Tuesday, November 15, 2011

My Story: Breaking Free

Both faith and fear sail into the harbor of your mind, but only faith should be allowed to anchor.
~~Author unknown

In the moment.

At the age of sixteen, I found my first love.
He was God fearing, funny and made my heart smile.
He played the guitar and sang and I was swept away with his melody.
He took me away from the horror that loomed at home, each time we were together.
I saw in him strength and courage.
He was dedicated to the same Savior as I.
I saw in him something I needed and longed for.
I saw in him, security in Christ.

My mother kept her eye close so not to allow me to get too attached.
It happened anyway, and she began to become angry.
I was only allowed to worship her, and the competition became too much for her.
Maybe, she thought she would lose me.
Lose the loyalty that she had built in fear.

We had went on a date one night, to a friend's house for dinner.
He returned me home before curfew, as always, because he respected my mother's rules and I...well, I feared being late even by one second.
We had a few moments to spare, so we sat in his car in the driveway and talked.
We laughed, and I felt safe within the space we shared when we were together.

We said our goodbyes and I unlocked the door to my house.
I entered, turned around and locked the door closed.
As I turned around, the sudden blow to my face took me off guard.
She began hitting me over and over in my face.
I began to cry out for her to stop, but she took it as disrespect, and began yanking at my hair,  dragging my head from side to side.

She backed away screaming profanities at me.
Some new, some I had heard before.
The taste of blood from my lip pressed on my tongue.

As I looked up, her eyes were filled with darkness and my heart raced within the unknown.

She came close to me screaming and accusing me of sleeping with my boyfriend.
Calling me horrible filthy names.
Names drenched in anger.
Words that made my innocence seem dirty and shameful.

I tasted her breath and it made me nautious.
The foul smelling aroma of lies filled the air.
I tried to correct her and tell her no, that we were just talking, but she screamed louder and came closer.
She glared at me with eyes that made my body tremble and began spitting in my face, telling me I was dirty and needed to ask God to clean me.

She said crying, "God doesn't like dirty girls!  Your a liar! Ask Him to forgive you!"

I cried as my voice trembled and tried one last time to deny her untruths.

She lashed at me with hurtful words saying, "You make me sick!" and my heart cracked with the sound of each crushing word.

She reared back, and hit me one last time with the back of her hand.
Her ring cutting my face.
Blood mixed with the warmth of my tears, streamed down my cheek.
I stooped to the floor, pushing my body up against the door, in a hope to escape somehow between the cracks,
and fade away from the moment.

I wonder now, were those the words that her father branded her with?
  Words thats he shot at her, to gain control over her and use her for his disposal.
Words that knocked her down each time she tried to stand on her weak trembling legs.
 Words that still echoed within the secret places of her heart.
Words that overshadowed her entire life.
Words that dug deeper and deeper with each whisper.
Words, that had surfaced in her memory that night, bringing with it a pain unbearable.

She bent down, gritted her teeth within her growl and told me that I needed to do what she said.
She said she was tired and I had disturbed her sleep with the lies I told.

Fear rose up within me like a hot flame and I was consumed by the moment.
My legs became hot and wet, as the overwhelming fear caused me to lose function of my bladder, right there on the floor, crunched up against the door.

It wasn't the first time her anger had scared me to that point, and sadly, it wouldn't be the last.
Darkness loomed.
I began to sob in my embarassment.
I became breathless and weak.

I pushed the words out, my voice shaking, just so that she would be happy and leave me to my embarassment and fear.
I wanted to be left alone, to sit in my misery.
She listened intently.
 Without another sound, or another word spoken, she went to bed.

I began to clean up, once again, the mess that I had created.
The pain that I had brought.

I cried myself to sleep that night, and many nights after.
I had reached a point of no return.

I hated her and everything about her.

Something began to grow within the depths of my soul.
The need to break free filled every ounce of me.

My heart lay confused within my chest as I questioned Him.
"Why God, why am I here?"

 My thoughts captive by her control.

My soul, longing for peace and freedom.

Out of suffereing have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.

Things went on as they should.  That night was never talked about or brought up again.
I knew better than to relive it and reawaken her anger.

I knew my best choice was just to go along as nothing ever happened.
A smile on my face and a cheery attitude was best.
It became a mask that I would continually wear and never take off, even in the hardest moments.

My relationship with my boyfriend began to dwindle fast and within a few months we were very distant, and soon after no longer together.
My heart ached and my body felt a physical pain.

She taunted me with the break up, making fun of my pain and anguish.
Relishing in her victory.

I tucked my feelings down within the smallest pockets of my heart, so not to upset her with my grief.

In time, I was able to see that it was for the best, and going our separate ways was part of a bigger plan than I couldn't see at the time.

