On our drive to court today for Chadd's sentencing I wondered what it would be like IF the other family would be forgiving and there could be healing and reconciliation. I tried not to get my hopes up too far. But moments before Georgia had shared that her Daily Devotional today had the title, Rising from the Wreck. Really? Friends sent us scriptures that were of comfort and hope. Our attorney prayed an awesome prayer with the 20 something of us there to support Chadd and Chelsea.
In the courtroom the family had asked the Prosecutor to read a statement. It was heartfelt and moved all of us. I've often thought of the horror of that day for them. To hear it in detail was a confirmation.
Tears flowed. All over the courtroom.
Then it was time for the three of us who were speaking for Chadd to take our turns. I have to say that all that I had prepared left my head as I listened as two of Chadd's friends went first. I just had to pray that God would replace those words with what He wanted to have said. My heart was pounding so hard that it kept getting out of rhythm and then would give a hard re-set beat. I wondered if I was going to pass out. But figured I just had to get through it the best I could. Words came. What I remember most were the intent and kind eyes of Judge R. He didn't look away once! I couldn't tell you most of what I said, but it was from my heart and I think it covered most of what I had wanted to say. Some that I hadn't planned too, I think.
Then Chadd's attorney spoke before Chadd, broken, turned to the family and told them how very sorry he was and that if there was anything he could have done after the fact to change it he would in a second! There was a lot of weeping in that moment.
Judge R spoke. He reviewed the epidemic problems with cell phone distractions these days. It is so true! I'm guilty!! Although, much less so in the car since July 16, 2015. My mantra now is, "Please put that cell phone in your glove compartment before you drive.". I'm totally serious. You may not even be touching the phone but if it causes you to crash even by you looking down at it for a couple of seconds you can be charged. This is what they say happened to Chadd since the text that had arrived before the accident was still unopened. Anyway, the long and the short of the sentence was that Chadd will serve six months of house arrest, pay $6,700 in restitution plus some other amounts, complete 200 hours of community service and will be on probation for five years. Mercy. Grace. And a testimony to Chadd's life of walking with the Lord and the support of a community. The judge was pretty impressed with the amount of letters (60) of support written for Chadd. He had never seen that many for one defendant before.
Here's the best part of the day as far as I am concerned. Remember I was hoping for healing to begin? One of the Kunkle family friends approached Chadd and his attorney to offer to go along when he does talks for teens or other groups about this experience to work together to keep this from happening to anyone else again. She told him that the family doesn't hate him....they are seriously grieving though. In fact, in their statement it said that Mr. Kunkle had forgiven Chadd before he died.
The family wants to meet with Chadd to work toward healing. Prayers answered!!
Our prayers will continue for this process to go well, if the Lord allows it.
All Praise to Jesus. He has carried us all the way to this point.
What relief for all of you. I am awed by all that God has done. He obviously plans good to come from this, which is exactly like Him. Providential Reversal over and over again. Mercy, Grace, Love, Healing, Restoration... Powerful, Becky. Just powerful. What an awesome God.
I'm in tears. Praise God for mercy and grace.....and healing!
I am just a blog reader from the other side of the Susquehanna. I prayed for Chadd before his sentencing today. I was relieved to hear the sentence did not include jail time. I think restitution for the funeral and community service is an appropriate thing to ask of him. I know it was a momentary lapse in judgement which we have all done.
The comments at LNP, wow, everyone has done something wrong at one time or another, everyone. Grace is so easy to want for yourself but so hard to give for some reason.
I'm sure he is grateful for the mercy shown to him.
What a blessing for Chadd to hear from that family friend! Oh God is so good!
You know we are praising God, and just as we as a family prayed for Chadd on Tuesday night (my private prayers for you all kept flowing late into the night and morning) we also paused as a family to give Thanks to God for his mercy and grace in His answer to our prayers!
Wonderful news for your family! Praise God for answered prayers🙏🏼. Sending HUGs and PRAYERS your way!
Tears... praise to the One who is our peace. May He continue to insert His peace into this situation and bring healing. May He strengthen Chadd for the journey ahead, which will also not be easy. May He continue to give you all everything you need, and may He continue to use this situation to bring glory to Himself.
Thanks Becky for more info and the wonderful news about the other family. Forgiveness is HUGE. As you said. Grace. Mercy!
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