Reliving the events of that horrible night was very difficult. It was kind of like watching a movie, except the events were real. It was kind of like having a bad dream, except you didn't wake-up and the memory of it was gone. In fact, it was much worse.
Many of us, if not all, have experienced some tragedy in our lives, and secondary victims of tragedy most often do not even see themselves as victims. They may not even realize how deeply and completely they have been impacted, but when they do, it can be overwhelming.
On December 3, 1957, my life was changed forever. The night my sister Maria was kidnapped is forever etched in my mind. The reliving of this terrible time in my life has taken many forms throughout the years, and I am sure there will be more to come.
The questions now for you and for me are these:
—Will we be swept up by the evil that is swirling around us?
—Is it this evil act that will define us, or will we prevail in spite of it?
—Or will we continue walking in the shadow of darkness?
I want you to know that you do not and should not have to believe the devil’s lies when he says to you, “You will never overcome this. You will always be under these feelings, and this is the way you are.” I want you to know that God will give you the power to overcome it, just as Jesus said, “I have given you authority to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you” (Luke 10:19).
About the Author
Charles Ridulph is a native of Sycamore, Illinois. He and his wife, Diane, they have a son and two daughters who, along with their spouses and three children, also live in Sycamore. They also have a daughter and son-in-law along with their four children who live near Madison, Wisconsin. He received his theological education from Concordia University of Wisconsin and also is certified for prison ministry through Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in association with Prison Fellowship. He recently retired as the director of Christian Senior Ministries, which he founded in 2000. He has served as police chaplain with the Sycamore Police Department and chaplain with the Illinois Department of Corrections. He serves on the staff at St. John Lutheran Church in Sycamore, and as a lay minister deacon, he serves as vacancy pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in Hampshire, Illinois. Charles was moved to write The Impact so that he could share with all what he had to endure and how he was led by the hand out of darkness and despair. The Impact is based upon his real life experiences and shows that tragedy does not need to prevail.