The name that is haunting America, as news and information about her tragic missing persons case, and now death, have captured the interest of the masses, thanks to its viral attention across social media.
For those who, like me, have only followed the case recently, Gabby Petito, 22, and her fiance, Brian Laundrie, 23, set out this summer in July on a cross country trip in their sleeper van. They were documenting their entire trip on social media: Instagram, Youtube, TikTok – in the hopes of becoming “#VanLife” travel vloggers.
On August 12, they were stopped by police in Utah after someone reported domestic abuse. There is over an hour of dash cam footage of the stop, where Laundrie is documented as the victim of her domestic abuse, when police discover cuts on his face, and nail marks on his arms. During this citation, Petito is visibly distraught, crying, and claiming to have OCD. The police, per Utah protocol, separate the two for 24 hours – he in the van, she in a hotel in Salt Lake City.
After this episode, Gabby’s parents had a Facetime call with her on Aug 23, where Gabby said the pair were driving to Wyoming. And on August 25, Gabby posted to her Instagram one final time.
On August 30, Gabby’s mother received her last text, “No service in Yosemite.”
Laundrie returned home to Florida in Petito’s sleeper van on September 1 alone, without Petito, and ten days later on September 11, her family — in New York — finally reported her missing.
Laundrie, who has been named a person of interest, has offered no information on her whereabouts, and since last week – Sept 14 – he has been missing, and a manhunt is currently underway for him, after Petito’s remains were confirmed to have been found on Tuesday of this week, in a national forest in Wyoming.
This incredibly tragic story has gone mega viral, after several fellow “#VanLife” TikTokers and influencers have claimed to have spotted their van, or the couple on their journey. One source has reported to have seen Laundrie alone in the woods, and another reportedly picked up Laundrie alone, when he was hitchhiking in late August. The viral nature of this story has garnered it over 500 million views on the #GabbyPetito hashtag on TikTok, and it has been picked up, not only by all the major news networks, but the “true crime” community, sending millions of “armchair detectives” into a tizzy to solve this unfolding mystery.
Couple that with recent outcry that the “newsworthiness” of this case is evidence of racism, citing the “Missing White Girl” phenomena, claiming that only because Petito was beautiful, young and white, this story was picked up.
All I know is that this is a terribly tragic story of the loss of a young, vibrant – and yes, beautiful – girl.
I’m going to be honest, last night after I got home from the airport, I stayed up after midnight, watching the hour+ long video of the dash-cam footage, and immersing myself into this case.
Aside from being heartbroken, learning about this young woman’s death, I was fascinated by how this story has exploded online. And it got me asking, why?
True Crime has a rabid, cult-like following in the podcast world, on TV and online, ever since the Serial podcast put the genera on the map.
Why are, women in this particular genera, so obsessed with such a dark topic matter?
And waking up this morning, I finally realized…
True Crime, and our obsession with murder cases and the like, it thrusts people into a staring match with the very real, and very important question: Am I safe?
Learning the intricate, intimate details of these murder cases, and especially with Petito’s case: having the ability to literally walk through the journey with her through all her social media posts and videos, we come to realize that bad things really do happen to good people. People just like you and me.
Because we can all see ourselves in Petito: she was young, full of adventure, in love, taking selfies and sharing kissy videos on the internet with the love of her life.
She was going to have the adventure of her lifetime, and it came to a tragic end.
Seeing ourselves in this sweet, young woman, we come face to face with the truth that we are not in control.
We’re not in control.
It illuminates the uncertainty of everything we know to be true in life, and calls into question everything we believe and everyONE we trust.
Our obsession with true crime such as this, highlights our collective masochistic tendencies to embrace fear.
There’s a reason why I don’t like true crime, and why I had avoided following this story until I absolutely couldn’t dodge it anymore: I don’t like that feeling.
I don’t like feeling unsafe. I don’t like questioning everything I know to be good and true. And I don’t like focusing on darkness and sorrowful things.
And after succumbing to that last night, I woke up with one thing on my mind:
I don’t know why God allows bad things to happen to good people. I don’t know why tragedies occur. And though we don’t know for sure what happened to Ms. Petito, there is evil in the world, and as it appears, Gabby lie victim to just that.
