Judith Lingenfelter, Biola University Faculty Emeritus
This is the book I was hoping Dianne could write in 2010 when the first edition was published. Hearing from her husband, her daughter, and the man who murdered her son in this edition heals us to see how we process grief in different ways. The facilitation material at the end is also an excellent addition. A deeply personal, powerful book for hurting people.
Byron Spradlin, President, Artists in Christian Testimony International, Brentwood, Tennessee
If your adult child were murdered, could you ever forgive the killer? Is that really what God would have you do? Could you grow to experience God’s love and forgiveness yourself in such a way that you then could actually face your son’s killer, see his need for God’s love, and forgive him? God did just that in Dianne and Glenn Collard’s lives. I Choose to Forgive tells their remarkable, heart-stirring story. As you read their story, I know you will find help to forgive and released those whose lives have hurt and traumatized you. And, in the process, God will give you new freedom yourself.
W. David O. Taylor, Fuller Theological Seminary
As a father, I can’t quite imagine how I would forgive a person who murdered my children. I would likely be overcome by rage and suffocated by grief. And I would need to hear others share their stories, to show me how the impossible might become possible in the fat of a nightmarish tragedy. That’s of course the beautiful gift of this book: a story of Dianne’s encounter with god’s extraordinary grace that enables her to do the impossible: to forgive and in that gift of forgiveness to know freedom and joy.
Howard G. Hendricks, Distinguished Professor Emeritus Leadership and Christian Education Dallas Theological Seminary
Nothing in life crushes our spirit more than unfair, undeserved injuries. When someone recklessly robs that which we hold dearest, our normal response is a raging revenge and debilitating sorrow. “I can’t live with this,” we say. The tragedy immobilizes our life. Few of us escape this kind of abuse at some time, but what to do about it? It won’t go away. Dr. Collard’s response to a most vicious crime stuns the reader with a rare solution. The impossible becomes doable. Here is a story not only of courage, but a step-by-step translation of implacable passion into an improbable win-win result. Out of the darkness of bitter distress a light of victory emerges—a literary banner leading the reader to ultimate peace of heart. Every broken heart needs to find healing in this superb guide to consolation.
Camilla L. Seabolt, Executive Director Community Bible Studies
I am so grateful to the Lord for prompting Dianne to write what she has written. You will not be able to read about her amazing pilgrimage without experiencing the Holy Spirit moving in your own heart. You will also want to give this to everyone so they too can have a fresh encounter with the full truth of biblical ‘forgiveness’ and the freedom in Christ it promises.
Dr. Steve Brown, Professor Emeritus, Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando Author, Teacher, and Host of “Key Life,” a syndicated radio program
I’m a cynical old preacher who has to see the “real deal” sometimes just to keep doing what I do. Dianne Collard is the real deal in spades. Out of the soil of great personal pain, loss and tragedy God has “grown” a book that will change your life. It’s not just the story, it’s the truth –biblical, profound, practical—from someone whose been there and done that for the glory of God. Read this book! You will thank me for commending it to you.
Florence Littauer Internationally Recognized Author and Speaker
All of us at some time in our lives will face problems and challenges that we never expected. Often these problems seem more than we can bear. Dianne’s story of forgiveness shows us that when we choose the path of forgiveness we can experience the grace and peace of Jesus Christ.
Gordon Showell-Rogers, Associate Secretary General, World Evangelical Alliance
Dianne’s deeply personal story is the honest story of her struggle, as a follower of Jesus, to forgive a great wrong—it is a moving and very real story of feelings and actions, of deliverance and grace. It is a story that is still in progress—so it has the potential to help many others struggling to forgive. It invites us all to join a journey of forgiveness and healing, whatever our pain.
Elizabeth Mittelstaedt, Publisher and editor of LYDIA, the Christian Magazine for Women
What could tear your soul apart more violently than the news that your child was murdered? The pain of such a crime is so overwhelming that one might ask, “Is it truly possible—or even appropriate—to forgive?” Dianne’s answer is a clear, “Yes!” I remember meeting her in Budapest to interview her for LYDIA, the Christian magazine for women. It had not been long after her son’s death and the wounds were terribly fresh. Still, I was impressed by her honesty and commitment to God’s Word as she faced this battle. Today she has reached a deep freedom through forgiveness, and in this book she traces the exact steps that helped her. A priceless guide for some of the hardest journeys in life.