As soon as we returned to the house where mom's party was taking place, Kristan received a call from one of her sons saying that her husband, Fred, had been in an accident and someone had been killed.
What finally came out a while later is that he was not paying enough attention, partly because he was so used to the highway, he hit a cross-walk where a light had just changed to red, and he struck a 14-year-old girl, Kirsten, who was killed instantly. [And for my sister/his wife, to be Kristan, and the young girl killed was Kirsten ... that has flooded many of our hearts.]
After a struggle re: lawyers, courts, judges, and on and on, he finally was sent to prison. He entered in September, 2011, and will be released in early May, '13.
Fred had been a less-than-nice guy much of his life and was heavily involved in alcoholism and other addictions. Back in early 1991, Fred and the family were vising out here. And, NO, we weren't sorry that he left! And we haven't seen him since then, and didn't miss him for several years. We do now.
Fred came to the Lord about 12 years ago. It was through his brother drawing him to the Lord and Fred seeking forgiveness from my sister, that she returned to the Lord, too. WOW! We're so looking forward to seeing them. The four of us together can rejoice, believe me.
NOW... while in prison, Fred has led men to the Lord, has helped them grow, already has some plans for ministering with youth at his church and others when he is released. He has dealt with some personal issues that he, while behind bars, couldn't run away from or hide from, so his emotions have healed more. He also went in with a high amount of extra weight ... and has been exercising and has lost piles and piles of it. Physically, he is feeling better. Emotionally, being healed. Spiritually, he is growing. Good things.
Well, this is the group letter I received from him today... and it made me rejoice. I usually don't share these, but I felt it was the right thing to do this time. [I also didn't change anything ... spelling, grammar, etc. ... just typed it same as he did.]
-- Oh, and the prison is about an 8-hour drive on curvy roads across mountains, etc., for Kristan to get there. As a full-time worker in North Pole, it's a real challenge for her to be able to see him in a reasonable schedule. Not similar to a pop-down from Omaha-to-Lincoln situation we would have here.--
Holy smoke! 71 days left of my incarceration. And I'm in a daze! I can't think straight, or hold a thought to completion. I am getting very emotional; anything happy or sad, I see or hear gets the water works going. (I wonder what my cell mates think of this nut job.) But God is so Great. His hand was there to, protected and comforted me, give an opportunity to grow in Him. To trust and obey as the Holy Spirit guided and taught me. I'm shaking as I write this letter as if I drank 3 shots of espresso, because of my excitement in the fact that I will be able to hold, hug, and kiss those I love without being threatened with going to the Hole or losing my visitation privileges. I dream now about getting into a car and going somewhere, anywhere! To go to church, share a cup of weak coffee, be greeted with an "I'm so glad to see you smile, and warm hands shake!" Even though you may have never met before. The joyful and angelic faces playing and sing praises to our Lord, the special smile at the pulpit, the kind that lets you know he has something wonderful to share, and all you have to do is listen and watch. It's exciting and wonderful to share this time together in Christ. The demonstration of love to each other without a word, love that over flows to everyone around. I pray that I am able to personally spend time with everyone who has carried me through this season of fear, torment, anxiety, shame, and surrender through prayers and visits, plus all the letters I have received in this soon to be 608 days of incarceration. I know men who have not received 1 letter, card, or visit, period. And I have had close to 50, or more visits, plus I believe more than 700 letters. I know, even today I still average more than 1 a day. In a way, I really don't know what it's like to be a prisoner, because so few prisoners have a family who cares as much as you do.
.... Kristan said you fell down. Me too! And we got up. Ya! Keep up the good fight Sis.