Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Letter

This is my favorite picture of Robin during this time of our lives. She calls it her ugly phase but I think she was pretty darn cute. This picture brings back so many memories for me. We shared a room at the time this was taken. We would spend our time singing hymns, she was the soprano and I was the alto. I loved singing then just as much as I do now. This picture represents something else, an innocence. I was still her protector at the time, shielding her as much as I could. Not long after this was taken all that would be taken away.

It started with a letter. Back in the day, there were no cell phones, no email, no internet, just snail mail. That is how we stayed connected back then. You had to be patient and wait. I was visiting my older sister in another state and I got a letter from Robin. In the letter she shared with me what was going on. With me gone to bear the brunt, our dad had turned on my little sister. He mocked her faith in God. Remember how I told you that he expected instant obedience and said things like, "if I tell you to jump, you ask how high" of course there was more to the rant but I will leave out the nasty part. He decided it would be amusing to make Robin swear. He knew she would never use swear words since she was a Christian so he thought it would be funny to make her swear. The anger rose up in me like no other. How dare he force my little sister to use words that she did not want to use. The power one man had over a young girl. He thought it was so stinking funny, I was enraged.

Those that know me know that I HATE swearing, this is why. To me it represents an abuse of power. As a side note, none of my siblings swear to this day. We had enough of it growing up. When I read the letter from Robin it was obvious that she had been crying. She wanted to know if I would please hurry home, things were getting worse. My heart broke. I showed the letter to my big sister and we came up with a plan.

We were going to rescue our little sister and brother and take them away from our dad. So what does any rational 16 and 19 year old do? We went to the free legal aide society. We were armed with the letter and the stories and asked how we could get our siblings out of the home. The lawyer told us I would first have to become emancipated from our dad. The paperwork was drawn up and the court date set. We were going to take my dad to court so that I could get custody of my little brother and sister. It was a solid plan, or so I thought. There was nothing I wouldn't do to get them out of there.

My dad was served a summons to come to the state I was in and tell the judge why or why not I should be granted my freedom. My dad did not show up. When I went before the judge I told him why I thought he should let me become emancipated from my dad. I will never forget what the judge told me. He said, you will be a full adult now. All of your actions will be judged by the adult standards. You have to have a full time job and support yourself. You may not go on welfare, it is up to you to feed and house yourself. Are you willing to do that, he asked? Of course I was. I had been pretty resourceful my whole life and I wasn't about to stop now.

The judge granted me full emancipation. I was free now, free to get my brother and sister away from that man. Well, at least that is what I thought. What happened next sealed my fate with my dad forever. I will tell that story tomorrow.

Till then, know this,  freedom is not free. There is only one who can grant real and lasting freedom and it doesn't come from the government, the courts or anyone but the ONE who paid the ultimate price for our freedom, Jesus Christ.

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".

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