I held tightly to the moments I was able to soak up within our relationship.

He had been an outlet for me.
I was able to go to church more, soak up the Word more, draw from The Well of Life that I so badly needed.
I played over and over in my mind, the lyrics of worship songs that reminded me of Jesus' love for me.

 I began to feel a small spark of hope within me.

That spark of hope was the beginning of strength.

I John 4:4
Greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the world.

I spent most of my spare time singing.
I loved the melody and words that sprang from my heart and mouth.

I slowly began to see that I was made for more.
Made for more than pain.

I was made to lift my voice in praise to my Father.
Even if it were only Him listening, I was going to sing.
He was my hope.

There is a Hope
no matter what happens.
There is a hope
that overcomes all.
You can stand on the promise Jesus never fails.
Even if the world should fall,
There is a hope
 through all of life's changes.
There is a God whose always the same.
Hope does not depend on only what is seen.
Hope is found believing in His name.
There is a hope
There is a hope in Him
There is a hope in Jesus.

lyrics to There is a Hope, by Truth.

As the music continued to rise out of me,  hope and strength continued to build up within my heart.
I felt His presence all around me.
Somehow amongst the turmoil,
 His love covered me like a warm blanket from the cold wind,
reminding me that I was His, and He was right there with me.
His Light breaking through the darkness.
His Grace flooding in, swooping up, and holding tightly.

Psalm 119:105
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

Still I knew, what her anger was capable of, so I treaded not on her angry feelings.

And yet, they came, with full force and without a moment's notice.

Hurt washed in with the tide of each new day.
I knew nothing but to just keep moving on with a smile.

Faith is this unwavering trust in the heart of God in the hurt of here.
~~Ann Voskamp

It was the beginning of my Senior year of highschool when I would lock eyes with someone new.
Someone who would change my life.

We were in the same Biology class together and I was taken away by his quiet demeanor, strong walk and beautiful smile.

I felt an immediate connection with him even before we first spoke.

There was something that felt safe and familiar about him, and I did all I could to get closer to him.
I desperately wanted to be with him.

We began as friends and within a few months we began dating.

My life had new meaning, and hope continued to build inside of me.

He became my safe place to fall, a place to unveil my fears and my dreams.
A place to laugh and be loved without regret.
I melted inside the beauty of his eyes and cradled myself in his arms, knowing it was the place I was meant to be.
He respected me, who I was, and who I wanted to remain.

He too had been hurt, and we comforted eachother with our time and words.
Our love filling the void that was so evident in each of us.
He listened closely and with hope, as I revealed my love for God and His gift of salvation.

He soon gave his heart to Jesus and was baptized in our bathtub, coming up a new creature craving God's goodness and life.

Our love for one another grew even stronger.

He became a source of joy and strength for me, encouraging me that my life was meant for more than just the hurt my mother had to give.

We were together about a year, and my mother began to see herself losing control again.

She began to lash out at him, and whisper lies to me, to try and get me to let go of him and cling back on to her.

It was too late.
My strength had grown and the new found hope ran through my veins like a rushing river.
Nothing, not even her control, was going to keep me from him.

Everytime we were together we talked and dreamed of a future together.

At the young age of eighteen, on a small park bench, next to a flowing lake, with the sun setting behind us, he knelt down, placed a tiny delicate ring on my finger, and asked me to spend my future with him.

There in the beauty of the orange glowing sun, we pledged our love to one another and promised that we would be together for a lifetime.

Promising, no matter what life would bring, to never let each other go.
In that special moment, hope overflowed from our hearts.

After graduation, we both began working summer jobs.
Determined to make a life together, we knew we would need to have something solid to build it on.

To my dismay,
each check I brought in, my mother demanded that I give it to her and spent the money where ever she pleased.

Still, it did not discourage me.
By this time, I knew my Father had better plans for me and one day He was going to free me of her control and the pain that followed.

I prayed for that one day to come each and every night.

I prayed for peace within the storm.
It would eventually come in a way I never expected.

After a heated argument and another attempt of her controlling my every thought and step, she would pour out her rage on me.

This time, she would have my sister pack my things and have them waiting for me when I returned home.

As I saw the remains of my life sitting on the wet grass, that spark of hope became a flame burning within me.

I looked at him, and he looked at me.

We knew without any words spoken, that one day had finally come.

Freedom was beckoning to my heart.
We quickly gathered my things and loaded them in his car.

And without saying goodbye to her, I left.

I left her.

Not looking back.

Scared out of my mind, yet excited for anything but what I knew to be true within my life with her.

Little did I know, I had not left her, only placed her tightly in a napsack over my shoulder.

She would begin to show up, in the least likely of places.

Even with no invitation.

I don't know what the future holds,
 but I know who holds the future.
~~Author unknown

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