Letters from My Father's Murderer: A Journey of ForgivenessLaurie Coombs
"I believe God is not finished with either of us. Tomorrow is a good day." --Anthony to Laurie When her father was murdered, Laurie Coombs sought justice--and found it. His murderer now serves two life sentences with no possibility of parole. Yet, despite the swift punishmen... Read More
When her father was murdered, Laurie Coombs sought justice--and found it. His murderer now serves two life sentences with no possibility of parole. Yet, despite the swift punishment of the killer, Laurie found herself increasingly full of pain, bitterness, and anger she couldn't control. After coming to faith, she realized she was being called to seek something infinitely more difficult than justice: forgiveness.
This is an extraordinary true story of grace, mercy, and the redemptive power of God to change lives. The reader is swept along with Laurie as she undergoes the life-changing transformation of becoming a Christian. As she studies Scripture, seeing God redeeming losses and healing deep wounds time and time again, she starts to understand that her own healing would require her to love her enemy in a real, practical way.
Using her incredible correspondence with the man who killed her father, Laurie reveals a compelling journey of transformation, not only in her life, but in the lives of those whom many would call irredeemable.
Letters from My Father's Murderer is for any audience--Christian or secular--who:
- Craves freedom from the inability to forgive those who've caused them harm
- Wants to hear testimony of God's power in our obedience
- Has experienced pain through other's sin against them
- Needs to know healing is always possible
The real story here is not primarily about murder and its fallout, but rather about redemption and how far it can reach.
- Store Only: Yes
- Product type: Book
- Format: Softcover
- Release Date: Jun 27, 2015
- UPC: 9780825442292
- Volumes/Discs: 1
- Pages: 232
- Publish Date: Jun 27, 2015
- Language: English
- Audience Age Maximum: 0
- Audience Age Minimum: 0
- BISAC: "BIO018000"
- ISBN: 082544229X
Customer ReviewsWrite your own review
- All Things are Possible with God! by Jeanie on 2/17/2016
Laurie Coombs endured more as a young woman than many do. When she was 15, her parents divorced and, less than a year before her college graduation, her father was murdered. By someone he knew, Anthony, who even admitted to killing him. She would finish college and marry before the trial came to be, and Anthony was given two life sentences.
The week before his murder, Laurie’s father shared with her of his new found faith in Jesus. She had turned away from the Lord after her father left, not returning even when their relationship was restored. She knew he seemed happy, different with his new-found faith. It would be several years and two babies, one a miracle, and a horrifying time of darkness and severe anxiety before she began to believe in Jesus as her Lord and Savior. What a challenging, magnificent journey He has led her through! He called Laurie to do what many might have refused to ever do – forgive her father’s murderer. Not just forgive him, but to love her enemies. The Lord put on her heart to take him a Bible. Thus began an intensive season of communicating primarily by letter.
Laurie faced obstacles, not the least of which was the reaction of her husband and mother and her father’s girlfriend – Anthony’s ex-wife – what she needed to do. Travis and Laurie had been together since three years before the murder. He and her father had a good relationship. She endured health challenges and the aftereffects and waiting for approval of visiting rights. Simply writing to him had to have been hard; it would have been easier to get through the impossible red tape to send him a Bible than to write – and receive letters.
Many things she wrote resonated with me, either as a reminder or as the sweet water bubbling up through the Holy Spirit and giving me fuel for another day, especially:
“All through the Bible bad things happen – people sin or something goes wrong – but over and over two words make it okay – ‘but God’” (pg. 55). ‘’…no matter how bad things seem to be, God is the constant.” (pg. 55) Laurie references Joseph in the Old Testament, and Romans 5:8, “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
What amazes me is not just their correspondence, but how God would use their testimonies. There are many things that I admire in Laurie. The passion she had as a new Christian and her walk of obedience through the irritable, tedious, tumultuous challenge to forgive what for many seasoned Christians would be unforgiveable. How many of us would slog through life, miserable, just trying to endure until Jesus came back rather than seeking to forgive as she had?
I also admire that she gives God the glory for His work in the unique ministry He called Laurie to; even the fact of the changes in Anthony and, as a result, other men that he knew in prison had their lives changed, too. The ministry included sharing the reconciliation, redemption, mercy, forgiveness and peace through Christ. I highly recommend this book to Christians in any age or stage of their faith, or whatever their challenge of forgiving, and those who have volunteered in prison ministry groups; it is an open encouragement that obeying God, even when it is hard, is a blessing when we are willing to try it and see.
With a grateful heart, I received a copy of this book through the “For Readers Only” group at The Book Club Network, in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own; no monetary compensation was received for this review.
- Impressive by Seasons of Opportunities on 8/27/2015
I was extremely impressed with this book. Not just the story itself, but the testimony it is to God's saving grace and forgiveness of sinners. And we are all sinners! I was humbled by Laurie's honesty as well as the honesty of the man who took her father's life. This is an exceptionally moving story about a God pursuing a woman He created and loved. And how she, after surrendering her control, became willing to surrender and seek after Him with her whole heart. Doing so, she found what she was looking for all her life. The journey is not easy, but it is worth the cost.