And I’m going to be honest, tragedies like this are real “faith shakers.” Bringing about questions like, “God, where was Your protection for Gabby that day?” “How could You allow this terrible thing to happen?” “Don’t You love Gabby?” “Don’t you care?”
It’s the age-old question: Why does God allow tragedy? – Why are children diagnosed with cancer? How did God allow all those innocent people to perish on 9/11? Why does God allow child abuse? God, where are You?
Where is God? I think the answer is that He’s right there next to us, crying with us.
He’s weeping. He’s mourning. He’s in our pain too, sad that His children would do this to one another.
Though we don’t know exactly how Petito tragically passed, the report has confirmed that her death was a homicide. I’m not saying her fiance is guilty — not at all. But someone is responsible for her death, and I know that God is mourning that fact.
Free will is a tricky thing. Because though it gives us the autonomy to choose to live and love like Christ, it also allows for evil to take root and spread like wild fire in our hearts.
And sadly, this young woman is the wreckage of the latter in someone else.
And that is the biggest tragedy of all.
So. Are we safe?
If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it is that when we are in the arms of Jesus, we can endure just about any suffering in this world. When we have our eyes on Jesus, we have nothing to fear. There is no power or principality that can snatch us from the mighty hand of Jesus.
Because at the end of the day, our home is not on this earth at all. Our home is in Heaven with Him. And when we are connected to the Vine, even in death, we are with the Father.
Gabby Petito, may she rest in eternal peace with our Heavenly Father. May she be experiencing the love and peace and true joy that await us in Heaven. Lord, comfort her family and loved ones, and bring to justice the person responsible for her death. Amen.
Have you been following the Gabby Petito case? What are your thoughts? Why do YOU think God allows tragedy in this life?
“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5
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85 responses to “Gabby Petito: A Viral Tragedy”
A beautiful post thank you so much
thank you so much! Hugs and love xox
“Our obsession with true crime such as this, highlights our collective masochistic tendencies to embrace fear.” I have a similar question as to why people are so willing to give Satan a try and dabble in the occult. I’m not sure of the answer other than we are sinful and condemned under the law. The dark side of things is familiar to us and maybe even feels like home to our carnal selves. There’s the saying “Crazy knows crazy!”
“I don’t know why God allows bad things to happen to good people. I don’t know why tragedies occur…And I’m going to be honest, tragedies like this are real “faith shakers.” I know why tragedies occur, and it isn’t because God allows it. They happen because Adam and Eve rejected God and handed the keys to the kingdom to Satan. The Bible even makes references to him as the ruler of this world. Bad things happen because of him and humanity letting him in – not God. Once you can plant that truth in your mind, tragedies are no longer faith shakers!
“Where is God? I think the answer is that He’s right there next to us, crying with us.” You grazed up against the truth above with this GREAT picture. The question it should then provoke as WHY does God cry with us, if He caused the tragedy in the first place! Brilliant statement!
Are we safe? In Jesus, yes!! And then this afternoon there was a shooting at the Kroger in Collierville, another Memphis suburb. We often go to Collierville to shop and go to dinner. It’s largely upscale and very nice. Except for today with 13 shot, one dead, and the shooter offing himself. Still, we cling to Jesus. We pray for Him to send His angels to watch over us. And, no matter how and when we die – because we all will – we will find ourselves with Jesus in heaven. And that ain’t half bad!
Hey Jeff, thank you so much for this insightful comment. Gosh, so much to think about! You’re right – the fall of Adam and Eve brought about this proclivity for evil, and we are seeing that play out to the extreme today. Oh my gosh!! that’s so terrible about Collierville!!! oh my word, I’m so glad you and your family are safe and weren’t there. Gosh, there are just so many hurting people out there, it breaks my heart. Cling to Jesus – absolutely. Frankly that’s the only way we’ll get through this world. He is our refuge and our hope, and it seems we need a lot more of that these day! Nope, not half bad at all! Thanks again for stopping by, Jeff, and sharing these powerful thoughts. I hope you and your girls have a wonderful weekend! Hugs and love xox
I try not to lean on my own understanding. Rather, I do my best to trust in God’s goodness. Philip Yancey published a book a few years back called “The Question that Never Goes Away – Why?” after he had been requested to address the distraught parents in Sandyhook. He doesn’t have all the answers but it’s a very good testimony of faith given by a theologian who’s been asked to comfort those who grieve.
