The young girl ran from her home for the last time, taking her belongings with her. Her mother beat her, and she had endured rape from the age of 9 at the hand of family members. She was 13 when she ran, selling drugs and prostituting to support herself. One of her brothers hunted her down and put a gun to her head, threatening to shoot her if she didn’t return, but her answer to him was that she would not.
Her question to me was WHY?
I met her last April at the Juvenile Justice Center. She sat in on the weekly Sunday group Bible study. It wasn’t her first visit, but it was wearing her down. I will never forget the look on her face when she asked me.
I counseled her for a few months before she requested a Bible. I asked Jon Lawrence for a few of the devotional Bibles he gets from his church and gave her one. God was so gracious during this time to touch her heart in a very personal way. Her twin sister had been on her mind constantly. She hadn’t seen or heard from her since she’d been incarcerated. Was she ok? Then…what a relief to receive a letter from this sister!
Now, as we talked, she flipped through the Bible and asked me where she should start. I told her to go to the devotional page that was written to be read on that date. She began to read out loud. The scripture included the word “twin”! God was showing His kindness, connecting with her in the details of her life, using all things for His glory. We sat in awe.
Another day she told me she had asked God to speak to her directly through His Word. She said, “Ms. Rae, I just did like this” (making a gesture like opening a book) and it opened to Psalm 34: “Taste and see that the Lord is good, blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him. I sought the Lord and He answered me and delivered me from all my fears.” By God’s grace, the darkness of her experience in this world was driving her to take refuge in Jesus. This was WHY.
Now I had a question for her, “What is God calling you to do?”
Her answer: “To confess my sin and believe that Jesus died for me.” She prayed that God would forgive her sins for Christ’s sake, to help her live her life over again, and to show her what He wanted her to do.
God brought beauty from the ashes that day. Love broke through. We hardly noticed that the TV had been turned off and the remaining girls and staff sat quietly by listening.
-By by Chaplain Rae Borders