Find Part One and Part Two here.
On a cold November morning, the girl hopped a city bus by herself. The sky was grey and dreary and seemed to be a sad as she was. She leaned her head against the cold window of the bus and stared into the cloud covered sky. As she stepped off the bus, and felt the snow crunch under her feet, the girl felt a tingling on her face as the tears, she had unknowingly shed, were faced with the bitter Canadian wind. Dying a little inside with each step she took, she made her way to the hospital.
The lady at the registration chair looked at her with a disapproving, downward glare. She doesn't know what happened, what will happen or how much this hurts me right now. She waiting in the cold, hard seats of the waiting room for her name to be called; the silence echoed in her head. In her heart she was a broken, wailing mess but outwardly, she remained calm. Too many people had seen her hurt; she would be damned if she would let these people see into her life enough to know the war that was raging.
At last, her name was called and she was handed a gown and pointed to a bed. Everything seemed so surreal. As she lay on the gurney, a nurse came to her and asked if she were ready. As she mumbled a yes, hot tears began to flow from her eyes. The next thing she remembers is being in a recovery room, still alone, being discharged, walking out into that same cold winter air, to catch a bus to go to a friend's house(to recoup)and to then live her life pretending that she didn't just do something that made her hate herself.
From that point on her heart felt void; she was missing something - not something, someone, a little someone she could never gaze upon, never hold, never kiss, never say "I love you" to. The only words she had ever uttered to this poor baby was "I hate you" and her words haunted her every waking moment and bombarded her dreams. The girl began to have dreams of this baby, wondering if it was a boy or a girl. All the while drinking more and doing more drugs to try to dull the pain, getting skinnier and unhealthier, and closer to leaving her daughter (the only one she truly loved) alone.
Months dragged into years and she had changed her life. The lifetime of prayers of the girl's grandmother paid off and the girl began to hear God calling to her - at least calling her to take her beautiful daughter to Sunday School where shecould learn about God. (At this time, she had met a man, who eventually became her current husband. The decision to take er daughter to church led to more than her daughter going to Sunday School; it also led the girl giving her life to God. Se was still tormented by a nameless, faceless baby who she cried for every night and God gave to her a comfort. He showed her the image of a little boy, a smiling little boy; whose name was Gabriel and Gabriel looked just like her brother. With the peace the girl felt, she knew this was an image of her son.
For years she was still tormented with heart break and riddled with guilt and shame. She spoke of this to no one; her husband knew but only because she needed to explain tears and nightmares. She was scared of judgement, of rejection (especially from her new Christian friends).
Two years ago, the girl went to her pastor (the pastor of a church unlike any other she had been in this province) and he prayed with her. He then handed her some money and told her that God had told her to go buy herself roses, only roses, with all the money his hand contained. Those roses were to serve as a momentary, visual reminder that the word of God says nothing about forgiving yourself so knowing God has forgiven you but being unable to forgive yourself is just self-induced misery. That is not God's plan for us. Did the girl really believe she was forgiven? If so, that is all. Did she ask God for forgiveness? If yes, then stop rejecting it. Just like those roses, God had given the girl a gift - forgiveness. By hanging on to the self-imposed shame, she was rejecting that gift.
It has been two years since the guilt and the shame and the pain of her experiences has haunted the girl. Has she not thought of her dear Gabriel since? No. She thinks of him quite often, like when Bug does something for the first time, every Christmas season when she puts up the tree decoration she bought to honor her son and just about any oter reason you could think of. She still regrets the decision she was coherced into but, it was her decision; she does not allow guilt and condemnation to rule her any longer.
What do I hope to gain by sharing all these hurts with you? Not your sympathy; I have no need for that. God has lifted me up and out of the pain and out of the need for sympathy. My life is what it was and it has made me who I am; it has given me the ability to fight, to be strong, to stay steadfast, to persevere and to be hopeful. Those are the character traits I want to have gained from this - not self-pity and hopelessness I want you to, perhaps, remember to be a little more gentle the next time you hear of a similar story, be a little kinder to a girl who is acting out... Remember that we are called to love each other as we want to be loved (do onto others as you would have them do to you). Let us be examples of Christ's love; He went to the broken.
Someone once said to me the broken hearted can minister to the broken hearted; I pray that somewhere and somehow I can reach someone who was/is in the situation I was and give her hope, show her peace and love, show her she is not alone. I hope I can share with someone out there that there is hope and there can be peace after making decisions that we will regret for our entire lives. I can't change my decision but I can know that Gabriel is singing praises at the feet of God with more care and love than I could ever give to him.