That’s such wisdom, Rollie – you’re right – we have to trust in God’s goodness, even though the world may be crumbling around us. I’ll have to check that book out, thanks for the recco. Hugs and love xox
Amen, Caralyn. This is a tragedy and it’s heartbreaking thinking about what her family is going through. I don’t like watching crime shows either. This story had everyone in our community talking because North Port is right next to our town. In fact, the Laundrie’s home is only about 10 to 15 minutes from us near the local Walmart. It has been very strange thinking about her boyfriend hiding in the woods around here. I keep an eye out for him when I’m driving around. Bad things happen because we live in a fallen sinful world. All I know is for those who believe in Jesus, God promises to wipe all the tears away in the end. Our prayers are with the Patito family, and I pray they find Brian too. God will bring justice, healing, and peace to this very soon. God bless the Patito family and comfort their hearts. Blessings.
Thank you so much Ryan. I know, it breaks my heart to think of the sorrow her family is grappling with right now. Oh my gosh, wow, this really hit home then. And you hit the nail on the head: a fallen world indeed, but yes — our hope is in Him, because He has already overcome the world. Praying with you! Hugs and love xox
It’s Petito. I’ll post more after I read.
Thank you Derek! Yes! I realized this AFTER (of course) I posted. I feel so terrible!! It was in no way to disrespect her – just a spelling flub on my part! I have since fixed it. Thanks for the heads up! Hugs and love xox
True Crime? The very title sickens me. Americans are so obsessed with violence and death which I find completely despicable. Now more than ever, this world needs Jesus Christ to return for us.
Hi John, I’m with you – we don’t need any more violence or darkness occupying our minds. We’ve got enough in the world around us. Amen to that – we need Jesus! So glad you stopped by! Hugs and love xox
It is a very sad and tragic story. But the question should not be, “where is God?” This is about Satan and the evil work he puts in the mind of those who have no fear of God and want to take control.
Brian will be found and he will answer to God. I have two daughters, and I would never want to go through such tragedy.
Hi Sandy, thanks for sharing your thoughts – you hit the nail on the head: this is the work of the enemy for sure. I know, I can’t imagine the pain her family is dealing with. May God be with them through their sorrow. Hugs and love xox
Here are some thoughts. Humans are the only species that is aware of its own mortality (I think). As such we are fascinated with death and killing. It’s also why some believe in an afterlife as a way of giving life meaning. We also have made death a ritual. We think about and fear or accept or welcome our death — It’s continually with us.
Humans are also the only species that make a habit of killing, mass killing and war (maybe ants do too). Our fascination with death and dying fills our art and entertainment not only our news. Somehow, I think our knowledge of death and our propensity to kill are somehow all tied up together.
As for god. God gave man free will, so god allows killing as he allows death. Isn’t that the price Adam and Eve paid for their sin? Also, the old testament god was not averse to killing or war. Isn’t that what he created? He had to know that his creation was prone to killing or he wouldn’t be omnipotent.
When the Jews in concentration camps asked how could god allow such a thing to happen the answer was that it had nothing to do with god, it was man who created these horrors and one had to learn to live with “man’s inhumanity to man.” As the bard says “O, what men dare do! What men may do! What men daily do, not knowing what they do!”
Hi Steven, thank you for sharing your thoughts on this. You bring up some very interesting points. Yeah, free will is a double edged sword, because it allows for evil to be exercised. And we are seeing that play out. Hugs and love xox
Such a tragic story. Why God allows these tragedies to occur I do not know. I do know that we live in a fallen world and that we are going to face heartache and heartbreak but I’m still left with the question, “WHY??” God could have prevented this from occurring. He could have prevented 9/11 from happening. But somewhere in all this tragedy is God’s LOVE and His goodness. One day we will see Him face to face and all of our heartache will be over.
