Fall of 2015. It was one of my favorite semesters. I'd gotten into the band groove with my friends, I'd just started dating my husband, and life was beautiful... Until that night in November.
We'd just put up the Christmas decorations that night, and the entire campus was covered in Christmas magic. As we basked in the fruit of our labors, we heard that the police were looking for him. His friends were getting nervous.
A couple of hours later, they found him, a bullet in his head. And nobody knew why he'd done it.
Just like that, the semester went from the best to the worst. The entire campus was in mourning. Nobody knew how to process this inconceivable tragedy.
To this day, I remember November 16th, the dark cloud that covered the glistening Christmassy campus.
I don't think any of us ever would've thought this would happen at a Christian college, at our college. Especially not with our friend, who was so full of life and energy. He was the life of the party; he'd never known a stranger. Everyone knew his name.
The sobering lesson that Christians struggle with serious mental and spiritual issues has never left me since. Thank God, I've never had to deal with suicidal thoughts myself, but I've had to sit with people close to me who did, people who had experienced God's love before but somehow were still trapped in their minds.
When I started writing Fractured, I didn't really know where it was going to go. But during the writing process, I realized I was writing for those who, like me, are friends of the suffering. Who don't really know what to do, who didn't see the signs. The ones left behind after the tragedy.
How do you move on after something like that? When is it okay to be okay again? How do you break out of destructive cycles? When can you stop blaming yourself? And how can you feel safe, that you won't be left alone... again?
These are the questions this book deals with, and many more. My hope is that Fractured can be a comfort, a help to those dealing with feelings of abandonment, uncertainty, depression. As always, my message is, "You are not alone. There are so many other people who feel the way you do."
Please, don't ever feel like you have to carry a burden on your own. Talk to someone, find a resource, run to God. As dark as things seem right now, it will not always be this way.
"He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:4)
Fractured: Available now. Get your copy here!