Friday, October 11, 2013

never alone :: the story of a life redeemed

On windy days the sapling outside of her bedroom made a familiar scraping sound against the metal of the single-wide she called home.  When her mother locked her in her room there was no escaping the eerie sound.  She just cowered and endured it.  

Even when the winds died down there was still the sound of banging on the doors and windows at all hours of the day and night.  She believed these were the sounds of the devil...coming to get her.  When you are a child, you believe the words of your mother.  
Even if they are lies.  
Even if they are harmful.
And although she lived most of her life in fear of that devil coming for her, ultimately, it was Someone else who came.  
Someone else who had been after her all those years.
Just because you call a place home doesn't mean you feel welcome
doesn't mean you are safe
doesn't even mean you will survive it.  
But this girl...she did.  She survived.

With her father absent, she was left in the care {or lack thereof} of her mother.  Instead of weekends at the park or the swimming pool she found herself in the company of her drunk and angry mother.  One night she found herself  huddled next to her friend, listening to Meatloaf, as she watched a fist come flying through the window.  The glass fell all around her...just like the plates and cups that were hurled across the house in anger on the rare occasions that her father came to visit.

When her parents finally filed for divorce her father sought custody.  He tried to get her.  He tried to bring her home with him.
Despite the neglect her mother had demonstrated...
Despite all the times she had to eat bread with steak sauce for dinner...
Despite all the drugs and alcohol stashed in the closets...
Despite being locked outside in the middle of the night...
her father was not allowed to care for her.
But there was another Father who had his arms of protection wrapped around her right there in the middle of the madness.  Even when she felt vulnerable and afraid, He was with her.

In a pit of depression she tried to take her own life...twice.

When death escaped her she couldn't face this dark world again so she went into hiding.
She hid behind masks that portrayed her as someone else.
Masks that hid the pain.
Masks that disguised fear and failure

No one could see her true identity behind those masks and she began to wonder if she ever really had one in the first place...or was she just invisible without them.

She finally escaped her mother by moving in with her grandparents, but she wouldn't be able to escape the fear.  Her mother's drug dealing lifestyle meant that she was always at risk.

Starting over in a new school, making new friends, proved to be devastating for a teenage girl whose self-esteem was completely bottomed out.

She continued in the only life she had ever known...the life of partying and promiscuity.
She would describe it as 'oh so carefree!' but there was nothing 'free' about that life.  She was enslaved by fear and shame but blind to the chains that bound her.

She eventually moved away and tried to start over...this time on her own.
One day she ran into someone who knew her.
I'm so sorry to hear about your mother.

She called a local paper to find out what was going on and they faxed her the article...
A meth ring had been busted.
Cash, guns, drugs had all been found in that home next to the sapling.
Her mother was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison.

That old life seemed to be dying away but where would she go to find a new one?
They were pretending to be someone else when they met.  They each had their parts to play in a local play.  But he saw her for who she really was.  He saw behind the masks and the role for which she'd been cast.

He proposed to her and life began to change.  She began to see life as a picture of love instead of pain.  She felt what it meant to really be loved.

The veil was lifted enough that she began to see Him there...the One who had been pursuing her all along.  She carefully began removing the masks...one after another.

She received medical intervention, and more importantly, divine intervention, to pull her up from the depths of depression.  It was one word whispered over and over by her Rescuer that kept her alive...

hope

Sometimes it sprouts up in the least fertile soil.
Today she is married to that man she met on stage and they have children.  She is the mother that she never had.

And although her healing involved time away from her parents, today she has bravely opened her life back up to them.  She is finding miraculous redemption in those relationships.

As it turned out, that devil her mother spoke of was real.  But he would never get her.
He would taunt her
and oppress her
and lead her to dark places
but he would never possess her heart.
Someone greater had reached out his hand to rescue her.

for he has said, 'I will never leave you or forsake you.'
So we can confidently say -
'The Lord is my helper.
I will not fear;
what can man do to me?'  

Though it sounds like a script for a television drama, this is the true story of a precious woman.
It is a story of rescue, of hope, of redemption...
it is a story of light breaking through in the darkest of places.

In her own words...
My lifeboat has been filled with holes and on the verge of sinking.  
Fear has rocked that boat and threatened to spill me into the depths of despair.  
But someone was in that boat with me...during all the storms.
I never drowned.

Sometimes the rains pour so hard and the waves crash so wildly that we can't focus our eyes enough to see that there is actually someone else in that boat with us.
Sometimes all we can do is hold on for dear life and wait for the light to break through and show us the truth of our circumstances...that we were never alone.

#31days