Hi Leigh, thank you for sharing your thoughts on this. you’re right – it is so so tragic, and I can’t imagine the pain her family is going through. I’m right there with you: why! And you’re right – God’s love is always present, as is His goodness, even if His children choose to do evil. glad you stopped by. Hugs and love xox
Unfortunately, I’ve followed it since the beginning. Not on TV as I don’t watch much network news. But through reading about her in the paper. Yeah. I knew. We all did. It’s horrible. I feel terrible for her family. Gabby Petito was beautiful and young. She had so much ahead and now it’s been taken away due to that psycho. Shame on him and his parents. They’re all to blame. I can’t believe I feel that way. But I do. I’m very upset and it is very sad. What a senseless tragedy. God bless Gabby. 😥💜🙏✨⭐
Hi Derek. Yeah, this story has been all over, and it has unfolded in such a captivating way. I feel just terrible for her family too, I can’t imagine the pain they’re dealing with. I pray that God comfort them in their mourning. Glad you stopped by. Hugs and love xox
You’re welcome Caralyn!
I’ve been seeing this story all over. In fact some Facebook news pages posted the same thing every hour and when they find more information they pretty much spammed that as well. This is tragic it’s sad i and I don’t know what went wrong here other than this is another Satan story that like many others is a distraction for something else.
Kind of interesting as this story kicks up our political system is dealing with it’s own battles potentially causing another shutdown along with the border crisis. Truth is, I believe this is happening because many people don’t trust in God. Tragic stories like this one among the True Crime just happens. It’s like Satans own TV show of another murder victim that people are intrigued by. It’s a distraction for what is going on in the world. Keep people occupied with sad stories such as this and let society crumble apart. Its easier than trying to make a positive change so less of these crimes take place.
I now always say when the media has its attention on a single story, such as focusing so much on a domestic crime look for the story or stories the media is trying to hide.
Also too, GM recalled their electric vehicles twice over battery fires and it was creating businesses to push notices saying no to park their Chevy Bolts in their parking lots. This all became white noise when the Gabby story flooded news streams.
oh wow. I had no idea, but that’s super scary!!
Oh it is. God is getting angry with those that keep pushing it, or rather the way they are pushing it. People are scared too, but they are still alive. God can only warn people so many times though. I pray if they are good people that they re listening!
I pray they are too!
Another Satan story – sadly, you hit the nail on the head. The enemy is written all over this one, and it makes me so sad. It’s a distraction for sure. We must turn our eyes to Jesus. I appreciate you stopping by and sharing your thoughts. Hugs and love xox
These are questions we all ask. Thank you for your tender, honest treatment of this tragic story. The world we live in is riddled with evil and it’s effects. Sometimes we fancifully talk as if we can irradicate it by being kinder to others. But we fail to see the problem lies much deeper than popular culture wants to admit. Our faith in God is the only answer that fits. But . . . that is controversial, so we don’t say it.
But you do! Thank you.
Hi Ivan, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on this. You’re right – sadly, there is evil in this world, and we’re seeing that written all over this story. Amen – our faith in God is the ONLY answer that fits indeed, but again you ‘re right — that’s controversial and not what people want to hear. Glad you stopped by. Hugs and love xox
I’ve been following this case too, and I’m on edge waiting to know what the autopsy shows. Yesterday I scrolled through her Instagram page, and none of the pictures gave any hint of something being wrong. The smiles looked genuine. But, we all know social media can be deceiving.
I hope they find the fiancé soon. Since he’s on the run, he’s guilty of something. The scary thing is, with how much they were on the road traveling, he is well versed in how to navigate nature.
Her family needs closure. They deserve to know what happened.
I will say that just because he had marks on him at the time they were pulled over, that doesn’t mean she wasn’t the victim of verbal/emotional abuse.
