Walking Wounded

This week, a woman was murdered in Bloomington. I did not know her, but my heart goes out to her family, her friends, her neighbors. I am so deeply saddened that her life was cut short. I pray that she knew Jesus.

This week, a woman was arrested for murder in Bloomington. Her mug shot was shown on every channel, along with a bit of her story- well, let’s be honest, it was only the worst bit of her story, the bit that allows us to generalize her, categorize her, diminish her to a set of behaviors and consequences. But here’s the thing:  I know Donna Mae Bastyr.

Our Breakthrough team met Donna over a year ago, stressed and scared, outside the Salvation Army Shelter. We helped her get into treatment. We drove her to court appearances. Shared meals with her. She had burned a lot of bridges. Addiction does that. We spoke life into her as best as we knew how. We talked about next steps, dreams, God’s purpose for her life. We encouraged her to lean on Him and keep moving forward.

Every so often, Donna would reach out to one of us. She’d send pictures of her with her son and express her gratitude for the support of family members. She was happy to have completed a treatment program. She was saddened at the loss of a job. It seemed that her life had smoothed out into a routine that was working for her.

This tragic turn has shocked us, but it does not change our resolve. Even if this is the only post like it on the entire internet, I want this to be stated publicly- for her son, for her family and for Donna- that she is loved. That she is a precious, beautiful daughter of the Living God. That there is NOWHERE she can go from His presence. That this isn’t the end of her story.

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