Thursday, February 24, 2011
“Safe In His Dwelling” - MY Story Part 12
After she recuperated, my mom started looking into online dating. She exchanged emails and dates with several men, and began a relationship with one. He was a police officer and they decided to get married rather quickly.
I didn’t like him and we argued quite a lot. They argued to. He would get angry a lot. One day I came home and my mom told me that he had said he was going to kill his ex-wife. She had tried to calm him down and he put a gun to her forehead and told her he’d kill her to, if she got in his way. He left and she called the police.
He was arrested and a restraining order was put in place. I worked making and selling pretzels at the local mall and remember freaking out when I saw him there one day. I also remember reading about what was going on in my family in the newspaper.
After a while they began to talk again. My mom told me she had lied to me and that he had never pulled a gun on her. She let him back in the house. They were receiving counseling from our pastor and she was advising them to reconcile.
Then one Saturday morning I was sleeping late. I was 17 so sleeping late on Saturday morning was nothing out of the ordinary. The way I woke up was though. I heard a gunshot. A LOUD gunshot. Right above me in my mom’s room. I jumped out of bed and ran upstairs. I found a mess. I saw my stepfather’s body lying on the floor. His head was completely destroyed and irrecognizable. I searched for my mom and couldn’t find her. I couldn’t handle the smell or the sight and ran out of their room.
I grabbed the phone and dialed 911. I was shaking. I was crying. I was desperately trying to stay under control. It’s a hard thing, explaining your emergency on the phone while you’re in the middle of it. They told me to get out of the house. I kept telling them I had to find my mom. They told me to leave and that she must be safe somewhere if I couldn’t find her.
So I ran outside. I was running down our long driveway toward my neighbor’s house. Yelling for my mom. Looking everywhere. And she slowly emerged from behind our house. I ran to her terrified. Sure that I saw blood on her shirt. As I got closer I realized it was burgundy writing.
She was fine. He had come to kill her and then kill himself. But she escaped. She couldn’t explain how. It was as if he couldn’t see her. That he had been temporarily blinded to where she ran.
It was only by the grace and mercy of God on us that we weren’t hurt.
Several weeks later I was leaving my high school Psychology class and my teacher asked me to stay. She told me she had followed my family’s story in the news. She wanted to know how I had stayed sane. She noticed something in me. Something that kept me at peace. Something that kept me going. What could I say? So I told her. “Jesus”
The Lord is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid?
When the wicked advance against me to devour me,
it is my enemies and my foes who will stumble and fall.
Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me, even then I will be confident.
One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.
For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock.