Patient Endurance

Every year I pick a word (or words ) for the year. Then in the weeks after the new year starts I write a blog post that starts like this, “Well that’s not what I intended” This year is no different. Except for one thing.. After June of this year I lost sight of my words. PATIENT ENDURANCE! Or at least I thought I did. Over the last few weeks I have beat myself up because I hadn’t’t made any progress in Patient Endurance…or at least so I thought.

I have these two amazing women in my life who have supported me on my writing journey for a number of years now, but it’s not just my writing journey really it’s life!! It’s not just one sided either. We lift each other up. Sometimes they ask hard questions to push me into next steps.

Well back in June my amazing friends asked me if I heard anything about “our case”. Our case was just a few short months shy of 9 years long. It’s had been a roller coaster ride of “soon but not yet” answers.

I told them no because Hubby.s phone had been stolen a year earlier and that was the only contact with the U.S. Attorney we had. Periodically we would do a google search for the guys name to See if the trial had happened. It was the same old news articles so over time I just gave up checking. For whatever reason that day when Beth asked- I felt drawn to search again .

This time was different…i stumbled on an FBI posting I had never come across before. I OPENED THE ARTICLE…it was pretty much just like the others BUT THIS TIME it had a U.S.Attorney.s name AND phone number. I closed my phone I got up from my bed. I was shaking. In my head and heart echoed CALL. I went to leave my room. I glanced back to my bed and the phone that laid in the middle of it. I walked back, hands shaking, I picked up the phone and I clicked on the link My phone dialed than rang.

My chest was pounding all I was looking for was a simple answer…..yes or no. That’s it. I got more than I bargained for. The answer was NO the trial hadn’t happened yet. I got transferred to a really nice lady. . D basically told me that if the attorney wanted to talk to us she would call us by the end of the week. I hung up…..shaing worse than when I started this. At least we had a date…END OF AUGUST.

Can you guess what happened at the end of the week? A big fat NOTHING! We let it go like all the other times and we just kept doing the everyday. Until two weeks later. I was at church after a day of ministry and meetings and I can’t remember where hubby was off to but I was sitting fat his desk using a charger when my phone rang. It was a blocked number. I almost didn’t answer, but something said Pick up. So I did.

The U.S. Attorney introduced herself and I nearly fell off the chair in shock. The details I learned from that phone call made me ill. I felt like I could throw up. I also learned more about the FBI and Federal Court system that I never wanted to know. At the end of the phone call she asked how I felt about the kids testifying? We may need them to. By this time I was outside of our church and I had just walked inside and two staff members had joined me…but they had no idea shat I was about to tell them.

I was in shock. The ball was in motion…..we would be involved and I had major regrets for ever making that call. We didn’t change our plans. We didn’t tell the kids yet. We ended our homeschool year, 3 kids went to work at Camp, hubby and I had phone meetings and even went to a meeting in the Federal building where our phones were confiscated. We went with a friend who had walked a similar path. Her words to and from were soothing to hubby and I. The laughter was healing. There would only be a sentencing… trial. (there will be another post on that subject) Sentencing was moved (as expected) . It moved from the end of August til the end of September. We started school. We went on vacation with friends. Ron and I left for a Pastors and Wives retreat. We left one week to the day before we were to appear in court.

Everyone else was having a great time…..we on the other hand had a job to do. Four victim impact statements had to be written. Hubby and I would take breaks and hike the trails around the retreat center. There is one trail I didn’t think I could do. It was steep….so very steep and I had killed my ankle and knee in June and I had not fully healed and the rocks that cover those Pennsylvania mountains were brutal.

Upon the encouragement of our teaching pastor who was also at the retreat we decided to hike the yellow trail Thursday morning. It was tough. I was in pain, it was a hard climb because for 3 months had babied my left leg. BUT IM INCREDIBLY STUBBORN AND I DONT GIVE UP EASILY. It took us way longer than it should have but as we reached the summit in the middle of the Poconos my phone rang. It shouldn’t have…..i shouldn’t have had reception. It was D. Our advocate. She informed us that our kids didn’t need to come and that none of us had to testify. None of us would have to stare at him in the face. Hubby and I could read our victim impact statements and that would be it.

We hugged and cried and cried and hugged. That climb was so very symbolic of those last nine years (we passed the anniversary the grinning of September) it was rocky, tricky and sometimes straight up. We had each others backs Then coming back down the very steep side I literally had to lean on hubby.

I look back on that time in September and yes in the months surrounding those events I may have dropped some balls. I may have lost track of some things and forgotten stuff but in the middle of all that we came out the other side maybe a little ruffled but we had our faith and our family intact and we had this amazing group of people who really acted as our Aaron and Hur. They held up our arms in some of the craziest times. Some of them even went to court with us. They sat with us, held our hands rubbed our backs and sobbed with us our words…..our testimonies of Gods grace and forgiveness were heard not only by the man who hurt us but also a judge, attorneys, and US Marshalls who sat in that court room.

As for the patient endurance I look back on The last year and from July through the end of the year I may have fallen short and dropped the ball in some areas but in hindsight we patiently endured 9 years. Waiting. There were lots of “Soon but not yet” Moments. The waiting is over. It was hard but the idea of endurance eludes to hard work. As much as I felt like I was failing I wasn’t. We ran that 9 year marathon. We kept our eyes on Jesus and we served with all of our hearts. We could have hid and licked our wounds. We could have protected ourselves and not let anyone in. We could have lived in fear. We could have said no to the Attorney. B. Instead we didn’t run that race for ourselves but for Jesus. We let Jesus shine the pain. That’s who we kept our eyes on. Patient Endurance isn’t always pretty it will sometimes be messy. That’s where Jesus comes in. He makes the messy beautiful!

Next week I will share my word for this year.