Sienna felt that her life was falling into place, one piece of the puzzle at a time, and Chad fit into the puzzle so perfectly, but she still had not had the courage to tell him what had happened to her before. She wanted to, she trusted him now, but the words never came. It had been hard enough for her and Kelsea to tell Miranda, but this for some reason was even more difficult.
Lord I can’t keep this in forever. I am remembering more, and I feel I should be talking to someone about this, but I am so afraid. I know Miranda was right, I really do need to talk to a Christian counselor, but I feel so silly sometimes, and sometimes I let myself think I could have done something to ask for it, but I was only seven, and I know that really does not make any sense. It was his fault, he was the one who violated me.
For the past few years Sienna had been fighting a shadow, a shadow that had been there since she was a little girl, it was darker than the bullet that had shattered her spine. It was the Shadow that had stolen trust and innocence from her, none of it was her fault, and though she understood that now, as a little girl, when you are told you are doing something bad, that you are bad you tend to believe it.
I am not going to allow him to have that kind of control over me. He is nothing, but a monster who belongs in prison. Someone who preys on the innocence of a child.
“I am so glad you went to the prom, and had such a good time.” Sienna’s Mom told her, when they had a rare alone moment. They had both been so busy with lives, that moments that they could actually talk were rare, but they cherished them.
“I am too Mom. I can’t believe I almost let my fears stop me from going, I was so afraid of what he was going to think about me.”
“Sienna don’t let what others think about you stop you from being yourself, people will like you for who you are.”
“I know Mom, thank you.”
“You’re welcome sweetie, I want you to know how proud of you and I am.”
“Thanks Mom, but I think you better save some of those tears for my graduation.”
“Don’t remind me.” Sienna’s Mother said.
“It’s coming up fast. I did not know if I was going to make it through this year at first, missing over half of it, but by the grace of God I kept up.”
“You not only made it through this year Sienna, you excelled. You managed to keep your grade point average. It shows just how hard you were willing to work for it.”
“I really do have a lot of reason to be proud of you Sienna.”
“Mom you owe yourself some of that credit, you raised me.”
“I must have done something right.”
“You did everything in your power to raise us right.”
Sienna knew that she was blessed to have the relationship she had with her Mother. She knew that things could be different, she could be dealing with a strained relationship, but despite everything they had been through, she was close to her Mother. Maybe it was even because of all that she had been through that had allowed them to be so close.
As the conversation ended and Sienna’s Mother, got ready for work, Sienna took out her Bible and began reading. Today they had a teacher work day, so school was out, and Sienna was glad for that, because it gave her time to spend time in prayer. The truth was she needed that time in prayer. She was strong yes, but she would not be strong had she not known to lean on the Lord.
1 Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus,
To all God’s holy people in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons[a]:
2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Thanksgiving and Prayer
3 I thank my God every time I remember you. 4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
7 It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. 8 God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.
9 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.
Paul’s Chains Advance the Gospel
12 Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters,[b] that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. 13 As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard[c] and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. 14 And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.
15 It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. 16 The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17 The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. 18 But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true , Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.
Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, 19 for I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance.[d] 20 I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; 24 but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. 25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that through my being with you again your boasting in Christ Jesus will abound on account of me.
Life Worthy of the Gospel
27 Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit,[e] striving together as one for the faith of the gospel 28 without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved—and that by God. 29 For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him, 30 since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have.
Sienna closed her Bible, and let the words resonate in her soul. She knew that she had suffered for the Lord, but he had suffered so much more for her. It was because of the Lord that she had made it this far. She would not be living the life she was living, and feel so blessed doing it if it were not for the Lord. Despite being shot, she lived a good life, and she was slowly coming to terms with what happened to her when she was a little girl.
I am so blessed, and I thank you Lord for all you have done. I thank you for allowing me to live such a blessed life.
“Do you have any plans for today?” Miranda called Sienna up and asked. “I thought maybe we could go shopping or something.”
“Sounds good to me.” Sienna said, she had her talk with the Lord, and was looking forward to getting out of the house.
“I’ll be by to pick you up in a few minutes.”
“Thank you. I will be so glad when my car is ready.” Sienna and her Mother had gone to have a car specially equipped with hand controls ordered. That way she would be able to drive herself to and from college, and Sienna was glad. She missed the freedom driving gave her.
“I know, you will have to drive me around once you get your car.”
“Believe me I plan on doing just that, but I know that even without a car, I am pretty darn blessed. At least I have ways to get around.”
“At least your still around, I still have nightmares of almost losing my best friend.”
“Sorry about that.”
“It’s not your fault Sienna, it’s those kids that pulled out that gun.”
“I know, but I would rather not talk about that right now. I am trying to put that past me.”
“Sienna you are amazing.”
“I don’t get the credit for that, the good Lord does.”
After they hung up, Sienna grabbed her shoes, and struggled to put them on. Simple things were more difficult now, but she managed. She knew now how important it was never to take anything for granted, that life was fleeting. Tomorrow was not a promise, but a gift from God and she could never allow herself to forget that.
Lord thank you for showing me the importance of not taking things for granted, especially not the people in my life. I never want to say something to someone I care about that I could not take back. I know I have been guilty of saying things in anger in the past, but I ask that you help me to not do that anymore, because I know that you want more from your children than that. I owe you so much Lord, and I want to live for you, and I want to be an example for my family, and those in my life. I want to be a witness Lord, a missionary, not only when I am dancing, but in the way I live.
“Are you ready?” Miranda asked. “Need any help?”
“Nope I am good to go, where did you want to go first?”
“How about JCP they have some cute jeans on sale.”
“Sounds good to me.”
“Is everything okay?” Miranda asked, sensing that Sienna had more on her mind than she was letting on.
“Yeah I am fine, but have a lot on my mind, with graduation and all.”
“I think we all do Sienna.”
“I know, and it feels good to feel something totally normal.”