We really can be healed to the point that our stories are only little white scars…
“He smelled as though he’d drunk the bar dry and bathed in an ashtray.
Melancholy country music blared from the 8 track player in the dash as we flew down one of our bumpy, dusty, gravel roads.
He slid to a stop somewhere in the woods, yanked me out of the back seat of the car, and dragged me to the rusted, dilapidated shell of another.
Gripping my arm with one hand, with the other he forced open the trunk. He picked me up by my arm and my leg and threw me in. I bumped my head and was dazed.
Fear? Terror? Something. Maybe.
I was too young to give it a name but, whatever it was, it held me and I couldn’t move.
He piled dead leaves over the top of me, so many I could no longer see. Then he lit them on fire. They smoldered. I could barely feel the heat but the thick, blue black smoke began replacing all the air and I struggled to breathe. He closed the trunk.
I heard the springs of his old car adjust to him plopping down into the driver’s seat. I heard his door slam, the car start, the country music blare, the tires rip at the gravel until they gained traction, and then, I was alone, abandoned.
There was suddenly an acute awareness of every little sense in that moment. It was nearly as though time had stopped.
The reason I mention it is a couple verses from today’s devotions.
“But Moses answered, “Don’t be afraid! Stand still and you will see the LORD save you today. You will never see these Egyptians again after today. You only need to remain calm; the LORD will fight for you.” – Exodus 14:13-14
I think I was 9 or 10 when this happened. There was no way I could have stopped him from harming me and there were certainly more times he and others like him would creatively punish my brother, sister, and I for being in their way.
We were powerless against them.
Here’s my reason for sharing this with you:
In each and every circumstance, there seemed always a way of escape.
In the trunk of the car, it was a rusted out hole near my eye and mouth for breath. It was a strange clarity and calm that permeated the thick black smoke.
The closing of the trunk had starved the fire above me. Coming to my senses, I curled my legs and rammed the trunk lid with my feet. A rickity thunk. I did it again and I felt it give a little. Once more and the trunk burst open. Leaves fell around me as I leapt out, some of them reigniting, smoldering, then catching fire again.
I ran home.
“You only need to remain calm; the LORD will fight for you.”
One of my brothers and I were just talking about this.
The balance is in knowing how much of our testimony to share before it’s too much for someone and also, most important to me, is that people who read or hear my testimonies know that a very real and amazing God held my hand and healed me all along the way.
Though I do appreciate the encouragement, comments, and especially the hugs after such opportunities, I just want you to know He hugged me first and because of that, I receive yours as one redeemed, rescued, and already made whole.
We ALL serve an amazingly personal and loving God.
If you have not already done so, please allow Him to replace your sense of abandonment, rejection, and depression with one of belonging, being loved, and enveloped in His presence.