That night, dirty and distraught, I crawled into the ocean. I don’t think I was aware of what I was doing. I didn’t have a plan or a death wish. I just wanted to escape my painful reality. I couldn’t go home and I was weary of lying in the dirt so I slowly dragged myself to the sea. I don’t recall vividly what happened but I must have swam a long time, cried as well, until I became too tired to do either. I simply remember waking up to the sound of hushed voices and anxious faces. I had never seen them before but remarkably, I wasn’t frightened. They had concern written on their faces and I couldn’t help wondering why. I obviously didn’t know them so I couldn’t imagine they knew me. The Sanders! They were simply amazing. When I became conscious they took care of me like I was family. I wasn’t ready to return home. I just couldn’t, it was just so sad but I missed grandma and grandpa. I knew they would worry so much but I couldn’t tell them what happened to me. Grandma would hate mama. I told Lucy and Pete (Mr & Mrs.Sanders) everything. They wanted me to call my grandparents but they understood my decision not to and offered me their home for as long as I wanted to stay. I loved the Sanders kids. Jason and Joshua were twins and were already in college. Jasmine and I were about the same age and when it was time, we went to college together. The Sanders not only saved my life, they also resued me from a horrible nightmare and introduced me to someone who has remained a constant friend: Jesus. He made me whole after the hell I went through.
Before Jasmine and I went off to college, I along with the Sanders went to see my grandparents. They were so sad and old beyond their years, I was sorry all over again. I told them everything and we wept together. Grandpa was really sick. Apparently mama and her boyfriend had died in a hit and run accident. It was really horrible and I felt sorry for mama. She had never been at peace. Lucy promised to take care of grandma and grandpa while I was in college and she did. She loved them like they were her parents. I was really happy because my grandparents found love and care in another daughter.
Looking back, I can say that God was right there with me every step of the way. It didn’t feel like it when my papa died or when mama abandoned me. I felt disillusioned and alone when Rick raped me but through it all, God was there. He gave me my grandparents and put the Sanders in my path. Right now, I’m married to the best husband a woman could ask for. I have two beautiful girls and although my grandparents passed away several years back, I have a family in the Sanders. I’m also an accomplished writer and speaker. I help young girls everywhere and I’m enjoying God’s grace everyday.
This journal is dedicated to YOU! Don’t give up! There’s light at the end of the tunnel. No matter how difficult it is right now, no matter how dark the night, no matter how far, you are coming out stronger, better and greater… Take it from me, I’ve been there!
But He knows where I am and what I’ve done. He can cross-examine me all He wants, and I’ll past the test with honors. (Job 23:10).