Redemption is an important word to Marie Roberts Monville. On October 2, 2006, the morning when her husband, Charlie Roberts, “snapped” and shot ten little Amish girls in a schoolhouse before he killed himself, Marie was given a promise by God that He would redeem this horrific event.
“Everything I knew about life was over,” Marie said in a phone interview, “but one thing remained: God. I was in a place of desperation. I knew that day would greatly shape my future. I faced a choice. We were going to sink fast…or God would make this redeemable.” Deep in her soul, she sensed God’s response by promising her that He would redeem it. She called it her “walk on water moment.” Redemption, she believed, would come.
Marie has written a book, One Light Still Shines: My Life Beyond the Shadow of the Amish Schoolhouse Shooting (Zondervan), in which she described the first few hours after receiving the news of Charlie’s actions. “I would guess that not even three hours had passed since Charlie had called me. In that brief time, I’d been widowed, my children made fatherless, my community assaulted, my home searched, my husband’s name disgraced, and my naïve innocence shattered. Almost everything that this morning had been a certainty was now in question. Almost everything. One thing was now more rock-solid certain than ever before—my faith in a loving heavenly Father. In fact, far more than merely confirmed, my faith had multiplied in that short time. God had seemed so tangible, so miraculously present, as he was to me now.”
Since then, Marie felt her life was flooded with grace of the Lord. “And I want to live that grace.”
Over the last few years, despite having a reticent nature, she felt God leading her to publicly share her testimony at churches. “I want to connect people’s hearts to God’s heart. If you go to a wonderful restaurant and the food is amazing, you don’t tell a friend to go and try it. No! You say, ‘Let’s go together.’ People have their own love story with the Lord. When I’m gone, I want them to remember God.”
Since the book was released in October, Marie has made appearances on the national press circuit: Piers Morgan on CNN, The Katie Couric Show, Fox news, People
“No,” Marie said firmly. “I know that even in my weakness, God is strong. I saw it as an opportunity to speak of hope and life. Piers Morgan and Katie Couric hear a lot of hard stories. They need to know that Jesus loves them and can redeem these stories.”
In the years since October 2, 2006 and to come, Marie believes that stories of hope and healing continue to point the way that Evil didn’t win on that day. “There is still good that’s coming out of it. God is still redeeming it.”
There’s that word again. Redemption. A holy word, full of the promise of transformation and restoration. It’s the power and grace of a loving God, available to you and to me for our own life stories. All we need to do is to ask, with open hands, and believe.
You can find Marie Roberts Monville on-line on her website at www.mariemonville.com. Her book, One Light Still Shines: My Life Beyond the Shadow of the Amish Schoolhouse Shooting (Zondervan), is available through all major retailers.
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