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Amy, 45, Cedar Park, Texas

It was November 3, 2006—a normal day in Austin, Texas. With car windows down, sunroof open and fall sunlight streaming in, I was waiting at an intersection not far from my home. Within seconds my life changed.

A man approached the passenger side of my car, stuck a .357 magnum in the window and demanded my car. As I got out of the car, he pulled the trigger. The bullet entered my chest inches from my heart, punctured my right lung, grazed my liver and broke two ribs as it exited my body. It's a very long story from here on. Eight days in the hospital. Doctors shaking their heads, saying it was a miracle I was alive. Then the weeks of police work until the [alleged] shooter was caught.

Have I forgiven him? Of course. I have been forgiven, so I forgive. The size of the trespass matters not. I want to be fully healed and not suffer emotional and spiritual consequences from bitterness and un-forgiveness. I want to model for my children what it means to rise above personal tragedy and grow from it. I had a hole next to my heart. It's healing. He has a hole in his heart that led him to a life of crime. It is my prayer that through forgiveness and that age-old song of redemption, that hole in his heart is healed someday.
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