Time in the hospital would have been boring, if it were not for Star’s constant present, and for that reason too I was grateful. The Lord was working on both Star and I too, she was feeling better about herself and leaning more on the Lord. I knew she still felt a level of guilt over what had happened to me, but she was not so obsessive about it as she had been at first. She saw that I really was going to be okay, that I would have my bad moments, but I would have my good as well, and that was true for everyone. I was more able to talk to her about the things I grieved, the loss I felt, but I was getting stronger physically, and emotionally. By the Grace of God, I was getting through this, and I was grateful for that. I knew that my time in the hospital was coming to an end and I would have to face life in a chair outside of the hospital walls, but I was going to make it. God was faithful the fact that I was still here was proof of that.
Lord I know you are faithful and good to me, thank you for that. Thank you that you saw it fit to keep me here with my family for a while longer, I know you have a purpose for me, you can turn something good out of something bad and I know that, so I am praying that you turn something positive out of this.
Star was no longer so afraid to leave me, she still spent as much time as she could with me, but she was finally getting out and doing things, preparing for us to go home, because as soon as I got strong enough we were staying at home. I knew that the weeks Mom and Dad had spent renting that hotel room were getting expensive, they had a monthly rate which helped but it still was not cheap. I did not want to see my parents wipe all their savings out. Thankfully we all had insurance, so my hospital stay was covered, but it was still hard on all of them and I understood that. It was hard on me too of course, but God was getting us all through this and for that I was grateful.
“Soon you will be released Hope, I bet you can’t wait.”
“I can’t Star, but I am a little nervous.” I said honestly.
“I would be too Hope, after all you have been through.”
“Thank you for understanding Star, but the fact is no matter what I go through the Lord is never farther than a prayer away.”
I was truly thankful for everything the Lord had done, I was thankful for being alive. I am not saying I did not have my moments because I did. There were times I questioned the Lord, but I did not let myself become overly depressed, or ungrateful for the things the Lord had done. I knew that the fact that I was still here was reason enough to thank the Lord. That bullet could have easily killed me, and I knew that, but God had a reason for keeping me here on this earth, he had a bigger purpose for me a plan, even in the darkness I could see the Light, and for that I was thankful.
“Star could you hand me my Bible?” I asked my sister, knowing I needed to spend time in the word, no matter the situation spending time in God’s word was important.
“Of course Hope.”
I turned my Bible to John Chapter 21 and read aloud so Star could hear too. We were both completely capable of reading to ourselves, but we enjoyed sharing devotions from time to time, it drew us closer to the Lord and closer to one another.
Jesus and the Miraculous Catch of Fish
1 Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee.[a] It happened this way: 2 Simon Peter, Thomas (also known as Didymus[b]), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. 3 “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.
4 Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.
5 He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?”
“No,” they answered.
6 He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.
7 Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. 8 The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards.[c] 9 When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.
10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” 11 So Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. 12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. 14 This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.
Jesus Reinstates Peter
15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. 18 Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” 19 Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”
20 Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is going to betray you?”) 21 When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?”
22 Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” 23 Because of this, the rumor spread among the believers that this disciple would not die. But Jesus did not say that he would not die; he only said, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?”
24 This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true .
25 Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.
“I am glad we serve the Lord we serve.” Star said. “When I was in Afghanistan I believed that God was this big monster, that only wanted to see his children hurt, but I know now my Father was lying, God is an all loving God, and I am so thankful I came to that realization.”
“I am too Star. I celebrated on the inside when you came to the Lord, because I knew your life would be so much better, so much more rewarding, and the healing could truly begin to take place.”
“I know things were hard when I first came to America, when I first became part of this family, not only to me, but to you guys as well, and I know that I did not make things easy for you.”
“Star believe me we understood, we love you even then, and we love you now.”
“I know Hope, and I am more than grateful for that, I am more than grateful that we are sisters, and that we have the parents we have.”
“Amen, me too.”
I was thankful that the Lord had saw it fit to give me Star as a sister she was truly an answer to prayer. My Mom may not have given birth to her, but she was my sister just the same, and that would never change. Star and I were as close as two sisters could be, closer perhaps, we were best friends as well, because the good Lord had saw it fit to make it that way.
Lord thank you for getting us this far, thank you for giving me the strength I need to get through this, and show the FBI agents, the best way to catch their man. I will feel so much better once this monster is thrown in prison where he belongs, and I know Star will feel so much better when that happens as well. I love you Lord, and I thank you for everything you have done and continue to do for myself and for my family.
“I guess I have grown in the past few years, I know I owe that to the Lord.” Star said.
“Star I don’t guess, I know and I am grateful for how he is worked in your life, in our lives.”
“Hope I don’t know if my faith would be as strong as yours if I was the one lying in a hospital bed.”
“Star have you forgotten a few years ago it was you in the hospital bed? Don’t sale yourself short, besides any strength I have comes from the Lord.”
I knew that there were times when Star’s confidence waned when she felt that somehow she wasn’t measuring up, but I tried to remind her as often as she could, we did not measure our successes, in the way the world did, but in the ways the Lord did. And Star was doing everything she could, she had shared her testimony, and I knew that had been difficult for her. She was afraid of going back out though, because of what happened to me. I had been shot, by her birth Father the same night Star had shared her story at the bookstore, but I did not want Star to give up. I would be by her side through this. If I couldn’t stand, I would just sit by her side. I needed Star, and she needed me, so we were going to help one another through this. We both had our mountains to climb, the terrain may be different, but we were going to end up in the same place, in the arms of the Lord.
“Star you really are stronger in the Lord than you realize. Look at how much you have overcome, it would have broken others but instead you are using it to reach others. I know the Lord is smiling down on you Star.”
“I hope so Hope.”
“I know so Star.”