DOZ Issue 41 March 2019 - Page 11

of my face. Before I had realized where it came from, there were four girls surrounding me. They roughly grabbed hold of both my arms and held me, while the “biggest and heaviest one” punched me, over and over. It seemed as if it were happening for an eternity...but in reality, it was probably all over in a matter of three minutes, at which time they released me, and shoved me down onto the cold marble tiles. As I lay on the ground, I recall with clarity, seeing the stark contrast of my blood flowing onto the white tiles. I felt cold. I was scared, and I was in shock. My classroom was within two feet from where I lay. Somehow I managed to get up, staggered toward my history class, and then passed out as I entered the room. I awoke in the nurse’s office. “Are you okay? Do you know where you are?” The R.N. had asked with valid concern. “I’m dizzy. I’m in pain all over… is this the nurse’s office?”  The rest of that day remains somewhat hazy. My parents were both called to the school. I was taken to the hospital. The doctor said I was concussed and had severe lacerations on my face and multiple fractured ribs. My parents were livid, to say the least...I do remember that in detail. Yet, of course, they were primarily concerned with my well-being more than anything else, and rightfully so. I was frightened to go back to school after that. And I became withdrawn. It was determined, after numerous consultations with the school board, and a Christian youth counselor; that I could “stay at home” to finish out my year. I had difficulty concentrating. I had post- traumatic stress syndrome; however, at that time; they were labeling it as “generalized anxiety disorder, with a high fear component along with social apathy.” My parents were patient, understanding, and loving during that entire ordeal. And, they had worked dutifully with me, and my “teacher’s suggestions.”  At the end of the term, I came face to face with a predicament. I could return to my classes or, remain at home for the final year of middle school. I struggled with feelings that were convoluted and conflicted at once. I had wanted to attend school again; I missed it dearly, along with the interaction of my fellow students. Yet, I was completely reticent about a return, and the possibility of additional bullies repeating what I had already endured.  Prayers and God is what helped me. The Lord gave me the courage, and fortitude to get back to school the following term. It was entirely because of my awful experience that helped shape my life and prepared me for my adult years. I sincerely longed to help others — especially those being bullied, or abused. The Lord took my ashes and turned it into beauty. He formed and ordained my steps, and carved out a career in social services and Christian counseling…ultimately becoming a voice for the elderly, where I worked my entire career in Nursing Homes, and Group Homes. After all of which I had gone through had subsided, and I was healed of my outward wounds. I found out that the crowd of bullies was random girls who broke into the school looking for someone to “beat up.” Being late for class that day (special note that was the first time of my ever being late to class!) was the basis of my 11 being attacked. They were all sent to juvenile detention. And it turns out that they all had a prior record, but none as violent as the attack against my person that day. I am glad they were stopped before doing irreparable harm to others. I thank the Lord for His loving hand in all of this. I had forgiven all of my attackers not too long after that incident, and have never looked back.  I realized that things happen for a reason, and that good things can come from bad. So many references in the Bible point to that. Joseph pops to mind, being sold into slavery, and beaten, and yet…he was exalted in the end and saved his people. Job, being recompensed dearly after going through so much, rewarded eventually for his faith and devotion to the Lord. I’m not comparing myself to these people, but what I am saying is. Even though horrific things happen in our lives, either directly to us, or with someone we know, or love… there is always good eventually to come from it. We might not see it right away, or ever for that matter. But, suffice to say, there will be many of us who recognize the transformation for such happenings. To this day, I often wonder what became of “my bullies.” I pray their lives were turned around, and that the Lord touched their hearts. After all, with God all things are possible. Amen. Note: This is a true account of what happened to me when I was 11. My career as a geriatric social worker and director in nursing homes proved to be my calling that was birthed during that terrible encounter. DOZ Magazine | March 2019