I saw it coming.
At first it looked like a semi-tractor trailer: the enlarged grill; the skinny, rectangular window; the heavy sigh of the engine, following the rush of acceleration.
The sound of it’s motor caused me to turn my attention to it.
My older son was standing on the non-road side of the guard rail throwing rocks into the culvert opposite our bus stop. My younger son, still five-point strapped in the stroller, was parked perpendicularly to the guardrail in an effort to allow him a toss or two of a rock.
Boys and rock-throwing fun: it’s part of our daily routine.
Instantly, I thought to back the stroller out of the guard rail and park it in the grass at the end of the guard rail in order to make additional room for the truck, because our unmarked, residential road fools many into believing it’s wider than it actually is. After an evaluation of time and space, I anticipated my maneuverability skills with this particular stroller at this particular location–in the cracked, bumpy road–would place me right in the middle of the the oncoming truck.
“Mommy, mommy! Look at this one!” my son called to me as his rock plunked into the water; although, I couldn’t hear its sound because of the overwhelming nature of the truck’s engine.
“Good job, sweetheart! Throw another!!” I said, still keeping my attention to the oncoming traffic.
In spite of my initial thought to move, I chose to stay put, to allow the truck time to slow and to hug the other side of the road. Looking a little more closely, I could tell now it wasn’t a semi-truck, but rather some kind of construction vehicle.
One more time, I turned to double-check that my older son was safely behind the rail and quickly returned my focus to watch the truck–to my horror–accelerate, not slow down.
My eyes fluttered open-close-open; my body tightened, preparing for impact; my lungs ached, maximizing full lung capacity. Fear’s surge emanated from my core to my head and my extremities.
The red-white-drilling-contruction truck blurred past me and my babies. The engine’s heavy sign following the accleration hissed. The darkened tail lights taunted my sense of justice. Especially, as the driver looked back at me through the rear-view mirror as if to say, “Stupid lady!”
A rage and fury triggered within me.
I didn’t see that coming.
“C’mon, son, we need to get out of the road before that truck comes back. That driver paid no attention to our safety and well-being. We need to be in our driveway at home when he comes back this way,” I said, jerking the stroller out of the rail, over the deep crevices in the roadway and forcing the stroller wheels into alignment.
Maybe I should have moved. Maybe I would have had enough time to get out of the way. Maybe I was just being foolish.
No! You didn’t hear the truck in time. It would have been pushing it. You did the right thing.
Self-doubt and logic rage within me. My mind, often, is at war with itself.
I loaded the boys into the van, drove to the location of the truck, got the name of the company, and called the company’s dispatcher when I got home.
Immediately, I clicked the off button on my phone and smiled.
“Krista, you’re growing up! You never would’ve done that before. Good work!” I told myself.
As the afternoon wore on, I became confused by the anger and sadness that continued to grate on my happiness, my victory.
After asking the Lord to show me why my heart was so heavy, He revealed to me that my personal space had been violated–in a different way than the sexual abuse I experienced so long ago–but violated, nonetheless.
He also revealed to me an unhealthy pattern I had developed over the years. My personal space violated, I would grumble about it to those around me. Then I would do or say nothing to the violator.
Why did I stay quiet?
Because that’s what I had been told to do. By my sexual violator. By my family. By the cultural aversion to talking openly, candidly, safely about sexual abuse.
By my own belief that I am not worthy of being heard. Of being noticed. Of being understood.
All week I’ve struggled through this mess.
It was a truck! You are making too much of this…
Yet, I heard the Lord’s voice quietly penetrate my heart, overriding my mind’s complaints: “You were worth dying for.”
Learning to hear His truths of me over the ruckus and lies I’ve internalized so long ago takes time, energy, and work.
“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago,” Eph. 2.10, NLT.
Masterpieces need boundaries. They need protection. This, too, takes time, energy, and work.
This masterpiece will continue to throw rocks off the culvert with her children, and this masterpiece will continue to speak up to keep her personal boundaries protected with the time, energy, and work He resources her with.
Growth of this kind: I didn’t see it coming, but God did.
Today, I’m accepting the dare to accept the triggers in my life as opportunities of growth.
What’s your next step?
In your every day, what triggers have you been able to identify to your past abuse? What patterns of coping have you developed over the years to protect you from those triggers? How has God shown you His masterpiece plan in and through you? What areas of growth can you claim as victorious triumphs through trusting Him? Not there yet? Ask Him to show you how to start. Ask Him to show you that He is trustworthy.