A DAY THAT CHANGED ME FOREVER.
As we go through this life, we all have days that get etched in our memory forever. We all receive many tattoos on our soul. Some are happy, some are painful. Some of us may also have days occur that change us forever. The day we got married, the day we became a parent…these are all days that change us for the good. And then we may have days that change us for the worse; I had one of these days…or so I thought.
It Was Just Another Wednesday
February 12, 2020. It was a Wednesday. This was a day like all the rest. I woke up, turned over to see my husband, Lindsey lying next to me in bed. He had just returned one day prior from ten days in Texas. At the time, we owned a large ranch there, and he would often go to the ranch and work. I usually stayed home while he did this. I was happy to have him back with me. I had missed him. I looked at him, smiled and gave him a kiss and said a phrase I often say to him in the morning, “I need coffee.” He smiled and said, “Okay.”
We got up, got dressed, brushed our teeth…all the normal little things we all do each day. We fed the dogs, talked about what we needed to accomplish after we got our coffee. Again, all normal…
While he had been gone, I had done a really good guided meditation in the mornings and I wanted to share it with him. I said, “Come sit on the couch and let’s do this meditation before we go get our coffee.” He agreed; again this was a normal kind of thing for us…we often meditated and prayed together early in the morning.
As we did the meditation, I remember specifically feeling very calm that morning, very centered and peaceful. Sometimes when I meditate, it’s just plain frustrating. My mind is so busy and chaotic that the task of trying to “think of nothing” is virtually impossible. But that morning, even though thoughts still came and went, my mind was mostly quiet and I felt calm and peace. I distinctly remember feeling this. I had no idea the nightmare that was coming our way in just a couple of short hours…
The meditation was over and I asked my husband what he thought. He liked it and told me he felt much of the same…calm and peaceful. Again, so ironic that just hours before we would both face death, almost be shot and killed, we both felt two things- calm and peace….
We left our home and drove into the little village of Yellow Springs that was just five minutes from where we lived. We went to our favorite coffee shop that we often frequented and again, did the normal. We got our coffee and caught up with each other after have being apart for over a week. By this time it was after 10am, we finished our coffee, left, ran a few errands in town and then started to head back home.
Normal Becomes NOT Normal
We were here getting coffee, one hour before the shooting.
Although, close to town, our home was located on a rural road and down the road from our house were fields on each side of the road. The fields had no crops in them because it was winter, so they were bare and full of corn stubble.
As we pulled up to our driveway, we both right away, noticed down the road, a dark SUV that was backed into the entry drive of the field. This drive was used by the farmer who planted the ground, but NEVER once had we seen before, a vehicle backed in, just sitting there. Instantly, we both knew something was NOT normal. My husband would tell you, in this moment he knew not only something was abnormal, but something was very wrong.
Even though I found it odd, I was still not alarmed. We pulled into our driveway and I noticed an Amazon package propped up against the left pillar of our gate. We had a large ten-foot high wood and steal privacy gate, at the entry of our drive. Before opening the gate I told Lindsey, “I’m going to get that package,” and he said, “Okay, I’m going to check the mail.” I did not realize that in that moment he was sensing immense danger and was actually going to check on the dark parked SUV. I got the package, hopped back in the car, shut the door, opened the package and saw it was a book I had ordered. I threw it in the backseat. By that time Lindsey had walked back to the passenger’s door that was still open.
He looked at me and said four words, “Give me your gun.”
A few years prior, we had gotten our Conceal and Carry and had made it a habit to always carry. Lindsey had actually forgotten his gun that day, something he NEVER did, so mine was all we had.
A Nightmare Begins…
In that moment, hearing those four words, I looked at him and for some reason did not say a word back, did not question him, just simply opened my center console where I kept my loaded gun and handed it to him. And one second later the absolute shear nightmare of hell began.
A man, who seemed eight foot tall, face covered with a camouflage ski mask appeared at my window out of nowhere, with a GUN pointed directly at my head. In this moment I remember thinking, “this is not real, is this a joke?” No, it was not a joke, not even close. I began to scream like I have never screamed before…I was screaming for my life. Even now, Lindsey says he can still hear me screaming; he has said it was like nothing he had ever heard before. He said it was an awful sound.
When people say, “my life flashed before my eyes,” I can tell you that really does happen. In those moments I saw my children whom I would never see again. It was only hours from school pick up, but I would not be there to get them and ask them how their day was. They would grow up without me. I would not see them get married. I would never hold my grandchildren. I saw my parents. I would never see them again. They would be forced to experience and mourn the death of their only daughter. I saw Lindsey and knew that him and I would die together that day…that this morning had been our last together and I realized that my time on earth, 37 years, was up. I don’t think I really prayed in this moment, but I do know I cried out to God many times. “Oh God, Oh God, help us.”
I felt shear panic, horror, terror and the words really aren’t even available to describe what I felt. Something that haunts me to this day if I allow myself to think about it was the man’s face. I have tried to block this out of my mind. At that time I did not know who it was behind the mask, but I remember the whites of his eyes. They were huge. They were intense and he was looking at me in a way that is only one word- evil.
