I've shared some fond memories of my past. But not all my memories bring me to a happy place.
As a young Primary School-girl, I entered a dark, lonely space. A space locked by a secret. Secrets are never good.
We had brought home a puppy from our cousin's farm. Princey was a beige and white mutt, full of zest and energy. We lived on a ravine near a forested creek, so exercising him was no problem for us as we were often running outdoors anyway. While we delighted in this new friend for a short period of time, my brother and I were less than eager to care for his more basic needs on a continual basis. Poor Mom was left to feed and clean up after this young addition to our family.
Dad loved to travel and planned a family vacation. We had a camper that sat on our maroon truck and we would be gone for quite some time - weeks. Princey would not be able to come along. So my parents found an elderly gentleman who was happy to have our now grown puppy join him on the farm. His wife was very ill and it would be good company for him. It was a small farm in town. A mini-barn held a cow, some chickens, and a few smaller animals. Princey would love it.
When we came home, Princey often ran between our two homes. I think he was torn between his love for us and his freedom to roam around the farm. Because we lived so close to a creek, he needed to be chained up in our yard. In the end, he stayed on the farm and we would go visit. It seemed liked the perfect solution, until it wasn't.
My brother and I would go together. Sometimes friends from the neighbourhood would join us. While my brother was distracted by Princey and the animals, this family friend turned his attention to me. It was a secret. I was not to tell anyone. I was an obedient child, and so for a long time, I didn't. Though I didn't want to ever go back to the farm, Princey was there and I did want to see him. My mother would send us back day after day, week after week. She had no idea what had been happening. I kept the secret and obediently returned, week after week. My brother would be distracted and....
Eventually, I noticed my neighbourhood friends would not join us on our farm visits. I asked why. I found out that I was not alone.
"Tell," she said, "You won't have to go back." I didn't believe her, but I did tell my brother. He told my parents. My parents spoke with the elderly gentleman. He came to the house and apologized. Evidently, he didn't mean to hurt me. The molestation stopped.
I was forty before my mother and I ever spoke of it again. The old man's long since dead. She explained that back in the day, my parents had sought counsel and were told to let it go. He apologized and it was over. It would be best if I was not reminded of it. So they did. I was forty before I could entirely let it go. I crashed. I prayed. I was able to give God's grace to the elderly gentleman posthumously.
There is none weaker than a little child. His grace is sufficient for me. It was then, and is now. It was only through the powerful grace of Jesus that I was able to let go of the hurt inside me and move on. When the world crashes around you. Find your strength in the grace of Jesus.
Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 2 Corinthians 2:19