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Lost and Found…

I was a missing teenager in the spring of 1990 at the age of thirteen going on fourteen. I cannot even recall how long I was gone, but it was somewhere around a few months. I had run away from home a few times previously and I was a troubled child who had been acting out.

However, this time, I did not set out to go missing.

I skipped school one day and was sitting on the swings at a park when two grown men whistled at me. They called me ‘beautiful’ and there was something about that kind of attention that made me respond and walk closer. My self-worth at that time was in the gutter, so I was vulnerable to whatever attention I could find.  The more attention they lavished on me, the more vulnerable I became. When one of them asked if anyone would be looking for me or if anyone would miss me, I should have known it was a red flag. But, I was a child and I truly believed I had no worth or value. My response to their inquiries was, “Nobody would give a [expletive] if was gone. They’d probably be relieved.”

I was offered alcohol and I walked into their house. I did not make it home that night.

The baggage as a result of that season has taken me on a long, dark journey. I was finally able to allow God to throw the luggage key into the sea of forgetfulness and I still struggle daily to remember forgiveness.

I was eventually dumped in an alley and I crawled through the mud to sneak away. It was raining that day and I think it was a Sunday. I found myself wandering around in a part of the city I did not know. Two sisters came across my path and, when they saw the shape I was in, they intervened to get me home.

My mother took me to the children’s hospital to be examined by a doctor. A very kind nurse held my hand throughout the ordeal and asked, with tears on her cheeks, “What did those people do to you, honey? You can tell me. What did they do to you?”

I could not speak. My mouth was void of any sound or any words.  I stuffed it all down as hard and as fast as I could. Then I zipped up the shame in the deep down and locked the door.  I blew it all off and wouldn’t even speak to my own mother about any of it.  When I sat at the police station, speaking to a detective, I had trouble with names, locations, and details.  I stuffed everything down even further and shut my mouth tight.  I became very angry at my mother and began to build a wall against her.

Suffice it to say those days were very hard and the next 26 years of my life were even harder.

But, remember how I keep saying that I can look back and see God’s fingerprints all over my life? That is how I know deep in my soul that the Lord knows exactly what happened to that lost little girl. God needed me to know that He knew. God needed to rescue me out of the trauma I was stuck in or I was not going to hear His voice.

The last five years of my life ended up bringing people into my life that were able to confirm pieces of my story until the puzzle started to fit together much more clearly. I still struggle with many things and can feel uncertain about how all of this sits with me.  I scribbled furiously into a notebook and my husband helped me to carry the heaviest burdens.  A collection of names, dates, locations, and vehicles got started. I let those details go on a piece of paper and handed it over to someone else. It is in God’s hands now. I pray daily for Him to allow me to remember that vengeance belongs to Him and Him alone (Romans 12:19).

The Lord has such a beautiful way of bringing the shattered pieces of our lives together in order to restore us. 26 years ago, my mother’s friend was deeply involved in holding my mother together. He took the time to try and share the word of God to a very traumatized teenage girl. Over the years, he continued to cross my path when God needed me to hear His voice.  There were times I resented that God would even dare to use a man to speak to me about Jesus.  When my will to live broke, this man spent hours in prayer and making telephone calls.

God brought this man into my life again recently and he accompanied my mother and I on an evening out.  Later, we sat at my dining room table and my mouth was finally opened. Suddenly, my voice was in the room as I shared painful pieces of my story with my mother and my mother’s friend. I broke. I sobbed. I wanted to get angry and scream.

I cried out to God, “My Jehovah Rapha! God is my HEALER!”

Suddenly, I was in my mother’s arms and we held onto one another for a very long time. I felt the safety and security of God wrap around us. I felt the soothing ointment of the Holy Spirit fall over us like a warm blanket. Restoration came rushing in like a flood.

God brought me home again and placed me in my mother’s arms.

I was once a missing girl, but…

…Jesus found me.

Abba! My Father!

Thank You for restoration and redemption. Thank You for having so much mercy on me. Thank You for the fingerprints and the clues You left behind so that I could find YOU instead of continuing to see nothing but darkness. My lips will ever sing Your PRAISE!  You are my Light and my Salvation.

I am pleading with You to bring missing women, men, boys, and girls back home. Rescue the slaves and set them free. I ask for healing and restoration that surpasses any human understanding to pour out upon the wounded souls everywhere.  Please let Your compassion pour out upon the lost, the broken, and the missing.

Amen

Revelation 21:4

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.

WORTHY – Paul Wilbur

This post appears in the book: Shattered in Him © 2016 JD Mays

77 thoughts on “Lost and Found…”

  1. Speechless from being torn inside with so many conflicting emotions reading this… I humbly bow my knee and give him honor for doing what only he could do in you. So thankful to see this day..

