We found blood spatter on our daughter's purple wall! A moment of fear tied our tongues, and made our eyes foam in tears. It was clear things had reached the crisis level. Cutting herself, we thought was a thing of the past. A few scars, a few prayers, a few friendly warnings, and everything will be normal, or so we thought.
Next come the what ifs... What if she couldn't stop the bleeding with a towel that night? What if she had cut a vein, or even an artery? It horrified us even more, to learn that neither my wife nor I, were home that night.
We tried to educate ourselves on why girl's become "cutter's." One article explained that teen girls do it to express pent up emotion, as they let the blood out, they feel a release, a sense of ridding all the hurt inside. But this daughter of mine was the passionate one, who painted her room purple. When she came to a saving knowledge of Jesus, her love for the Lord could light up a room. What happened?
Next the blaming started. First we blamed ourselves. We blamed society. We blamed the school. My wife took it hard. She said, "How could someone that's a part of me do this? She is still my baby!"
I took my daughter to see the family physician I used the best words I knew. I said. "Amanda, don't ya know if you ever died, we would drown in our tears. Don't ya know you're breakin our hearts?"
For her turn, at the doctor's office, she said with tears running down her cheeks, "I just don't like myself, I dunno why. Daddy, I'm sorry."
I dropped my head in my knees, pulling on my hair in grief. Finally I look up. She has not bothered to wipe her red stained face. "Don't ya know your body is a temple of the Lord's?"
"Yes Daddy, I know." She said, shaking uncontrollably.
"Don't ya know you're made in the image of God?
Yes I know Dad," she said, as the doctor walked in.
It seemed nothing I said made a breakthrough. I had to leave for the stairwell. I needed a place to hide my tears and think. Why had we put her in public school? She was teased, tormented. I thought, as a Christian parent, I sold my daughter to the world.
They say time heals all wounds, and our memory of her childhood helped too. We remembered a moment when she was only five, and the bright yellow bus drove by our house. Oh how she wanted to go to school! She didn't know I was watching her watch this bus go by. I watched her take a deep breadth, and shrug her shoulders. We wanted to keep her safe from the world. As a small child, she had a dimpled smile, a button nose, and adventurous blue eyes.
One night after picking my daughter up from youth group at church, we made small talk. Suddenly she revealed to me, "Dad, I gave my problem to the Lord. I have this confidence that I will never cut myself again. I dunno why, I just know."
It took all I could to hold back the tears, as my little girl blossomed with a smile. I took her word for it. Somehow, I felt God changing her in ways I could not yet imagine.
One night the youth group had a special event, and two of her friends accepted Jesus as savior. We tended to fill the truck every week. Heck, I didn't care if their arms and legs were hanging out! I had all I could do to choke back my tears and stay on the road.
One week she got up early, to stand at the flagpole of our School with other Christians praying for the young people of our country. To us, it was a symbol of victory, as the flag flew above her.
For us, it seemed this frail, awkward, but passionate daughter, had gone where angels fear to tread, across the dark shadows into battle, bringing back with her fallen souls. When I saw her that day, I gave her a big hug, and said, "I wish I could give you a "Purple Heart."
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