In 2015, Taya Kyle, widow of "American Sniper" Chris Kyle, opened her heart to Simple Grace about how God turns pain into beauty. Today, five and half years since Chris's death, Taya shares how the Lord has been guiding her back to joy. Here, Taya opens up about the grief she still struggles with each day, and how trusting in the Lord to lead her through her heartbreak has changed her life.
When Taya and Chris fell in love and were married in 2002, she knew being the wife of a U.S. Navy Seal wouldn't be easy. She was often left home alone to raise their two young children, fearing Chris (who'd been sought after for his skills as a sniper) wouldn't return alive from the Iraq Qar. After 10 years of marriage and four long tours, Taya was relieved when Chris retired from the Navy to counsel veterans. Finally, they could have a normal life far from fear...but then the unthinkable happened.
On February 2, 2013, Taya received the news that changed her world forever: Chris and his friend Chad Littlefield were shot and killed while helping a troubled veteran. "I'd feared this moment every time Chris was at war, but now that he had retired and we had the rest of our lives before us, my fear had come true," Taya says. "The things we worry about rarely happen—it's the things we can't fathom that hit us sideways. All anyone can do is cling to God."
For the past couple of years, Taya found comfort in preserving Chris's legacy, helping veterans and their families, writing her own memoir, and touring the country sharing her story of love and loss. But behind the scenes, she still struggled with tremendous heartbreak. "There came a point where I began drawing lines in the sand each day and focusing on crossing one line at a time," she says. "I found that if I can take small steps—like crying a bit less or sleeping through the night—and get to that next line, God will show me where to go next."