    Liked by 4 people

      1. Well, since we are working on being transparent, I have to admit that for some reason I had it in my mind that you guys were living down by your mom. Can’t explain it other than I am old. The “man” had to remind me that you are living not far from my Mom and Dad in the area where I grew up. Get me your address in some method you feel comfortable doing and I will stop by when I can.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This cut me to the core. If it weren’t for the trauma I suffered I would have clung to my atheist ways, if it weren’t for the rock bottom from my behaviour after that trauma I would never have met my husband, if it weren’t for my marriage struggles i would never have found a gospel based church. The glory of God is his an his alone, just as vengence is his and his alone. I find myself moved to pray for my abuser, hopeful that he to can find salvation, wth the sinners nature in me hoping maybe he won’t.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Sister, you speak my language. I am so thanking God that I got to meet and connect with such a beautiful soul.

      Isaiah 61:1
      The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound…

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Tears rolling down my cheeks,.. I am speechless to you, my dear sister in Christ (please forgive me -, yet I KNOW you understand!!) but worshiping Him because of your excruciatingly powerful testimony… Jehovah Rapha, indeed!! Praising Him who works ALL things for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His (glorious) PURPOSE…
    Now that I know more of you, I’m wondering how the Lord will use “Looking Into God’s Word…” with you (in His timing – please understand that absolutely no reply is expected! I was just led to share my wondering with you (and knowing the Lord, He will have you understand my poorly communicated thoughts here!)) 😊❤️ Love you, dear sister, so much!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wow. I just love it when the Lord uses us to speak to each other!! What you said about “Looking into God’s Word”….well, James 1:23-24 comes to mind.

      Thank you so much for this encouragement! I am speechless back because, even if you felt you worded this poorly, I think God just delivered me a message to the heart. Wow, just wow!!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. As a Mother, this writing tore at my heart. How she must have longed for the day you would fall in her arms so she could embrace you. Joy and pain mingled together to bring healing. Thank God for this godly man, HE placed in your lives. The pain of unzippering that compartment in your heart is unthinkable. Brave girl opening your heart so the healer could begin His miraculous work.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. I too, did much healing through writing on a blog a few years back. There’s something about getting it out in black and white that helps us gain perspective and get in touch with what’s going on inside. You’re doing a lot of hard work and you have a wonderful support group walking beside you. I am blessed by seeing how they come around you with so much love and support. Blessings on you Sister! xoxo

        Liked by 3 people

  5. Your story is heartbreaking. But thankfully, it becomes joyful and an inspiration to others, whether or not they have been abused. It speaks powerfully of God’s love for us in this broken world, the landscape of which can never be fully understood by our limiting human minds. But God offers us directions, instructions, signposts, a place to rest when we are weary of travelling, refreshment in the form of His Word and many wonderful, faithful companions on our journey. Thank you for sharing your story JD. I didn’t know what to call you, but at last I have some initials! :)x

    Liked by 3 people

    1. JD is my old nickname and the name that was on my missing posters all those years ago. I started to hate that name, but when I started writing I knew it would be the name I used across the board. Surely God has His reasons for nudging me with that old nickname.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I am in awe of your story, resilience, and our creator. As a mother, my heart burns with anger in the injustice that these men would steal you away. As a woman, my heart breaks to even try to comprehend what you have experienced. As one who has endured suffering and healing, I want to wrap my arms around you and just praise our G-d for all that he has brought us through. Your writing and heart are amazing.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I couldn’t respond to this last night because so much was happening on an emotional level. I had to pause and reflect in prayer for quite a while. Then, I could not sleep, so I sat down to write. The messages that occurred below were astounding. The Lord is certainly doing some powerful things for all of us, I do believe!!

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    1. You want to know what is really crazy and has me in shivers? I have been sitting here staring at this particular blog with my word pad open typing out some things about post-traumatic stress regarding triggers and the ins and outs of how innocuous things in everyday life can cause a downward spiral as a result. This particular post is the one the bothers me the most, the one I have to go back and read to myself, and the one I use to remind myself of what God has done. And, I have been sitting here since somewhere around 1:30, unable to sleep while the rest of the household does, trying to type with shaking hands.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. The timing of my message and what is happening for you would seem very much connected. How strange that early this morning, I should be up scrolling through your post and noticing the time I sent it and the significance of it all? Some would say it was sheer coincidence, but I firmly believe that this is a “Godincidence”. Know that your Heavenly Father loves you and you are special and an inspiration to others.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Oh, my stars. I have been pondering the timing of your message in the wee hours all day today. I showed my husband and we both had tears in our eyes. I also had to email my mother and reassure her that God’s hand is in this. There is no other explanation. And, words cannot do justice to describe how timely your message popped up. I was astounded, because I KNOW the clock was right around 1:31 am, too. I had to walk away from my computer for a bit before I could sit back down to respond to your message. I was just too stunned. It does NOT get any more coincidental than that. My husband says, “Coincidences are spiritual puns to get our attention toward God.” So, I am just processing SO MUCH today and completely in awe. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am shivering as I read this. This whole thing is too awesome for words. I think your husband is spot on! God is speaking to us! How awesome! Isn’t it funny that a letter I wrote to my 14 year old self last year should be such an inspiration to you too, triggering your own letter which is being shared and inspiring so many other people. God is certainly using you in a mighty and powerful way to bring about healing and restoration. He is setting captives free and healing the broken-hearted! Amen and praise God!
        I would love to know what your mother said if you care to share.

