Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Anniversary of Me

The young woman hurriedly packed her clothes into a trash bag.  She hid them in the trunk of the broken-down car in the driveway.  She drove his car around town to use up the gas in the tank.  Then, she made her escape.

She visited her family to say good-bye, for awhile.  Her escape vehicle picked her up and she grabbed her trash bag of clothes.  She drove off into the sunset, never looking back.

She had $80 to her name, no job, no home, no vehicle, yet she was FREE!  Freer than she had been in four years.  She was excited for the prospect of a new life.  She was also scared.  Scared that he might find her.  Scared that he would beat her again.  Scared that he would strangle her again.  Scared that her life would end before it even began.  She was only twenty-two years old, yet had already lived a life of pain and abuse.

He did try to look for her.  But, even if he did know where she was going, he had no gas in his car and would be delayed. 

He didn't find her.  In time, she stopped looking behind her.  She began to smile.  She made friends.  She made a life.

That was me, May 14, 1997.  Thirteen years ago, this week.  Thirteen years ago, I had $80 and a trash bag full of clothes.  Now, I have a husband, two adoring boys, a home, my education, and a career.  I can't believe how God has blessed my life. 

I would be lying if I said that my heart didn't stop every time I heard his name.  It would be a lie to say that I don't wake up, drenched in sweat, from nightmares.  I still cannot wear turtlenecks; the tightness around my neck is still too fresh, even 13 years later.  Just typing this gives me the shakes.  Yet, this needs to be said.  My story needs to be told. 

May my heartache be a blessing to someone else.  Please pray for me as it looks as if my life may be entering a new chapter.

where Glory meets my suffering