A few days passed when the phone rang. It was evening. My husband was home and the kids were already asleep. We knew who was calling—Ivan, the Shadow. I listened to Ivan confess in a quiet voice that he has problems and needs professional help but he assured me he did not harm me in any way--"not that he could recall."
I visualized a spider scampering across the floor toward me and in one stomp I squished it. I squeezed my eyes closed, squeezed the handle of the phone, and squeezed my lips shut to control the urge to scream out what I thought about him, “Coward and Little Man," followed by a long crude creative list of the most foul words I could think of that I hoped if all the pain, suffering, anger, and hate I felt in that moment traveled through the receiver of my phone to the receiver of his phone into his ears and his brain would explode so he would never be able to harm another child again. My husband watched my expression of raw anger and took the phone from me.
That moment I knew life would change as I once lived it. We were headed for public scandal, turmoil, sadness, conflict, scrutiny, judgement, and at the same time, HOPE that God would take this filthy, ugly, painful experience and somehow turn it into a victory so that lives would be changed as healing happened, and the peace that only Christ gives would be experienced along the entire journey. You are not alone in your crisis.
What a contrast of emotions, from hate to hope! That depth of wickedness and deceit was no longer something I watched on Oprah, heard about on the news, or even read about in scripture but rather, it presented itself in an audible voice on the phone that evening. And as much as I recognized wickedness in Ivan, I recognized God's steadfast love to repair, restore, and bring comfort to all who suffered in this circumstance from the hands of Ivan's wickedness and I knew there is hope to conquer this crisis. Click here to read John 16: 32-33.
Be safe. Be accurate. Be Brave.