Drossy is Messy – Reflections after Ten Years

Kerry Tittle

Kerry Tittle

Founder, Refined Family

Kerry Tittle is a mother of 10 children and a 20+-year homeschool veteran. She is the founder of Refined Family. Her desire is to honor Christ while comforting others with the comfort she has received from the Lord. 

10 years.

120 months.

522 weeks.

3,652 days

87,658 hours

5,259,492 minutes

315,569,520 seconds


Such a long, painful, and holy bestowment.


Just how?


My sweet friend Wendy texted me and said, “ I am sure it feels like 10 days and 10 decades all at once.”  I have never heard a more accurate definition of my grief.

For some reason as I try to grasp that all this really happened, I began to panic and lose my grip on the truths that I tried so hard to cling to.  It’s like fear setting in all over again.  So, I try to stay busy.

Last week Laura, a dear friend, and I went out to the property where the tragedy took place.  We talked about dreams, the past, and the future.  We talked about what I miss and what I could be grateful for.  But she asked me a question that stumped me “What is it you want people to know?”  At the time nothing eloquent came to mind, all I had to offer was a bit of word salad. 

On my way home my thoughts drifted back to Nathaniel Hawthorn’s fictional character from the House of the Seven Gables, Hepzibah.  In the story Hepzibah is a most misunderstood woman.  She is destitute and never smiles, scowls actually.  She shuts herself away from the world. In chapter two of the book, it states; “Hepzibah’s scowl has given her a reputation for being ill-tempered, but her heart never frowned. She is actually tender-hearted and sensitive.”  As the saga unfolds the reader tends to love the protagonist and is dismayed by the treatment of her by the townspeople. 

The point, appearances are not always reality. 

What I wish some people knew, was that Kerry Tittle and her children, didn’t always “act” perfectly under the extreme pressure of trials.  Yes, I am very aware of dross and how the fires of trials bring that to the surface.  Boy, don’t I know it!  Dross here, there, and everywhere!  And some more over there.

Drossy is messy.

Everyone’s sanctification has a different speed.  But it seemed for us that that this dross was the concentrated impurities that the Lord was trying to free 8 people of all at once.  It wasn’t pretty.  But it shouldn’t define us either.  In some cases, it had.  We have lots of regret.  There were a lot of things I would have done differently (A lot!) but this was not something I could read up on or prepare for.  I was just surviving to the next moment.

Saying all that to say, the Kerry before the storm and the Kerry 10 years after the storm is an entirely different person.  But the Kerry during the drossy confusion was not the one she would want you to know.  And from the depths of my heart forgive me if you did.

Here are a few things I want you to know.

  • I will be forever grateful for the many families that have supported us over the years. I have kept all the cards and notes.  So much help! I covet the prayers, texts and calls every time we have a storm.  The prayers mean more than you know.
  • I love Rob, Tori and Rebekah with all that is left of my heart, and I miss them. Not a day goes by without trying to understand it all.
  • I am grateful to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for all the work that has been done in my heart. He has freed me from legalism, fear of man, and has given me compassion I never knew was possible.  I have introduced myself to total strangers I knew were hurting and I genuinely loved them.  The old Kerry would have never.
  • I am thankful for the three sons in laws that the Lord has gifted to the family. Such a beautiful reflection of God’s kindness when I see smiles on the faces of my daughters.
  • I am beyond thankful to see my older children all walking in the truth.
  • I am thankful for a son who believes in multigenerational bonds and always make sure his mother is taken care of.
  • I am thankful that as we dawn on the 10-year anniversary of this tragedy a glimmer of light emerges in the expectation of a grandbaby.

As this day begins, with all the reminders of that fateful day, I cast my eyes to heaven and long for the day that this pain will be no more and I can hug my precious girls and the love of my life…….but more importantly I will live forever with the Champion of my heart, my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.


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