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What do you do when, as a 5yr old, you wake up in a hospital bed and are the only surviving member in your family?

What Do You Do When the Person You Trusted the Most Tries to KILL You?
This happened to Chris Keith. Chris was 5 when he was shot in the head by his father during a family murder-suicide which involved his mother and also his older brother. When officials arrived at the home 12 hours later, the family was pronounced dead at the scene. But when Chris was able to crawl closer to the door to be found alive it became a race against time to save the young boy’s life. As the only survivor, Chris is now 35. He is married and has 3 children. (1.5, 3, and 12)

Chris didn’t find out until he was in junior high that his family wasn’t killed in a car crash. Being so young and confused about his life, Chris grew up with feelings of rejection, depression, anger, betrayal, insecurity, etc. Chris shares his story of perseverance through his elementary years without his family while trying to piece together what happened to get him to where he is. After finding out at 12yrs old the graphic details about the murder/suicide inflicted by his own dad, Chris struggled to deal with even more battles with fear, abandonment, betrayal, hatred, etc.

Presently, Chris is taking life one day at a time and realizing that faith and family (friends) are what have helped him to stay on course. Chris speaks to many different audiences because his testimony has so many applications. For example, perseverance, childhood trauma, domestic violence awareness, importance of investing in others, and obviously his faith.

  1. #1 by Barbara Barber on September 3, 2010 - 1:55 pm

    I lost my son, who was 24, to suicide the day after Easter this year. He struggled with drugs and alcohol since he was 14. He left behind a 6 year old daughter. I thank God that he did not hurt her or his wife.

    I believe that he would not have left us if he was in his right mind. The brokenness of those struggling with addictions is beyond reason. I wish I could comfort you with the belief that your dad did not do these horrid deeds knowingly. His disease was not of the body but of the mind.

    Drugs and alcohol twist ones logic and reality shifts for them. I will pray for you and your family.

    To the person who asked if you would end up being like your dad, the answer is no. His addictions and the power he gave them controlled his actions. With Christ in your sober life you can rest in the knowledge that your family will be loved by you and Him forever.

    In Him,
    Joyful

    • #2 by mel on September 6, 2010 - 3:23 am

      what a beautiful post

      I too lost my husband to suicide and thank god everyday that he did not harm our then 6 yr old son.

      I realize your post was meant for Chris but it also touched my heart.

      Thank you

  2. #3 by Rick on September 3, 2010 - 2:05 pm

    I saw your story on CNN.com just now. I am the father of 3 boys. They make my life wonderful, and I consider myself the luckiest dad in the world. It is very inspiring to learn of your story, and to see that you have made a meaningful and positive life for yourself. You are a good man.

  3. #4 by Chase Ferguson on September 3, 2010 - 2:46 pm

    Chris,

    I just read the article about you on CNN.
    Your story is truly inspiring. My father attempted suicide on my 16th birthday. I like you have grown from this trial, though it is still one hard to compare to a trial as large as yours, I’m sure you would agree that all trials no matter the size can be pitfalls, or stepping stools for growth.

    Interestingly I also work pharmacy. Lately I’ve been highly considering a career change and going into psychiatry. I would love to have your point of view on the psychiatry field in regards to how it helped you through this.

    I hope you continue to go forward with faith as you have which I know has inspired tons of people.

    God Bless you.

    -Chase.

  4. #5 by Rod Miller on September 3, 2010 - 3:17 pm

    Chris,

    I just read your story, heartbreaking and inspirational at the same time. As a Christian I attempt to connect with God every day in some way. Today was no different – it was your story. It hit me hard and confirmed my faith that God is there, for everyone and anyone who wishes to know Him.
    God Bless you – even though He already has

