Kimberly Collins & Children



   

I witnessed the death of my husband with my very own eyes. I will never forget it. I was holding our baby girl in my arms and looking out my son's bedroom window. My husband was walking across the street towards his best friend's home when his best friend came out and shot him. The bullet sped through his chest and blew-up his heart. In one instant, my life would never be the same again.

Earlier that night my husband and I went out partying with his best friend. They were drinking and started fighting. We got back home and they still continued to fight. My husband's best friend, driven by anger, went into his home across the street and pulled out a gun. My husband didn't know his friend had a gun, or would ever shoot him. He told me he loved me and breathed his last breath.

Many thoughts ran through my head as I rushed to my husband, but all I could do was pray. I remembered that the night before the shooting took place, my husband was changed as he asked me many questions about God, prayer and going to heaven. He never came with me to church and it was just so amazing that he was so eager to learn more about God. I told him to ask Jesus into his heart and pray for forgiveness. As long as you believe in God and know that He loves you, you are forgiven. I am at peace knowing that my husband believed before he was taken away. When I reached my injured husband, he held my hand, told me he loved me and breathed his last breath. When I came home from the hospital, I knew I was going to have to face three beautiful children and tell them that their daddy wasn't coming back home. I let them know that their daddy is with Jesus. I had to keep praying and keep staying strong. I knew God was with me and carrying me through all of this.

I was grateful to have the support of many friends through all the difficult times when I felt I needed much prayer and encouragement. I am thankful to have a good friend of mine who babysat for me whenever I needed it. I also had the support of a man from my church who I consider to be like a father to me.

Saying "I forgive you" in court…

Because of Jesus' love and forgiveness, I had the peace and love in my heart to forgive the man who killed my husband. I can't say it was easy, but I finally forgave him and wanted my children to feel safe if they were ever around him. During his trial, I got up in front of what seemed like thousands of people and looked him in the face and told him, "I just want you to know that my kids and I forgive you and that we pray for you to ask Jesus into your heart. Know that God can and will forgive you. We love and pray for you!" Most people may think I'm absolutely crazy for doing this, and I was even rejected by my late husband's family for it, but I know God led me to do the right thing. Many people thought Jesus was crazy to show such forgiveness and what he had to go through on the cross is far greater than what I have ever gone through.

Today, I still know that God can take me through anything and give me strength each day. I know that God is always in control. I still keep in touch with my husband's friend and he's been sending birthday cards to my kids for a few years now. I currently help with prison ministry, where I write letters to prisoners, telling them the story of my husband and God's forgiveness for them. If someone as little as I am can forgive my husband's friend, think of how much more God, who is far greater than I am, can forgive you.

No matter who you are or what you have done, God is ready and willing to forgive you. He gave His Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for all our sins. Everyone feels unworthy sometimes, but God thinks you're worth it-even worth the death of His Son. You can receive Christ right now by faith through prayer. Praying is simply talking to God. God knows your heart and is not so concerned with your words as He is with the attitude of your heart. Here's a suggested prayer:

Lord Jesus, I want to know you personally. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life to you and ask you to come in as my Savior and Lord. Take control of my life. Thank you for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Make me the kind of person you want me to be


©Kimberly Collins with Laurie Wang
Used With Permission
All Rights Reserved By Author
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~ Kimberly Dawn Collins currently resides in the same home in Virginia with her three beautiful children. She keeps in touch with prisoners and helps them find pen pals who will love them and let them know there is always forgiveness and grace.

~ Laurie Wang recently graduated from the University of Alberta with a B.A. in English. She aspires to be a journalist and hopes to go overseas to report international news one day. She's a big fan of hockey, sleep and purses and thinks there's no such thing as too much of the three. .







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