"We are hard pressed on everyside, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed."

2 Corinthians 4:8-9

Thursday, January 19, 2012


I'm sorry that I have been distant for a bit. Christmas travels and what not kept me away from the computer. However, I was told that my "net needs more information, please!" First of all, we have a house! Yet another thing that has been keeping me busy. We bought it 1 week ago and we're trying to turn it into a home before we move in. New floors, painting, but nothing too major. Hopefully we'll move in next week. I have many mixed feelings about moving there. In many ways I'm excited and ready to get back to some normalacy. The other side is that getting back to normal life will likely be more telling about how I'm really doing. This is definitely scarry for me. However, all in all, this is a praise and this needed to happen for us at some point.

In other news, last week I heard the plea that will probably be offered to the attacker. That was a really tough day for me. Plea's don't work quite the way I thought they did. My expectation with a plea was that he would simply be offered fewer years in prison than the amount he would receive in a trail. While this is true, the reason he receives fewer years is because the plea actually drops some of the charges against him. It's difficult to explain why this is so hard for me. It's not that I want him to be in prison longer, I don't care too much about the number of years, but I do want him to admit and be convicted of all the charges. It doesn't feel good to ask him to only admit to part of the truth. A friend of mine put it this way, "what they are asking him to admit to is not what actually happened.... it's dishonesty for convenience sake.... and not justice or grace." By erasing some of the charges, I feel in many ways like the legal system is not validating the horrific thing that happened to me. I guess that's what I really want.

I understand the benefits of a plea, and believe me, I would like as much as anyone for this to not go to trail. Sitting on the stand telling a court room what happened to me is not a comfortable thought. But yet, in some ways, significantly more healing than an offensive plea that doesn't seem to acknowledge the reality of the crime. This has been tough. Maybe it's time for us to back-off and let the system have their process. Jared wrote a letter to the prosecutor explaining our feelings and he said some things really well. This is one paragraph of his letter. "After the assault happened, we were constantly reassured by the Glendale PD that this case was a top priority. They had dozens of officers come right away to the house, dozens more canvassing the neighborhood, all the while checking in on us to see how we were doing. We really felt like they cared about us as individuals, and validated our emotions as victims. The legal process feels more distant- like this crime isn't about us, it's about what the State requires. Maybe we need to back out and let the State do what it's going to do, and make our statement at sentencing- I don't know. It feels really disempowering." After sending this we did receive a call and the prosecutor as well as the victims advocate would like to meet with us.

On to my song of the day. Many mennonite churches have been singing this song, "Peace Within Us" over the holiday season and I've found it to be a really touching song (only the first two links on the side bar are the song). It's been in and out of my head for weeks and it speaks to my desire for peace within me, over me, around me.


Kendra said...

Thank you for the update, Tracy - glad to hear you all have a house-becoming-a-home. You're in my thoughts a lot, and I will add 'sort out the plea business' to my prayers.

ben wideman said...

I echo what Kendra said. You are continually in our prayers, and will continue to be as you move forward.

Gary and Lisa said...

thanks so much for your update...you have been on my mind alot lately and I had decided I needed to let you know...went to my computer and there was your post. This morning in my devotions this verse was used: Psalms 62:11,12
one thing God has spoken, two things have I heard:
that you O God are strong,
and that you O God are loving...

Such a simple and to the point verse but oh how wonderful...a God of love and strength is with you, Traci. You certainly are on a path you never, ever would have imagined yourself on...I pray you will feel the presence of our Strong and Loving God right beside you. Remember, we love you!
So great to see you all at Christmas...

Anna Maria said...

That's rough. I'm sorry about the way our justice system is set up: that it treats crimes as if they were against "the state" instead of against the people they were committed against. Have you read much by Howard Zehr on this? His life's work has been to work on integrating more reconciliation and fairness to the legal process.

I suppose that, in a sense, crimes like this one *are* against the state in ADDITION to being against the individual--after all, the role of government is to help create a safe society, and crimes like this one make all of us feel less safe . . . but that doesn't diminish the fact that this *particular* crime was committed against YOU personally.

I hope for an outcome that takes YOU into account--that does right by you and your family-- as well as "society as a whole".

I'm also wondering what it would mean to have compassion for the young man who did this. I'm not able to do that yet (if ever), and certainly don't expect you to be able to either. I just wonder if it would be possible, what it would mean, what it might look like. It's core to our faith, yet, honestly, it would seem almost absurd in this kind of situation--at least right now. This is a real challenge to me and to our faith.

Maybe this is okay. Forgiveness wouldn't mean as much if it came too early, too easy.