Not As It Seems Chapters 33-37

Chapter Thrirty Three:

I was grateful Gina had not held the way I acted before against me. I did not want to hurt her, but I was trying to protect her. I could not tell her that, but I think somehow she might have known. Gina was not one to hold a grudage anyway which was just one of the things that made her such a great friend. I was grateful for her support I was grateful for the support of all the people in my life.

Lord I do owe you thanks for the good things in my life. I understand that, and I understand that you love me just as I am. Sometimes though Lord I struggle and thinking of what is happening to those children makes me struggle even more. I know I should not let this shake my faith but I am going to get throught this with you I know that.


“It’s okay Justine, and when you are ready to tell me what has really been going on I will be ready to listen.”

I can’t tell you anything.But I did not say that, I just nodded in agreement, and went on to tell her about singing at the hospital for the sick children. Something she readily agreed to. I had no doubt she would.


When I got back from Gina’s that night, I found myself once again opening my Bible, this time to Romans 1: Praying the words of Paul would give me comfort and ease the fears I was feeling. I was still afraid to close my eyes in this apartment and their were still reminders of the damage that man had done.

Romans 1

1 Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God— 2 the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures 3 regarding his Son, who as to his earthly life[

“I’m sorry Gina, I have been incredibly busy, I haven’t meant to be so snappy.”

a] was a descendant of David, 4 and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power[b] by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. 5 Through him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from[c] faith for his name’s sake. 6 And you also are among those Gentiles who are called to belong to Jesus Christ. d] that I planned many times to come to you (but have been prevented from doing so until now) in order that I might have a harvest among you, just as I have had among the other Gentiles. e] just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”[fa] in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought. 11 My brothers and sisters, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. 12 What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas[b]”; still another, “I follow Christ.” cdd]: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet[e] did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. f] because he will save his people from their sins.” g] (which means “God with us”). The children seemed genuinely interested in the story, even the children in my class, and for that I was grateful. Because I wanted them to understand that more than anything Christmas was not about presents or gifts, but about celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior. The children who were well enough went into the play room with us following behind, so we could share in cookies and punch, some of these children were to sick to enjoy the food, but they were enjoying the company and that was equally important in my mind.Reading about praise and thanksgiving helped some, but I still needed to ease my heart. Thankfully the next morning we’d be going to the hospital and singing for the kids as well as passing out gifts. I knew that would help keep my mind off things.The word did bring a measure of comfort as it always did, but I was still struggling, still battling with the what if’s.

7 To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be his holy people:

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul’s Longing to Visit Rome

8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world. 9 God, whom I serve in my spirit in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you 10 in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you.

11 I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong— 12 that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith. 13 I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters,[

14 I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish. 15 That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are in Rome.

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. 17 For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last,[

God’s Wrath Against Sinful Humanity

18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.


What if this man came back?I tried once again to focus on the class project and what we were doing with that, because that was a much brighter prospect than sitting around thinking of the darkness. The evil of this monster. I knew Jesus did not call us to live in fear, but here I was terrified.

What if he went after my parents? After Gina?

What if he hurt his kids more?

Why was I letting myself be ruled by the what if’s?


Focus on the project, all the good kids are going to do.I was proud of the children and all they were doing. I knew that children had a special way about them. No wonder Jesus invited the children to him. I could not help but smile when I thought of all these second graders were doing to make a difference, and I was grateful for that. They were going to go far in life if they kept up with the giving spirit. I wanted them to understand that Christmas was more about Jesus’s birth then it was about the gifts we received. Jesus gave far more than he received and I wanted the children to understand that concept. A hard thing to teach in a secular classroom, in a secular school but it was a lesson I felt was important.


I knew that what I was teaching could get me fired, but I did not feel that was right. America was founded on the freedom of religion but lately it seemed that was true for everyone but Christians. I could not just sit by and do nothing. I was not trying to shove anything down there throats, but I wanted to show them of Christ’s love, and what Christ’s birth was truly about.

Lord why have we strayed so far from your truths? Maybe if we hadn’t these two little girls would not be going through this? I can not understand how anyone can abuse someone the way their Father does.I could never understand evil like that, no matter how hard I tried, and I was not sure I would want to if I could. Children deserved better than being abused, beaten, even killed.


I could not imagine the pain Kristine must have felt before she died. Thirteen years old and killed by her own father, the other children left to wonder when they were next. I had never met Kristine, but I grieved for her, because of Helen and Heather. There Father had not only stolen her life, but the innocence of the entire family.