Hi Ellen, thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. Yeah, me too – I woke up this morning, and one of my first thoughts was: I wonder if there’s any new information about this case that came to light overnight. And you’re right! Everything seemed so normal, and loving online. Me too, I hope they find him soon. I can’t imagine the pain her family is grappling with. And that’s such a great point – since writing this, I’ve been listening to more podcasts, and the grand consensus is that this is actually (sadly) a “common” move by abusers, to blame the abuse on the victim if ever confronted, and make it seem like the victim is actually doing the abusing. It all seems incredibly twisted. In my mind, I can only imagine she was trying to defend herself. I know, if God forbid I was ever in a situation like that, I would fight like H-E-double hockey sticks to get away. prayers all the way around for everyone involved! Hugs and love xox
I didn’t look at this much this week. David Paulides of Canam MIssing Project channel had mentioned it. I saw the body cam footage and the wimpy guy went to the hotel while she went in the van. Paulides talks about how people go missing under mystery circumstances, especially in National Parks. I saw another case in that area at the same time of a couple who had been stalked and killed. Perhaps there is a third party here. Though his strange behavior returning to Florida suggests he has a part in her death. Perhaps he was in shock. Accidents involving death can create a blackout period for 3-4 days. I’ve been a little loopy lately because my mom passed away a few weeks ago. I sort of suspect this case having way too much air time only because of their notoriety on the internet/social media. I can see in the near future YouTube getting sued for enabling their activity.
Hi Tom, thank you for sharing your thoughts on this. it’s scary to think that tragedy like this happens more often than we’d like to believe. I agree, his behavior coming home alone and not reaching out to her family — seems very suspect. Gosh, I’m so sorry to hear about your mother – sending my condolences and prayers for your family as you navigate this difficult season. I appreciate you stopping by. You’re right, it will be interesting to see how this plays out. Hugs and love xox
God is crying with us. Very true.
Crying with us for sure. What a sad, sad story. May God be with her family has they grieve this terrible loss. Glad you stopped by, Greg. Hugs and love xox
Such a tragedy. Prayer and praise to my LORD EVERY DAY TO KEEP ME and my family/friends safe. I am not a young girl but I felt that same thing about being safe. You’re not alone, we can only be there to comfort and be kind when we need to be! I will be celebrating 70 yrs in a couple weeks but your questions are what I’ve asked when I was young. I hope you find peace, keep praying and give your concerns to GOD… BLESS YOU!
Hi friend, thank you for sharing your thoughts on this. You’re so right, it’s a terrible tragedy. And 70! That’s so beautiful, happy early birthday! Yes, He will take all our concerns, and cover us in His love and peace. Hugs and love xox
Thanks for the birthday wish. We are planning celebrating our birthdays in San Diego, and we also will celebrate 33 years of awesome marriage October 21st. I am blessed.
oh my goodness, blessed indeed! congratulations!! 🙂
I know I’m not very popular here, but I have to say it: where are the blog posts about other people of color who are missing? As tragic as Gabby’s case is, why are you and the collective media obsessed with her when there are 43 other missing person cases being investigated by the FBI (many of whom are people of color)? There is a new term called “missing white woman syndrome” in which cis gendered young attractive Caucasian women get the brunt of the media’s attention, leaving others unnoticed. Not too far back was the Molly Tibbetts case which led to widespread hatred towards Hispanics. You have a real bias Caralyn. I don’t think you are even aware of it, or more sinisterly are quite aware of it.
Peter, I wrote about this story because it is national headline news. There was no agenda here other than writing about what is timely and in the news. I don’t need to defend myself to you on this outrageously false and unfounded claim. Yes, it is sad and terribly tragic that there are so many missing persons cases being investigated. It doesn’t matter a person’s skin color or background: a missing person is a missing person, and is a terrible tragedy. But this is not a “true crime” blog, or an investigation discovery blog. And therefore, this is a unique blog post topic about a story that has receive unprecedented widespread attention. YOU are the one with the bias here, sir — and it is against me. If you don’t like my blog, don’t read it.
Think you hit the root of the problem when mentioning free will, sin and evil. How does God protect the (semi) innocent while allowing free will (choice) that is unencumbered by such protection? That’s the dilemma. As a result, bad things do happen to good people. Christ is the answer. He provides purpose and salvation, comfort to those touched by sin, with rewards in heaven we can’t imagine; then no more tears, pain, crying, no death. But meanwhile evil raises its ugly head, and the spiritual battle between God and Satan, between good and evil, continues.
