subject line: I don't hate you.

 

tempe, arizona

To the man whose name I learned from the police report,

I was 15. I couldn’t even drive yet. You wandered into the women’s restroom, went into a stall and waited for me come out. I was washing my hands as I felt an uneasiness build up in the pit of my stomach; a feeling of I was being watched. I looked up into the mirror and saw you behind me. You were kind and apologetic, I was naïve and too trusting. In that quick moment, I verbally forgave you. Then a moment later you were saying and doing things that a man should not ever say or do to a 15 year old girl. You took something from me that day, and every day since then I’ve had to fight to get it back. Sometimes I wonder, what life would be like today if that had not had happened? Would I have trust issues? Would I not be as afraid? Would I not always feel like I’m being watched or followed? Would I not feel the need to own a handgun? Would I not have walked away from the church and my relationship with Jesus when I was 20 years old? Would I enjoy physical touch like I once had? Who would I be?
I will never have answers to these questions, and I’ve come to terms with that. I worship and serve Jesus, whose blood was shed to heal, redeem and restore anyone who so chooses Him; and I have. Every day He is making me new, renewing my mind, my heart and my soul. He uses my brokenness for good, and I have been able to witness that firsthand. My hope for you is that you choose Jesus too. He loves you so much, and it’s because of His love that I am able to say that I don’t hate you. I love you and I forgive you, because He first loved us.

I hope that your life is blessed by The Lord.