Lord how can everyone believe this mans lies? How can everyone think he is so good and pure, when he is so evil? Are they blind to what’s happening or just afraid to speak out? I don’t know Lord, I just don’t understand why this kind of thing happens. I don’t understand why children become the victims of such evil.I was trying hard to focus on the positive, but Helen and Heather’s faces kept popping into my mind. The way they always wore those coats, the fear in their eyes. The terror that was written across their face whenever they were around their father. If I could see this, why couldn’t anyone else? And why wasn’t someone looking more clearly into the claims? I did not want to come to school one day to find out the monster had killed his children. He had done it before who said he wasn’t going to do it again? I did not trust him and did not think others should either.


I wanted to talk to someone about what was going on, but I felt I could not. I knew Gina would listen, but then she would be in danger as well. I could not relax because the image of those little girls or the damage done to my apartment and my things, and the threats would come back into my mind. I knew deep down that this type of fear was the enemy at work but I was having trouble letting it go. If I was feeling this much fear I could not even begin to imagine what kind of fear those children were giving.

The man had five more children at home, and somehow they had to be taken away. I just felt that nothing was being done. If I was able to I would have taken them away myself, but that was not possible. Still something had to be done, but what?

Lord I need to figure something out to help these kids. I wish these people would listen to me, but I guess their Father has to many hands in to many pockets. He’s a well known Christian Novelist, and he makes a lot of money at it, but I can not believe the lie he is leading. Lord if he truly followed you he would not hurt his childrent he way he does would he? I know you love children and would not do anything to harm them.

Chapter Thirty Four:

Justine I would not be here without you. I can’t believe I am almost through with my degree, next is passing the bar.


Chapter Thirty Five:

“Gina do you ever think about what it will be like when we meet Mr Right and get married?”

“I do often. I wonder what it will be like to have a family too.”

“Everyday I wheel myself into that classroom I think of those kids, and I dream about what it will be like to have children. I dream about being a Mother, but I am not even sure that’s possible.”

“There’s nothing to say you couldn’t adopt.”

“I know I guess I am just over thinking this.”

“I know one thing you would make a great Mother.”

“You would to Gina.”

“Thank you.”

I did not even remembered how the discussion started. We were supposed to be talking about when we were setting up for the children and Gina to go to the hospital and sing. My second grade class was looking forward to singing to the children in the hospital and were talking about getting their allowances or asking for donations to bring Christmas to those kids, between that and the work at the homeless shelter, these children were all doing well with this project.

I was proud of my little class, but I could not always protect them.

My mind kept going back to that fact. I had to stop focusing on that, and start focusing on the postive.

“Gina do you really think I would make a good Mother? Sometimes I feel I can’t even protect the children in my class.”

“Your job is to protect them when they are in your care, no one not even a parent can protect a child from all the bad in the world. That is why we need faith and Jesus.”

Gina had a point there. I knew not even Mothers were always able to protect their children from all the bad in the world. It was something we longed to be able to do, but we could not.

Lord help me to understand that it is not always my job to protect everyone. You are the one who can do that, we are merely human and you are the Lord. And if you do bless me with a family show me how to best raise them, and to show them your love.“Sometimes I feel like I am doing my best to protect them, while they are still in my care, but I fair. How do I protect them from the monsters when they go home to them?”


“The sad thing is Justine, you can’t always protect them.”

“I know I wish I could, but sadly that’s not reality.”

“I know, we want to do our best to protect the children in our lives, but sometimes we can’t.”

“I know.”

Lord help me to help these children the best way I can. I don’t want to see these children hurting but sometimes I feel at a loss as to how to help them. I can’t stop all the evil in the world, but if I can’t stop this aren’t I failing in some way? I don’t like this feeling Lord.“Justine you are doing everything you can. Don’t question your ability as a teacher?”


“I’m trying not to.”

“I know you are, but you are beating yourself up over this.”

“I just want to do the best I can for these kids.”

“Justine you are doing everything you can to help those kids, no one is going to accuse you of doing anything less than that.”

I wish I had felt that way myself, but for some reason I could not get over feeling I should do something more. I felt that more could be done. I wanted to help more of these kids then I was doing, although I was doing everything I could to help these kids it still did not feel enough.

These children needed to be protected and I could not do that. I could do a lot of things. I just needed to have faith in myself and I needed to stop thinking that it was my job to take on the world. It wasn’t my place to do that, but that didn’t mean I couldn’t make a difference.

