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There are a million shards of glass in my heart.

I remember the night she told me, “I was raped.” I remember she told me: “I used to wake up screaming.” I remember how her dreams at night haunted me, and how I used to lay awake for hours, holding prayer vigil over her. She was like a sister to me. Oh A’hael, I wish I could have been there to save you. I wish I could reach back in time and save you. I would have beat him black and blue. I would have made sure the judge put him in jail, instead of letting him go free.

I remember so many things. So many broken things. So many broken people. Oh God, my heart is breaking, and filled with so much pain. I’ve been in pain for years.

I remember the night he told me of his pornography, and how long and hard I cried.

I remember the night he told me how he had walked along a road, hoping a car would hit him, and that he’d die. I remember how hard I cried then, and how I made him promise to text me or call me (even if it was the middle of the night) if he needed to.

I remember when she told me: “I was sexually abused as a child. It was an older boy.”

I remember the evening they took me out to a family dinner, and joked about dead cats and how “the only good cat was a dead one,” which to me was like joking about aborted babies.

I remember every word and sentence that ever caused me pain. They are resurfacing slowly. I’ve kept them buried for so long. And I cry and cry and cry, just me and Jesus.

I remember when I knew her wedding was coming, but that I wouldn’t be one of the bridesmaids. I remember that second year, when I was no longer needed, and he didn’t invite me to come along with them as a “her wing man.” They didn’t need me anymore.

I remember when I finally gave up trying to be a part of her life. It hurt too much to keep hearing “I’m busy.”

I remember what her voice sounded like when she said, “I don’t have room for you at my wedding.” I remember how I told her I loved her and to have a great wedding, and then went down to the beach and cried for hours.

I remember that day his dad called me, and I was so scared and “emotional.” And I swore to myself that no one would ever scare me that badly again. And that I would never be that emotional again.

I swore I’d never let anyone see how much they hurt me. I would play the actor, and they wouldn’t use my pain against me.

I remember the day we had a fight, and I stormed out of his car. And he went after me, though I wanted to be left alone. And we’d hugged, and somehow we were supposed to be all right again. He had told me to stop trusting my family.

I remember when I felt like my home was gone forever. Nothing with my family was ever the same again. My old friend group no longer felt like my old homegroup. WWU snatched away any innocence I had left. I was no longer the carefree child. I was the one who had seen hell with her own eyes.

I remember the looks on their faces, and how worried about me everyone was. I remember how some thought I had slept with a guy, and how horrific my pain was that they’d think that of me.

I remember the first time a guy talked about marriage with me. I remember all the times since then I’ve been told, “I’ll never leave you.” And every time, they left me. Abandoned.

I remember when he told me: “I want to take you to every place you’ve ever been hurt, and kiss away all your pain.” I remember how he used me physically, for his pleasure, and how violated I felt. I felt like I was “all used up” now. His love was never love. It was selfishness.

I remember every night I’ve cried, over and over and over. I remember never wanting to venture out of my room ever again.

I remember the day we said goodbye to our Rochester house, and how hard I cried. I remember the late summer day God restored my house to me, and they let me walk around the place I loved so much, and I cried and felt my heart mend.

I cry. Jesus, I cry. This world is so broken. Nothing is as it should be. We live in such a broken place. I wish I could end this writing with hope (for it is there), but I’ll just end it with grief. I wish for heaven, but stay for the sake of Jesus and those here on earth.

The fields are ready for harvest. I have work to do. But oh God, I’m hurting so much inside. My Lord and my God. My Lord and my God.