We sat there at breakfast, and with equal parts hesitation and determination, proceeded to tell us her story. Her brother had a friend who offered to give her a ride home. He dropped off the other person, then drove her into the country and raped her. She didn't tell anyone because she was a nobody, and he was captain of the football team. She was only 16, and she didn't know how to tell her parents. She didn't know how to tell anyone. Everything she felt was a gobbledy gook of she didn't even know what.
She dove into drugs and alcohol to try to silence the demons and simply cope with an inner landscape that had been brutally bloodied and left to vultures. "I should be dead from all the things I've done. I remember roller skating backwards down a freeway on-ramp--at night." Like that wasn't eye-popping enough, another gal at the table starts laughing and nodding her head, clearing relating and saying, 'Uh huh! Uh huh! I'm with ya!"
The emails she's receiving from women whose lives have been shredded by this horrific violence are pouring in and confirming that God knew what He was doing. Without that background in the book, these readers wouldn't have been able to relate like they can now--and perhaps move toward the healing they so desperately are looking for. And even readers who haven't been through what she has can see the tremendous power and grace of God moving along with her on the road to "peace and purpose."
We were total strangers 12 hours earlier. She was amazed too. She shook her head and said, "I had no intention of telling that story this weekend. I've only told this out loud one other time." It's easier to confide in strangers though, don't you think? I don't know that she'll ever see us again. Very present, however, was that inward knowledge that we are siblings, sisters who hadn't met yet.
I did ask if she brought her book with her, but she said no. She gave me a bookmark and wrote down the website. I checked it out when I got home, and I couldn't believe how expensive it is for a paperback, $30+... Maybe I'll see if the library can get it. I'm just glad to have met this remarkable woman whose spirit was absolutely charming. She has that childlike quality tempered by a season in the crucible, ultimately a beautiful work of art in the Potter's hands.