I typed out those words just a few days after standing in our living room, listening to that song with Chelsea and Naomi. I had felt the flooding of emotion, the overwhelming sorrow and grief. Chelsea saw me on the ground, crying hysterically that night and then when I wrote down the healing session. She heard me scream and groan with the agony of memories so vivid and real they crashed through my consciousness and invaded my outer world. I wrote those words and the other ten pages of that memory which I’ve left out. The details are so brutal they tear the fabric of reality and wrench out your soul. This book is not for those words; this book is not to defile you with a Survivor’s maddening past but to point those who are looking towards the path to restoration.

After I’d finished writing those words, The Father gave me a miracle and brought to memory where I’d hidden our Dodge Viper. I ran downstairs and began shuffling boxes around. Nathan had buried many of our keepsakes when he’d gone through the “Switch”, but thankfully I knew it would be there. It took me twenty minutes, but eventually, I found the stained oak box. I did not get back my childhood possessions or things from my room; those were lost when I left The Family and chose freedom instead. So many of the treasures I’d once held dear were trapped in their hands, but Yahweh had preserved this one for me.

Keepsake box in hand, I pressed on the lever and opened up the secret compartment. As I’d grown up, I became more sophisticated at hiding my treasures and learned how to build false bottoms into trinkets so no one could steal away our joy. Pulling back the panel, I saw it there, as shiny as on the day Danny gave it to me was our blue car. I touched the paint, the metal, and the two white lines. I slid its wheels on my arm and felt familiar memories of laughter and peace.

I shed tears decades in the making. I opened up the floodgates, and the rivers of my soul let loose their sorrow mingled with relief. Of all the things He could have preserved for me, He chose the best. In the curled knuckles of my scar-covered hands was His miracle of life among all the death. It was hope so tangible, The Redeemer at His best.

For the day you read this, Danny, know that I’ve never forgotten you, your mother, or the kind thing you did. You saved my life in that winter of death when I was nine years old. You saved it again decades later when that little blue car showed me Yahweh’s providence. He is our provider no matter what we go through, be it mothers murdered in front of us or the loss of a spouse. He alone can shine a light of hope upon our days of darkness. He alone can rescue us from the pock marked memories of madness and loneliness. He is our rescuer, and He is always faithful. Even when I was in that grove, He gave me the strength to survive. No matter what your grove is, He can give you hope that defies logic and conquers death.

Before we can conquer those groves or the Enemy who stalks us in the darkness, we are going to have to come to grips with the battle we were all born into. We are going to have to learn the ways of war.