The last eight weeks have been filled with tragedy and heartbreak for my family. The night of Sunday, March 18th, my daughter was badly beaten by her boyfriend…and so was my grandson. I’ll never forget groggily answering the phone in the middle of the night and hearing my daughter say, “Come get us, mom.” I’ll never forget what I saw when I arrived at my child’s residence, either. Having sprung out of bed and neglecting to even put on street clothes in my haste, I got to my daughter’s home in time to see her talking to a police officer through her tears. I got there in time to see the bruises on her body.
Still in my pajamas, it all seemed like a dream. That is, it all seemed like a dream until I literally felt my heart sink to the lowest point possible.
I held my youngest granddaughter in my arms as I walked around surveying the scene unaware that my grandson had been abused, too. I was in a daze. Of course my other children, husband and I offered my victimized daughter love, support…anything and everything we could. Even without knowing what my grandson went through, it was still the most awful experience of my life. We’ve all heard stories about women and children being abused, but no one ever thinks it’ll happen to their family members. Well, I’m living proof that it can. And it did on that horrible, horrible night.
The next few weeks were long. Time seemed to stop repeatedly as we waited for my daughter’s boyfriend to appear in court on April 9th, more than three weeks after a judge decided to release him on bail the day after he brutalized my child and her son. We remained on constant guard, waiting for him to “finish the job,” meaning kill my daughter, as he’d pledged to do.
And then I got the biggest surprise I could have imagined two weeks ago – my daughter let her abuser, the man who abused her own son, back into her life. Neither I nor any other member of my family had ever been consumed by such anger before. None of us could understand how she could choose to put herself and her two children in danger again, knowing what this man was capable of. In fact, I still don’t understand her decision, but have researched it enough to know that it is very common for victims to welcome their abusers back. Having read a mountain of material and heard countless testimonials, I still don’t understand this tendency, however. I just don’t.
And then yesterday rolled around. Yesterday was a day I woke up looking forward to because it was the day the custody of my grandson would be decided by a judge. It was the day that his biological father might be given the chance to protect his son from future abuse. It was the day my daughter risked losing custody of her son, my grandson, because of her decisions.
With the exception of my abused daughter, my whole family agreed that my grandson needed to be removed from my daughter’s home…that it was the best thing for him. Knowing this, my heart still ached for my daughter. I couldn’t share my pain, though, because I would have been told I shouldn’t feel that way…but my heart still ached for her.
Last night, after the court rendered its decision, I cried. I prayed, begging God to take the pain I knew my daughter was feeling having just lost custody of her son away from her. I pleaded for Him to let me bear her burden of hurt. I prayed for my daughter despite her recent choices. Still, I couldn’t shake what I was feeling…I couldn’t soothe the ache in my heart.
And then I was blessed. You see, last night, I awoke in the middle of the night to a feeling of peace. I was amazed and grateful to have peace about this whole situation. Even though my emotions are still raw, last night’s experience has confirmed what I already knew to be true: God has a plan, He has answered my prayers and I will be forever thankful.
Today is a new day….God has made that fact very clear. And I offer Him my thanks.
Thank you, heavenly Father.