  5. #6 by laura ann barlow on September 3, 2010 - 3:18 pm

    What a powerful testimony. God definitely has His hands on you. I am happy that you are here to share your story. I can emphasize a little bit but not the same way with you. I am a divorced, single mother of three, two living with me. My son, who is 14 with aspergers syndrome (high-functioning autism) lives with his father. My own father disowned me, feeling that I am at fault for his disability-it’s my parenting. I myself also had autistic tendencies and sensory issues I had to work through when I was a child in the ’60s and ’70s. I didn’t talk until I was 4 and went to many therapists. No one knew back then what was wrong with me. My mom, who died in 1990 from cancer and my father at that time stood by me. I was able to with five waivers go into the air force, which I am still a member of (reserves) and feel that I’ve done quite well considering my start in life. My father remarried and sided with my ex against me and blames me for my son’s disability, forgetting obviously what he went through with me. Although he didn’t harm me, he turned on me. I have no one else in the family outside of my kids and my church and air force reserve unit there for me. My girls are doing fine-my youngest has adhd-what can I say? She’s doing well in school. Very outgoing. I guess I am doing something right. The reason for sharing my story with you is to let you know that I can emphasize a little with you, your battles, your strength, and your faith getting you through life. I too lost my mom and sister nine months later from cancer. In the bible, I often think of Job and his hardships just to be blessed later for keeping his faith. He is my role model. God definitely has a reason, as hard as it is to allow bad things to happen to innocent people. Like planting a seed-the good is the vegetable or fruit that comes out of it. By the way-I’ve read your testimony on CNN and your story also affected me. You and your family are definitely in my thoughts and prayers-I am so happy that you are still with us to share your story-your story will touch thousands of lives, rest-assured. Yours in Christ, Laura Barlow

  6. #7 by Terry on September 3, 2010 - 3:26 pm

    Chris,
    It was truly an inspiration to read your story on CNN. I am so glad that CNN finally had an article with a good ending.

    I will keep you and your family in my prayers as you witness to others.

    Terry

  7. #8 by Amy S. on September 3, 2010 - 4:00 pm

    Chris, thank you for your bravery in sharing your story. I’m sure by now you have figured out why God spared your life … so that you would turn tragedy into a blessing for Him!

    I am dealing with a medical struggle and wanted you to know your story blessed me tremendously this morning! I am 38, married, mother of 4 beautiful children … but God’s plan includes a life with heart disease. I am virtually home-bound due to my illness and often struggle to find meaning in my circumstances.

    Thank you for allowing God to speak through you … to uplift others and show that being a Christian doesn’t mean we don’t have challenges, pain and heartache. It means we have a Savior who loves us beyond measure!

    God bless you and your precious family!

    In Christ, Amy

  8. #9 by Christine on September 3, 2010 - 5:02 pm

    Hi Chris, I read your story on CNN. My thoughts go out to you and your loved ones now and also some 20 years ago at that brutal moment in time and if they could, provide some support and rays of hope. People do care, consciously or sub-consciously. Thanks for sharing and making our world a better place.

    Christine

  9. #10 by Sara Nesmith on September 3, 2010 - 5:56 pm

    God bless you for sharing your story as it brought me to tears. Continue to thank God for your life and remember you are always loved by him!

  10. #11 by Maridon Grochowski on September 3, 2010 - 8:44 pm

    Chris,
    I just read your story on CNN.com… I have tears in my eyes not b/c the story of your childhood is so sad & unfair, but tears of happiness that Jesus is being glorified in how you turned a horrible negative, into a beautiful positive.

    God Bless you and your beautiful family. They are blessed to have you as a husband, father & grandson!

  11. #12 by K Legal on September 3, 2010 - 9:28 pm

    Hi Chris – I just read your powerful testimony via CNN. God bless you child of God. You have a beautiful wife and family!!!

  12. #13 by Emmanuel on September 3, 2010 - 11:27 pm

    Dear Chris,

    I read your story on CNN as most of the people who wrote on your blog the last couple days.

    Really would like to encourage you and think that what happened could never have been God’s desire(you already know it but it’s good to remember it) for your family or yourself. I am very glad that you’re still here and that you serving God in sharing your testimony.

    Wish you plenty of courage and to have the full victory on these things in order to find peace and rest in God.

