8 Years

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Tomorrow marks a very important day in my journey.

Some of my readers will know this as my “Exodus Day” – indeed, it was a day that I left behind what I knew and ventured into the road towards freedom.

I’d like to tell the story of that day.

That term, I had been struggling with what was going on at home. I would stay at the university late or stay at a friend’s house or my grandparents’ house to escape the abuse. I had plans to move out in June or July (I can’t remember which month now). Technically, my stepfather had said that wasn’t allowed. So, I found myself a job and a place to live and simply announced it and proceeded as if everyone was cool with it. For me, it was non-negotionable.

But I was struggling emotionally. So I went to friends and shared a little of what I was going through. They supported me, I didn’t tell them much, but told them enough. We were to get together for lunch when my exams were over.

That day was April 28. And over lunch, one of my friends informed me that she was obliged to call children’s aid because there were young children in the home. I tried everything I could think of to get her to change her mind. After all, I knew children’s aid only to be anti-Christian and against families. After awhile, I realized a call was going to be made…with or without me. And I decided that I wanted to take on the responsibility of calling. So we made the call together.

And then I knew I could never go home that night.

That was eight years ago. We were studying Exodus as a Bible study at the time and I really found myself in that story. The abuse was a slavery of sorts – a slave to one’s selfish and misdirected passions. I had been freed from bondage to this way of life.

Yet – as the drama continued and I found myself with an angry family, without a home, and overwhelmed, I found myself saying that it was better at home. Yes, I knew what I was saying – but the desert isn’t a fun place either. I found myself crying out to God like the Israelites – it was better in Egypt. I remember each day as a struggle. Many days I could not fathom getting through, let alone reaching eight years.

And yet, here I am. 8 years later. I love God and know that he is with me. I am thriving in school and work and in life and enjoying all that God has blessed me with. While I have my moments, a joy and peace has filled my life and sometimes I cannot contain it. Each day I am discovering that God’s love is deeper, longer, wider, higher than I ever thought imaginable. I have learned that God’s timing is perfect (though for a perpetually impatient one like myself, I think this will be one of those things I will learn and relearn throughout my life. I have come to see how God can take what is ugly and messy and orchestrate beauty out of it. I can laugh at knowing that God loves me and knows me better than i know myself.

8 years… and there’s still pain, but there’s a lot more healing. The picture above is a clay vase made by a friend of my aunt and uncle. It has become my symbol and hope in healing. For the longest time, I had the other side visible… a woman, with her head down and in chains. And then, I turned it around at some point in my journey… we will overcome some day. I’m not sure one ever stops healing. I think healing and growth continue throughout one’s life.

But my friends and family and readers who have journeyed with me thus far…. we have overcome.

Thanks be to God.

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  1. Rascaldebrat
    April 27, 2013 at 7:36 pm

    Wow what a powerful message. You have journey this far and you can do it. Healing is an ongoing process and I believe it will be hard for a person to stop healing as we get hurt on a regular basis. I believe it depends on what we are healing from and how open we are to heal oneself. Life is a journey so is healing. My friend, keep up the good work and know that I am journeying with you too. Little do you know, you are an inspiration to me and this is the reason I am moving forward in life too. I am amazed by your drive and push you have to further yourself in education despite what daggers are thrown at you. This in itself is also a push for me to keep telling myself I can do it no matter what daggers are thrown at me or what crosses that comes my way to block me from moving forward. Wishing you all the best and like I said to you, lets celebrate this journey you are on to moving forward.

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