safe house

via Daily Prompt: Underground

I had only known “Melissa” for a short time, but my heart went out to her. She was dropped off at my home almost a week ago, by a woman whose name I didn’t know. The less we knew about each other, the safer it was. Before she left, the woman handed me a piece of paper and I shoved it into my pocket. Without unfolding it, I knew it contained a date, time and phone number. I hadn’t been a part of this underground operation long, but I understood how things worked. This was standard operating procedure.

I led Melissa into my home, down the hall and into the spare bedroom. She had one bag that contained her entire life, or what was left of it. Once she put her bag on the bed, she followed me through the house as I pointed out the bathroom and kitchen. I gave her the rules, the ones that were meant to keep her hidden, and asked if she had any questions.

“No questions,” she said quietly. “I believe I understand everything. Thank you…” Her words trailed off and it seemed she wasn’t sure if she should continue.

“No need to thank me,” I said as I put water on for tea. I was sure after all she’d been through, she would need something to help her sleep. It was after midnight and she looked exhausted.

She watched me silently, while I poured two cups. As she sipped her tea, I studied her. She was young, late-twenties maybe. Her face and neck were covered with bruises in various stages of healing. My heart ached for her.

We spent the next few minutes in silence as we drank. I wasn’t one to push for information and the less I knew about these women, the better. But Melissa looked as if she needed to say something. If not to me, then maybe to herself.

Once she opened her mouth, the words started tumbling out. She told me about the first time her husband hit her and how he said it was her fault. She told me that she believed him when he said she deserved it. She believed him when he said he was sorry. I sat quietly as she recounted the many times she made excuses for him and the many times she made excuses as to why she couldn’t leave. The last thing she told me was why she HAD to leave. She began to yawn and rub her eyes and I suggested she get some sleep.

Here I was, six days later, making the phone call that would move Melissa to another safe house. Tomorrow, I will drive her to another location. A location that moves her further away from the man that is hunting her. I will leave her with another underground angel, who will hide her and keep her safe until it’s time for her to move on.

I have spent the past six days getting to know “Melissa.” I have realized she is smart and brave and once she knew it was okay to laugh, I realized how infectious her laughter could be. And after tomorrow, I will never see her again. It’s not safe, you see. I’m not supposed to know where she ends up or what happens after she leaves my home. My job was to keep Melissa safe while she was with me. I did my job and I did it well.

There have been many women in my home since Melissa. I often wonder where they are and how they’re doing. I like to imagine them safe, happy. But I don’t have to wonder about Melissa. I don’t know her current name, I don’t know where she is. But I know she and her child are safe. They are safe and happy.






hurricane matthew 2016

Featured Photo – During the hurricane and 24 hours after

It is absolutely amazing the difference a day can make. The recent affects of Hurricane Matthew has made me realize how precious life is. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always known that life is important. God has a plan for everyone and everything. Funny thing is, we may not always understand His plan. This is why we have faith. In Proverbs 3:5, the Bible says “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding.”

If I constantly tried to figure out the whys of this life, I would drive myself crazy. That doesn’t mean that I don’t question God. I often find myself praying and asking why. He doesn’t necessarily give me the answers I want or think I need, but again, I choose to trust Him. I find comfort in knowing that God works all things for the good of those who love Him – Romans 8:28.

It’s hard to think that our pain and suffering may be part of God’s plan, but His ways are so much higher than our ways. I choose to find comfort in knowing that there is a purpose to any and all trials or struggles I may go through.

I was fortunate enough to suffer no damage in the hurricane that hit our coast this week. I was fortunate to suffer with no power for only five hours, while others are still without power and have been for a couple of days. I am fortunate that all of my friends and family are safe. But why? Why was I blessed with all of these things when the death toll in Haiti is now reaching 900? Could it be so that I can appreciate how fortunate I am? Maybe so.

When you’re struggling with the things of today, always remember – the pain that you’ve been feeling can’t compare to the joy that’s coming – Romans 8:18.

Things can change in a heartbeat, count your blessings. Laugh often, believe always, cherish today and love more.

a letter to the mother of my children

There are so many things I want to say to you, I’m really not sure where to start.  Maybe I should start with I’m sorry, but I’m not.  It was never my intention to take your place, however, you left me no choice.  The decisions you made and the way  you chose to live your life, left our children wanting and needing.  They were craving attention, stability and security.  What you left them with was a fear of abandonment and wondering.  They wondered what they did wrong, why you didn’t want them, why you chose your wants above their needs.  That leads me to the next thing I want to say to you.  I was angry.  I spent years trying to understand, to no avail.  I watched our kids struggle with their mixed feelings for you and it made me angry.  I held them while they cried, knowing there was no explanation I could give that could soothe them.  The only thing I could say was “It’s not your fault” and “your momma loves you.”  It was very difficult, but I finally got past the anger.

The more time that went by and the older our children grew, it seemed to get easier.  Life was busy and although I know they never forgot about you, they put you aside.  They made the decision to focus on what they considered more important things, the things that made a difference in their lives.  That doesn’t mean they didn’t care, it just means they matured enough to realize the things they could and could not control.  It definitely wasn’t easy and we had our ups and downs, but despite it all, they began to thrive.  They realized that the situation they were in, regarding their relationship with you, was not their fault.  Although they used to question whether or not you loved them, they realized that you did love them, but you weren’t capable of showing it.  They always wanted you to put them first and they realized that wasn’t something you were ready to do.  They have hope that one day you will be able to do just that.  Although they have hope, they also have fear.  They know if they open up again, they’re opening up their hearts to the possibility of more hurt and unfortunately, they are not quite ready to take that risk.  I pray that one day, they will be ready and that when they are, you will not hurt them. 

I would also like to say thank you.  Thank you for giving me three of the most amazing children.  Any woman would be proud to call them her own.  Thank you for allowing me to be their mother, to raise them, to educate them, to love them.  Thank you, from the bottom of my heart. 

Lastly, I’d like to say that I wish you nothing but the best.  I want you to know that we all make mistakes and God forgives us.  I know that the kids have forgiven you as well.  Just know, that although they forgive you, that doesn’t mean they are ready to accept you as the person you are.  I pray that one day, you will be the mother that they know you can be.  You’ve missed so much and as a mother, I can’t imagine not being with my children.  I know you cannot get back the years you’ve lost, but I pray that one day, you will be able to have a happy, healthy relationship with all three of your babies.  Until that day, I will be here.  I will be standing by them, along with their father, to make sure they are happy, healthy and loved.   

May God be with you Always.