As a teenager, you may think you know everything and have the world figured out, but you still need your parents. Losing a parent is hard at any age, but it can be challenging when you’re a teenager. Tragically losing a parent in a shooting is devastating, and most people would hold anger for anyone responsible. 18-year-old Shelby Houston’s father, Officer Richard Houston, was a 21-year-veteran of the Mesquite Police Department. While responding to a disturbance call outside a local supermarket, an assailant fatally shot Officer Houston. Instead of being angry with the shooter who killed her father, Shelby showered them with the love of Jesus.

Officer Houston’s family, friends, and the community gathered together for a funeral to honor his legacy. During the service, Shelby leaned on her Christian faith and gave a eulogy for her father. In her tribute, Shelby explained that she always had difficulty dealing with assailants who didn’t know Jesus.

She described conversations she had with her father about losing friends in the line of duty. According to Shelby, she’s heard all the stories anyone could imagine. Still, she took issue with how everyone dealt with the suspect. It wasn’t she didn’t think justice would prevail, but her heart aches for those who don’t know Jesus, and their actions are a reflection of that ignorance.

People told Shelby that she wouldn’t feel that way if it happened to her, but Shelby maintained the same attitude. She described that she’d felt anger, sadness, and confusion and how part of her wanted to hate the person that killed her father, but she couldn’t find it in herself to hate him. Shelby says that all she can do is hope and pray that her father’s killer finds Jesus and truly gets to know Him.

Later on in her eulogy, Shelby said she’s been wondering about what it must be like to be united with Jesus in heaven, saying, “I can only imagine it’s a much better place than here.” Right before her father’s untimely murder, Shelby was getting ready to preach at her church for the first time. The last text Shelby got from her father was a reassuring message. Houston told her that he would always support her and encouraged her to share what she knew and enjoy the opportunity.

Shelby Houston is a woman of God who chose to stand on her faith instead of resorting to anger. The loss of her father is something that she will feel for the rest of her life, but instead of seeking revenge, she prays that her father’s killer knows Jesus. She even hopes to sit down with her father’s killer one day to tell him about Jesus.

It takes strong faith and courage to want to sit down with the man that killed your father and talk to him about Jesus. Although her father won’t be there to watch Shelby’s first sermon at church, he’ll be watching from heaven, proud that she took the opportunity. Shelby may have lost her father in the physical world, but she can take comfort in the fact that she’ll see him again in heaven.

More from Beliefnet and our partners
Close Ad