Spiritual Non-Fiction posted June 3, 2017


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This work has reached the exceptional level
It's not a religion; it's a relationship

Drifting Away

by FxstsLisa

The author has placed a warning on this post for sexual content.

I was seven years old in 1968 when our family moved to our new house with the daylight basement big enough to roller-skate. That summer my dad would also build his kids a playhouse that resembled a fort with a ladder inside to get to the look-out tower. My brother, who was almost a year older, had turned me into somewhat of a tomboy. Because of him, I usually played 'army' or shot hoops instead of the Barbie dolls my girlfriends preferred.

There is one day in our new home I would always remember. I can still feel the warmth of the sun radiating through my pink polka dot curtains waking me up. I could hear the birds twittering, and the smell of bacon and maple syrup making its way up to my bedroom door. "I'll eat later Mom"! carrying my dollhouse with the miniature people and furniture outside.

Quickly bored with my dollhouse, I laid back on the grass and looked up at the bluish sky. I was mesmerized by the thick white clouds that swirled about in a way that if you stared long enough, you could make out a ship, or perhaps an elephant. As I laid there, I pondered the question: IS THERE A GOD?

I decided that day there had to be. In my young mind, no other answer made sense for me. As a child, I think you are more willing to accept something that you cannot touch or see.

Growing up I was a creative child; writing poems, stories and always a diary. In the fifth grade, a teacher noticed something in me artistically, so I spent the school year as the 'teacher's pet' helping her paint huge murals on the school walls. She also entered me into various 'kid' art and writing contests where I won a few. It was just ten or twenty dollars, but I felt special for the first time in my life.

Unfortunately, some of my writing was 'disturbing' too. Twice that year, the principal called my parents in to discuss my stories. I have no idea what I wrote. Possibly the sexual abuse I went through between the ages of three to six years old. It was a different time though; the 1960's when nobody talked about it.

Besides, the perpetrators were children themselves. The girl was twelve when my mom caught us in a field where she would dig a hole to put me in so I couldn't get out. My mom was horrified! She marched me into the house screaming that I was a horrible child. "How could a three year-old girl be so gross" she screamed.

The small blue ranch house with the white shutters and the huge grassy backyard, any kid would love to have. It was perfect, safe in a little cul-de-sac surrounded by families with children my age to play.

The twelve year-old girl and her two teenage brothers lived at the end of the cul-de-sac. My mom decided it was still safe to play at their house. So, the abuse continued as her brothers joined in. A neighbor called the police. I was six by then, and my mom said I should have known better.

'You didn't stop it or tell someone' my head still screams. Unfortunately, you spend the rest of your life blaming yourself and trying not to let it define who you are.

When I turned eleven, I found a church camp. I liked the camp the church offered because it was at the beach, and after five o clock you could do whatever you wanted. It sounded fun to me! Besides, I only went so I could get out of picking berries that summer. As it turned out, I was destined to go.

I had gone to church my whole life and never fit in - still don't. For the first time, I learned about Jesus and how you can have a personal relationship with him. I was ecstatic; I had never heard about this before.

What happened next changed my life forever because I trusted Christ as my Savior, so he would save me, and I would be his child forever. I now had his indwelling Spirit to provide comfort in tough times and to guide me through them. What a blessing! Of course, I did not know that was just the beginning of my life-long venture where I encountered tremendous obstacles along the way.

When I turned twelve, I failed an eye test at school - on purpose. Silly yet I remember thinking 'I'm tired of trying to act perfect all the time'! I guess I could not keep up the facade any longer of fitting into that Norman Rockwell painting my mom was trying to create.

Rebelling - my parents gave up on me. They never knew I hitchhiked all the time with my friend Julia or went to rock concerts with my babysitting money. I should have been happy; I could do anything I wanted! Instead, I just felt rejected.

At fourteen, my friend Julia and I hitchhiked for the last time. We always had a pact that we would turn down rides if they looked 'creepy'. However, this time it did not work, and we accepted a ride by two nice looking guys in their twenties. Sliding into the car, they asked us if we wanted to party with them? Scared and excited we drank alcohol for the first time; it got us into trouble we could not handle. We both lost our virginity.

Technically, it was a crime because we were underage and they took us across state lines to their house. Drunk, I remember screaming to take us back to school when I realized they weren't. "We left our coats and purses at school" I pleaded. Then we stopped and switched cars with a woman who turned out to be one of the guy's mom. For some reason this made me feel safe.

Later that night, they told us to get the hell out of their house. They took our shoes and pushed us out the door. Apparently, we stayed in the woods for a week, afraid to go home. I have few memories of that part - mostly made up nightmares.

However, I do remember sitting on a tree stump or large rock holding my legs while rocking back and forth feeling cold. The fog so thick I could not see, only hear my friend sobbing somewhere close. When I found her she said she wanted to go home; she missed her mom and dad. Eventually, we found our way out of the woods. The first thing we saw was a crusty old yellow Laundromat with a phone booth. We searched for someone with quarters, and made our calls.

When we got home Julia never went back to our school, her parents sold their house and moved. I had to face it alone. My neighborhood, and everyone in my high school knew what had happened. I lost most of my babysitting jobs, and some kids at school called me a slut as well as my mom. The rejection was profound.

The FBI tried to help and took me to find their house. I found it, but they had moved. They talked Julia and me out of pressing charges - tarnishes reputations they said. It didn't matter they already were. Consequently, I developed a life-long eating disorder and contemplated suicide.