Spiritual warfare, I have always believed in it. The things we cannot see, that are in a different realm- good forces fighting against evil forces. Well on this day, February 12, 2020 spiritual warfare entered into the physical realm. Evil was no doubt, very present and was physically standing in my driveway with a huge gun pointed at my head through the window of my car door.
In literally seconds, if that, I looked at Lindsey as he raised his gun and shots began to fire. They were so loud…I’ll never forget the pop a gun makes when fired so close to you. I immediately got down in my seat as far as I could go, trying to take myself out of the line of fire. Lindsey quickly disappeared from my view; he was no longer at the passenger’s side of the door. I saw him run, but didn’t know where he went.
I had to do something. His phone was laying on the passenger’s seat, I grabbed it and began to dial 911. I remember I could barely do this…my hands were shaking so bad and I couldn’t even think.
The 911 operator answered, I remember just screaming at her. “There’s a gunman at my home, we’re in our driveway and he’s trying to kill us!!!” “Who is us?,” the operator asked. “My husband and I! Someone is trying to kill us!! We need help!!”
As I stayed on the phone with the 911 operator I could hear her talking, but I had no idea what she was saying. All I could focus on was the loud gun shots that continued and the fact that I could not see Lindsey anymore. I was still sitting in the drivers seat of my car, in fact I never left this place. Lindsey had ran across the road, but I did not know this at the time.
I Thought My Husband Was Dead, and I Was Next
I remember thinking, “I know Lindsey is shot, I know he’s going to die. The gunman will kill him and then come kill me.” I pictured Lindsey laying in the middle of the road, shot and bleeding to death- I can still see this now, it haunted me for a long time. I thought, “I have to get out and go find him, I have to try and help him.”
I Knew My Killer
I then remember reaching down to the door handle to open it…I needed to get to my husband, but in that exact moment another person with a gun pointed at me yet again, came running around the front of my car, again out of nowhere. This time even though disguised with a beanie cap, darker hair than usual, and big sunglasses, it was someone I totally recognized; it was Lindsey’s ex-wife.Skycam capturing my car (white tahoe) and their SUV pulled up behind.
She came around the front of my car and instantly I thought, “Oh my God, she is going to kill me.” I eerily remember the look on her face, one of great intent and she did something that bothered me deeply and still does. I was screaming her name and begging her not to shoot, “Please no, don’t do it!” And she did something I’ll NEVER forget, she nodded her head yes at me several times, as if she were saying, “Yes, this is going to happen. You are going to die today.”
I still had no idea where Lindsey was. I assumed that he was dead and now I was going to die, at the hands of his ex-wife. I realized she was with the masked man, they were working as a team to hunt and kill us and they were going to succeed. I remember brief thoughts of anticipation, trying to prepare myself for no doubt the pain I was about to feel from being shot.
She got to the front left corner of my car and was pointing her gun straight at me. I continued to beg and plead to her for my life. I thought, “She is a mother too, surely she will not kill me and take me from my children.” This did not matter to her though, she was getting ready to pull the trigger, still nodding her head and again, just as I had with the masked man, I saw pure evil. Spiritual warfare in the flesh.
And then out of nowhere, she fell to the ground. What had happened? I had no idea. Frantic, I began to look around searching for any sign of what had taken place, and that’s when I saw Lindsey run up the left side of my car. I will never forget the relief I instantly felt seeing him. He was not only alive, but he was saving my life! He had shot and killed the masked man across the road, who we later found out was his ex-wife’s current husband.
When this happened, his ex-wife who was watching from her phone in her car (they had planted a camera across the road from our driveway and were live streaming the whole thing to her phone) had driven down the road and turned around blocking my car in. She had gotten out of the SUV and screamed at Lindsey, “I’m going to kill Molly!” In that moment, shocked, realizing it was his ex-wife and realizing what was about to happen, Lindsey left the masked man who was dying on the ground and sprinted across the road back to my car. He has told me in these moments he was sure he was going to die or at least be severely shot and wounded, but all he cared about was getting to me and keeping her from doing what she said she was going to do- kill me.
My Husband Saved My Life
Lindsey succeeded. He kept her from killing me. He saved my life. Before she was able to shoot and kill me, he shot her. She fell to the ground, literally right beside my driver’s side door took her last breath and died. And then what seemed like hours and hours of gun shots, finally ended.
He opened my door, her body laying right there on the ground for me to see and I was literally hysterical. I remember I didn’t want him to stand too close to her because her gun was right next to her body, where she had dropped it, and I was terrified, just like a bad movie, that she would somehow come to life again, grab her gun and still kill us both dead.
Lindsey grabbed my face, “Molly, you’re okay, you’re fine. She’s dead. No one is going to hurt you. We are still going to have our baby.” Oddly enough just the day before, we had done an IVF retrieval…we had been trying to get pregnant for a long time. Even on the 911 call you can hear him saying these words to me.
