I woke up to the sound of Star, crying and a voice in a foreign tongue. I knew it was Star, though I could not figure out what she was saying of course, and I had never heard her speak in her native tongue. I would later learn that she spoke Pashto, also called Afghani but I had no idea what she was saying. I knew she was upset though her tears told me that.
Lord forgive me for all the times I was selfish my life was easy compared to what Star went through. I complained over silly things while Star dealt with monsters. There was no way I could describe them.
Star’s pillow was damp from her tears, and I reached out to gently comfort her. She flinched but finally relaxed realizing it was me. I was not going to hurt her, but she still had issues.
She tried unsuccessfully to hide her tears, she did not like people seeing her crying. She did not like seeing others worrying about her, did not like upsetting them. She felt bad when she saw how upset I had been after hearing just bits and pieces of what had happened to her, but the truth was I had asked to hear her story. She was not to blame for the fact that I had been upset. I just did not like to imagine my sister going through the hell she went through before she was my sister.
I wanted to help Star, but I did not know how. I could certainly not stop the nightmares from evading Star’s sleep, but I could pray and I did a lot of praying.
“Star you do not have to hold everything in.”
“I do not wish to talk about the things that happened to me before.”
“Star if not to me you really should talk to someone.”
“Hope you do not understand, I cannot talk about it, it hurts my heart too much.”
“It will only hurt it more, if you keep it bottled up Star.”
“They are the monsters from my past Hope I do not feel right about bothering you with them.”
“I am sorry for waking you Hope, you may go back to sleep now. I will be sure to be more quiet.”
“Star I am not worried about being woken, I am worried about you.”
“I wish you would not worry about me, I do not deserve your worries.”
“Star you do realize that what happened to you as a little girl was not your fault don’t you?”
“I want to believe that Hope, but I feel dirty, I feel soiled.”
“Star you are our family now, and we love you. We do not think there is anything evil or bad about you.”
“I do not deserve your love, nor do I deserve a family.”
“Star you did not deserve to be hurt, you do deserve to be loved.”
“I wish I could believe that, and I wish I could believe Jesus loves me the way you told me. I want to believe that Hope, I really do, but I have trouble believing that such a loving Jesus exists.”
“He loves you Star, more than we do, more than anyone can Jesus loves you.”
“I do not deserve his love.”
Lord she thinks so low of herself, she is convinced, that somehow she deserved the hurt and abuse she went through as a child. And she feels guilty for being relieved over her parents death. I do not know how to reach out to her, I do not know how to help her. I cannot help her without your help Lord.
“Star the truth is none of us deserve everything Jesus has done for us, but he gives us the gift of his blood anyway, all we have to do is accept it. He died on the cross for us Star, for you and for I.”
I saw something in Star’s eyes, that told me she wanted to believe, but she did not know how and I could not force what I believed on her. I was going to keep sharing God’s love with her, but I could not force her to believe in something she was afraid to believe in.
“If Jesus is so loving Hope, how did he let the things that happened to me happen? If I am truly his child, how could I have been hurt so?”
I really had no idea how to answer Star’s question, because I did not understand that either. I just knew that what she had been through did not lessen his love for her.
“Star look at it this way, he brought you to us, he brought you safely to us. It is not God who lets the evil happen though, we are given freewill and as people we make mistakes, we do stupid things, thoughtless things, we live in fallen world Star, but despite all of that God does love us.”
“I do not know this God, the God I know is the one who let me be hurt, who let me be raped. The one my Father told me about, saying my being raped was part of Allah’s will.”
I knew little about the Muslim religion, but I did know that this was not the way all Muslims believed, or condoned. I did understand that Star needed to know that she was loved though, that she deserved to be loved. She was not unworthy or dirty as she saw herself. I wish she could see what a beautiful young woman she was.
Lord please reach out to Star show her that she is loved, give her the strength she needs. Help her to heal Lord, because I know that she has a lot of healing to do, her scars run deep.