Thank you so much Rick for sharing your thought on this. You’re right, free will is a double edged sword for sure. a dilemma indeed. amen! Christ is the answer! and we can take hope because Christ has already overcome the world. glad you stopped by! Hugs and love xox
I’ve been wondering what your thoughts were on this. It’s undeniably tragic and I can’t imagine what her family must be going through with this senseless loss. I’m glad you bring up the bizarre infatuation with crime drama’s though. I feel like the internet is a double edged sword. Would the FBI have found her had it not been for other bloggers videos? I don’t know. But the other end of that sword is the mob mentality surrounding who (All the crime and homicide experts that we are) we believe is guilty of the crime. We’re the detectives, judge, jury and executioner in this case. Unpopular opinion: I don’t believe that endlessly attacking him online did any favors to getting answers of what really happened. So why did this happen? Truly only God has that answer. But if there is any lesson for the masses in this, I think it’s the reminder that God is our judge jury and executioner – not us.
Hi Elizabeth, thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. I can’t imagine what they must be going through either. You’re right – it’s a double edged sword indeed. I agree – only God has that answer. The the meantime, we can just pray for her family, and keep our eyes on God. Glad you stopped by. Hugs and love xox
God is Sovereign. He can do whatever He wants to do. After all, He is GOD.
Job asked “Shall we accept only good from God, and not trouble?”
Bad things happen to good people. Is there any one better than Jesus? Yet while on this earth look how He was treated, even to the point of being crucified.
Jesus doesn’t promise to keep us out of trouble and sorrow and pain, but He will help us through it.
When we are weak, HE is made strong.
Hi Myron, thank you for sharing your thoughts on this. You’re right – God is Sovereign, and our source of strength, even if we have to go through suffering on this earth. Glad you stopped by. Hugs and love xox
First I had not heard of this story until tonight. God I believe gives us free will and expects us to use our brains and make good decisions. However we know we can’t control all the bad things in this world because there are truly bad people in our world. God is not the one who is doing evil in the world it is people that become evil and people who do not know God. I listen to most of your presentation and you did such an amazing talk and it was very well received I could tell. Bless your heart. It was a wonderful presentation. God never said life would be easy in fact we know from reading the bible that the more we follow him the more the devil will try to make things difficult. God bless you for telling your story. I am sending you so much love, respect, and hugs. Thanks be to God our Father that we can call on him and he is there. Sending my love and prayers out to you to continue your ministry for other young women who are suffering from this disease. Joni
Hi Joni, thank you for sharing your thoughts on this. It is a terrible, terrible story indeed. You’re right – free will is a double edged sword, because as we are witnessing, it allows for evil to flourish in this world. But God is not a dictator and gave us that gift, that has great responsibility attached to it. Thank you for taking the time to listen to my talk. I truly appreciate it, and I am touched by your kind words. The enemy comes only to seal, kill and destroy — thankfully God has already overcome the world, and we an trust Him on that!! Thank you again, my dear friend. You are a blessing to me! Hugs and love xox
I don’t think it is an awful story at all. I know the disease is mostly about control. We all have our challenges and God uses us all to do different ministries in this life. I felt like I wanted to give you the biggest hug for telling your story. You are an incredible speaker. You did not repeat yourself once and your pauses everything you did, anyone would have thought your were a professional speaker all your days. The more we love God the more the devil sits right by us. You look amazing, sounded incredible and your talk felt very genuine and so thoughtful of you to talk to that congregation. I was so happy for you. You are an inspiration to anyone dear friend. It was an honor to see you and listen to you. I learned a lot. You are a blessing to me my friend. Love, hugs and blessings to you. 🤗❤️🦋🙏Joni
Gosh, you are too kind. Truly, thank you from the bottom of my heart. That really means a lot. And you’re right about that – when the devil sees someone bringing God to the forefront, especially in a public way, he is always waiting in the wings to trip us up. But thankfully, we have Jesus who is our strength and stronghold! my goodness, you are amazing, thank you Joni. This was such a blessing to read today. Thank you! Hugs and love xox
No, I had not heard of the Gabby Petito case… it sounds odd, and sad.
