Statesville Record and Landmark, Statesville, NC??- It would be easy to understand if Dawn Smith Jordan talked about sadness, anger, even vengeance.
Instead, the former Miss South Carolina chooses to speak of serenity, faith and forgiveness.
That was tough for Dawn to do at the age of 21 when her 17-year-old sister, Shari, was kidnapped from the driveway of her Lexington, S.C., home and murdered in 1985.
During the five days between the kidnapping and when her sister???s body was found, the killer called the Smiths eight times, each time talking with Dawn. He told her he planned on doing the same thing to her that he did to Shari.
?????????? Dawn Smith Jordan??
Several years later, with the killer on death row, Dawn decided she needed to forgive. “You can’t live your life to the fullest if you’re stuck in unforgiveness,” she said.
Dawn said she learned about forgiveness from her mother. “She lost her daughter in a horrific manner and she forgave. She pressed on because she had two other children that needed her,” she said.
Dawn, who shares her forgiveness philosophy as a Christian singer, songwriter, author and speaker, is also the founder of Dawn Smith Jordan Ministries, Inc. According to her website, Dawn has learned“to not only forgive??her sister’s??murderer, but to daily choose forgiveness as a path to healing and wholeness. The brightest future will always be based not on a forgotten past, but on a forgiven past.”
Read more about Dawn’s decision to forgive:??“Message of forgiveness buoys her, decades after tragedy”or??visit her website. (Photo:??dawnsmithjordan.com)