If you follow along on my Instagram stories, you know that several weeks ago, Blake & I woke up at 5:30 on a Saturday morning to the sound of glass shattering. I had taken NyQuil the night before, so I was completely out of it. I thought Blake had knocked a water glass off his bedside table until I saw him get a gun out of his safe. (Someone recently asked me if Blake was a gun-carrier. He has not one, but TWO gun safes in our room. One of them requires equipment to move. It really adds to the cohesive aesthetic I was going for. Does that come with a matching camouflage rug & comforter??)

Snapping out of my fog, I called 9-1-1, while Blake called out details to me from the next room. The person had already run off. We didn’t hear a car, so we assumed the he/she was on foot. Nothing was stolen– he/she had not tried to come inside. A giant rock from our flower bed had been thrown through our window, & that was all we knew.

The policeman came. He asked questions, but since nothing had been stolen, there wasn’t much of a reason for him to stick around. He & a few other cars drove the area looking for suspicion but claimed nothing. His guess was someone was walking home high or drunk & our house served as a pit stop.

Blake was leaving that week for a couple of days for a work trip, & I wasn’t having it. We had glass break sensors added to our alarm as well as outside cameras around the entire house perimeter. We still had no idea what had really happened. Did we have an enemy we didn’t know about? Had someone been watching us? Was there a plan to come inside but it didn’t pan out this time? This person had hung around in our yard long enough to find a rock in the pitch dark & then picked a window to throw it through. Was it random or pre-meditated?

Side note: The first night Blake was away, I set the alarm early because we were all inside for the evening. Little did I know that closing a kitchen cabinet a little too hard would sound off the glass break & the alarm would go off. I called the police AGAIN only to later learn I was the actual perpetrator this time. Delightful. My dad came & slept on the couch that night.

A few weeks passed & with nothing else happening, we assumed the police officer was right with his guess. We still weren’t sleeping great, & considering our house in 100 years old, every creak made us pause.

And then in the middle of a Wednesday, we learned exactly what had happened.

A 15 year old kid had broken our window that early morning.

A kid saddled with bi-polar.

He came over to our home with his parents that evening after the kids were in bed. I offered everyone something to drink, but I think everyone just wanted to see that day end as quickly as possible.

It turns out, he had finally confessed to his parents that morning, & then they went to the police station afterwards so he could confess to them. And now they were here with us. You could tell his mom had been crying all day, & his dad, who looked like he’s typically a jolly guy, was somber. The kid was wearing a suit. He shook my hand & looked me in the eye while he gave a sincere, obviously rehearsed over & over again apology.

Part of his bi-polar includes a hero complex. Something we all have inside of but magnetized to the point of possible danger. This kid had wanted to be a hero so badly, he made a plan. He would sneak out of his parents’ house & ride his bike a handful of miles. He wore all black but had a change of clothes with him. He randomly picked a house, threw a rock through it, & ran to hide. He then ditched the black clothing & his bike, & he put on his new outfit. He sought the policeman out after he left our house & told him he had seen the guy run off wearing all black. (Why the police didn’t find suspicion in a 15 year old walking around alone at 5:30AM is a GREAT question.) The policeman thanked him for his tip & ran with it.

The kid had staged a crime only to turn around & become his own hero.

He explained all of his story to us, his parents on either side of him.

I looked him back in the eye when he was done & said, Thank you for sharing your story with us tonight. What you’re doing this very second– owning the choices you’ve made & pushing through when it’s hard– this is what’s making you a hero. 

I told him I get it. I want to be a hero, too. I think that’s a natural desire because we’re created as reflectors of God, & He’s the ultimate picture of a hero. We want to be like God. But being a hero means looking for opportunities, small or large but usually small, to love people. Because loving people is what saves people. That’s why God is our best hero.

In a surprising way, this kid & his story has left the word Hero on my brain a lot over the last few weeks. How we all want to be one. How we are inspired by them & want to be remembered as one. An inspiration. A world-changer. A legacy-leaver.

The more we love, the better the world. The more we give ourselves away, the more glory God receives. The more light we shine, the closer we grow to becoming like the Hero we were created to reflect.

Also, we didn’t ask for this, but the kid is currently working to pay us back for the window.



  1. Salomon Ortiz on February 27, 2019 at 1:59 am

    Wow this is amazing! I love how through all the panic and mixed emotions you allowed Gods love to shine through you and into his life in the mist of the situation! It’s a beautiful illustration of love and obedience. Thank you for this incredible story.

    • Jenna Winegeart on February 27, 2019 at 6:22 pm

      Thank you for reading & for your response! I’m so thankful for the kid’s parents…this story wouldn’t have unfolded as it did without all of their effort & desire to communicate. Considering the tough start, it really couldn’t have had a better ending.

  2. Banessa on February 27, 2019 at 6:41 pm

    Oh my heavens. A parents worse nightmare. I am so glad you were able to find out what happened. And wow, this kid, parents are doing something right. I love how they made him come over and tell you what happened. The suit was over the top. I love it.
    Continue to write my fiend. I love reading it. But now my new love is watching y’all cook.

    • Jenna Winegeart on February 27, 2019 at 6:48 pm

      Gosh, I can only imagine from the mom & dad’s perspective. I hope that night gave them some peace because they were definitely wrecked over it. And that kid is the sweetest, seriously. Thank you, thank you for your kind words! The cooking show is definitely becoming a highlight of my week! Currently deciding what we should bake up this Friday. 🙂 Always a treat hearing from you!

  3. Jessica on February 27, 2019 at 6:54 pm

    Wow!!! I remember when this happened but didn’t know all the details. I’m sorry I didn’t ask about it more when it was all going on. I’m glad it had the most positive ending possible!!

    • Jenna Winegeart on March 2, 2019 at 12:06 pm

      Don’t apologize! I didn’t talk about it much because I was trying to not let it be a loop in my brain. But gosh yes, such a positive ending– my favorite.

  4. Claire on February 27, 2019 at 9:28 pm

    This is great, Jenna!! We need more parents like this in the world! You were also a picture of grace to that kid! Undeserved forgiveness… that’s what God gave us. Well done, sister! Love you!

    • Jenna Winegeart on March 2, 2019 at 12:04 pm

      Love you, Claire! Thanks so much for reading & responding like you did!

  5. Robin Lee on February 28, 2019 at 1:20 am

    I love your response.

    I love his parents.

    I love him.

    I am glad you don’t have to be scared of every sound anymore.

    • Jenna Winegeart on March 2, 2019 at 12:04 pm

      Thank you so much for your response! Yes to all of your things.

  6. Amiee on March 10, 2019 at 2:46 pm

    Incredible story. I know it would be a roller coaster of emotions to know you’d be faced with the person who brought a lot of fear in you and your families life. You handled it like Jesus and I’m so proud of you. ❤️ What a blessing for this young man.

    • Jenna Winegeart on March 16, 2019 at 7:51 pm

      Your words are so kind! It’s been hard after our story’s happy ending…we’ve been able to keep up with the kid just a little, & it’s evident his journey has been/continues to be hard. Wondering if there’s a next step for us to love him.

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