Chapter Twenty Seven:
Vania called us on a regular basis, which eased the pain of her being gone some, but it did not take it away. I would be glad when she could come back even for a brief visit, and I prayed we would be able to tell her soon that we were no longer running from her grandfather, that in fact he had been caught, but the game of cat and mouse seemed never ending. I did not know at this rate if her grandfather, my father would ever be caught. We still lived in fear of this man, because all of the damage he had caused and all that he could cause. I did not want to let my guard down, because I knew if I did I would make us all the more vulnerable, and I wasn’t about to make us a target for my Father. My Father would hurt me by hurting Jacob and the kids first and making me watch, I was not about to go through that kind of torture again.
The recent fears were not unfounded. A few times when I had made necessary errands, I had a sense I was being followed so I tried to lose them, by going in different ways, praying that I would not end up stranded on the side of some country back road, with no one to get help. Cell services was sketchy as it was in these mountains, but in parts it was non- existent. I knew that some parts of this place could be downright dangerous if you did not know what you were doing, and with all my ability to be independent, despite being in a chair, these roads could turn into something more than I could handle, I knew that, and so each time I had to leave I prayed. If I did not have my faith I did not think I would ever be able to leave the cabin. I would not have made it a day after the shooting, let alone for two decades. I knew that the Lord had a purpose in our lives and I was grateful I had that knowledge going around in unbelief would not be the life I wanted to live.
I knew that living for the Lord was the only way to get through the craziness of life. No matter how hard others tried to find other ways of finding satisfaction in worldly things I knew that I never could. I did not want to go through life looking blindly for satisfaction in places I knew in my heart I never could find it, so I followed the Lord. I lived my life for Christ, to the best of my ability, doing my best to love as Christ love. But the truth was loving my Father was hard. He had hurt us so deeply, and more than hurting me he had hurt my children and my sisters. I could forgive him for what had happened to me, but I was not sure if I could for what he did to my children and my sisters, especially to Anna. The things he had done to Anna would be hard for anyone to forgive.
Lord I don’t want to go to that place of bitterness again, but neither do I want to let my guard down. I cannot trust the man we call our Father, that’s the bottom line. I know that, but I know if I let the bitterness in anger hold I am letting him hold on in a way and I do not want that man having that kind of hold over me. He does not deserve to have that kind of control.
I felt better after I turned to the Lord. Talking to the Lord always brought me the comfort I needed. I was grateful for the Lord and all he did in my life.
I turned to my Bible after I finished my talk with the Lord, as I often did.
This evenings reading took me to the book of Psalms.
A prayer of Moses the man of God.
1 Lord, you have been our dwelling place
throughout all generations.
2 Before the mountains were born
or you brought forth the whole world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
3 You turn people back to dust,
saying, “Return to dust, you mortals.”
4 A thousand years in your sight
are like a day that has just gone by,
or like a watch in the night.
5 Yet you sweep people away in the sleep of death—
they are like the new grass of the morning:
6 In the morning it springs up new,
but by evening it is dry and withered.
7 We are consumed by your anger
and terrified by your indignation.
8 You have set our iniquities before you,
our secret sins in the light of your presence.
9 All our days pass away under your wrath;
we finish our years with a moan.
10 Our days may come to seventy years,
or eighty, if our strength endures;
yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow,
for they quickly pass, and we fly away.
11 If only we knew the power of your anger!
Your wrath is as great as the fear that is your due.
12 Teach us to number our days,
that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
13 Relent, LORD! How long will it be?
Have compassion on your servants.
14 Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love,
that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.
15 Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
for as many years as we have seen trouble.
16 May your deeds be shown to your servants,
your splendor to their children.
17 May the favor[a] of the Lord our God rest on us;
establish the work of our hands for us—
yes, establish the work of our hands.
After I finished reading my devotions, I went in to check on my sisters. Anna was still struggling, and Sophia and I were doing everything in our power to help her. She was doing better than she had during those first few weeks of being released at the hospital, but she was still trying to adjust, trying to come to terms with the fact that she would probably never walk again, barring a miracle. We did believe in miracles, the fact that we were still here was a miracle, the fact that Anna was still alive, was a miracle, because for years we had believed she was dead. We had buried her, but it had not really been her. When we found her alive it was like a miracle had happened, like Lazarus being rose from the dead. We had celebrated then, but finding out the truth, finding out all of what Anna had been through was hard, and finding out it was our Father who had caused most of it was harder.
The fact was our Father was a monster. There was no two ways about it. I could not say it any nicer, because the fact was everything we had believed was nice about our Father, was a lie.
“Anna are you okay?” I asked. My sister was sitting in her chair staring out the bedroom window looking a million miles away.
“I’m trying to be Isha, I really am.”
“I know you are sweetie, please don’t think we don’t see that, but Anna I know your hurting and that’s okay too. Sometimes I still hurt, and your grief is a lot fresher than mine.”
“Do you really think I can live a fully and productive life, even if I can’t use my legs.”
“Anna is my life full and productive?”
“Well then if I can do it, I believe you can too, you know that through everything the Lord is there.”
“I want a miracle Isha, I want to walk again.”
“And if the Lord wills it you will, if not, you will cross that bridge when we get there, but just don’t give up.”
“How did you go through all of those months and years of therapy after the accident, and not completely give up faith?”
“Anna it came more about doing what I can, keeping myself fit and healthy weather or not I walked again just stopped mattering as much after a while. It mattered but it wasn’t my sole focus, doing the exercises became about doing everything I could to ensure I would be there for my children for my husband, and for myself. It became about proving I could not only to myself but to them. I kept up with the therapies, and I remained strong, my legs may not work, but I made up for it, with everything else. I still do, but I admit as I get older, more what if’s slip through my mind. What if I hadn’t been shot? But if being shot gave me the life I have, despite the chair I would not change a second of it. Vania was brought into my life through what happened to me, even Jacob. I know now that the Lord can turn something tragic into something positive if you just let him.”
“I am trying Isha, I really am. I just don’t feel as strong as you.”
“Anna do you remember how scared I was when I first left the hospital? How I was afraid my life would never be the same?”
“Yeah. I remember Sophia and I did everything in our power to help you.”
“You guys did great, and we are going to be there for you too Anna. We are not going anywhere, and the truth is Anna your life is not going to be the same. Mine wasn’t, but that certainly doesn’t mean it wasn’t worth living.”
“I know Isha, and I am so glad you and Sophia are here for me, but I feel so weak right now, spiritually weak.”
“Just keep leaning on the Lord Anna, you will grow stronger.”