Three Hundred and Sixty-five Days Later


Our SD is now one-year PT

One year ago today, we had a violent attack inside our house.

A word like ‘anniversary’ doesn’t quite fit, as it feels like it has an underlying sense of celebration. But today is a marker in time no matter how it’s referred to, and I can’t think of any other word to use. The passing of a year is significant, for both progress towards healing and a new normal, as well as moving away from that night. We have been repeatedly told that 18 months is average for a recovery for the kind of thing we went through. Which you would think is encouraging at the 12-month marker. Honestly, it feels heavy to know we’re likely only 2/3 of the way through.

There are things that are constant reminders here. Around the house various places, spots, sounds. Different images and noises, feelings, and thoughts can come quickly rushing back. Reminders that keep memories, thoughts, feelings close to the surface. One of the strange feelings about this being ‘only’ one year ago, is that this event was significant enough that it feels like our lives are divided in two. In some ways there is everything before the attack, then there is everything after. How can that be only one year ago? How can these two “halves” of my life equal 45 years and 1 year respectively?

Mostly, however, I think the overwhelming feeling is one of thankfulness. If one of us had been killed that night, I can’t imagine the longing, the begging of “if we had even only one more year together…”

Well, as of today, we have. We have already had the ‘one more year’ – that if things had gone just slightly different over the scope of a few seconds one year ago, we would never have had.

Last night we had a very meaningful service in our house with our team – and teammates joining from afar via video. We had a time remembering what happened, singing songs of thanksgiving, prayers, and reading two passages – Psalm 56 and Psalm 91. It’s amazing how words you have seen so many times can take on an entirely new meaning after your perspective has changed.

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
    my God, in whom I trust.”

You will not fear the terror of night

There are so many things without which I can’t imagine going through what we have gone through. Without Susan, without our kids – our family as a grounding place of love and support. Without our team here. Friends, family. Without our Burundian colleagues, neighbors, friends. Without access to mental health care. Without the resources that allowed us to leave for a time, to recover and be able to return.

Most of all – and so much more than ever before – I can’t imagine going through this without faith. Belief that there is a God who is my fortress. Getting to the point where we can say “I no longer fear the terror of the night” has been neither easy nor quick. But what a great thing to be able to declare.