The older I get, or maybe just the closer I walk with the Lord, the more I realize the importance of GRACE. And this book says it all! Every person alive is capable of doing what the man did that killed Laurie's father. He allowed pride, bitterness, resentment and anger to escalate until he lost control of himself, his life, his purpose and in turn did the unthinkable. It is so easy to point fingers, allow our own pride to rule in our hearts and deem others lower than ourselves, unforgivable even. To forget the God's grace is for everyone.
Remember that old tune:
"Roll back the curtain of memory now and then
Show me where you brought me from and
Where i could have been
Just remember I'm a human and human's forget
So remind me, remind me dear Lord"
As I read this book, it came to mind; I was reminded of some painful mistakes in my own past. How in spite of being Christians we can still be caught up in sin, self, pride, and do things we regret for years to come.
I can't recommend this book highly enough. I think every person should read it. We live in a day and time when forgiveness is not the norm, everyone is out for himself, and many so-called Christians are not living out the grace that God has given them. We need a wake up call. We need to learn to love, and forgive. We need to reach out to those who are hurting even when we are not able to see their pain, because the enemy has masked it by their behavior. We need to offer Jesus.
I was blessed with this book by the Book Club Network in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.
- Very good book by Barb on 7/23/2015
Letters from My Father’s Murderer is a heart wrenching true story of Laurie Coombs journey to rid herself of the uncontrollable anger, grief and bitterness she harbored following her Father’s murder. Laurie prayed that God would heal her. That He would take away her grief, her bitterness and pain and replace it all with trust in Him. God answers her prayers and guides her to write letters to Anthony the man that killed her Father. In doing so, she finds true forgiveness and ultimate peace she so desperately sought.
- True Forgiveness by Maureen on 7/16/2015
As I read this book, I kept asking myself how I would react, and I would sin. The book opens and we glimpse a family that was broken and trying to put parts back together. The main focus of the book is about a man, called Anthony, and his jealousy that ends in murder, and steals this man from his family.
We walk with Laurie and her journey to forgiveness, but a strong emphasis is on her walk of faith. I could see God working in her life and struggles, and watched her grow in her Spiritual life as this journey of the letters progressed. As we read the letters we see how Anthony tries to rationalize his actions, and how Laurie deals with this.
A very sad story, and yet God’s hand is here, and through the letters we travel to the experience of true forgiveness.
I received this book through Litfuse Publicity Book Tours, and was not required to give a positive review.
- Could You Forgive? by Laura on 7/14/2015
Laurie and Anthony. Two families. Two friends. Two people drawn together by one tragedy. Although some will say two.
When Laurie’s father was murdered because of a sin committed. An eye for an eye. However, that’s Old Testament law. New Testament law says we forgive and then that’s the only way we move on with our lives. How hard can that be? In reality we say to ourselves, as a Christian I should be able to forgive anyone. As a human, will I be able to forgive anyone?
God gave us the greatest gift in forgiveness, by allowing Jesus to die on the cross for our sins. So our roles as Christians is easy. Forgive.
This book goes through Laurie and Anthony’s process of forgiving those that betrayed them. Those that hurt them, by the most unlikely of ways, correspondence with each other.
Through their letters, they find healing and a better relationship with themselves, but even more important a better relationship with God.
I strongly urge you to check out this book and go through this process with them! As the sister of someone who has completed a suicide. While different, the act of forgiveness is the same. From the simple hurt your feel when someone hurts your feelings, to the big things like suicide, murder, affairs.
God commands us to forgive. Learn some very valuable resources, just in reading their words to each other and the process they go experience.
“I didn’t want my faith to be just a belief system. I wanted it to be real. I wanted it to impact my life. I wanted it to change the way I lived.” –– Letters from My Father’s Murderer
- A must read by Ramona on 6/29/2015
Laurie’s act of forgiveness has shown me one doesn’t truly trust God until you trust Him to do the impossible (Matt.19:26). Page 207
Laurie Coombs’ father was murdered at the hands of Anthony Echols. What a traumatic experience, yet Ms. Coombs has turned it into a “journey of forgiveness.” This book is a real page turner. It is definitely sad, but also very uplifting.
In the beginning of the book, Ms. Coombs shares with the reader her journey from her father’s death forward. Having her journey so clearly laid out in the beginning one-third of the book really helped when I got to the part when she started corresponding with Mr. Echols. The second two thirds of this book detail the correspondence Ms. Coombs has had with Mr. Echols. It is heart wrenching in parts. It is also amazing to see how God can work in the lives of people if we let him.
This book is a must read. It is a real page turner.
- Forgiveness is POSSIBLE even under impossible circumstances by HeatherBleier on 6/29/2015
Could you forgive the person who murdered your father and then become FRIENDS with that person? I doubt Laurie thought this would be possible, but through God's power, grace, and the Holy Spirit, that's exactly what happened.
I could hardly put Laurie's book down, every page turn lead closer to a relationship only God would reconcile. If you have ever had to offer forgiveness...or humbly receive forgiveness, Laurie and Tony's testimony is a MUST read. It would not only encourage your faith, but help you see things through God's eyes.