It had been two years since our first encounter, when she came to foster care as a victim of years of sexual abuse by a close family member. My mind flashed back to that day, to that kid. To the anger, fear, and depression, the desire to leave this world far behind, with no hope at all that the next would be any better. Flashed back to the fresh carving on her stomach.
The sound of a baby crying in the next room snapped my attention back to the present. To the confident, half-smiling young lady sitting on my exam table. “I remember you from when I was here before,” she said. She was so different. I was speechless, didn’t know what to say or how to even ask what the difference was, so I stalled. Listened to her heartbeat, looked in her ears, that sort of thing. Finally, the words came.
“How are you doing? Or maybe the real question I want answered is how are you doing so well?”
She smiled even wider, and told me about the family that had taken care of her after she left the shelter. How they had treated her like one of their own kids. Had taught her about family and trust and relationships and value. Her answer to my question?
Simple. Powerful. Life-changing.
Will someone say that about you or me? That being in OUR presence meant that they were with someone who loved them? I hope so. With all my heart, I hope so.