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Sometimes I can remember the white haired little girl who just wanted to be with her mama. Mostly, though, I remember the little girl who grew up way faster than most. That little girl was a monster slayer. So, when I ended up in the hospital staring at walls and trying to write with a dull lead pencil (true story) I figured maybe the monster had finally gotten me. This kind of thing will send even monster slayers to their knees. And that is where I found myself one night in the not so quiet night in the hospital. I was trying to come up with words to pray and this song came to my mind.
“Pencil marks on the wall, I wasn’t always this tall, You scattered some monsters from beneath my bed. You watched my team win you watched my team lose, watched when my bicycle went down again. When I was weak, unable to speak I cried Elbow Healer, Super Hero, come if You can, and You said I AM.” Nicole Nordeman
So, I begged for God to come fix my gigantic skinned heart and mind. It was a child-like prayer–because that was all I had. I knew then that my God would get me through this; but not without a whole lot of work. After all I was dealing with 35 years of trauma. That kind of trauma deserves some respect, some attention. But it was so hard. No amount of medicine can heal that kind of brokenness.
“One tear in the driving rain, one voice in a sea of pain, could the maker of the stars hear the sound of my broken heart? One life that is all I am and right now I can barely stand, If You are everything You say You are won’t You come and hold my heart?” Tenth Avenue North
So I would pray, and as the nights went on and I was less medicated, the hospital became a pretty scary place to be. I had no idea what was waiting for me on the outside. My friends had managed to keep it from me. But they all knew the day of reckoning was coming and they had to tell me, they could not keep it from me any longer.
“You saw my mistakes, watched my heart break heard when I swore I’d never love again. And when I was weak, unable to speak, still I would call You by name I said heart-ache healer, secret keeper, would You be my Best Friend? And You said I AM”
When the nurse walked me through the (now) unlocked doors and outside Crissy was there waiting for me. It was October so the temperature outside was nice. I was pretty sure I smelled ocean air too! I jumped in the car and told Crissy to hurry and leave before they changed their mind! I knew they wouldn’t change their mind, but my wit was about me and after all I was gonna sleep in my own bed, what could be better? More importantly, nothing, absolutely nothing could ruin this moment, right? WRONG
While I was in the hospital I wasn’t allowed to have any electronic devices. No phone, no computer, no iPod…nothing. One night Crissy was looking in my computer for phone numbers when she noticed I had some email. For some reason, to this day she still can’t tell you why, she clicked on those emails. She could probably tell the story better than I, but what she found were 7 emails that were threats to kill me in whatever way you could imagine. Cris had pulled Michelle, Kris and Cheryl into the fold on this one. None of them said a word to me while I was in the hospital. They didn’t even tell the doctors.
The emails were horrible. Let’s just leave it at that. Within 24 hours of being released from the hospital, I was at the police station–right across from the hospital filing for an order of protection from..you know, somebody who vowed to love me forever.
“You saw me wear white by pale candlelight as I said forever to what lies ahead..when I am weak, unable to speak still I will call You by name oh Shepard, Savior, Pasture Maker, hold on to my hand, You said I AM”
Filling out the paperwork that day was horrible. Again, this is not an easy process, and it shouldn’t be. But I was scared, I was not ok, this was the last thing in the world I needed. But, the little white haired girl came out swinging. It was time to slay some monsters.
I filled out the paperwork and we were told to come back to the courthouse in a few hours. I was granted a temporary order of protection and was given a court date. I would have to see him at the hearing. Perfect, just perfect.
I had not even been home 2 nights before the pestilence of the night started. I didn’t know what it was, at first. It was all so confusing, at first. It was all so, so hard, still. We figured out that I was having PTSD flashbacks because Crissy could hear me from her room across the house. I had no ability to tell the difference between when I was 7, 17 or 35. My body reacted as though it was present. And I was confused. I had problems sleeping at night before, but this was different. This was, in a word, horrible. There was nothing to do but work through it. It created a lot of problems for me as I would wake up 10-12 times a night. Crissy finally just stayed awake with me and would make sure I went back to sleep before she would go back to her room. Like I said, you never know how much the power of a friendship will change your life. I was amping up my visits to my counselor in St. Pete. We all knew this was temporary but it sure didn’t feel that way when it was happening.
“Lord I am weak, unable to speak, still I will call You by name, Creator, Maker, Life-sustainer, Comforter, Healer, My Redeemer, Lord and King Beginning and the End and You said I AM”
It seemed like an eternity before we were going to court, so I didn’t think about it much. I could not let my mind go to that place, your mind can only handle so much evil in one sitting. So, I managed to not think about it. Until the day before the hearing.
The Little White Haired monster slayer. 4 years old, I think…