30 Days of Faith: Day 12
I am a small town girl, raised in a Christian family and shielded from the evil that looms in this world. My world view of life changed when I entered 7th grade. Today we would say I was bullied. But 20 plus years ago, I was just made fun of, day in and day out , where my so-called friends would make fun of my voice, told me I was a ditz or air head, basically telling me I was dumb. It was my first exposure to how mean and insensitive people can be.
I wish I could say that was my worst and most terrible experience, but God’s plan for my life would look much different.
One of my fondest memories as a child was spending the week with my siblings and cousins at my Grandma’s house in Lancaster County. I look back and chuckle about the fondness part, we all fought like cats and dogs for most of the week, but for all those times of tension we have memories.
Memories of my grandma taking us to see the many sights of Lancaster county, going for bike rides, skinny dipping in a creek for the first time, going on picnics, running in the park across the street from her house, and my favorite, her reading a different story to us each summer.
All those warm memories are clouded by a horrific memory during the summer of 1988; one of the last summers we all spent with her.
It was a HOT and humid night. You know the ones where sweat just rolls off your forehead as you sit there doing absolutely nothing. I remember that night my grandma fixed us watermelon and read us a last chapters of our story, and tucked us in bed. Since it was so hot she had every window in the house opened.
As she had done so many times before she opened the back and front door locking the screen door. We went to sleep, hoping some type of small breeze would blow so we could experience a small amount of coolness.
I was awakened around 3:30 that morning with a stranger sitting on my bed. As if that wasn’t traumatic enough I quickly realized that my mouth was gagged and my hands were being tied together. No matter how you slice it, 13-year-old half pint girls do not fight off full grown men with the thoughts of rape on their mind.
As I wrestled with this man, I was able to free my arms. After minutes more of wrestling I was able to break free from the gag, and scream for help.
I don’t know how or why, but when I screamed that evil man, who was preying on innocent children, fled the scene. Within a few minutes police were there to protect us.
In some aspects this was the beginning of the nightmare, the months following that incident I couldn’t close my eyes without fearing the worst.
There have been separate emotional incidents along the path of my life that have exposed the injury of that hot and humid midsummer night so many years ago. God has always been FAITHFUL in at those times in showing up, giving me grace and strength, but most important the courage to move on, the courage to forgive, the courage to face the fear, the courage to not allow one night that changed my life to consume my life. God’s faithfulness has not been in the not allowing bad things to happen; but in allowing healing from those horrific events.
“Scars are evidence of a journey” ( Deanna Blymire Salter) and evidence of God’s healing.
**Come back every day this month for incredible stories of God’s faithfulness.