My husband, who doesn’t share much in the way of his feelings, occasionally musters the sentence, “I still struggle sometimes with you doing the Victorious Living thing.” I’m the graphic designer for this magazine, a position that takes a lot of time and effort when we’re putting an issue together. At times, my husband, with good reason, has a hard time understanding my passion for ministering to people who have hurt others.

I must confess—most of the time, I blow off his objections. I silently judge him, thinking, “He just doesn’t get it. After all, I’m called to this. Who am I to question the path God has directed for me? And who is he to question my following it?”

I’ll be honest—our marriage hasn’t been exactly perfect. We’ve had some great times, of course. But like every marriage, we’ve had our share of difficult days, too.

And that was before the murders.

Rushed as usual, I was revving the engine of the car while I waited on him to finish feeding our horses so we could leave for church. When I looked up, I saw him on the phone and could tell by his face something was wrong. He wouldn’t normally have answered a call in the middle of the morning rush, but he’d recognized the number as his dad’s.

My husband’s relationship with his father had been strained for a long time. Years of prescription pill abuse had left his dad aloof, at best. No birthday calls or holiday wishes; months routinely passed without his returning our calls. Repeated no-shows hurt my husband deeply. His dad’s actions had hardened my heart. I could never understand why my husband continued to try to maintain that relationship. Nevertheless, if his dad called, he jumped at the chance to talk to him.

But this time it wasn’t his father’s voice on the line. A frantic stranger—a man my husband had met only once—was on the other end of the phone, screaming something about a murder. The caller had not heard from my father-in-law for a few days and had stopped by his house to check on him. There he’d discovered the bodies of my husband’s father and stepmother in their home.

It turns out my in-laws were robbed by someone they knew and then shot, skillfully and precisely, in the back of the head. The man who shot them continued on to hunt down and repeat the robbing and execution of another friend a day later. He was eventually captured a state away and confessed to the crimes.

The days between that call and his capture are a blur. Such chaos and insanity…there are no words to describe arriving on the scene of your in-laws’ murder to find strangers looting their home. Yet we felt peace. We were so covered by the prayers of our church family that we were supernaturally able to sail through the days that followed, seemingly unscathed.