You are not hidden
There’s never been a moment
You were forgotten
You are not hopeless
Though you have been broken
Your innocence stolen
We went to church every Sunday when I was a little girl. Stained glass windows and old wooden pews. A bright red door that welcomed us. I still think of Midnight Mass and Easter morning every time I smell frankincense. We were a perfect little family at a centuries old Episcopal church in small town America. It’s where I was baptized. Took communion for the first time. Where I sang Amazing Grace and learned the Lord’s Prayer.
When I was seven years old, my mom and dad sat my brother and I down and told us they were separating. It was the first time I had ever seen a man cry. The life I knew, the life I loved with every fiber of my pink and purple, unicorn and rainbow heart, quickly started to crumble.
My parents did go to marriage counseling. But, it was who they went to that ultimately broke them. It was a man that they should have been able to trust. A man in a position of power. A man of God.
I hear you whisper underneath your breath
I hear your SOS, your SOS
I will send out an army to find you
In the middle of the darkest night
It’s true, I will rescue you
Our priest counseled my parents. At some point, he crossed a very important line and became more. My mom was vulnerable. Naive. 100% manipulated by a serial and master manipulator. He was the predator and she the prey.
She married him. She knew almost immediately what a devastating mistake she had made. The five years that he lived with us were pure hell. He was an alcoholic. A prescription drug abuser. He was bipolar. A paranoid schizophrenic. He was a very, very mentally ill man. He attempted suicide in our kitchen when I was in 8th grade. My mom had been trying to safely get out of that marriage almost since it’s inception and that was her chance. I never laid eyes on him again after that night. Eight years later, his attempt was successful.
Through all of that, the late, late nights of screaming and shouting. The day long family meetings filled with nonsensical ramblings and words that stung. Watching THAT man, stand behind a pulpit and give a sermon. Watching him administer communion. The hundred other stories my soul holds about that time. Through all of it, I believed. I believed in a God that would give me the strength to endure. A God that would rescue me. And He did.
There is no distance
That cannot be covered
Over and over
You’re not defenseless
I’ll be your shelter
I’ll be your armor
I have read the Bible. I cannot quote scripture. I tear up Every. Single. Time. I sing How Great Thou Art, and a host of other hymns. I don’t understand the rhyme or reason of things, but I do know that we have free will. We live in a broken world. Bad things happen to good people, and they happen to bad people too. Life is not black and white. It is 8 million shades of gray.
My faith in church, really, to those in positions of power, has never really recovered. That is very much a struggle for me. But my faith in God…it has never wavered. I believe in HIM. I believe that HE sent His son to this earth to die on that cross for us, and to save us from our sins.
And, I still love the feel of an old wooden pew beneath me. I love how the light shines through stained glass. I love the flicker of candlelight as the whole church sings on Christmas Eve. The door to my own house, is painted red.
During the darkest moments of my life. In the everyday. When I cry out to him. When I whisper a surrender. When I praise His name or when I shake my fists at Him in anger, He has rescued me time and time again. And, He will continue to rescue me, all the days of my life.
I will never stop marching to reach you
In the middle of the hardest fight
It’s true, I will rescue you
This Holy Week, I pray your hearts open to Him. I pray you feel His presence. I pray you feel RESCUED by His strength and His love. Amen.
If you haven’t heard the song Rescue, performed by Lauren Daigle, written by Jason Ingram/Paul Mabury/Lauren Daigle, you should take a listen. I feel that song to the very depths of my soul.
As always, thank you for reading!