The title says it all… When I shared with you over a week ago that I was going to start writing about some of the things I went through during my school years, this particular topic was not in my plans. As a matter of fact, I didn’t even recall these events until the Lord brought them back to mind just a few days ago.
My response? Oh, no – I really don’t want to bring up this stuff…
But I’ve been greatly encouraged by the kind words many of you have shared with me recently, and since I’ve repeatedly told the Lord I would do whatever He wanted me to do, I simply could not say “no” when He reminded me of this time of my life – as much as I wanted to.
I believe I was 16 years-old, and it was summertime. To hopefully keep me out of trouble, I found a live-in job with a family for the summer, and my job was to keep the house clean, plus watch the kids while the parents were at work. They gave me my own room, and in the evenings I was free to do whatever I wanted. Oh, oh…
Well, suffice it to say that I took that newfound freedom much farther than I should have.
After the parents came home from work and my job was done for the day I usually took off – I would hitchhike to meet some friends down in the big city which was about 1/2 hour away from where I was living.
There was a guy in this current group of friends that really liked me; but I was just hanging out with him because I really liked his best friend. Sometimes I would pick fights my “boyfriend” – just because I wanted to.
But then one day I took it way too far.
I was in a rotten mood, and got in a squabble with him while riding on the back of his motorbike. He pulled over so we could have it out. I got so angry with him that I slammed his nice new bike helmet on the street and cracked it! He was livid, but for some reason still told me he’d take me back home.
We got on the freeway and then he started having trouble with his bike. He pulled over on the side of the road, and rather than being patient I started to tell him what a piece of junk his bike was. I was on a roll, and there was no backing out.
He finally reached his limit with me, and told me to just go ahead and find my own way home. Just then a car with 3 guys came driving by slowly staring at the spectacle that was taking place on the side of the freeway, and I quickly stuck out my hitchhiking thumb and they pulled over. I got in, and looked back at my now ex-boyfriend with a “see, I told you so” type of look.
But things didn’t happen as I had planned.
Because, rather than take me back home, the 3 guys drove to an apartment where they pulled a knife on me, and one-by-one took their liberties. They never hurt me, per se, but then again I was actually smart enough to not provoke them in any manner.
When they were finished they loaded me back in the car, and took me to an army base not too far away. They pulled up behind one of the barracks and told me to wait in the car as they went inside.
I did as I was told, but then I started to hear a lot of loud laughter and raucousness coming from inside the barracks, and suddenly knew that I needed to get out of the car and try to get away from them. So I quickly got out and ran back out towards the freeway.
I was starting to get real panicky: What if they came after me? But I tried to keep my head straight and stuck out my thumb again hoping that someone would pick me up quickly and be able to get me out of there.
I was again “lucky,” for the first car that came by picked me up and asked me where I wanted to go. I ended up not going back to the house where I was living for the summer, but instead asked him to drive me to another friend’s house where I ended up staying the night. Needless to say, by the time I made it back to my job the next day – there was no more job…
Let me end this all by saying that I really don’t know why the Lord continued to have mercy on me. I could very easily have been one of the statistics that we hear about every day, and my heart goes out to those of you who have lost someone they’ve loved, or to those of you who have experienced similar circumstances to what I experienced that day.
On this occasion the events that happened were certainly my fault – I was on a self-made path to destruction. But for some of you, the fault has not been yours at all. My prayer is – whatever the circumstance – that you turn to the God of All Comfort. Don’t wait like I did for many, many years. Because really, we do not know just when our last day on earth will be. I could certainly have been killed on more than one occasion, and I would have ended up not going to heaven, but going straight down to hell, the place where the prideful and unbelieving will experience “darkness … weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matt. 8:12).
Thank you, Jesus – for your love and mercy on me…