Pastor Davey Blackburn has opened up about how his Christian faith helped him to overcome the "dark" and "scary" rage he felt towards the men who murdered his first wife.
Amanda Blackburn was killed during a home invasion in 2015 while her husband was out. She was pregnant at the time.
In a sermon on forgiveness on Sunday, Pastor Blackburn, who has since re-married, spoke about the depths of his grief and anger in the aftermath of her death.
He described how something inside him snapped when he saw the men accused of murdering his wife on the news.
"When I first saw on the news the guys that now stand trial for having killed my wife, like up to that moment I was dealing with a lot of sadness. Just a lot of intense, deep, deep, grief," he said.
"But when I saw their faces, immediately I experienced something I've never experienced before in my life. I experienced a deep, dark, scary, frightening rage. I never experienced that before and honestly it freaked me out."
He admitted that if he hadn't seen their faces, it would have been "so much easier" for him to forgive what had happened.
During the sermon, preached at Mercy Road Church, Indiana, and broadcast on Facebook Live, the pastor said he had even pictured in his head how he might take revenge on his wife's killers.
It was at this point that he remembered the forgiveness at the heart of the Christian faith.
"Man, I can't tell you how many times I imagined in my head, what if the investigators, the prosecutors, what if they ... just let me in a room with them. What would I do? And I began to imagine it. But that began to bring [me] into this really deep dark place that I didn't like and it was destroying me," he said.
"And then Jesus subtly reminded me, 'Davey, I was murdered for your sin. You, Davey, murdered me and I chose to forgive you.'"
Three suspects were initially charged with Amanda's murder but the charges were later dropped against two of them in a plea deal. The third suspect is yet to stand trial for her murder.