On the evening of May 21, unimaginable tragedy struck Steven & Mary Beth Chapman when their 5-year-old daughter Maria Sue was accidentally killed by an SUV driven by their 17-year-old son, Will Franklin,
“At first you don’t even know if you can breathe. You don’t know if you are going to survive the grief and the deep, deep, deep sadness,” says Grammy-winning Christian singer Steven Curtis Chapman. “You just want to lay down and die.”
Coping with the pain of his daughter’s death and the anguish of his son who was at the wheel, Chapman said his faith has been tested,
“Every lyric I’ve ever written has been tested beyond what I ever imagined.”
The deeply religious family said the loss of Maria, who was adopted from China in 2004 (two more daughters, Shaoey, 9 next week, and Stevey Joy, 5, were also adopted from China), served to strengthen their belief in God,
“Faith is the only way I can tell myself she’s okay. She’s safe in the arms of Jesus and she’s flyin’ around,” Will said.
Steven’s wife Mary Beth speaks on her grief,
“I’m broken and I would give anything to have my baby girl back. But that’s not going to happen. So I wake up in the morning and make a choice. You can wallow in the deep end or you say, ‘God, show me what you want me to be about today and how can I honor you, and in turn honor Maria.’”
Our hearts go out to the Chapman family.
Photo: Courtesy Chapman Family via People