Two weeks ago today D4 left her home in California at 5:30 am to do a 20 mile run as part of her training to run a marathon with Mr J and D5. She ran a mile and a half and then met up with a friend she runs with. They had only been running together a few blocks when they turned up a street and encountered another jogger on the ground screaming as three dogs attacked her. (Click here to see TV report of the incident.) In the distance were two gunmen and coming upon the scene in the dark D4 and her friend were at first unable to discern what was going on. Were the gunmen part of the attack or help?
Frightened and startled D4’s friend started to scream which caught the attention of the dogs. Diverted from the jogger they rushed at D4’s friend knocking her to the ground and biting her. D4 sensing that being on the ground made her friend more vulnerable rushed in to help her friend back to her feet. In the meantime, the women realized that the gunmen were attempting to shoot the dogs but they had mainly shot in the air attempting to scare away the dogs because of the difficulty in shooting with the women in the way. However, they did manage to kill one dog and wound another before they ran out of ammunition.
Police and ambulances finally came and the jogger and D4’s friend (who is pregnant) were all taken to the hospital. The jogger was in serious condition and the friend had stitches in seven different places and was then released later that day. An ultrasound indicates the baby is unharmed. D4 was unharmed by the dogs, but the trauma she suffered is a different story.
This morning as I talked with D4 I was amazed. It will take a long time before the memories dim, the fear of dogs begins to diminish (it will probably never go away completely), and life lets go of the feeling of terror it has taken on. However, her thoughts now have been filled with the blessings that are coming out of this experience. Yes, there is still trauma, but she is also experiencing an incredible peace and understanding that even in tragedy there can be great blessings.
That is only the beginning of realizations and spiritual experiences D4 has had as she has pondered this traumatic event. She is being reminded over and over that God does have a plan and that He loves all of his children and that He has the power not only to comfort and heal and help us even in our tragedies, but to make those very tragedies into wonderful blessings in our lives. When the Lord says, “And all things wherewith you have been afflicted shall work together for your good, and to my name’s glory” (D&C 98:3) He really means it.