Friday, September 2, 2011

That one night....

 It’s been a while since I’ve posted, I know. I’ve made all sorts of excuses to myself in order to justify these quiet pages, but, the bottom line is simplistic (in words anyway). I’ve been afraid.
Each time I journey to the past, it brings about darkness which I had tucked away, buried in a mental box, not meant for visitations.
Then I ask myself, what good comes from my newfound light if I leave others in the dark simply because I don’t care to go back and share where I’ve been, where I am, and where I’d like to be? I’d say it makes me somewhat selfish.
So, rather than traverse the darkness in fear, I bring my light with me, slaying shadows that lurk, waiting to drag me back into what was. I’m once again ready to travel back, armed with His loving presence.
When I take a moment to reflect on my life, I can see moments in which God was reaching out to me, cradling me in His arms, even at times when I felt completely alone. I didn’t feel His presence then, because I didn’t know Him or believe that He existed, especially for someone so completely broken, as I was.
When I was in the third grade, my school offered an after school Bible study. (Yes, this was still allowed in the 70’s.) I went, not because I wanted to hear about Jesus, but to stay away from home a little longer. While attending, I said a prayer with one of the teachers, all I remember was her saying “now you’re saved”. Saved from what? I had no idea, and didn’t really give it much thought until years later, reflecting on times my life should have ended, but didn’t. I see now that He was with me, holding onto me, even though I didn’t know who He was.
Sometimes, living a life of abuse leaves you seeking the same, grasping what’s familiar, regardless of the feeling of pain and humiliation in which you’re left to drown.  It’s difficult to search for something better when you feel unworthy of the happiness you so desperately crave. Satan feeds us lies, and those who are starving, hungering for something they don’t know how to find will gobble up those untruths, swallowing them with gusto and beg for more.  I know, because I once ate them every day; filling myself with his lies was as natural as taking a breath of air.
I didn’t want to live, yet I didn’t know how to die, so I took roundabout paths, seeking an end through volatile relationships, attracted to the same type of men I had grown up with, those who dominated me, controlling my life and steering me down destructive paths. We (me and them) were all nothing more than puppets of the world, allowing ourselves to be led by an unseen enemy. Knowing this has allowed me to forgive, something I thought I could never do. More so, I’ve forgiven myself for being led down life’s dark corridors, walking hand in hand with evil and allowing those lies to take root and grow for so long.
I’ve debated whether or not to share a certain memory, but it has been nudging the recesses of my mind, almost as if asking to be released and shared with someone who may understand. Someone out there knows what I was feeling and needs to realize that His love can and will prevail.
During my early 20’s, I was in a completely abusive relationship. (one of many) I knew the person I was with didn’t really care for me, but since I didn’t care for myself either, I stayed, thinking we were on equal terms in the department of “who cares”. If I had known how deep the evil he carried within was rooted, I may have scurried away, then again, perhaps not.
One night, during a frequent argument, he said “I’ve had it with you” and proceeded to drag me out to the car, shoving me into the passenger seat and slamming the door before getting behind the wheel. It was a hot summer night, but the clinging humidity did nothing to warm me as chills ran up and down my body. He’d been angry before, but this was different.
I was crying, silent tears leaving a trail of warmth on my fear frozen features. I had no idea where we were going, I’m not even sure I cared…until I saw it.  There, lying on the seat between us was a gun. Comprehension dawned quickly. My eyes raced from the seat to his, and there was all the confirmation that was needed. He was going to kill me! A slight nod in my direction erased any doubts I may have had.
Strangely enough, it wasn’t fear that engulfed me, rather an overwhelming feeling of peace. It was almost over, this life, this pain, this complete emptiness was about to disappear as I drew my last breath. I was resigned to my fate, even looking forward to the end.
It was late and the baseball field he pulled into was empty. Only those looking for trouble were out that late in the city, or, those heading for it.
Turning off the car’s engine, he picked up the gun, pointed it at me and told me to get out. I did so slowly, taking in my surroundings, trying to memorize every detail of my last moments. The fear still hadn’t come, only the realization that this was the end. There were no regrets dancing through my mind, I’m not even sure there were any thoughts other than “over, over, over, it’s almost over”.  It’s somewhat difficult for me to reflect on that night and realize that I was somewhat giddy with relief, but yet, that’s exactly how I felt.
He pointed the gun at me and told me to start walking. Obeying his command, I moved forward, the sound of crunching gravel under my feet as I took what I believed to be my final walk seemed as loud as firecrackers going off with each step I took.
I continued moving forward, thoughts of “this is it, this is it” screaming in my head. I started wondering about the pain, would it hurt? How long would it be before I succumbed to complete darkness?
I was trembling, the anticipation causing my ice cold limbs to sweat profusely. I wanted to run, scream, shout, but there I stood, frozen, waiting, allowing my puppet strings to be pulled in one final dance of life.  Just when I thought I couldn’t stand another moment of suspense, he said the words that would shame me for years to come. “sorry bitch, you’re not worth it”. He then got in the car and drove away, leaving me alone with my humiliation.
I crumpled to the ground, not in relief over being alive, but in utter despair that I wasn’t dead, as his words screamed in my head, “you’re not worth it”, over and over.
Perhaps you’re wondering if I went back to him after that, and the answer is a sad “yes”.  Not for long, but any moment with that monster was too long.  I walked back to our little rented house that night and apologized for making him so angry.  Weakness enveloped me like a long lost friend as I stood there, waiting for him to take me back, which of course he did. How fun for him to have such a malleable partner, someone to bend at his will.
Looking back now, I wonder how differently that night may have been had those Bible teachers gone to another school, had I never invited Jesus into my heart. He was there with me, I know that now. He kept me alive, not because “I wasn’t worth it” but because I AM WORTH IT.
You, my sisters, are worth it too! God Bless

I know many have left comments on my past posts and I apologize if I didn’t respond to you. For some reason I can’t leave a comment on my own or anyone else’s page. If anyone knows how to fix this, please let me know. Thank you.