It was a cold November night in Northern Florida twenty-nine years ago today that my life changed forever. I was abducted from a parking lot by a total stranger and beaten, raped and humiliated.
Today, though I still have scars, the pain no longer remains. Today, I reach out to other women who suffered through horrific attack, or to those who endure it on a daily basis.
348 months after that cold, dark night in an abandoned building in the middle of the woods, my spirit soars and my life has never been more full.
During the 1,508 weeks that have come and gone since then,
- I’ve traveled over 6,000 miles on the Road to Freedom Tour.
- I have reached thousands with a message of hope. I’ve pointed them toward help and a way out of their circumstance.
- I’ve published 2 books and have been asked for the one I’m writing about the Tour.
- I’ve served thousands of high risk college students to overcome insurmountable odds to live their dream.
- I’ve preached the gospel both in my great nation and on foreign soil.
- I’ve owned 3 businesses.
- I’ve traveled to 38 states and met people on the back roads that most would never meet.
- I’ve slept under the stars and seen the sunrise and moon set at the same time from a mountaintop in Appalachia.
In the last 10556 days since that fateful night, I’ve lived life to its fullest, grabbed for the gusto, and gotten all the goodie out of every one of those days. Because of that one day that changed my life forever, I vowed to live each day as if it was my last, because I know all to well it really could be.
During these last 221,676 hours, I went to the depths of emotional pain like I never knew existed. I wrestled the demon of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and won. I drew closer to God than I ever thought possible and soared to the heights of Heaven to touch the face of Abba Father.
Yes, I was attacked. But I assure you I didn’t spend any of the last 13,300, 560 minutes being a victim. I couldn’t change what happened that night. I did all I could to stop him. He was too strong and I paid the price.
But, just as assuredly as the sun rose over the eastern horizon on November 6th, so did I. I rode on the wings of hope and the prayers of faithful saints.
Today I celebrate. I recently sat over bagels with my dear friend, Jane Young Hill. She worked tirelessly as my therapist after my assault. We basked in the glory of winning the battle over violent assault and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I’m writing about it in my current manuscript. I told her I remember each moment of my attack as if it was last night. But, I do not feel any of the pain.
You see, in these last 13,300,560 minutes I’ve been embracing healing. I’ve been walking away from that moment in time when a drug-crazed lunatic rocked my world. And, once I found my way to freedom, I’ve been busy showing others the way.
It’s the Road to Freedom.
Today’s my anniversary of sorts. I celebrate life. I’m grateful for that moment in time so long ago. It helps me remember the important things and treasure each breath I take.
No matter what you are facing in your life, there is hope. There is life beyond survival and the journey down the Road to Freedom is worth the trip.
Thank you for following and supporting the Road to Freedom Tour. If you want to take steps forward but are afraid, I urge you to seek help. Get my book: Facing Fear and Finding Freedom.
Put one foot in front of the other and one day you’ll be able to look back and say, “13,300,560 minutes ago today…”