When did you know you were lost?” he asked.
Kendra smiled wistfully at his question, as she answered, “I really didn’t know I was lost, until I was found.” At Greer’s quizzical expression, she continued, “Whilst I was growing up, my mum used to tell me about God. Then, with her next breath, she’d curse and damn me, in His name, while beating and bruising me. It left me wondering what kind of God this Father of Jesus was.
“I figured, if I couldn’t measure up to her standards, how could I measure up to this God she claimed to serve? And if He was really all-seeing and all-knowing, then how could He ever love me, knowing the rage I carried inside, that could spill over in an instant?
“I grew up being told I was stupid and good for nothing. My mum and my stepfather told me that I would never amount to anything, and I believed them. Now, if my own parents thought I was worthless, how could I expect God to feel any different about me? Therefore, I chose not to think of Him at all, you know?”
Nodding his head, Greer reached for her hands. “I’m sorry, Kendra. I had no idea.”
“No one had any idea what my life was like. My folks were very well respected in the burgh where we lived, and I was the troubled daughter they were saddled with. No one knew or even cared to know about the bruises and scars I bore, nor how my stepfather used me as his personal whore.
“I left home in Sutherland, when I turned eighteen, and moved south to Berwickshire, and I can tell you, I never looked back. I started as a dishwasher in a restaurant there, working hard and never complaining, and I studied the chef and the sous chefs working to prepare the meals, thinking this was something I could do. Then, I practiced the recipes that I saw them do, at home, and, I got really good at it. I lived in a bed and breakfast, and when they saw and tasted how good my cooking was, they allowed me to stay there rent free, in exchange for cooking the meals for their guests.
“Shortly thereafter, I got a job as head chef at Ravensdowne Hotel Restaurant. I was overwhelmed at the respect they had for me and my cooking. Yet, while I was grateful for all that, something was missing. I needed something more, but I wasn’t sure what it was.
“’Twas three years after I left home, that I got a letter from my younger brother, John, who said that our mum was doin’ poorly. I remember I went to the beach by the River Tweed to read the letter and try to clear my head. I was devastated by the news, and as I sat there by the seashore, I dropped my letter on the sand, and wept like a helpless babe, for several hours, till I had no more tears left, or so I thought anyway.
“On the one hand, I wept because my relationship with my family was so fractured, and I dreaded going back to a family that had treated me so abusively, and bore no love or respect for me. On the other hand, I wept for fear of losing my mum. For no matter how she had mistreated me, the little girl within me yearned for my mum’s affections.
“As I sat there on the beach, weeping and pondering, my situation, I was suddenly enveloped with a peace that I can’t describe. My circumstances hadn’t changed, yet I was no longer fearful of what was to come. While I sat there marveling at my new found peace, I heard a voice speak softly to me, though there was no one near, ‘Come to Me, you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you. Let Me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.’
“In that instant, as I heard Him speak to me, I felt like a lost and lonely little girl whose Daddy found her, and swooped her up into His arms of Love! Ever since that day, no matter where I’ve gone or what my circumstances are, I’ve never been lost and alone again.”
Cheryl A. Showers