stinky garbage

she settled into the new place. again.

the neighborhood was sketchy.

drug dealers lived down the street.

she adapted. she was skilled in adapting.

conviction pricked at his soul for choices he’d made, things he blamed her for.

self-focus produces stinky garbage.


photo credit: n. leblanc

when he visited, he came wanting. he expected things.

food. money. sex.

wrong expectations are heavy yokes.

disappointment in wrong expectations is destructive.

he did not visit just to see her. he didn’t know how, and he had little to give.

he flipped words around to convince himself he was doing right.

somehow the blame frequently landed in her lap.

he told her she was selfish.

he spoke destructive words often.

sharp word knives pierced her heart.

she hardly remembered a time when he spoke kind words to her.

she nearly forgot who she was, how wonderful she was and to whom she belonged.

papa god reminded her.

she was smart. beautiful. creative. amazing. kind. generous. loving. gracious.

one friend referred to her as the graceful, glorious one. she liked that a lot.

his pain was so deep, his soul so broken, only hurtful words came out.

she tried to take a break from him. he became more anxious and fearful.

she saw in part what the little boy inside had experienced, how the man became so tormented years later.

she loved him well. he knew this.

sometimes he asked her why she put up with his shit.

she told him she saw more in him.

she told him she loved him. she showed him. often. even in the pain and destruction.

sometimes he would say he was no good for her.

she told him he could change that. jesus could heal him, make him whole.

he had passion. he was smart. he was funny.

she told him he was brilliant.

and on it went.

until it could not go on anymore.

(copyright 2016 jane doe)

real stability

photo credit: n. leblanc


while he was in jail, she was ordered to move away from him.

she moved in with a couple who needed extra income.

the wife was absent from the interview.

the husband said it would be fine. he was not truthful.

it was not fine.

the wife despised her. would not speak to her. did not want her in the kitchen. did not want her in the house at all. ugh.

she stayed in her room. her secret place. it was safe. it was peaceful.

there were issues.

the husband was afraid of the wife. the wife was angry, jealous. it was a mess. she prayed for them.

when they thought their money issues were resolved, they asked her to move out.

she began to look for a new place.

then they asked her to stay. she said no.

they reduced the rent. she stayed.

they asked her to leave again. she prepared to move.

roller coaster.

they asked her to stay again. they reduced the rent more.

she stayed again, buying time.

she knew she had to move.

she tried talking to him about moving back in together. he responded in defensive anger to avoid the topic. he would not commit. there it was.

he agreed to help her move.

on move day, he was unpleasant, surly, unhelpful, complaining. ugh.

these were common denominators whenever she asked anything of him.

he felt guilty and he did not like it.

it took more and more energy to be around him.

at the end of move day, he went off on her. loudly. always loudly.

it didn’t matter what it was. it just made her so tired.

she sobbed in exhaustion and frustration.

papa god said, “he is not worthy of you yet.”

she nodded her head in agreement.

he was right.

she knew he was her real stability.

it was enough.

(copyright 2016 jane doe)


 !


picking up every shattered piece seemed impossible.

photo credit: pixabay









where to begin. so many questions. uncertainty. fear.

god. he knew what was needed.

he had the plan before she knew she needed one.

worship was needed. worship was first. worship would carry her through this storm.

god sent a gift. a friend with concert tickets. worship concert tickets.

that friend showed up on time. they went. they worshipped.

god was still good, still on the throne. he still loved her. he still loved him

then came the grand jury. then came reduced charges. 30 days. restraining order.

then came feelings. anger. betrayal. loneliness. irritation.

why was the sentence so short?

why did she have to be the one to move?

and god help her. she missed him, that man who was really in there.

god. he showed her. mercy triumphs over judgment.

her heart shifted. the question came. what would she want for herself?


he called her after 30 days in jail.

he broke the restraining order.

she went lower in humility. ‘father?’ she asked.

‘mercy,’ god said.

she did not turn him in.


Definitions of mercy:

a: compassion or forbearance shown especially to an offender or to one subject to one’s power; also : lenient or compassionate treatment <begged for mercy>

Source: Meriam-Webster Online Dictionary

b: compassion for the miserable. Its object is misery. By the atoning sacrifice of Christ a way is open for the exercise of mercy towards the sons of men, in harmony with the demands of truth and righteousness ( Genesis 19:19 ; Exodus 20:6 ; Exodus 34:6 Exodus 34:7 ; Psalms 85:10 ; Psalms 86:15 Psalms 86:16 ). In Christ mercy and truth meet together. Mercy is also a Christian grace ( Matthew 5:7 ; 18:33-35 ).

Source: Easton’s Bible Dictionary

(copyright 2016 jane doe)


the aftermath

she sat in starbucks resting after giving her statement to the police.

out the window, she saw several officers drive away.

he was handcuffed in the back of their car.

it was over. he was gone.

relief washed over. she inhaled deep breaths.

my god, how had they arrived in this place?

ugh. the bank next door was on lock down. could it get worse?

photo credit: pixabay

she finished with the police. charges would be filed. serious charges.

she worked the rest of that day. it was a good distraction.

in her office, out loud, she tearfully proclaimed god would restore, somehow, some way.

he had to. he must. there were promises.

at home, the apartment seemed smaller, darker.

she walked the dog, and ate some dinner.

those twenty minutes played over and over again in her mind.

the tears flowed, the sobs came.

she asked god what to do. he said, “forgive.”

there was a movie for that. she watched, curled up in a ball crying.

he was safe now. no more nightly trips. the bars would protect him.

photo credit: pixabay











he would not die but live.

she would live, too.

(copyright 2016 jane doe)


twenty minutes

twenty minutes can seem a lifetime.

that morning, he was in a rage, either still or again. it didn’t matter.

he drove her to work. she went into her office.

he sped away, tires screeching.

then he called her cell phone. she ignored it.

he called the office phone. once, twice, multiple times harassing her.

he was coming back and demanded she come outside.

not wanting to create a scene in her work, she agreed.

when she went to see what he wanted, he commanded her to get in the car.

she got in the car. with the door barely closed, he drove away.

clearly, what was going on with him had escalated to a new, extreme level.

in a matter of seconds, he had driven the car back onto the highway.

her attempts to escape the car were futile.

each time she tried, he reached across her body and held her back, pulling the door shut.

she screamed at him to let her out; he continued to threaten her.

he turned off the highway on to a side road with less traffic, less people to see, less people to help.

photo credit n. leblanc












he had kidnapped her.

photo credit n. leblanc











at one point, she realized the screaming she heard was her own voice.

how would she escape? she had to hear.

she quit screaming, going deep to the well of peace within.

she recalled jesus’ words.  “no harm will come to you.”

he became quieter, too.

then, he revealed his need; it was money.

he drove the car to the bank. she was to get money for him.

hands shaking, she walked up to the atm.

to her horror, it was not over yet.

he appeared behind her to see her bank balance.

she quickly took her card back without taking cash out.

he grabbed her hand, bending her fingers backwards.

she pulled away, walking backwards until she was in front of the café windows.

the police gathered there almost daily.

she looked to the right through the windows for them. they were there.

tears streaming down her cheeks, she motioned with her hand for them to come to her.

she mouthed the words, “help me!” to them.

in a moment, it was over.

half of the officers took her to safety inside. the other half arrested him.

in that moment, mercy and grace had come to save not only her life, but his, as well.

(copyright 2016 jane doe)