I’m trying Lord to make a difference to do what I can to help these children. I can not do it alone though Lord, I need your help through this. I need your support. I can’t travel this journey alone. I can not help these children without you Lord, and the others you bring in my path to help them.I was truly proud of working with these children. They were good kids, even Kyle was making great progress. They truly wanted to give back, but I was saddened at the fact that we could not help some of our own. Two students, two students in my class needed protecting and I felt like I was failing at that. It was not a good feeling.


I tried to be the best teacher I could be. How could I feel positve when children’s lives were at stake? I knew the Lord was in control, but I felt out of control because these children were not being helped the way they should be.

I was tired of feeling like I couldn’t do enough to help these kids, something had to be done. Otherwise Helen and Heather were going to become another statistic like so many others, and these children were not just numbers of tragic circumstances, they were children, who needed loved and caring. Something they were not getting at home from their parents. There Dad was abusive and their Mom was there physically but not mentally. It had been that way since the oldest daughter had been killed at the hands of their Father apparently.

No father should treat their children the way this man did.

No family should have to bury their thirteen year old daughter.

And these children certainly should not be living in fear of them being next.

Something had to be done.

These children should not live in fear like this. No one should.

I wanted to cry just thinking about it.

Instead I turned to my Bible hoping to find comfort in the words of the Lord.

1 Corinthians 1

1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes,

2 To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be his holy people, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ—their Lord and ours:

3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.


4 I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. 5 For in him you have been enriched in every way—with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge— 6 God thus confirming our testimony about Christ among you. 7 Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. 8 He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

A Church Divided Over Leaders

10 I appeal to you, brothers and sisters,[

13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul? 14 I thank God that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 so no one can say that you were baptized in my name. 16 (Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don’t remember if I baptized anyone else.) 17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with wisdom and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.

Christ Crucified Is God’s Power and Wisdom

18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written:

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; 
the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”[

20 Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22 Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”[


Chapter Thirty Six:

“Remember these kids are sick we have to be careful not to have germs on us, and we need to do our best to cheer them up.”

“I know Miss Kimball.” Renee said. “When my cousin was in the hospital we had to make sure our hands were extra clean and we had to be extra quiet so that she could rest.”

“I am sorry to hear your cousin was in the hospital Renee.”

“She’s all better now, she had to have her tonsils taken out.”

“I’m glad she’s better, but some of these kids are really sick.”

“They might die?”

“I don’t know Renee, we just need to be careful.”

“Okay teacher.”

I was thankful to have Gina with me. She and I had both spent a lot of times in the hospital. We knew some of the rules, but we weren’t as young as some of these children at the time of our accidents. And we weren’t as sick as some of these kids were. It made me sad to think that some kids had to suffer like this, but then there was far to much suffering in the world. Everytime I looked at Helen and Heather I realized just how much some kids suffered.

I could not focus on that today, this was about cheering up the sick kids in the hospital, the way Renee and the rest of the class had suggested. This is just one of the things they wanted to do to give back, and I could not begrudge them of this, by bringing everyone down.

Lord help us to create some good memories for these kids and the families members that are here. And bring comfort to the ones whose family members can not be here. And to the ones who are to sick to leave their hospital beds, please bring them comfort and healing.I was going to do the best I could to help these children and to keep my mind off things, and I knew Gina’s beautiful voice, and the voices of these precious children was going to help cheer some of these kids up. At least I could pray it would. I was also praying that it would bring them some kind of relief, allow them to feel like normal children again.


I could remember how badly I felt being in the hospital after the accident. How I felt disconnected from the world from my friends, from some of my family. My Mom and Dad were always visiting, but it was still hard. I knew it was hard for them to, when they went home at night without me. I could have used children like this then, but I had Gina to help me through and my faith. Though at the time it was shaky to say the best. The accident had shaken my faith at first, but I knew deep down the Lord was still there.

I heard Gina’s voice as she sang Silent Night, and I felt like I was sitting next to the baby Jesus. All those years ago in that far away Bethelem town, on a starry night. I prayed that some of the children were being touched the way I was. I listened to as the children in my class sang, and was surprised to hear Helen and Heathers voices, they had beautiful singing voices, but they were afraid to use them, hear amongst other kids they were not though, maybe it was because these kids had suffered, not in the way they had, but suffered just the same. I did not know, but I was glad to hear them both singing.

