2007 STORY #2 – HOPE OFFERED
She was alone with the skeletons of her past…alone with the heartache…alone with the disappointment. She didn't know where to turn. But, there he was…her Pastor. Could she trust him? Could she be transparent, and know safety? Yes…she would try.
He offered to help. He said he was true. A man of great character, he promised he was. He gave her his word…saying he would never harm, only heal. In kindness, he persuaded her to trust. His outstretched hand was offered, and while nervous, she grasped it tightly, hoping quietly, that he was a man of his word.
Carefully calculating each word and moment, he worked his charm. Being so exact and precise…every action going according to plan. Grooming her so beautifully, that it was impossible to see. Never giving hint or suspicion to his hidden motives. Manipulating her heart…getting her to respond in the very way he intended. It was a master plan…one he executed with complete success…she was his!
Exploited unknowingly. Harmed in secret. Used completely. She loved him like a father, and would do anything to please him. He knew he could pull the strings, and she would dance like the puppet he created her to be.
Until one day, she cut the strings. She didn't know where the strength had come from, but she knew she had to escape. She cried out for help, and only few heard her plea. She loosened the strings, and ran.
Free of those harmful hands, was but the first step. Now the work would begin. Healing. She was broken, alone, and scared. Who would listen? Who would believe? Who would help her through? Something had to change. She was losing herself in the pain. She had no hope. Being the victim of something this dark, was too much to wrap her mind around. How could she face another day?
But then, another man came into her life. A Priest. A good man, with a good wife. Together, they picked her up, brushed her off, and with their kind words of love, they assured her that everything was going to be alright. They listened. They advised. They offered hope. And with one statement, they turned her life around.
They said, "You can choose to see yourself as a victim, OR, you can see yourself as a survivor and move on with your life." She didn't want to be a victim anymore. She had survived, and it was time to live like she was standing on that truth. In grasping this, she was truly free. His hold on her was over. She is a survivor…and with the strength of a survivor, she now holds out her arms to embrace the hurts of others, who need to hear, "You, too, are a survivor!"