Completely lost, I cried out to God. He answered me by sending Sara who became my best friend. The kids at school soon forgot what happened, and life went on.

Sara and I did everything together and became very close. Her mom always watched out for us giving us some direction. My self-esteem flourished! We met the rock group Foreigner backstage and got their autographs. We got our drivers licenses so we could drive to the beach or go 'night' snow-skiing on the mountain after school. Also, we went to Germany for a month with her father and traveled to Hawaii to celebrate our high school graduation. I was fortunate to work for my dad's company every summer so I had the finances to go.

At the same time, we also visited different churches together; we were curious and needed some answers. I especially remember us going to a midnight mass on Christmas Eve. It was a small white country church surrounded by pine trees so tall and dense it almost appeared spooky. The snow was falling lightly with hundreds of candles glowing inside. I can still hear the choir singing 'Silent Night' it was magical. I somehow felt closer to God.

After high school, I started drifting away from God again. I became consumed with what the world could offer. It was funny though; I always knew when I got off track because this kind of peace inside of me would go away. But at the same time, I still knew God was there; I could feel the tug.

Moving out on my own with a girlfriend, I did one term of college and quit. My parents were going through a divorce and I was unable to focus. My plan was to be a teacher. Instead, I dabbled in drugs.

The boyfriend I had at the time sold cocaine and worked a regular job as well for a cable company. The company parties were all about cocaine. I think this time of my life was when my self-esteem started to crumble again. My boyfriend always put me down, and I believed him. Furthermore, he was an atheist, and we argued about our personal beliefs.

At 22, I married the wrong man. He said he believed in God, yet he lied. He was able to do things behind my back because I trusted him. However, I was in love for the first time and could not walk away. Consequently, I slowly drifted even farther, my faith not strong enough, my knowledge of Gods ways mostly unexplored.

Then tragedy struck, and I cried out to God again. I prayed in distress that I might not know my husband after all. The worst part was I had no way to find out the truth; I didn't know who to believe. He got arrested, accused of rape. His story did not add up, but they let him go for lack of evidence. We were together by then for ten years, I still loved him, so how could I leave? I prayed to God for the truth; six months later I fell out of love with him. God had opened my eyes to who he was. I left.

Hard-headed, I continued my on again, off again relationship with God. I was single now back into an apartment. I wasn't interested in a relationship with anyone. I continued to party while somehow excelling at my job. I got promoted to the position I wanted and buried myself in my work.

A year later, I met a man who was very talented in so many ways and loved God. He proposed to me on Valentine's Day while sailing on a cruise ship. How romantic, right? Unfortunately, I didn't know he had been sober for five years and had just started drinking again when I met him. Never living with an alcoholic, I had no idea what I was in for.

A few years later the bottom fell out, yet again. He was drinking from morning to night. I tried to help him, but he did not want to stop. In the end, he ended up in prison for committing a burglary while in a blackout from alcohol. He only had to serve a year; I quickly found out that was an eternity for him. Ultimately, he passed away from a staph infection while in prison.

While he was on life support for a week, I stayed by his side and prayed harder than I had ever prayed before. The night before he died, I had a vivid dream of him waving goodbye to me from the top window of the hospital. For some reason, it comforted me. My grief, however, was immense. I loved him; I had known him before the alcohol took over.

So I went back to work feeling depressed. My co-workers gave me a company sympathy card written with religious quotes and personal messages which meant a lot to me. In my tearful desperation, I asked God why? It was not fair! My feelings felt so raw; how could I handle this?

I went back to the home we had just bought together. I knew right away I could not stay. Everything reminded me of him. I wrote something for the funeral, pouring out my deepest emotions. For some reason, my mind would not allow me to think of any bad things; that would come later. I just remembered what a big heart he had; I could only remember how he was before the sickness of alcoholism.

Heartbroken, I moved into an apartment again. At work, I felt numb and had a hard time concentrating on my job. My boss noticed and called me into his office. Saying "We gave you a week off paid, and you told me you would be okay. You said work would take your mind off things". He wrote me up with a warning. I buried myself in my job again, taking on more responsibilities.

The following year, my brother passed away from colon cancer. The doctors said he had two months to live. I asked him to come live with me. I did this for both of us; knowing it would help me heal when he passed. We had time to talk into the wee hours of the morning. It was strange, the part that was most comforting was remembering the fight we had. It had made everything seem normal. We were close growing up and had argued constantly.

My big brother, my protector, turning yellow and losing weight at an alarming rate. After a month he went into hospice care and died within weeks. But life keeps moving, and you have to put on a face for work.

Heartbroken again, the rest of that year was a blur. Then a new woman started working for our company. Friendly with a lovely smile, she engaged me in conversation. Seeing all the birthday balloons around my desk she invited me over for dinner.

When we arrived at her house, two men were cooking homemade chicken and noodles. It smelled wonderful! I immediately felt at home. Little did I know my future husband was standing in the room...

My life has not been easy, but I don't think it was supposed to be. I think there was a reason I became friends with Jesus at such an early age. He walked with me and made me stronger when I didn't think I could take another step. I feel so very blessed. Jesus saves and besides, in my mind, no other answer makes sense for me!
















My Testimony contest entry


Jesus said over and over again that he came for the broken, the bad, the addicted, the bound, the deceived, the lost, the hurting. He doesn't reject you. He listens. He gets it.

Source: hewillreign
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

Artwork by VMarguarite at FanArtReview.com

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