Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Tragedy at UVA


By now many of you have heard of the absolute tragedy that occurred at UVA on Monday. A beautiful young female lacrosse player was allegedly murdered by a former boyfriend. Both students were from a strong upper middle-class background and were set to graduate in just a few weeks. They were both lacrosse players who were finishing well at one of our leading universities. As you can see from her picture, Yeardley was BEAUTIFUL. George Huguely is a nice-looking All-American twenty-two year old.
My mind is filled with so many questions, including, "WHY?" What on earth made him so angry that he lost it enough to break down her door and then traumatize her to the point of banging her head against a wall until she was left in a pool of her own blood on her bed. Did he not realize the severity of his actions and call 911 afterwards? No. I believe she was found by a roommate. This beautiful young girl will never graduate, she will never see another sunrise, and she will never be a wife or mother. Her parents are left with the knowledge that a boy she once cared for has now killed her... brutally. Why did this have to happen?
If he was so angry, why did he need to hurt her? It is so senseless and now his life is also ruined.
After processing this a little more, I have looked inward. How can I help avoid a similar situation for our daughters? As parents, what can we do to help our children and to shelter them from the evil of this world? Well, evil has existed since the Fall of Man when Eve took a bite of the forbidden fruit. We are all sinful for the Bible says, "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God". We all have the ability to hurt and kill. However, if we have a relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, read our Bible daily, and go to a church where we can be taught and where we can worship the one true God, we can learn to turn from our sin. Yes, we will still sin, but when Christ lives in your heart, and you are truly communing daily with Him, things such as this will not happen. Christians are not perfect; I am not saying that at all. I am just saying that when Christ lives in us, our lives are changed.
My prayer is that our children's lives will also be transformed as they are sanctified by His grace each and every day. I also pray that they will have wisdom to choose wisely their friends and later in life, their significant others or spouses. Just recently, I tried to explain to our children that we must all be careful when choosing our friends because we can be guilty of something just by association. Recently some teenagers killed an elderly woman, and one boy was simply there when it happened and he has spent many years behind bars because of it. He was guilty by association. I am praying now for godly friends for our children.
I also firmly believe that trash in is trash out. Our society today is filled with a lot of trash. What we see as innocent lyrics about boy meets girl are not what our young elementary students need to be listening to, focusing on, and learning. I know I am going to step on some major toes with that thought, but it is true. Does your 8 year old really need to know all about sneaking out with a boy or about pole dancing at a club going "Low Low Low"? Now I am a girl who loves to dance, but I have been convicted that the music we let our children hear puts thoughts in their minds. Those thoughts might later become actions.
I know I have opened a whole can of worms here. I am not trying to put myself on a pedestal because I do not do everything right. I am the first to tell you of my many faults. I have more than anyone!!! I just am so heartbroken and saddened by this awful tragedy. I mourn for BOTH families and especially for beautiful Yeardley. After reading about this senseless murder, I am praying for wisdom in raising our children and for Christ to be Lord of their lives and mine. It is by grace alone we all are saved.

19 comments:

The Niemeyer Nest said...

You are right! I have been thinking of this beautiful girl! She was a Theta at UVA and I was a Theta at CofC - that slight connection makes me feel more pain for her family. Such a tragic event. How can we work to prevent this type of thing from occuring time after time? Godly friends are so important.

carolinagirl said...

I had not heard this! How horrible! That poor girl and her family - especially the week of Mother's Day. It is so tragic!

Preppy 101 said...

I also think that what children see in their homes growing up has a profound effect on their later actions. As parents, you need to so carefully watch the relationships that your children have. There are subtle hints in relationships that may foreshadow future things. I always watched for these things in my children's relationships. I just pray for both sets of parents in this tragedy that they may find some peace. God is good and I hope they know him. xoxo

Valerie said...

Such an important post! I have to agree with everything you said.

Song lyrics, television shows (even those on Disney), friendships, etc. all need to be closely monitored. Our little ones are being exposed to more and more explicit content and at a younger and younger age!

What happened to Yeardley was tragic...and while she may have done everything right (in terms of looking for red flags, breaking up with this young man), what in the world was in that young man's make-up that allowed such rage to build up?

My husband is a fire fighter/paramedic...he just ran a suicide call last week...on a NINE year old. What is happening to our young people?

Why are they feeling so hopeless, filled with rage, anger, anxiety?

I don't have the answers, and I think there are a lot of societal issues in play, but I think you and all the previous commenters, especially Preppy 101, hit the nail on the head when talking about what the significans of knowing what is going on in the homes and what types of Godly friends our children keep.

