emerged is a new sense of one of my story’s main themes which is that God’s…

Posted on: September 3rd, 2013 by Laurie Coombs 1 Comment
Do You Have a Question

As many of you know, I’ve been corresponding with Anthony, the man who murdered my dad, for three and a half years now. God has brought us through the fire together as He called both of us to enter into our darkest places in order to, ultimately, bring us to the light. It’s been quite a journey, to say the least, and I am a strong believer that the blessings both Anthony and I received were not intended just for us. We’re called to share our story with both honesty and transparency. Up until this point, Anthony has primarily shared his story within the confines of prison. Yet, he has also chosen to share his side of this story a few times here. If you missed any of them, they’re worth the read and can be found in the “Featured Posts” section in my sidebar. Still, there is so much more…

Posted on: August 15th, 2013 by Laurie Coombs 3 Comments
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“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9 “Follow peace,” I was told. It sounds like good advice. It’s a nice sentiment, and it certainly sounds spiritual. But I’ve learned that, sometimes, peace doesn’t show up until later. Sometimes you need to do it scared. [Tweet that] And boy, was I scared. I had just contacted a murderer––one that had spent close to a decade in prison at that point––and I had anything but peace in my heart. Perhaps he’s really good at conning people, I thought. What if he deceives me? What if I’m led astray? Fears flooded my mind. But I knew what I heard. I knew what God was calling me to do. This was God’s will and Jesus’ direction. I was sure of that. I prayed for a word from God to ease my mind and was given Psalm 23….

Posted on: July 12th, 2013 by Laurie Coombs 3 Comments
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Jesus made it clear. If I were to have any impact on Anthony (the man who murdered my dad), I would have to live out the commands found in Romans 12.  Jesus spoke: Repay no one evil for evil. Love your enemy. Overcome evil with good. Yet still, the questions plagued me: How? How do I overcome evil with good? How do I love Anthony? What does it look like?  And then it became clear. I was to love Anthony through my words. Words hold power.  As Jeff Goins recently wrote, “Words are powerful, painful, awful, and amazing tools. They can hurt, help, hinder, and heal.” I wanted my words to be used for good. I wanted them to bring light to a very dark part of my past. So when I sat down to write Anthony for the first time, I chose kindness over my feelings. I felt a strong conviction that…

Posted on: July 2nd, 2013 by Laurie Coombs 1 Comment
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Love your enemy, I was told. I knew who God was calling me to love––Anthony, the man who murdered my dad––and I didn’t like it. I cried out to God and said, Okay, God I get the whole forgiveness thing, but love my enemy? How am I to do THAT?!? Immediately, His response came, Bring him a bible. Now, I have only heard from God like this a few times. I’m certainly not one who claims that God speaks audibly to me, though I’d love it if He did. But instead, this was more of a thought planted into my mind immediately following my prayer. And I knew it was a word from God. In fact, it was a definitive command. God Speaks If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it is this: God speaks. As a skeptic, turned believer, this blew my mind. God speaks. To humans, nonetheless! [Tweet that]…

Posted on: June 25th, 2013 by Laurie Coombs 4 Comments
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I was a wreck. “I’ve spent my entire life trying to achieve and set goals for myself,” I told my husband, Travis, “and I’ve hinged all happiness on the achievement of those goals only to continuously fall short of true happiness. It’s like there’s this emptiness inside, but I don’t know how to make it go away!” I felt empty, defeated, depressed, and anxious. And I had no answers. It was a very dark place. Over and over I kept saying, I just want to feel peace. I just want peace. Yet, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t save myself. [Tweet that] Blind and Paralyzed Then, I had a dream. I dreamt I became blind and paralyzed. And when I awoke I was perplexed and greatly disturbed. I didn’t know what it meant. Perhaps it means nothing, I tried to convince myself. But still, I couldn’t shake it. Yet, it wasn’t…