A few days later we saw just how frightened how Star was, as Mom walked in with a bag of groceries, and dropped a couple of glass bottles of Coke, the kind you used to return to the store for a nickel. Star ran to her room screaming, cowering on her bed. I had never seen someone so scared in my life.
“Hope can you please go check on Star, while I check on this. I would but I fear I would only frighten her more.”
“I’ll go check on her Mom.”
I quietly walked into Star’s room, praying that I did not frighten her more than she already was.
“It’s okay Star, it was only broken bottles, No one was hurt, Mom just dropped them. It’s okay.”
“They used bottles, broken bottles, to hurt me, to rape me. Not just my Father, but his friends as well. I was only a little girl, and I felt so dirty. I still feel dirty. I will never be clean again.”
I shuttered thinking of a little girl being raped with glasses, cut up.
“They cut my insides. One by one, they used pieces of bottle to cut my insides. My privates. They hurt me Hope, in ways I do not even like to think about.”
Star was opening up to me, but I was feeling sick after hearing what she had been through, who treats a little girl like this? Monsters they were all monsters in my mind.
“I hated them Hope, for a long time I hated them, but I do not have the energy to hate them any longer. I do not have the energy to feel anything but fear.”
“I am sorry Star.”
“It was not your doings Hope you were not the one who hurt me.”
“I know, but I am sorry you had to endure that.”
Lord how can anyone do this to a child, how can anyone think this is acceptable? Star did not deserve this, no child does? Yet it happens it happened to Star. This kind of abuse seemed so far and distant until now. Help me to reach out to Star, help her to see that she does not have so much to fear with us. We are doing everything we can to help her but Lord I do not know where to begin and where to end.
“We are your family, and we want to do everything in our power to help you, we want you to be allowed to heal.”
“Hope I know you mean well, but I do not think I can heal.”
“Star I believe you can, but no matter what you are my sister and I am going to love you.”
“I have never known a sisters love before.” Star said sadly. “Thank you for giving me that now.”
“You are welcome, you were only a little girl when you were hurt you did nothing wrong.” I said losing track of the times I had drilled that into Star’s head.
You are still a little girl Star, eleven or twelve, no more, and yet in so many ways you are so much older. You had no childhood, and that breaks my heart.
“I want to believe that Hope, I really do.”
“I know you do, and I really wish that things were different, that somehow, someway you could see you are worthy of love, that you did not deserve this.”
“I am trying to believe that Hope. I want to believe that.”
“I know you do.”
Lord seeing Star like this, breaks my heart. She deserves better. She did not deserve any of this, and yet she feels she did. I want her to see that she deserves better. I want her to see that she deserves to be loved, and that you want her in your kingdom Lord. I want to see my sister come to you, I know that will not erase the things that happened to her, but I know that you will help her to heal. Just as you brought her to us.
“I am thankful that I am here Hope. I do not wish to make you think that I am not.”
“Star we are grateful to have you here as well. You were an answer to many years of prayers.”
“I do not know how I could be an answer to anyone prayers, but thank you.”
“You were an answer to our prayers Star.”
I wished my sister could believe that we wanted her, that she was worthy, but she had any self-esteem beaten
In moments like this, looking at Star, and thinking about all she had been through, my younger sister, seemed so much older than I. In many ways she was.
Lord I want Star to see that she is loved and that she is worthy, she deserves to know that!
My heart broke just at the thought of the things Star had been through. She had told me some, but I knew Star had so much more she was not saying, worse than the things she had already told me, as hard as that was to imagine I was sure that was the case. She was so scared all the time, especially of our Father, and it broke my heart. Dad was a good man, he would never do anything to hurt us, and I longed for Star to see that. I prayed that someday she would.
“Thank you for saying that, perhaps one day I can believe that. I cannot now though, but I hope someday I will believe that what you say is true . I want to be worthy but I am not.”
Lord I was so blessed my parents always told me that I was loved, and that I was a child of God. Star did not have that, she had hatred and abuse, and she is hurting. She does not know how to be loved, and that breaks my heart.