Lord this is the way it should be children’s voices lifted up in your name. Not sick children, but childrens voices lifted up in your name, children not being afraid to sing your praises. And certainly not children being hurt by the people who are supposed to care about them. Children deserve far better than that. I know you have a special place in your heart for children, because we are all your children, but some of us stray and I know that breaks your heart Lord.I was glad to see the children enjoying themselves, and feeling good about what they were doing. Gina felt good too, and I did as well. This was all part of something we should do more often. I was beginning to see that, and I was also starting to see that though some of these children were sick their hopes and dreams still remained strong. Many of them wished simply to get better, and I could only pray that would happen.


I wondered what it would have been like if someone had thought to to do this kind of thing when I was in the hospital. I may have been older, but I was still a child in many ways, and the accident had made me feel alone. Still I could not dwell on that, things had turned out for the best. I was hear now, teaching, living my dreams. The accident may have taken the ability to walk away from me but it certainly had not taken my ability to dream. If I had allowed that to happen that would have been my fault, not something the accident had caused. I understood that now.

I was grateful to see these children not letting others differences get to them. Because they knew that though some of these children might be sick, they were still kids, they still wanted to know they were loved and cared for, and they wanted to do things other kids did. When it came down to it these children were not all that different.

The children passed out gifts after they finished singing and we even read the Christmas story from the Bible. I was thankful that these children were at a hospital that had that aspect of healing as well, a Christian hospital, that believed in the power of the blood. I felt that would give them more hope than anything else really.

Matthew 1:18-24

18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about[

20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus,[

22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”[

24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.


I knew that these children needed to know others cared, and I was amazed to see Helen and Heather interacting with some of these children. It was a big difference, from the withdrawn frightened kids, I saw in class. I felt in the way the Lord was answering a prayer, now if he could only get these kids away from their Father, and get the Father in prison where he belonged. This man was a monster he certainly had no right to walk free and be able to hurt his children and perhaps others as well. I felt bad thinking about the fact that this man had gotten away with this this long.

I was afraid one of these days Helen and Heather may end up in the hospital, or worse.

I had to start thinking about other things though, this was about celebrating Jesus’s birthday with the children in the hospital, not about mulling over this. I could do that later. For now the children were safe, I had to look at it that way or I would go crazy.

I found myself once again concentrating on the good we were doing, and I was feeling good about it, because the kids were feeling good. We were doing something postive to help these sick children. I was glad for that. I had a reason to celebrate, and I was going to do just that, by letting the joy in my heart.


Chapter Thirty Seven:

I could not help but feel something eerie when I locked my car, and headed to my apartment after school that day. The day had been good, the kids had all enjoyed helping cheer the kids up in the hospital. I knew these kids felt good about what they were doing and I did too. We were doing something postive and that was a good thing.

Still there was something eerie in the air.

I had heard the term smelling danger, now I was beging to see what that meant.

Lord help me I don’t like this feeling I am getting. Protect me dear Lord. I love you and I appreciate you. You have been so good to me. I need your protection though.I hated the feeling of fear, the kind of fear that paralyzed you, and left you unable to act. That was the feeling that I was getting. The kind of fear I was feeling at the moment. I could not let the fear paralyze me though or I was going to place myself in more danger.


I didn’t know what was making me feel this way, or maybe I did.

I was almost certain it had to do with Helen and Heather’s Father, that monster of a man. Who did nothing but hurt his own children.

This man is dangerous and he’s allowed to care for his children, how can this be? He killed his own daughter, who knows how many others he has killed?I found myself trembling in fear, as I got closer to my apartment. Something wasn’t right, my door wasn’t locked. I always locked my door. I would have been crazy not to. With all that happened I always made sure to lock the doors. I was not going to put myself in more danger than I already was in. But nothing was full proof. I was beginning to see that now.

How can everyone be so blind to the monster that he is?


The only thing I could be certain of was that no matter what happened the Lord would not leave me or forsake me. He was in control. I had to remember that.

Lord I know you are in control help me through this.A few seconds later something or someone grabbed me and everything went black.


I had no idea how much time passed before I woke up. All I could feel was the fear that was eating me alive. The kind of fear I had never experienced before.

Lord I am in the hands of a killer, one who killed his own daughter help me, protect me.I did not understand at the moment what the Lord was saying. I wasn’t thinking clearly, I was being held against my will.

My child things are not always as they seem.


Maybe he didn’t kill his daughter…I could not quite comprehend what the Lord was saying. If he had not killed his daughter, why had he taken me? Why was he out to destory me?


Maybe he feels you were out to destroy him.I could not help the fear I was feeling. I just felt so trapped.

