Finding Jesus in the Shadows (Part 1)

Continuing my story…

My visit from Howard and Alice, and that life-altering question, triggered the first wave of a long grieving process. Maybe more like the initial Tsunami that set the waves in motion, for years to come, in various ways and stages.

To survive emotionally, psychologically and spiritually, one must learn to ride these waves and take advantage of them, using them for good. But riding waves takes practice, and it’s best if one knows how to swim.

Howard and Alice’s home was a safe place for the initial ‘shock’ part of that journey, and coming out of that shock. For three days, in their home, I slipped in and out of moments of my new reality, trying to come to terms with what had been in my childhood. Though, how does one truly come to terms with the ultimate betrayal from a parent?

God has a way of getting messages through in ways that we can hear them, if we listen. And sometimes even if we don’t. One of my ‘languages’ with God, is music. Maybe even a language with life. When I can’t resolve things, when I’m struggling intensely, I often come across a song that has a message just for that moment. And that is just what happened.

Music began playing the one evening at Howard and Alice’s, that caught my attention. I don’t recall all the words, but the words that stood out every time,  went something like, “…show your Daddy, where it hurts, and let your Daddy fix it…”

A battle raged in my inner part. How was I to show anything to any Daddy, anywhere, especially if it hurt? That was where my pain had started–from my earthly father. How could I trust God, a Heavenly Father to be any different? Why had He not protected me? I couldn’t reconcile it. Still, the words continued to grip me, long after the song was done.

I replayed it, wanting to resolve whatever it was that stirred in me. I rested on the sofa in the living room, alone, listening to the words of the song. Something drew me in, but what?

The tears started, and would not stop. Lying there I realized I was not abandoned. That anything I had lost with my earthly father, my Heavenly Father would restore and redeem.

Papa-God was with me and had never abandoned me, even when I could not feel Him, or see evidence of Him. When I had felt as if I needed to take care of myself, He was there. He had come, in the body of Jesus Christ, to understand my mental suffering, to know my fears, to feel my pain. To tell me I could overcome, just as He had overcome. But I would not do it on my own strength, but in trusting Him.

At the end of day three, I felt refreshed. Ready to move forward. I had cried my tears, and I would cry again, but the initial trauma was over. I returned to the Colonel’s home, to pour my energy into taking care of him.

I met with Howard and Alice, from time to time, to talk through things, but life continued as before, for the most part.

At Christmas I went to Pennsylvania, to spend some time with my then-boyfriend. He had dropped hints, probably inadvertently, that he was going to propose. The hints were unmistakable, as wedding dreams and plans became a normal part of conversation.

For Christmas he gave me a full ski suit and we had agreed we would not do that until our relationship was ‘set in stone’, so to speak, because I was not a skier, and wasn’t likely to pick it up, without him in my life.

We spent a day skiing between Christmas and New Years, and that evening, I was told, I needed to be extra dressed up. I wore my prettiest dress, took extra care doing my hair. The restaurant, he said, was amazing. He had not been there, but he had asked friends before booking it.

We left the house with high expectations.

Life was about to change… dramatically. But not in the way I thought and dreamed.

To Be Continued…

© Trudy Metzger

Return to 1st post in Sexual Abuse Series

Enter to win the August Book Draw

See Previous Month’s Winner