If there was one good thing in this whole situation it was my grandmother. I have a picture of me, her, and Jack in bed with her, of course not with my grandfather. He was the one who took the picture. At my grandmothers house though, I was completely safe. I knew that she would never ever let any harm come to me. I would pray that nothing would come between her and me. Not even death. Unfortunately, death eventually did…
She got sick when I was about 10, and I remember being so scared to loose her. I was living with Dan’s parents at the time so I kind of had two of my grandparents, but my Grandmother was the best. And also Dan’s mother didn’t like my grandmother at all. I could see it, because at the time I could see everything. When you’re hurt as a child or even as an adult: and when you experience evil, you tend to see what is good and what is bad easily. Even the little things. I noticed undeniably that she was jealous and didn’t like my grandmother. I wanted them to break into a fight so I’d have an excused to scream and yell.
I was so mad at age 11 that I had enough: done. There came that point that I was just done with my father. It was the changing point I think. I was still abused all the time, more than I remember. I was sleeping upstairs along with my brother. The thing is, it wouldn’t happen all the time. He wouldn’t rape me consistently at that age. Younger ages were horrible because every time I would do something wrong he would hurt me sexually. It wouldn’t always be rape, but they are different categories of what we deem sexual abuse. He would roughly handle my body in a way that I dispised.
The only safe spot was my grandmothers, because there I could forget about it. This was a miracle because I should have remembered. But every night after he finished with whatever the hell he wanted to do with me, I would cry to God with everything I had left. From the bottom of my heart I would pray. I’d pray hard if I could, or sometimes just a whisper. Every time I became comforted. And every time I forgot, after begging and pleading with my Savior to, “Please, please, just let me forget!” I remember clearly asking God one night at 12 years old to just please let me forget.
During these times I would zone out so I wasn’t paying attention but I knew in pieces later. Only recently have I remembered these times with more clarity. Well, one night when I was 11 I’d reached my breaking point. My grandmother had just passed and my step-grandparents had left me. I didn’t know why at the time and I thought them leaving was somehow my fault. Things like, I didn’t see them enough when they were living with us, or I was too much to deal with. None of those were true, but what else did I know?
It was my father that was the biggest issue for me though. Through all that, the death of my family member that I loved with all my heart was enough. And the pressure of school combined with the “have to win” soccer attitude I had to put on for him, I felt exhausted in every way possible. The cruelty did not decrease nor stop because of my loss, or the bleeding of my heart or anything else for that matter. He didn’t care about me one bit, and never did. And it almost killed me, until I realized someone far greater than my ‘father’ had bigger plans for me.
One night at my ‘father’s’ house I was wide awake. It was late, I could tell by the noises. Since my father refused to let me own a clock I got scary good at telling time by night birds, night air, the smell of it, and the outside noises. The cars rushing by soothed me somehow: but not that night.
I wanted it to end, that night was going to be the last night. I considered every possible option to end it all. No more abuse from my father. No more missing my grandmother, because I would be with her soon. I was dead serious. I didn’t care if people thought I was overreacting to everything happening: I wasn’t. I was sick of evil, and wanted to be home.
I flashed back for a split second at the relationship I had with a friend of mine. I thought I might have missed him. We didn’t hang out a lot, only on occasion. When we did I loved it. My time was well spent. So, what would he think of me? I wanted to stop, but tonight the other thoughts were more powerful. I had thought about this before and it burned in the back of my mind.
I didn’t — no couldn’t — leave my room. Too afraid that my father would catch me. I waited until I was sure that no one would come in. I had shut the door and locked it, putting up a barricade of a desk just in case. I then crawled to the window.
The other thing I was good at: taking screens of windows! I had become a pro at succeeding in taking on and off the window without anyone noticing the next day. I liked to perch near my window and let the wind kiss my face. This time, I perched outside the window.
I got off balance and slinked back in with my feet. Something happened in a split second and I couldn’t take it any more. Those burning thoughts rekindled my mind and consumed it. I wanted out. I wanted to see my grandmother again. I just wanted to get out of my life and leave this world. I felt upset, but I didn’t cry.
I had made up my mind and was content with the decision. I smiled and thought of my hero, as I let my feet off the floor. I hovered inn the air and felt myself tipping down. I knew it would hurt for just a second until I was free. Then something happened that made me stop.
A hand on my shoulder, as heartfelt and as tangible as any hand on my shoulder. It was warm and comforting. I thought my dad had found me, but I wasn’t afraid and there was no way he could have gotten in that room that night. I frowned. In my heart, I hear a whisper,
I pulled myself back in, curious about what the heck that was. I looked around and saw no one….but I felt someone. I waited a moment before I realized that it was God talking to me. He smiled at me with love. My frown turned into a worried crease on my forehead and I shrunk to the floor. I tried not to cry and succeeded for a bit.
I then feel Jesus with me, holding my hand. My head was between my knees so I couldn’t see. Everything was feeling. I could feel an ethereal touch grace my hands, letting me know that He was God. He smiled at me, waiting for me to talk.
“I can’t.” I whispered.
“I know.” He answered.
With tears on my cheeks I said back.
“Why?” as in “why did you let me live?”
Jesus smiled again and said,
“You have so much more to give,”
I cried for a minute before I said anything again. I took a shaky breath,
“I wanna go home!”
All those tears came again, worse this time. But, I was not ashamed. I was safe to cry here. It was okay, because Jesus was right there, and he knew the story behind every drop that fell. I felt Him move a little closer and say to me in a gentle voice,
“I am the way home.”
The rest of the night was a blur, but more tears fell out after that too, but I felt better in the morning. I remembered the encounter for months, before everything else got a hold of me. But now, I remember my Savior saying that to me. God saved me not just once, but twice, and probably more than that.
And why? Why would he care about me, or anyone else who has been through this? Because he loves us. He wants us to be Home with Him and His Father, but we take our call to be on this earth for a reason. I am still meant to be here, because I am here today. After everything that happened to me, I am alive and healthy. I am fulfilling my purpose until someday I am called away from this earth in to my Home.
Jesus is the way home.