    Blessings,
    Emmanuel

  13. #14 by DeAdra on September 3, 2010 - 11:59 pm

    To God be the Glory! Yet another shining example of just HOW GREAT our God is. I am humbled by your courage to share your story. Your testimony brought tears to my eyes. It’s always when you think things are tough that God sends a little message in some form or fashion that it’s only He who has ALL power.
    I commend you for letting your light so shine and for being an example of God’s glory. I speak blessings unto you and your wife and son.

    With Christian Love,

    DeAdra

  14. #15 by RoseMary on September 4, 2010 - 2:02 am

    Chris, my son is named Christopher and I just read your story. My sons youth pastor asked me to view it on CNN. Your right your not alone. I dont have that story but I commend you on telling about yours because my son was raised by me alone and I knew it could always be different and worse elsewhere as your story but God gave you the fathers that you both have/had. This is all part of His plan. I know for me I prayed his father would come into his life and he did just to make my life a mysery and to confuse my son as well as disowned him numerous times. This is what you call “watch what you pray for” Yes, God can change and answer the prayers but He knows what He is doing and we just have to accept this. I would not change anything because if I would wish I would have I would not have my wonderful son. He attends CIY camp with French and he heard your story through him and here the circle completes it with me his mother sending you a reply on your blog. Remember you are half both your mother and father but that doesnt mean you have to be them. You make that choice and looks like you have. Had things been different you would not have your lovely wife and son probably but only God knows that and when you meet God your maker guess what you get to speak to him. You have inspired me a 46 single mother to create her own blog to reach out to all these young women that want to be young moms and how to help them if they become in that situation. I do not promote being a single parent but that was God’s plan or at least ended up this way. Please not only tell your story but be the inspiration that God intended you to be. Far too many people keep a closed mouth. A closed mouth is a starving one. You will feed those that need to know that yes, it is bad what happened but the choice of faith and hope is what will bring you through the toughest times ever. He being God is the only way and truth to anything. From a mother that decided to survive and make a choice to survive to another surviver THANK YOU FOR SHARING. I posted your story on my facebook so my friends can all read as well.
    RoseMary Anaya

  15. #16 by Tonia on September 4, 2010 - 8:11 am

    You are an amazing man. God has a plan for you. What an inspiring story. Always keep your chin up for when you do, that is when you are able to see Heaven. Good luck to you and your life’s ventures for you and your family.

  16. #17 by Kayebea on September 6, 2010 - 12:36 am

    Chris, your story is so touching. Family violence has affected my life too. I took a punch to the jaw at age 13 by a close family member and ended up with a broken and dislocated jaw. Now at age 55 I still suffer everyday with terrible pain. I am lucky to have my faith and a 31 year marriage to get me through the day. The person who hit me was self distructive and died at a young age. I have forgiven him. I will pray for you and your family and hope that you will be able to continue your mission for a very long time. God Bless You.

  17. #18 by Robin on September 7, 2010 - 10:47 pm

    Some people are incapable of getting past themselves and loving others, unfortuantately, this includes people who are parents. Chris, you have superceeded this with your love for your own son. Thank you for showing him that, no matter what our circumstances, goodness and grace can be had in all of us.

  18. #19 by Jeff on September 8, 2010 - 12:06 am

    I just read the cnn article and I wanted to say what a blessing you are! God had a purpose for you and your family and so many people would have used it as a reason to hurt others or even themselves. Thru God’s grace and healing you overcame it and look at the people your life has now touched because of it. I have two girls of my own and I became a single dad to them when they were both little. Because of them I gave my life to Christ and now I’m studying to go into the ministry. To be a good person is one thing, but to become a great christian father who is doing what you are called to do shows even now the strength and will that you are blessed with. Never lose sight of your dreams and remember that when you serve God with all your heart, he blesses you with more that you could ever ask for or imagine. He never forgets his promises or his people. Thank you for blessing my life with your testimony and I will share it with everyone I know to show what a great love God has for us and how anyone despite their issues or pain can serve the kingdom in such a powerful way. I will keep you in my prayers daily. God Bless!

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