I think it looks like Spring…yet not quite, right? Everywhere the renewal of life seems to ring in with the chirps of birds, the buzz of bees that are supposed to be asleep, and the patter of little feet outside my bedroom door.
My eyes drift to my cell phone in the blank space before I have to push back the covers, feel the sting of cold morning air, and check what time the 3-year-old feet and hands push me around in my own bed. Those little hands wave around, a voice calls to me, “Mommy, wake up!”
I smile at the 6:38 am time, and receive my morning hugs and kisses. My little man reports, “I dreamed of sky.” Only a kid born and raised in rainy Washington state dreams of “sky”.
It’s that time. Push back the covers. Feet hit the floor. Time to get up. I hear two girls approach and hop in my shower. I send little man off with his older brother to the other bathroom.
The morning routine has begun.
It’s a Friday. It’s the week before a game with an old evil. This is the kind of evil that has been practicing for years. It’s not unimaginable or unthinkable that being born into sin is a good qualification to predict what old evil will do or say; but it cannot. It’s not enough. It’s not enough to know the crooked business that you were hooked into. It’s not enough to know the men who charge ahead, channeled as warriors on behalf of old evil. It is just not enough.
As I sip a coffee and stare out at evergreen trees, I see the shadows creeping in on our home. The wind picks up leftover leaves and scatters them randomly. My brain feels like those leaves: stretched beyond and scattered beyond. I do not know how I will land today.
Breath. In. Out. In. Out.
I am not 19. I am not 13. I am not 7. I am not.
I am a woman. I believe in Jesus. I belong to Jesus. I am loved.
I live now. It is March 2015. I have a husband. I have four children. I am called mother, mommy or just, “Hey!”
I am loved.
I was 7. I was 9. The ride back from Sacramento was conveniently on interstate 80. It’s a straight shot…headed to the Midwest. We passed through Truckee, California and the Sierra Nevada mountain range. I looked out my window at trees so large. The trees were tall. The trees were big. The trees looked like refuge. I imagined myself rolling out of the car, escaping with my backpack while ducking beneath a tree. Under that tree I closed my eyes. I hummed a song because I couldn’t speak. The green needles of the evergreen didn’t prick my skin, but the sharp smell calmed my hollow inside. I rested there. I wasn’t cold. I wasn’t alone. I saw Jesus come lay under the tree as well. He rested too. He could smell the sharp needles. Jesus knew that they were the fragrance of freedom.
Mom yells; “Stop driving so fast through the curves!”
I am still 7. I am still 9. I am still in that car.
The experts say that my uncle looked for opportunity. He saw one. The experts say my uncle looked for childish charm and an intelligent child. Yes, my uncle saw me. The experts say my uncle used his physical advantage to press for financial gain in the world of old evil. Old evil gladly accepted my uncle’s availability to work for its old cause. This old evil and its old cause (slavery of a child) is nothing new.
The warnings have evolved as the trickery and conception of new devices of entrapment have emerged. Jesus sees.
It is March 2015. I am a grown woman. Am I free?
The Uncle who fights for old evil, is a double agent. He’s longing for church respect, love and dignity. He sent a letter to say: “Stop telling your story. Stop saying everything.” It is a form of harassment.
My husband and I responded in cries. The cries were answered by sending in the soldiers. The soldiers were in their stations…fighting old evil already. We just didn’t know Jesus told them it was time to fight His battle from our small home in a small town. We prayed, begged and asked for mercy. We asked for grace. We begged for love.
Jesus whispered to our hearts, “Your friends are with you.”
When you are fighting, the reality of life doesn’t stop. You eat real food. Drink water. Struggle with sugar, alcohol and other demons. You argue about money for field trips. Compromise on dinner plans. In reality, your sweat is still salty, your muscles ache when pushed, your husband snores when you’re tired, and the car gets a flat tire.
It’s real when your 3 year-old Mexican proclaims he’s “Black”. Your kindergartener explains gravity. Your 9 year-old plants tomato seeds. Your 7 year-old totally misses the basket during her game, and all four sing “Let It Go.”
Then my mind snaps back to our task. It’s never far away. It is not done. The fight is now.
The battle is raging. We want zero contact.
There are pre-game bluffing, fights over calendar dates, arguments over admissible evidence, jostling over personnel (which side people will land on), and last-minute bullets aimed like daggers towards innocence.
My declaration is over 25 numbered points.
My declaration says I will not be quiet. I cannot stay silent. I am obligated to tell the truth. I am a mother of four beautiful children who God has given me to nurture, to protect and to defend. If I cannot battle my own self-hatred, I cannot be free. Everyday, I have to get down on my knee and ask God for the strength to stay sober and tell the truth. Every night I return to my knees to thank God for my life and another day.
The Uncle, my Aunt and their attorney stroll into district court in Our Local County. They sit on the left side of the court, snickering and giggling and joking. I stare at my hands: No sweat. I listen to my heart: Regular beat. I feel my husband beside me: We are strong together. I know our friends are praying. The density of evil can be felt…it envelops all of the unaware. And yet, the light on our side is blinding. There is a chase going on that stops here for the day as Jesus continues His pursuit in our courtroom as well: Pursuit of our lives, pursuit of justice, pursuit of love.
I repeat internally:
“Working in our waiting
You’re sanctifying us
When beyond our understanding
You’re teaching us to trust”
It’s time to speak. I told the truth without exaggerations. The judge listened and ruled the letter was harassment.
Step one. Done.
Our hearts still hurt. An adrenaline that has been coursing through our veins keeps up the defenses until we are in bed Friday night. I have cried out so many nights, “Take me with you, Jesus,” only to realize He is taking me with Him… everyday I am on His path.
I hear Jesus whisper:
“My plans are still to prosper, I have not forgotten you. I am with you in the fire and the flood. I am faithful forever. Perfect in love. I am sovereign over you.”
I believe in Jesus. I am not alone. It is March 2015.
Mother of four and wife of one awesome Mexican this Red Tent Woman has recently finished step one in her family’s fight against trafficking. She continues to fight for sanity and love every day. Red Tent Living respects the importance of preserving her family’s safety and anonymity.