Blessings, Mama Henely!

Valerie

hush said...

It is so tragic indeed. Relationship violence happens in every socioeconomic class, in every race, and in every American neighborhood someone behind closed doors is being battered.

I once did legal work for the ex-wife of a white, 50-something, multi-millionaire who was in the papers every week for his business acumen and massive wealth and philanthropy - and guess what - she left him because she was being battered. I saw the medical evidence myself, and it was shocking.

I agree with @Preppy 101 that there are signs and "subtle hints" in abusive relationships. One early warning sign for high school and college relationships is a boy who doesn't like his girlfriend to be involved in extracurricular activities, or who makes comments about the clothes she wears, or exhibits signs of possessiveness or baseless fears that she is cheating. We must never think our children are immune to this kind of violence.

Raining Pearls said...

I could not agree with you more. It's tragic, praying for some peace for Yeardley's family. Praying for you and your daughters, it can be so scary out in the world. I admire your parenting so much, thank you for sharing.

CCW said...

I knew her and she was just lovely and full of life. We both went to Notre Dame Prep and belonged to Elkridge Hunt Club. Her father died of cancer years ago so my heart goes out to Lexie, her older sister and Mrs. Love.

Thank you for addressing this important topic in your blog.

Henley on the Horn said...

CCW, I am so sorry for your loss. Yeardley was one beautiful girl. I will be praying for her mother and sister; I can't imagine how sad they feel right now.

Ann said...

Oh my goodness, what a horrible senseless tragedy, and what a beautiful girl. I will pray for her soul and her family. I just think that we are never 100% safe, what is most important about friends is a person's character -and no one can inherit a good character. It has to be developed and proven. We can't assume our kids are safe because they are at a good school, etc.

Mrs. Lynch said...

Such a thoughtful and touching post. She looked like someone who would be a blessing to know and I am sorry that she lost her life in such a tragic way. In life, there are no guarantees as to what someone is thinking. I've know someone who had a really rough childhood grow up to go to two Ivy League schools and become an orthodontist and I knew people who've had plush lives go down the drain. We can only pray that people have God in their heart and that they ask Him to guide their thoughts, words and actions.I will keep her family in my prayers.

3 Peanuts said...

I did not know of this story but we lived in Charlottesville and UVA was a bog part of our lives. This is so sad and your post is very thought provoking too. So So SO sad.

bevy said...

Honey, you know I am right there with you! And since we cut out the Disney and Nick, the sassiness is down... and the TV watching is down. I know some people think I am over the top, but I see that my hard work is paying off. I pray for my boys and for protection from that of this world. You go girl!

AmyRLugo said...

What a good reminder of the depravity of man. Not only is your post a call to Christian parents to train their children to "take every thought captive" but also serves as a declaration of the sovereignty of God over humanity. These kinds of stories remind me of how little control we have and that all choices have consequences. While the girl's family is certainly grieving I imagine that the alleged killer's mama is also grieving. Your post also reminded me how important prayer is for children, no matter how old they are and that in the end the daily giving over to the Lord and resting in Him, because they will make good and bad decisions.

Christina said...

This news story certainly makes me pray even more specifically for my daughter (and daughter on the way) - that the Lord will protect them from getting in dangerous relationships! Thanks Ann Henley for writing about this - it's so easy to get lax in our lives about what we watch and put into our minds. I appreciate your words and reminders!

Love Being a Nonny said...

I am so confused as to why these men chose to beat or even kill the women in their lives. I wonder why they can't just walk away. We have a serious issue with anger in our world. It HAS to stop!

Tickled Pink Talk said...

What a tragic story. I feel for so sad for the parents of both involved. We really have our work cut out for us as parents to raise up our children to be good citizen's of the world!

Travelbug Mom said...

Just catching up on my blog reading and saw your post. I have not heard about this awful tragedy...and my sis lives right by there. I could not agree more with your post and all your commenters...especially AmyRLugo....
...and of course no one is perfect, but I do believe having strong faith will lead us in the right direction.

North of 25A said...

I am just heartbroken by this terrible story. I have two older children; my son is 26 and my daughter (who was in Africa for 6 months working at an orphange)is 22. I cannot tell you the worry! But, I too, agree with the idea that their faith is EVERYTHING when it comes to upbringing... The rest I lay in the hands of the Lord and pray with faith.
Hugs,
Colleen

pink green & southern said...

What a great post! This is just so heartbreaking. Domestic violence is a huge unspoken problem. In fact the police chief in our small, very well-to-do town says the bulk of his class are for this very reason. So sad.