If he hadn’t killed Kristine who had?

The Mother isn’t well.

Why would the children blame their Dad?

Maybe they were told to do just that. Maybe it’s not him they are afraid of, maybe it’s their Mother.

Am I really this wrong Lord? Am I here because he is trying to prove his innocence? Or will he hurt me to protect his wife?


But what if I was wrong?

What if I was pointing the finger at an innocent man?

Things aren’t always as they seem.“I’m sorry if I have been wrong about you, but why are you holding me against my will?” I asked this man, the man I had believed was a monster. Now I saw hurt in his eyes, nothing but hurt and pain. Had I really mistaken that for hate?


“I tried to help her I couldn’t. I have never hurt any of my kids.” The man said, His name Kevin. He was a good man. He had just made some bad decisions.

“I’m sorry. I was wrong about you, but you can’t keep me here forever. I have a family, I have a classroom of kids who need me.”

“I know and right now my children need you.”

“What do you mean?”

“I can’t keep them here anymore, she might hurt them again.”

“Your wife, she killed Kristine didn’t she?”

“Yes. She’s not right, hasn’t been in a long time.”

Someone has to help him. Someone has to help her.“Please tell me you will take the kids and keep them safe.”


“I can’t just take them.”

“I’ll talk to my lawyers, they deserve a Mother who cares. I can’t care for them alone. I am going to go to prison for covering this up, and she’s going to go to some mental hospital. I should have put her in one after the twins were born, if I had Kristine might be alive today.”

Lord is this really your will for my life? Was I brought here for this? Am I meant to care for these children? If I am give me the courage to do this.

Was I crazy entertaining the notion, being a teacher was a lot different then becoming a mother to five over night?

You’ll do great Gina, I know you will.

I hope so.

I know so.

Gina had come along way. We both had. The accidents that had nearly taken our lives had not broke us. That was only for the Grace of God I understood that now. I understood a lot more than I had, those first few months after the accident. The Lord had been busy showing me that though things may not be exactly the same as they were that things could be good.

I knew we owed the Lord everything, including thanks for the facts we were friends.

I needed a best friend and she needed me and the Lord knew that.

I was blessed because of it.

Gina had worked hard to get where she was at. Worked hard just to prove to others that just because she was in a wheelchair did not mean she could not function. She had worked hard to regain some use of her arms and hands, and I knew though she struggled still with somethings, she was independent, and would lead a full life, just as I would. The Lord had blessed us with that gift.

I had a lot to thank the Lord for, and I was glad for that. I was not going to take for granted the Lord’s blessings. I knew Gina would not either. We both understood how precious life was, and how each day was a gift.

We had survived accidents that had nearly killed us. It gave us an appreciating for God’s Grace, because he had allowed us to survive and had brought us together through something that could have been far more tragic.

Finding out I would never walk again had been hard just as I knew it had been hard for Gina, but we were alive. We were living our lives. It was something worth celebrating, something worth praising.

God still worked miracles, and we were living proof of that. So why was it so many people still doubted God?

Justine, thank you.

You are welcome Gina, but you did the work.

You supported me.

You did for me too.

That’s what friends are for.

I know, and you are the best.

Thank you. But I think you are the best.

I could not help but smile. Talking with my best friend, being there for her, watching her succeed. It was all an answer to prayer. I knew she still had the bar to pass, but she was going to make it. I had no doubt about that.

God had placed this call on her heart and now she was answering it.

She was going to help those who needed help.

I knew the Lord was going use her in a mighty way.

He was using me too.

I just had no idea to what extent, not at that moment.

I would find out though. I had no doubt about that.

In the meantime I was just going to do what the Lord led me to do.

I had already made it through my first two years as a teacher. I was doing well with the kids in my class.

But I had no idea the challenges I was about to face. Or how they would change me forever.

I had no idea that a child I had never met would break my heart.

At the moment though I could only think of one thing. Gina’s success and I knew she was going to soar, because the Lord had placed that on her heart.

The Lord was using us in mighty ways, and I knew it was to him we owed the thanks.

I knew Gina knew and understood that too.

She was the one who had helped me when my faith was shaken. When I was about to give up on myself, when I was experiencing doubt, and in turn I had done the same for her.

That’s just the way our friendship worked. The Lord had blessed us with that kind of friendship, and with the determination we needed to get through.

But for the Grace of God, there Go I…

God’s Grace had carried us far, and it would continue to carry us.

I for one was thankful for that


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