“Don’t get too comfortable. I will catch you, and I will hurt you. I will make you watch as I torture your family.”
“You can no longer scare me.”
“I am not trying to scare you, I am just telling you what I will do.”
“It’s not going to happen you will be caught.”
“I haven’t been caught yet, what makes you think that suddenly they will catch me. I have ways to get around being caught.”
“Well honestly I don’t care, I am not that little girl anymore, you are not going to scare me, and you are not going to hurt me.”
“I’ll watch you from behind a prison cell, with the key thrown away, where men hurt you the way you hurt me, that is where you belong.”
I was not going to give him the satisfaction of fearing this man anymore, no matter what he tried to do. He was not the one in control God was, and I was glad for that, life was so much better when God was in control there was no denying that. I was grateful I had let Christ lift the fear of this monster from me.
“No one will catch me until it is too late. You deserve to die, for the way you have shamed your family.”
“You are not my family, and I have done nothing to shame you, you are the one shaming yourself. You are the one who thinks forcing a little girl to have sex, raping her brutally is Allah’s will. The God I serve would never condone this kind of behavior.”
“Where was this God of years, when I was hurting you?”
“He was there, but I did not know how to call out to him.”
“You are nothing but an infidel, who must die.”
“You cannot scare me anymore, you don’t have that control over me.”
“You will see what control I have.” He said slamming the phone down. He had stayed on the phone long enough for the FBI to trace it, I had achieved that. He had lost control and I knew that was but for the Grace of God.
I knew that my faith was what gave me the strength to get through this. I knew that I owed everything to the Lord. The Lord had given me the strength to keep this man who terrified me on the phone for as long as I did. The fact was I really didn’t feel as frightened of him as I did before. I knew that the Lord was in control and nothing he could say or do would change that. He many want to think he had power, but the truth was he did not.
After hanging up the phone I opened my Bible to 1 John and began reading…
1 John 4
On Denying the Incarnation
1 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.
4 You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 5 They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit[a] of truth and the spirit of falsehood.
God’s Love and Ours
7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
13 This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
19 We love because he first loved us. 20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.
“Star are you okay?”
“Yeah I am okay Hope. He thinks he can control me, he can scare me, but he can’t.”
“He called again? Threatened you again?”
“Yes he did, but I kept him on the phone long enough, that the agents would be able to run a trap and trace on the phone.”
“Good. Maybe they will catch him.”
“Hope I am believing they will. I am holding on to that faith.”
I was glad that I had my sisters support, my parents support, when the fear did get too much for me. When I had let it start taking control they always brought me comfort, and showed me that was not what God wanted for me. I was blessed to have the support I had, and the family I had. I knew that, and I knew the Lord could see me through anything. The monsters calls and threats no longer scared me the way they once had. He was little more than a coward, laying threats on me, the daughter he was supposed to love, but instead abused. Thank God he was no longer my Father. I was so blessed to have the Baxters as my parents. I was treated no differently than Hope, we were sisters no matter if we shared the same womb or not.
“Thank you Hope.”
“For standing beside me for all of this, for not letting this man scare you away.”
“Star you are my sister, no matter what anyone says or does that is not going to change.”
“Thank you Hope.”
“You don’t have to keep thanking me Star, we are family. I am glad you feel you can lean on me.”
“I don’t feel that I can Hope, I know that I can.”
“I am glad of that Star.”
“I am too Hope.”
“Star I am praying that they trap and trace allows them to catch him.”
“Me too Hope. I want to see him locked away in a prison. Somewhere where he is forced to realize he doesn’t have the control he thinks he has.”
“Amen to that Star. What this man needs is God?”
“Hope believe it or not, I pray for that. Despite everything he has done to me, I still pray he comes to know Christ. I don’t know if it will ever happen, but I know we are supposed to pray for our enemies so that is what I do on a daily basis.”
“Star knowing what you went through, I do not know if I could do that. No matter what our Faith tells us. I don’t think I would find that strength.”
“But for the Grace of God, here go I.”
He was angry again, the strangers had come back, the infidels he had called them, caring books, books that they called the living word.
I didn’t understand what the living word was, how could a book be alive? I was a mere girl who knew nothing, but even I knew books were not alive.
Something about this book made my Father angry, made the other men angry.
Infidels they called them.
What do they know he would shout?
As angry as it made him, I was glad when they came for a short time his anger was focused on someone else. For a few days I did not have to cower in the corner, after a beating, a rape.
These Christians, these missionaries, were angels to me. For a short time when they came, the beatings subsided. I longed for them to stay all the time, but they would not, they could not, it was not safe.
My Father had killed one of these strangers, publicly, and everyone celebrated, but me. Inside I did not celebrate I flinched.
No matter how many times I was forced to watch him kill, it never got any easier. My tummy would cramp up and I would feel sick.
I could not get sick though, I would be beat. I had to think of something else, so sometimes I would just sleep. In tattered, filthy clothes, on a hard bench in the middle of that dingy room. I would sweat from the heat in the middle of the day, but it would grow cold at night. If I was lucky I was thrown a tattered old blanket, that really did nothing, but more often than not I would lay on that cold hard bench shivering. Laying their until I fell asleep.
I opened my eyes, allowing myself to celebrate the fact I was at home, safe now. I was with my family, the family who loved me. I was a Baxter and nothing was going to change that. It didn’t matter how he tried to scare me, he was not going to succeed, the good Lord was in control and I was thankful for that, thankful for the many blessings in my life.
I looked at my sister who had helped me so much. The sister who had helped draw me out of the darkness. Even though she was young, seventeen when I became part of the family, and I was but a little girl, she welcomed me into this family, and helped me through the darkest nights. No wonder we were so close, some said we were closer than sisters who were actually born of the same Mother and Father.
“Star were you dreaming?”
“Kind of I was just going back to that place, years ago.”
“Star you really don’t have to go back there.”
“Hope sometimes as painful as it is, I feel I do. Because going back to that place allows me to see how far God has brought me, how far I have come. If I don’t look back I don’t see that progression, but Hope looking back is not the same as living in the past, I refuse to do that, or refuse to be defined by what happened to me.”
“Amen to that Star. I am so glad for that.”
“So am I.”