Boy's Parents Murdered by His Grandfather
By The 700 Club
The 700 Club
CBN.com - Michael was ten when his grandfather came to their family’s father’s day celebration - with a loaded gun. “I can remember my mom yelling at my grandfather, "Don't-don't shoot my babies! Don't shoot my babies!”
Then there were gun shots.
When he came into the living room, I think it was more of a panic terror, "I've got to get out of here!” (Michael was shot twice)
Michael, his grandmother and two of his three sisters were hospitalized with gunshot wounds. Two days later, Michael learned his parents had been killed in the rampage.
“I can remember just being totally devastated and angry and not understanding why, you know, this had to happen to me and why my grandfather would do this to his own kids and to his grandchildren.”
His grandfather faced multiple murder and attempted murder charges. Meanwhile, Michael’s older brother, Chris, left the Marine Corp to raise him and his three older sisters.
“I can just remember laying in my bed and crying myself to sleep and, you know, just being full of fear.”
The grandfather was found not guilty by reason of insanity. He served only 2 years in a high security mental hospital, and was later released into a halfway house.
“I can just remember thinking as a boy, "that doesn't make any sense, you know? How can he be free to come and go and-and-and live, you know, live out his life when he's destroyed my life, you know, he's taken my parents.””
Michael started having bouts of rage and for a while hockey gave him an outlet. “I can clearly remember times where my whole motivation for getting on the ice was I wanted to hurt somebody.”
By age 14, Michael was overcome by depression. “The depression was so deep that I would lose feeling. I couldn't taste anything. It was like the blackest, darkest place you could ever be. It was still, cold. And so I wouldn’t eat. I wouldn't do anything. I would just sleep.”
Once an excellent student and active young man, Michael barely passed his classes and dropped out of sports. Then his grandfather died.
Shortly after his grandfather’s funeral, Michael threatened to kill himself and his brother Chris. He was subsequently put in a mental hospital.
“I remember that night, just, you know, calling out to the Lord and saying that, you know, to God that I can't do this anymore. And, I can remember just feeling an overwhelming presence. And I heard a voice tell me "you're going to be okay and you're going to get through this."”
Michael says at the time, he didn’t understand his experience, but, still it was comforting. A psychologist diagnosed him with major depression and a mood disorder. (Michael explains what was explained to him) “It's a sickness that's passed down from generation to generation and your grandfather was mentally ill, but the hope is that we can the chemicals, balanced out through this medication.”
But the counseling medications and treatment failed to give his mind any relief.
“I felt like my life was spiraling out of control and that I was losing whatever life I had left.”
Michael turned to drugs and alcohol (in his late teen years) to numb his pain. “Every day I would carry the loss of my parents and would carry what had been taken away from me, you know? And by going out and, you know, getting high or getting drunk; it was a way to just kind of eliminate all that.”
By the time Michael was twenty, he was on his own, working two jobs and drinking heavily. He says that’s when he started “hearing voices” in his head. “You need to kill yourself. You're worthless.”
One night on his way to work, “I knew it was the night that I was going to take my life.”
But he ended up at his brother Chris’s house. His sister-in-law was the only one home – she knew what Michael needed was prayer.
“I had no idea what I was even doing. She was praying and then people from their church came over. They even got on a prayer network and that night, very similar to the experience I had in the hospital five years prior, I had an experience of the love and the presence of God. It came flooding in. And when it came flooding in, maybe after an hour or two of them praying, I remember all those voices were gone. I remember a peace that really was beyond anything of this world. It felt a lot like being back with my mom and dad, having a mom and dad that loved me.”
“About a month later at a service at church, I went forward to receive Christ and to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit and at that point my life just began to drastically change.”
Michael says the first thing that happened was God restored his mind.
“It was just such an amazing thing. Everything that psychology couldn't do, or medication couldn't do; those voices were gone in an instant. They were just totally gone.”
Gone, too, is the hatred he felt towards his grandfather.
“I just asked God to help me forgive him. I just remember it was like a huge weight lifted off my back, you know?” No longer did I have malice toward my grandfather. It was out of the love – it was out of God's love toward me and what He's given me.
He now runs a successful business with his brother Chris and preaches around the world. He’s also raising 8 children with his wife Cassie, and says he’s “thankful for the healing” God brought into his life.
I just look at my life today and I say, "As much loss as there’s been, there is more gain by knowing Christ. It's beyond all that I could ever think or imagine."
Note: There are several news articles on the Internet pertaining to the Flory shooting incident. The 700 Club utilized a first person account of the incident based upon information from police reports as the basis of their story. One particular item pertains to the fact that the date of the incident was not actually Father’s Day of 1986; however, according to police reports, Elizabeth Flory, (Michael’s mother) believed it was Father’s Day and that was the reason for her having invited her father to her home for a Father’s Day celebration. This was the way that the 700 Club portrayed the story.
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