Maryville, IL (KSDK) - Four years ago Pastor Fred Winters of the First Baptist Church in Maryville was shot and killed during Sunday services. The gunman also stabbed two others before being subdued.
Since then his wife Cindy has been documenting her process of surviving this tragedy.
The past four years have been filled with good days, bad days and days of taking notes.
"When you go through something like this, the lens of how you view life changes," says Cindy Winters, but she says somehow it makes you a better person.
Her world was flipped upside down on March 8, 2009.
Her husband Pastor Fred Winters was murdered in front of his congregation, when police say then 27 year old Terry Sedlacek walked down the center aisle and started shooting towards the pastor.
"I felt like evil penetrated our house and suddenly this good life that I loved and enjoyed was taken away from me, and I was really scared," says Winters.
She says scared of the unknown, her financial situation and her emotional stability.
But with pen in hand Cindy started to write and now the finished product, "Reflections from the Pit."
"Allows other people, to stop and process what they are feeling as well, regardless of whatever type of walk they might be on," says Winters of her book.
Cindy shares her ups and downs in the book and admits it was therapeutic at times.
Now four years later she holds no grudges with her husband's killer, taking a lesson early on from her daughter
"'She said mom, I really hope the man who did this to dad learns to love Jesus,'" remembers Winters. "And hearing her say that I thought I want that too. I hope we are all in heaven together."
Cindy says her goal now is to share the calm and comfort of the written word.
"If somebody can really experience a sense of healing through reading it then I will be so happy for that," says Winters.