An important topic, individual tragedy… In theology, it comes under the banner of ‘theodicy’, but I have not read much on theodicy.
I think I am particularly interested in connecting people with God’s goodness… in the sense of, the world covers up much about God… but which can be revealed to people, and for people 🧐
It is so sad. Thanks David for taking the time to read this. Hugs and love xox
We can’t understand love, compassion and empathy unless we have it taken from us, only then do we truly appreciate what we actually have. And no, God most certainly cries mightily in all we do, but in the end it is what we become because of it. We can stay in that loveless place in our attitude or fear, or we can become that love we discover. We must experience all those emotions because we cannot understand the difference between each of them unless we experience them and feel what they do to us so that we can follow them within and find the answer we always seek…and be free. Hard journey…yes…but we would not appreciate it unless it did take a great effort and endurance in seeking out that love and happiness we always look fort…and finally, thankfully, discover its true meaning, and then appreciate the truth of what God has given us. In hindsight dear lady, even with so much pain, if I had to do it all again I would not change one instant of time because I can now see the truth of what it has given me in my heart…what God has given me by allowing us to be us. Just follow your heart dear lady, it has something to say…something wonderful 😀 ❤️ 🙏🏽 🦋
Hi Mark, wow what a powerful response, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on this. You’re right – we must feel the bad to fully appreciate the good. I agree – I wouldn’t change those difficult seasons in my life either, because it has allowed me the perspective to appreciate God’s love and forgiveness. I appreciate you! Hugs and love xox
Thanks for your balanced reporting on this tragic story, Caralyn. I wasn’t following it until Dr. Phil did a show on it last week, and I watched that show. It just makes me weep knowing that Gabby met with such a horrific end.
I’ve had an abiding interest in true crime shows for many years. I watch the Investigation Discovery Network, and that’s my main source of information. The main reason for my interest is because of my background. From a very early age I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I was not safe. I come from a background of extreme child abuse. My father was an extremely violent and angry man, and I bore the brunt of his rage. And my main interest in true crime has been because I’m trying to understand what made my father tick.
You ask why people commit these terrible crimes. I’ve asked the same thing myself, especially with regard to my own life. Why did God allow such evil into my life? Why did He place me into the family that He did, so my father could abuse me within an inch of my life?
The answer I’ve finally come to is multifaceted, and I believe it’s what God has shown me.
In the first place, God gave humans a free will, a completely free will. That includes the right to say no to God, and reject Him, or to say yes to Him. God told Israel in Deuteronomy,
“I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live.” ~ Deuteronomy 30:19, NKJV.
God has given us the choice to follow Him or not from the very beginning of time (see Genesis 3), and evil is committed by people who have decided to go against God’s design. The first murder was committed by Cain when he murdered his brother Abel.
In my life, I think God allowed the abuse into my life so that I would ultimately make a decision to follow Him. I know that sounds a little weird, so probably the best way for you to understand what I’m trying to say is for you to read the post I wrote about it on my blog. It’s called An Attitude of Gratitude ~ Part II. Here’s the link:
Sarah, wow. Thank you so much for sharing your story. My goodness, my heart breaks to hear the horrific abuse you had to endure. It makes me so sad that as a child, you were not protected and cherished by your father in the way you deserved. Oh friend, I wish I could give you the biggest hug right now. I am absolutely floored by your strength and wisdom that you have garnered in your spirit. You bring up such a powerful point about free will. Because God is not a dictator: He didn’t want to *force us* to love Him – it was our choice to. And yes – like Cain, evil abounds when we turn from Him. Sarah, I am so moved by your resilient spirit, and I thank you for sharing your story with me. I love you, friend. sending so much love and hugs, and I look forward to reading your blog post. xox
You do write a good blog Caralyn, though at first I thought it unusual for you to write about a news article, then came the link with our Lord and Saviour!😀
Thank you so much Kenneth. I’m so glad you enjoyed the piece. Hugs and love xox
Done some background research on the story, see he’s missing also.