I was inconsolable. He got me out of the car and I ran away from her body as quickly as I could. I literally collapsed to my knees at the end of our driveway, right next to their car that was parked blocking my car in. My body was shaking beyond my control, I felt like I was going to pass out and I could not even believe or process what had just happened. Even a year later, I still really can’t. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to.
And then everything that followed is a bit of a blur, the cops showing up, more cops than I’ve ever seen filling up the road and closing it off so no one could drive past. Ambulances arrived, yellow tape was put up everywhere. Was this was my reality??? Even though this is so cliché, I felt like I was in the middle of a very bad movie.
This was minutes after cops arrived. Lindsey took this picture.
I remember Lindsey calling my parents and ex-husband telling them what had happened. My parents were hysterical…I heard my mom scream on the other end of the phone when he told her. I remember then being put in separate cop cars. I had never been in a police car before and now I was. They put me in one car and Lindsey in another, because now the questioning would begin.
I had a severe panic attack in the back of the police car. It was hot and the windows were caged in. I frantically hit the window button because I needed air, I couldn’t breathe, not realizing in a cop car you can’t roll the back window down. I began banging on the window as loud as I could, “Please help me! I can’t breathe!!!” A young cop who was walking by saw me and saw my desperation and quickly went and spoke to the lead sergeant. She nodded her head as he told her something and then came and opened my door. I gasped as the fresh air hit me. “I’m not going anywhere, but I can’t have this door closed. I will pass out,” I told him. He told me it was okay and stood there with me as I breathed, trying to calm down.
Because an investigation would take place, the cops had to follow protocol and so they took all of our personal belongings- phones, my purse, Lindsey’s wallet…we had to leave everything. To say the least, it was an EXTREMELY invasive experience. We even had to ask one of the cops to take care of our dogs who were barking frantically inside of our gate because we could not go back into our property or home. Our HOME was now a crime scene. I still cannot even fathom or comprehend this.
Moments later I saw my dad’s car driving down the road, very fast, abruptly stopping at the barricade the police had set up. “That’s my dad!” I told the cop who was there with me. I was like a little girl in that moment, so relieved to see her dad, all I wanted was for him to hug me.
And then I saw something I’ll never forget…a vision that will never leave my mind. I watched as the police let my dad start walking down the road, no doubt realizing who he was. He was walking quickly. At the same time, Lindsey was being escorted by another cop to a separate car and as they both walked toward each other, they met in the road, and I saw Lindsey and my dad embrace. They stayed that way for several minutes and I watched out the back car window, tears streaming down my face.
We began to leave the scene, headed to the police station. I was in one car, Lindsey in another. As my car approached my dad who was waiting on the side of the road I said, “Stop! I need to see my dad!” The cop stopped the car and rolled down the back window for me. I stuck my fingers through the caged in window to touch my dad’s. I was sobbing and he was telling me everything was going to be okay, that he loved me.
We drove off and headed to the police station. My head was spinning the whole way there. The range of emotions I was feeling, I can’t even begin to explain. We would be at the station for seven long hours, detained in different rooms, questioned about what had happened. I sat at a table in a cold room, questioned, but barely able to breathe, let alone talk. I was in utter shock.
The story was all over the news.
Now, more than a year later, I have to say this is one post I did not want to write, but one I have known I need to write. And honestly, the complexity of this situation and where it took me, how I struggled and still do struggle, what I have learned, what my husband and I have been through together as a couple and what we are still battling….it will take me many posts to get that all out. I’ll be writing on this one for awhile.
But this was the first step. A step in acknowledging and expressing what I went through and what I survived. By all accounts, I should have died that day- my husband and I both should have. We were completely ambushed by two armed people. They had planned and plotted and struck when we were least expecting it. We were getting our mail, everything was normal.
God Said, “Not Today.”
As I said, spiritual warfare entered the physical realm that day, but this is where a hugely traumatic and violent event gets very interesting. This is where the expected plot and outcome takes a giant turn.
By all odds, we should have died that day. Yes, maybe according to the two people who tried to kill us, but NOT according to God. You see, even though the forces of evil were very present in our driveway that day, even though evil had been planning and plotting for many, many months, God was prepared. He knew what was coming even though we did not. Nothing surprises Him. God sent His power and His angels to fight for us that day and He won.
I actually have this incredible vision come to mind when I think about the forces that were present. I see dark, evil forces fighting, trying to steal and take human life, but then I see strong, huge, bright and white as snow, good powers of God, angels flying and protecting…all of these forces battling against each other. And we all know God is greater. We all know light is more than darkness. Romans 8:39 says, “No power of hell, no scheme of man could ever pluck me from His hand.” Words have never been more true.
So this is my story, or part of it. I have been through a very violent trauma, but I am not defined by it. I am changed by it, but I am not a victim. In the many months to come I will write more about this event and how it has changed me, not for the worse as I thought in the beginning, but for the better. Almost dying was what I needed to experience so I could become the person I am destined to be.
You see, God is a master artist…He takes something ugly, something dark and even something evil, and He makes it into something beautiful, good and full of light….
I will tell you about the good, the beauty and the light in the posts to come…