by Mandy Grounds
Today marks 36 years since I said goodbye to both my beautiful, funny brothers. I could spend all day typing hilarious stories about their short lived lives! Eric Wendell Richards was 7 and Kyle Wayne Richards was 5 when they drown in the iced over tank beside my house. I was 12 and that day is forever etched in my mind and I can replay every detail in slow motion even today. But when the horrific details try to invade my mind, I have learned to replace them with the wonderful memories I cherish of our time together. I was not always able to do this in the beginning and I developed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder at a very young age. BUT my Father in Heaven rescued me and brought me to a place of healing and ways of coping. Yes, I still have moments of tears, but no more days of tears and horrible nightmares. This tragedy was used by The Lord to make me who I am today and I am thankful for all my blessings of joy! I know all of you have experienced times of grief, pain, frustration, anger and "the whys". No one is left unscathed in this world from times of trouble, but we are never left alone when we believe that Christ died for our sins and lives today. Proof of that: When I was 12 I felt the loneliest I have ever felt so I began writing letters addressed to Joshua (just a name I picked that first day of writing) and I wrote all my feelings and frustrations to him daily. I tucked those letters away all those years ago and put them in storage. Two years ago, my Mom gave me a bible study book and the first lesson talked about the name Yeshua for Jesus which is translated Joshua!!!! I melted to my knees in realization that all those years ago God was with me!!! I raced to the storage building, found the letters and cried! My Father in Heaven took care of me then even when I did not recognize it!! He is taking care of you now in the midst of whatever you are going through big or small and just when you need it most He will reveal Himself in a mighty way!! I pray you will just trust, trust Him in all your circumstances! As I remember my brothers today, I will be thankful for my amazing memories and my awesome God who loves me so!
[Mandy’s family lived across the highway from Mama Trudy. Not many years after I left the home, I will never forget this day. Mama called me, sobbing the details and we wept together in disbelief.
God has used Mandy in a mighty way and now she hosts a prayer group on FaceBook.]