I wrote this a while ago and just discovered it in my draft file. As I reclaim spirit in my life and strive to heal physically, it is especially important to recognize the faith that has always been with me.
I am a Christian. I am also a survivor.
My adoptive mother and brother were heinously abused by my adoptive father for more than a decade of my childhood. I lived in a secret turmoil that I was not allowed to share. Fear tucked me in at night, and the shining reality of stress woke me every morning.
I was the older sibling, the responsible one, in-charge, and overwrought with a deep need to save my family. I spent every waking hour wondering which path would secure our safety. I worried until my stomach burned with ulcers. I ached with every bruised lip and broken bone my loved ones suffered. I lived a self-imposed world of escape plans, daring rescues, and invisible castles with locks galore. I spent every non-school moment creating realities and wishing so hard, that I spoke those wishes in my sleep.
Yet, in all that tumult and pain, I never once felt I was fighting alone.
When people hear the story of my childhood, they ask me why I am not more damaged. I often credit the strong genes I inherited from my biological/first family. I have a fortitude forged of hearty Newfoundlanders, and fight born of West Virginia mountain people who were soldiers even when there was no war.
Yesterday, when I heard Trisha Yearwood sing Oscar Hammerstein’s song ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ in a Fox television production of The Passion, I recognized a gentle dreamer sitting by my childhood side, watching over every plan I penned in my hidden notebooks. I felt the sweet embrace of my miraculous companion and knew that every hopeful word I wrote was his to share.
I felt the presence of spirit as a child. I called it my guardian angel. Today, I wonder how any abused child finds a way to believe they are watched over? I was optimistic when optimism was not an option. I believed we would survive when survival was impossible. I held steady in my plans, hopes, and dreams of escape when escape seemed the last thing we might accomplish. I saw riches where there was only want.
When you walk through a storm
Keep your chin up high
And don’t be afraid of the dark
At the end of the storm
Is a golden sky
And the sweet, silver song of the lark
Walk on through the wind
Walk on through the rain
Though your dreams be tossed and blown
Walk on, walk on with hope in your heart
And you’ll never walk alone
You’ll never walk alone
I was too young to know the source of the light that carried me through.
Now, at fifty-something, I know that I never walked alone.
Blessings for light and healing,