<![CDATA[Mark’s daughter wanted to drive her friends to town so THEY would be safe. What happened that night was enough to tear a family apart as Ashleah was killed by a drunk driver, while the drunk driver and her riders walked away from the wreckage. Listen today as Mark shares his story of tragic loss—and intentional forgiveness-- with Dr. Randy. Join the conversation at 1-888-888-1717. And feel free to post your thoughts on our Facebook page.
A Devotional Thought From the Intentional Living Center
Don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children. Genesis 50:21 NIV
He could’ve let them die of starvation. It may have been considered a just end for those who had jealously hated him and brutally sold him away as a slave. Joseph, though, was a different sort of man. He was infused by God with incredible integrity that exalted him to the heights of influence in Egypt.
His insight sustained that great nation through severe famine. But, it was Joseph’s ability to forgive that saved his family. Not only did he choose to reconcile with his brothers. Joseph also provided for them, their children, and even his long lost father Jacob.
In today’s verse, he reassures his brothers that his forgiveness would not be withdrawn. You’ll transform people’s lives in your family every time you forgive them for the hurt they’ve caused you and care for them as evidence of your forgiveness.
Today’s One Thing
Choose one person in your extended family who needs your forgiveness. Send them a post or an e-mail. Better yet, give them a phone call. Be Joseph to them.
Mark Richards, Father of a Daughter Killed by a Drunk Driver.
Mark’s Web Site: MyAshleah.org
Mark Richards’ daughter, Ashleah, was killed by a drunk driver in October 2009 when she was 21. Part of the amazing story is why she was driving that night. She was asked to be the designated driver to take four girls to Lubbock to celebrate one of the girls’ birthday. Ashleah’s parents didn’t want her to make the trip, but she’d been praying for the girls and told her mom she felt called to drive them so “they would get home safely.”
When the driver plowed into their lane, DPS accident reconstructors told her dad, Ashleah swerved at just the right moment to absorb 90 percent of the impact. She was dead at the scene. The four girls and the drunk driver walked away from the wreck.
Mark struggled with bitterness, anger and the inability to forgive this man. He and his wife were praying to be healed and to be delivered of the bitterness toward the driver. About six months after the accident, in June 2010, the DA set up a meeting. Mark says walking into the room and seeing the man instantly helped him realize the driver had problems. Mark says when he
shook the man’s hand, all the unforgiveness fell away, only through God’s grace.
Mark says it’s been a bittersweet journey—God has done lots of healing. Mark feels as though Ashleah died for a purpose, but he misses her terribly.
Now: To honor Ashleah’s life, Mark and his wife, and often her older sister, speak at churches and schools, on “The Power of One Choice.”
They’ve spoken to 50,000 people. The message is about making the right choices, but even in public schools, they talk about kids’ purpose in life. They use scripture without calling it scripture and will pray for kids who come up afterward. He has an amazing story of a girl who was about to commit suicide until she heard their presentation. All images and story used by permission of ashleah.org
Part of the “Back to Basics Series,” Dr. Randy Carlson helps you deal with those inevitable times when you just don’t understand why bad stuff is happening to you.]]>