Yes, he is. It’s a very bizarre turn of events. Hugs and love xox
I have not followed this story beyond the media obsessive headlines. Why is this one woman such a phenom when there are hundreds of others killed daily on our city streets in the US, and thousands more across the globe? Yesterday’s shooting of a child at a Louisville, Kentucky bus stop barely gets mentioned, just for one example.
791 victims of homicide in 2021 so far in Chicago; are their lives less valuable than a pretty white girl?
What of the 20 in Boston?
141 in St. Louis?
46 murders in Cleveland puts this small midwest city on its way to a record this year.
This girl’s death is tragic, but no more so than all the destruction of lives that goes on without notice by most of us. If there is any redemption in her death, it is that people tune in their hearts as you have done to our Lord and say, “I trust you, Jesus, for whatever life or death brings.” Not one of us has a guarantee of tomorrow; be ready for Heaven at all times. God did not kill her any more than he pulled the triggers in Chicago or Cleveland.
“Whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.” Romans 14:8
Avoid the celebrity culture whether it is keeping up with their latest fashions or their messy lifestyles or their deaths.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this. You’re right – there are so many other tragedies in the world that deserve attention. I think this one gained so much notoriety was because the two of them already had notoriety on the internet, and in the age of TikTok, things can literally become world-wide sensations literally overnight. You’re right- gotta keep our eyes on Him and avoid worldly obsessions. Hugs and love xox
What I’ve been seeing as the reason everyone is focused on Gabby, is that the available footage of them is a textbook illustration of how emotional abuse looks from the outside. It resonates with a lot of people because [i]so many of us have lived it[/i] and it’s really validating to watch everyone recognize how Gabby was being abused and manipulated, when no one would lift a finger to help us when we needed it.
It’s sad that Gabby wasn’t able to get away, and that her life was tragically interrupted.
Hi Athena, thank you for sharing your thoughts on this. You’re so right – since I wrote this piece, I have listened to a lot more podcasts since writing this, and the overarching consensus is that the footage is a common ploy by abusers, if confronted, to make it seem like the victim is actually the abuser. And it makes me so sad to think that Gabby was most like just trying to defend herself, and put up a fight. And friend, I think I am reading your comment correctly, but I just want to say how pained my heart is to hear that you have personally experienced such abuse. Gosh, my heart goes out to you, and I am so sorry you received such horrible treatment that you *did. not. deserve.* I appreciate you sharing your story and your insight on this tragic, tragic story. sending massive hugs and love xox
Practically speaking, I always felt it was important to watch True Crime stories with my teen daughter (who is now a mother herself). She always said that it taught her things–both what to do and what not to do. There can be lessons learned from some of these stories.
Oh wow – that is such a great perspective, Stephanie. I’ve never thought of TC being a learning opportunity for women and girls. Thank you for sharing that great idea! it’s important to always be informed and live with eyes open. Hugs and love xox
So so sad
it really is. Prayers for her family!! thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox
Thanks for sharing this
Absolutely. It’s such a tragic story. I appreciate you taking the time to read it. Hugs and love xox
My three favorite books on why an all loving and all powerful God allows the suffering we see in the world:
Eternal Man by Truman G. Madsen
The God Who Weeps by Terryl and Fiona Givens
Making Sense of Suffering by Peter Kreeft
oh gosh, thank you for sharing those resources. I look forward to checking them out. Hugs and love xox
Thanks for writing about this. I don’t think of God “letting” this happen to us. As you wrote about just recently, evil exists in the world because of Satan. The devil causes these bad sinful things to happen including tragedy, murder, cancer, etc. I love how you wrote that God is right there next to us, crying and hurting just like us humans. That’s how I see it too.
PS I think you meant to use the term genre, instead of genera, which is spelled “g-e-n-r-e”.
Hi Reid, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on this. You’re right, the enemy is real, but thankfully God has already overcome the world! so glad you stopped by. Hugs and love xox
[…] you’ve been following the Gabby Petito/Brian Laundrie case, then you sadly are aware that on Tuesday afternoon of this week, the Teton County Coroner, Dr. […]
Thank you for the link up. Hugs and love xox
Great blog and great questions. Keep up the great work, b3. Blessings
Thank you bill. I appreciate that. Hugs and love xox
Such a sad story.