I decided that I would get back to work right away, the good thing about working from home was that I had that option. I was a freelance author, so I could work around physical therapy and occupational therapy which I went to three times a week. Star usually came with me, offering me the support I needed, and somehow life seemed to move on. We continued to pray that Star’s biological Father would be caught, and pay for what he had done, to me and more so to her. I had not been through the hell she had been through, my scars may be physical but in many ways hers were much worse.
Star continued did everything in her power to help me, but there were times I had to remind Star that some things I had to do for myself. I appreciated that Star wanted to help me but I needed her to see that she could not coddle me. It was not going to do me any favors, nor was it going to help her. She did not have to feel guilty for what had happened to me, and I knew despite me telling her a hundred times that she had no reason to feel guilty there were plenty of times she did. I knew the Lord did not want her feeling that way either.
“Star I don’t want you feeling that I don’t appreciate everything you have been doing for me, because I do, but I have to learn to stand on my own two feet, so to speak.”
“I know Hope. I just want to do what I can to help you. You are doing so much to help me.”
“I know Star, and I really do appreciate it, but if I need something I will let you know okay. If you want to help me with research for this article though, that would be welcomed?”
“Of course Hope I would be glad to help you. I appreciate everything you have done for me as well. I am glad you have come with me to speak when I am asked to speak. I know I could not do this without you Hope.”
“Star you sale yourself short, I know you could, but I am glad I could be here for you, and I am going to keep offering you the support you need, just as you offer me the support I need.”
“I am glad we have each other.”
“As am I Star.”
I was doing my best to get on with my life, and with the grace of God I was doing pretty well. I was back to writing, back to church, and even going with Star when she spoke at church gatherings and locally, but I knew the time would come again that we would have to travel, that Star would be called elsewhere and I promised I would go with her, but the truth was I was a little frightened. Not so much because of my limitations though that had some to do with it but because the monster who shot me had not been caught yet. It had seemed he would never be caught, but I could not let myself think that way, not for my sake or Star’s sake. He needed to pay for the things he had done to her, he needed to pay for the hell she lived through as a child.
Lord let them catch this man, not only for myself but for Star as well, for Star mostly. No one should have to suffer at the hands of this man again, and in order for him to stop he is going to have to be caught and thrown in prison. That is where he belongs, he belongs in prison where he cannot hurt anyone else.
I was proud of how far Star had come, and she made sure I knew she was proud of me as well, We had both been through things in the past few years, but the good Lord had saw us through them, especially in the past few months with me. I knew I was blessed to have her for a sister, and she felt the same way about me. God had sent me Star, when I needed her, and when she had needed us. The fact that we did not share the same womb did not matter, we were sisters and that was what mattered.
After working for a time on the articles so I could meet deadline. I turned my attention to my Bible. I knew that without spending time in the Lord, without spending time in praise and worship I would not be able to do the things I did, the Lord had let me get to the place of healing, so how could I not spend time in praise and worship.
I turned my Bible to Romans 13 and began reading:
Submission to Governing Authorities
1 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. 4 For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.
6 This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. 7 Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.
Love Fulfills the Law
8 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. 9 The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,”[a] and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”[b] 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
The Day Is Near
11 And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. 14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.[c]
“I think the last talk went well don’t you, the last time I shared my testimony?” I mean Star asked. “At least I hope it did, I want to help others, and I want to see others come to the Lord.
“Star yes you did wonderful, I know that every time you go up there, the good Lord is working and he will continue to work through you. He is using you Star, he is using even the horror you went through to reach out to others, he is turning something horrible into something good.”
“I know the Lord is using me, but sometimes I feel that I fall short of what I am supposed to.”
“Star just keep living for the Lord, doing what you have been doing. You have come a long way, and you give the glory to the lord, that is what you are supposed to do, even without saying a word your life is a testimony to the Lord, the fact that you survived all you have.”
“I know Hope, but sometimes I feel as if I am being defined by what happened to me. I don’t mean by you, Mom and Dad, but some act that what happened to me in the past, means that I am not going to be able to make it in the future. I know that is not the way the Lord works though, and I know he has something bigger planned for me, and for you as well. Something good has come out of all of this, it has drawn us closer to the Lord.”
“That’s exactly what I mean Star, you are doing what the Lord would have you to do, and you are going to face obstacles, people are going to prejudge you, but you are going to prove them wrong. I will be judged too, it’s just the way things are, people tend to think that just because someone has a physical disability it somehow means something more, but look at people like Joni Eacerson Tada, and then try to judge.”
“Exactly Hope. I know you are right, but I am afraid sometimes I do let it get to me.”
“Star sometimes I let things get to me too, and sometimes I ask God why this happened, or I get mad at what happened, but do you know what, no matter how angry I get, how many questions I ask, he is always there for me? All I have to do is cry out.”
“I know Hope, I have always been amazed by your faith. I don’t know if I could have been strong if I were shot the way you were.”
“What you went through was much worse than being shot, but you made it. It is by God’s grace that God has got us this far.”
“Amen to that Hope.”
I was thankful that Star and I were able to talk to one another, to encourage one another. We needed one another’s encouragement, and the fact was once in a while we both needed a reminder that the good Lord was at work in our lives. It did not matter what others tried to do, the Lord was at work in our lives, and nothing was going to change that. The only one who could make us stray from the Lord would be ourselves, and though we did fail sometimes, because we were human, we knew that we could always turn to the Lord. I was glad I had a sister who could remind me when I was getting off track, and I could remind her as well. We both understood that when we pointed that out, it was out of love, we only wanted to watch the others serve the Lord, and live for the Lord. No matter what happened we knew living for the Lord was the best thing we could do.
Our parents had raised us to have a love for the Lord, that showed that even in hard times he was going to be here for us. I knew that things were not always going to be easy, and we had overcome a lot, but we had come along way as well. Especially Star, who had went from a scared little girl who would not reach out to anyone, who was afraid to let anyone know who she was, and what she had been through, to someone who was sharing a very painful testimony with hundreds, even thousands of people. I knew the good Lord had given Star the strength to share the testimony, just as he had given me the strength to move on after I was shot and paralyzed. I knew that without a doubt the Lord could use something horrible and turn it into something good, our lives were proof of that.