A sad anniversary and a free chapter of Trusting God with St. Therese

This is my family (plus two friends) on June 10, 1974. I'm the one with the braids in the front. Terri is behind me next to my mom.
This is my family (plus two friends) on June 10, 1974. I’m the one with the braids in the front. Terri is behind me next to our mom.
Here is how our car looked thirty minutes later.
Here is how our car looked thirty minutes later.


Today is the fortieth anniversary of one of the saddest events in my life so far. On June 10, 1974, our family was driving to the annual Catholic Charismatic Conference at the University of Notre Dame. We began our journey in Spokane, Washington, where we had spent a weekend on retreat. Just outside Missoula, Montana, the car rolled over three times, landing in the median of the freeway. I was in the back with the seat down and no seat belt. So were two of my siblings and two friends.

I ended up with stitches in my leg and a bump on my head. My sister Terri, who had been sitting next to me, was thrown from the car and died. She was ten years old.

Why did God let this happen? Didn’t He know where we had come from and where we were going? Hadn’t He heard Terri’s voice, when she had volunteered that morning to pray for a safe trip?

Trust in the midst of tragedy

How can we trust God when tragedy hits us? How can we live without fear of something like this happening again?

I have spent the past eighteen months delving into these and other questions. For years I had read that I needed to trust God in order to draw closer to Him, but nobody showed me how to go about it. I wanted to trust God. I wanted to live a life of joy and peace. Instead, I was angry, frustrated, fearful, and distraught. I was beginning to doubt God’s promises.

Then something I read about St. Therese woke me up. Instead of trying to live her high level of spirituality all at once, I began asking how she arrived there. How did she move from a sad little girl, devastated at losing her mother, to total confidence in God? As I dug deeper into her life and teaching, I reflected on specific actions I could take to follow her way of trust. Those reflections started as blog posts. They eventually became the basis of my book, Trusting God with St. Therese.

A free chapter, exclusively for subscribers

Trusting God with St. Therese tells the story of St. Therese’s life in dramatic form. At each stage of the story, I delve into the challenges to trust the saint faced. How did she overcome them? I place my story of struggling with trust alongside St. Therese’s, and show that it is possible for average, sinful people to follow St. Therese in trusting God completely.

Today, I am giving away chapter 3 to my current subscribers and anyone new who signs up to receive my posts by email. “Dealing with Childhood Tragedies” tells how St. Therese fared after her mother died. It also tells the story of our family’s car accident in detail.

Drawing on St. Paul, Victor Frankl, and my experience, I help you move beyond the question why?  I give you practical suggestions to begin forming habits of trust.

You can move beyond your fears and frustrations through the grace of Christ. I am doing it. And I am not much different from you.

Subscribe today by clicking here and receive your free chapter at the end of the sign-up process.

If you are already signed up, you will receive a separate email with a link to download the chapter within a few minutes, if it hasn’t arrived already.

Please share this post with your friends, family, and social media connections. God reward you!

Connie Rossini

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Hi, I'm a Catholic writer and homeschool mother of four boys. I practice Carmelite spirituality. Check out my Books page for publications to help your whole family grow in holiness.

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18 Responses

  1. Theresa

    I am so sorry about your accident and the loss of your sister. How tragic indeed! St. Therese is a perfect model for us to overcome so many issues and circumstances in our lives. I pray for the success of your book and that it will touch many souls to trust God more.


  2. Nancy Ward

    I love this chapter. It ‘s from your heart and I pray that much healing comes to you by sharing it and to the readers by reading it.

  3. a solitary bird

    I am looking forward to reading your book and wish you much success in its publication. I also know your pain; much of your loss parallels my own. I am coming up on the fourth anniversary of my daughter’s death that also took place on Montana’s highway. I asked the ‘why’ question too, and for some reason prayed for safe travel that morning, which I never do. A saintly priest gave me the same comforting response that I had prayed for her safe ‘journey’ home to heaven. The chapter of your book has some really thoughtful insights – thank you for sharing.
    God Bless,

    • Connie Rossini

      Rebecca, my prayers are with you. Losing a sibling is difficult, but nothing compared to losing a child. Every time my husband and kids and I pray for a safe trip now, I am aware that God might answer that prayer by taking one of us to Himself. For a long time, that scared me. I didn’t want to believe it, let alone think about it. Thanks to God and St. Therese, I can now acknowledge that possibility and still be at peace. I pray you have found that peace as well.

      • a solitary bird

        Thanks, Connie. Yes, I have found that peace. God knows best, and I believe he takes us home to Him at the time that is best for each of us. It was her time. He is God and I am not. I believe we will be together – again until then I will trust.

  4. jmjtotustuus

    O, Connie, I am so sorry. May God use you to help others who have also suffered such a horrible loss and may He continue to comfort and strengthen you. Hugs!

    • Connie Rossini

      Thanks, Allison. None of us is immune to loss in this world. If we haven’t dealt with it yet, we almost certainly will. So if we don’t have trouble accepting the past, we could still have fears for the future. That’s why so many of us struggle with trust. Hebrews says the fear of death has been conquered in Christ. I pray we can all live that truth.

  5. Michelle

    I loved it Connie. (Just in case you didn’t get my email.) I long to trust God more and know it in my head, but need it to sink into my heart. It is good and informative story telling with practical help. It’s so good to hear the truth, but so often we don’t quite know how to apply them.

    AIso, I was born in the late 60’s, so I often look back at how we rode around without our belts and I thank God. In the summer months, our VW bug was always filled past capacity.

    I can’t wait to read the rest. Blessings to you and your family.

  6. Michelle

    Oops, grammar error in P#1. I never quite know what to do about that. I guess it’s a bit too early to be up. You see how much I wanted to finish reading it?

  7. Strahlen

    God Bless you Connie and Rebecca. I cannot read this without tearing up. I cannot imagine such agony. Your families will be in my prayers tonight.

  8. Lora

    My heart goes out to you Connie. Anniversaries of loss are so painful. I will pray for you and your family. God be with you.

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