Blessings and Experience that Only God Can Give - More Treasures Found!
I was married twice, one marriage was for 20 years, the other for 22. In both marriages my husband wanted the divorce. I believed marriage was forever and if there were problems they got worked out though Christian marriage counseling. I won't go into all that happened towards the break up of each marriage, but as I look back I realize that clearly I was not following God's word and see how my baggage from the molestations and rape had blinded me to needing to marry both men.
During my second marriage my husband had been released from the military. We had been stationed at George AFB in Victorville, CA. He was hired on at an aircraft company in Palmdale, CA. Bout 1/12 hours away from Victorville. For awhile he commuted over desert roads and car pooled with others who lived in Victorville and worked in Palmdale. Finally we decided to move closer to his place of employment. So we rented the house we owned in Victorville and purchased another house in Palmdale.
The day we moved my husband and a friend were driving a truck with our furniture in it and I was driving in my car packed to the gills - alone. It was June. I had the radio on and all they were talking about was that June was "Child Abuse Prevention Month!" Next, facts about the town we were moving into. This town was considered the Child Abuse Capitol of the United States! Whaaaaat God!!!!!? Why are you moving me here? You know what happened in my life, you know how painful that portion of my life was, and now you are moving me to a town they call the Child Abuse Capitol of the United States!!???? I cried. All month long all I heard about on the radio was about Child Abuse and about a place called "The Children's center" of the Antelope Valley. They worked with abused children and their parents, after the children had been molested or raped by someone in their family or a stranger. Many children had been taken away from their parents for various reasons and then slowly brought back together by visitation at the center until the courts decided that the children could move back home.
I stayed at home for many months, unpacking and deciding what to do with my life. I had a full one in the other town and had a lot of friends. I worked in real Estate until the market fell and when I was putting more money out of my pocket to keep up with license renewals and MLS charges etc, I stopped selling and dropped out. I kept hearing about the Children's Center, So I decided to call them and see if they had any volunteer work there. They did. So I went down to enroll and fill out the appropriate forms and be finger printed. A month later my finger print check was back and I could start volunteering.
They started me out as a child advocated. Basically When the parents were attending classed in other room or going to therapy, Me and a couple other women watched the children and played with them. Harder than it sounds because all the children had been severely abused, raped and molested. One child a boy around 3 hadn't talked since he had been coming there a year or more ago. He would not play with the attendants or other children or with the toys. I kept watching him. One day he crawled under a tiny side table in a corner to hide. I knew what he felt like, there were time in my childhood when I would hold my breath and try to blend into the wallpaper. I was so afraid, I wanted to disappear into nowhere. One day when the boy was there and under the side table in the corner. I got down on my knees, found a tiny truck and crawled over to him. I didn't look at him, everywhere else but at him. Once I got close enough to the boy, I laid down on the floor next to him and started playing with the truck, still not looking at him or acknowledging he was there. Out of the corner of my eye I could see he was interested in my and curious and seemed harmless to him. I laid there for awhile playing with the truck, paying no attention to him, I was starting to make little truck noises as I drove it around on the floor. then started driving it a little towards him, I lifted my head and smiled - still not talking. I laid my head back down looking a little at him and started driving the ruck again with "truck noises". Then I started driving the truck towards him, but not touching him, and around him. He kept watching - I was ready at any moment to with draw the truck and move myself back from him on the floor if he began to look anxious. But he didn't. Then I asked him in a quiet voice if he wanted to play truck with me, he gave me a little smile. I rolled the truck and let go as it rolled towards him. He smiled when he caught it, he rolled it back to me and smiled again. this went on for a few minutes and then I asked him if he'd like to come out of the corner and play with me? No - but when I asked again a few minutes later, he can out and we played more. I told him my name was Linda and asked him his. He told me his name. Soon his mother came out of her therapy session and he left with her. I told the people in the office about the poor little guy and they got so excited1! That's when they told me that he had not spoken since he started coming there. God had really blessed me! He began to show me where His path was leading me.
About six months later, a new community group was formed called "The Child Abuse Prevention Council." This group was suppose to be made up of volunteers from the community. But was really made up of people close to the politicians in town. The goal of this group was to work on areas to PREVENT the abuse before it happened. I now suspect that the group was only formed because the heads of the Children's Center could not get a grant they needed unless they started an ABUSE PREVENTION GROUP. They wanted the community people to run the group, so in about six months the original president stepped down and we nominated another president, VP Secretary and treasurer.
As it turned out, I was nominated the President. That is when I first got introduced to the politics of that town! I praised God for my nomination and for winning the position, but had no idea what was in front of me. our organization was really blessed by God. We put in place classes pertaining to what child abuse was. How at some time or another we have all abused our children or another person, maybe without realizing. We had to close the gap between "THEN and US." Us not being the abusers. If we could not do that how would anyone come to the prevention classed? It would seem if you did you would be known as a self professed child abuser. God showed us how to lead our classes. How to get the word out about the classes and for those who did not wasn't to go and were to afraid to go, we had a newsletter filled with cartoons, and information about the classes and articles of information about child abuse and how it may be prevented. Most of the people in the group were Christians and we all worked pretty well together. Every Sunday we passed out information in the Foyer on the Prevention of child abuse and how to spot children that may be being abused and how to help them, who to call. God blessed us with a newspaper ad asking for someone to volunteer an office for our council which had been meeting at each of our houses. Praise God He answered. A man in San Diego saw the ad and responded. He got the newspapers from Palmdale because he owned apartment buildings there and like to keep up on what was going on. Praise God again! He had 2300 square feet of office space that he would let us have, including the furniture, computers printers and phones. All we had to do was pay the insurance on the building and ask the low income people that rented his apartments in the adjoining building to come to our classes and be given our newsletters. He confided to us that he had been molested and abused as a child and had a special heart for our cause. We were also contacted by a local TV station and two local radio stations to come on and do interviews with them about the council, which we did. The TV station even put on a 12 hour telethon for us and we raised monies to continue the program. All of this was free! We all thanked God, there was no other way but Him that this all could of or would of taken place!
While all of this was happening, I realized that God was taking the information I was learning in research for leading the public classes and working with the parents and healing me as much as we were healing them. We worked almost 24/7 at this, went to the private town council meetings with everyone there that meant anything in the town. We got to know them and began requesting funds (which in the end we did get). We began working with the head Detective of the Child Abuse section of the Sherriff's Department in L.A. County. By the second year of existence of The Child Abuse Prevention Council had assisted the Sherriff's Department in curtailing Child Abuse in the Antelope Valley almost 50%! Praise God! All of us worked as volunteers and used our own time and money for the most part to run the program.
I could plainly see how God was using my past and my experience from that past and was turning it around for good and for blessings. I was still healing and there was still a long journey ahead of me. But God was showing me the positive of the negative, He was showing me another "Treasure." I would not just live my life as a wounded victim but was rallying and helping others in God's name!