        Liked by 1 person

    3. Okay, this is getting really, really wild. Guess which verse I am meditating on right now?!? Isaiah 61:1. Seriously. Go read it and you will shiver even more!! Whew, either I am losing my mind (not!) or the Lord is seriously working some things out for all of us here. There is this little family growing right here in the computer screen and I think we have had some CHURCH today!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wow!! Shivering again!! Isaiah 61:1 is a very special verse for me. It was the sermon that was being preached on February 13th 1994 at around 11.00am when I had an AMAZING healing experience in church. I was thrown to the floor and for 15-20 minutes I had no idea what had happened to me. I only know what happened because the service was recorded and I got a copy for myself. Sadly the tape was broken at some point years later so I no longer have it. This is just a snippet of the whole “healing experience” for me. There was a lot of screaming (40 times I counted). I had been battered and sexually abused by my father in childhood, and you know the sorts of trauma that causes. I suffered terribly with depression and suicidal attempts as a child and adult, but I cried out to God and He healed me like He promised He would in his Word. The 12th November was the 22nd anniversary of my baptism so these last few November days have been a poignant time for me. This verse I keep seeing again and again and it is a constant reminder of God’s healing hand on my life. Thank you for reminding me!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. JD, just one more thing, but if you look again at my message sent at 1:31AM on November 16th – if you read it again it is literally, 1:31 and then if you change the 1 to an I it literally says “I AM” which is one of God’s names: The Great I AM – amazing huh? :))

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, my stars, AGAIN! I cannot even handle this, my mind is blown!! Paul Wilbur has a song called “The Great I AM” and I was about to hit play on it. I use that song to keep me focused on remembering WHO is in charge. It is my falling asleep song when the strongholds of the mind want to try and trip me. Maybe we need to pay even closer attention to Him today, because He is obviously saying SOMETHING!! I am so, so glad I have met you and several others on this platform. It is so precious to me.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. OMG! This is TOO amazing! You were just about to hit play? Oh wow!! We are certainly experiencing the Holy Spirit working in our lives, connecting us and opening up communication for us. We need to log this moment – it is really specially. Hey we are logging/blogging it!!!! Wow! Thanks for the link.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Just listened to the Great I Am and it’s wonderful. I have just been praising God and singing along. Who says we can’t have church ocean’s apart?:) I had not expected to be worshipping and reading the Bible at this particular moment. Thank you and Thank God. I’m so glad our paths have crossed and I believe this moment was ordained.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I was about to go to sleep when I read your latest post part of the way when I saw the link to this post….
    I cried.
    I can’t imagine why some people can be so evil.
    I am glad,
    so, so, so glad
    that God has healed you,
    And has saved you.
    What a testimony.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A therapist once had me do this as an exercise, “Put your child in that situation and tell me how you feel about it.” It was too much to even absorb and it nearly crushed me. I think that was one of the pivotal moments that gave me the motivation to start dealing with it. Much of the time I still struggle with dissociation and residual effects. But, I am not where I once was; there was a time when the symptoms of post-traumatic stress and severe anxiety left me too paralyzed to even function well in daily life. Of course, God gets all the credit. Without Him, I couldn’t do any of this.

      Liked by 3 people

    1. I have been working on a writing project that covers the details that are not on this blog, including the people who entered the picture to bring it all full circle. It is not easy on the psyche, especially now that I am a mother. The full impact of it all is not an easy one to process. But, that is where God comes in! And, His hand has been on this entire ordeal the whole time. There are no more doubts about that.

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  10. Wow, your post is as good as all the comments! I’m glad you and MarieWilliams53 allowed us to “eavesdrop” on your divine conversation. What a powerful testimony. It’s so sad, but there are so many other little girls who have been through something similar. Keep sharing! Others will be helped!

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  11. Oh! Thank God you are over it! Your past got tears in my eyes. I can imagine the pain you went through as that little child. I hope you are way past it with divine intervention as well as the wonderful people around you. I am very sorry for all that has been a part of a past but I hope you re-live every day with more strength, more courage and more power! Wishing you all happiness!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. That’s quite a journey you have been on. So glad things are better for you and you have found healing. May your life continue to be blessed. Thank you too, for following me. I so much appreciate your presence

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I thank God that you were able to see His presence in your life. I feel so fortunate to have come across your site. One of my daughters suffers from PTSD and I know she will be tremendously strengthened by your words, along with many other readers I’m sure. Mind blowing how God uses our pain to impact others. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. This is an extremely powerful testimony! Thank you so much for sharing your story with the world and sharing how God worked in your life, I can see this changing lives and impacting others in ways most other stories just wouldn’t do. I truly believe God can and will work through every situation for the best, and your story is a vivid example of how that works. You are a blessing to this world!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, thank you! I cling to Romans 8:28 as a promise and He has already been using my journey in ministry to impact things in quiet steps. That part is absolutely beautiful and precious and I get hungrier to see more of what He can do.

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  15. Oh, wow. What a story. I’m so proud of you. You could have stayed angry forever, and you didn’t. Thank you for sharing your story. You have been through terrible things, most of us can’t imagine, but now look at where you are. I’m so sorry, though, for all you went through.

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