In 2010, Laurie Coombs was called to love and forgive the man who murdered her father, which led to an exchange of letters between she and Anthony, her father’s murderer. During their correspondence, Laurie was healed from her past wounds, was given grace to forgive Anthony, and witnessed a powerful transformation in Anthony as Jesus brought him to repentance.
Laurie’s story is featured in Billy Graham’s new film, “Heaven,” part of the “My Hope with Billy Graham” series broadcast nationally in an effort to reach people with the message of the gospel.
Laurie writes on her blog to encourage others to draw close to God and follow Jesus despite fear or feelings of resistance. She is passionate about the topic of forgiveness and feels called to share the story God has entrusted to her in hope that, through her testimony, many may receive the freedom she has experienced through Christ. Laurie is a regular contributing writer and blogger for iBelieve.com and Crosswalk.com. Laurie is the author of Letters from My Father’s Murderer: A Journey of Forgiveness (Kregel, June 27, 2015) and a contributor to the NIV Bible for Women: Fresh Insights for Thriving in Today’s World (Zondervan, September 22, 2015).
With a background in teaching, Laurie is a passionate speaker on the issues of forgiveness, redemption, and the blessings associated with following Jesus. Though Laurie’s writing and speaking ministry continues to grow with each passing day, she remains committed to her primary calling to love her husband and children well––something she values highly. She and her husband, Travis, make their home in Nevada along with their two daughters, Ella and Avery. Together, she and her family are adopting two little ones from Ethiopia (three and five years old)!
When We Say Yes
What happens when we chose to follow Jesus? I mean really follow Him. What happens when we chose to seek God in and through all things in our lives, committed to God’s will above our own? As followers of Christ, we need to be people who seek God’s will and are committed to saying yes to whatever He call us to.
I have made it my purpose to be a woman committed to saying “yes.” And as a result, I have experienced the power of God in my life like I never imagined possible. A life well lived begins the moment we commit ourselves to God––to saying, “Yes, Lord, I will follow you. Yes, Lord, I will obey your commands.” For it is when we lay down our fear, our pride, and our resistance that we are able to experience life as God intended––the life Jesus died for us to have.
All Things for Good
As I witnessed God redeem my past, I felt compelled to tell anyone willing to listen about what God had done. I wanted to shout it from the rooftops. Scream it from the mountains. Because you see, I never thought it possible to see any good come out of my past, let alone to see good emerge out of my dad’s murder. Now, that’s not to say I had abandoned all my hopes and dreams, but I had mistakenly thought any good in my future would result in spite of my past not as a result of it.
But I had grossly underestimated the redeeming power of God.
Jesus truly is our Redeemer. He has worked all things in my life for good––including my dad’s murder––and He has promised to do the same in your life as well, if you let Him.
The Power of Forgiveness
Forgiveness has the power to transform lives. We are told to forgive one another as Christ forgave us, but forgiveness is not a mere suggestion––it’s one of God’s commands. And rightfully so.
Forgiveness is not intended to be a burden but a blessing. God knows the power forgiveness has in our lives, and He knows we cannot thrive while bitterness continues to reside in our hearts. Using my story as an illustration, I address what scripture says about forgiveness––showing that forgiveness is in fact the very thing that lies at the center of the Gospel, itself––and the impact forgiveness has had on both myself and the man who murdered my dad.
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