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White Vans

Several years ago, I was responsible for opening the medical facility where I worked. I’d enter the rear entrance every morning at 6am, turn off the alarm, turn on the lights, and make coffee in the lounge for the medical staff.  One dark morning as I pulled into the parking lot, I noticed a large unmarked and unfamiliar white van parked in reverse near the dimly lit back door.  

Alone and suspicious, I decided to wait in my locked vehicle. Thirty minutes passed and the van did not move. My shoulders sagged with relief as staff began to arrive and I quickly entered the building with my arm looped through a bewildered nurse’s elbow.  As others arrived, the van roared to life and drove out of the parking lot.

To this day, I still feel a little traumatized by this incident even though nothing actually happened. But the questions haunt me. “Who was driving the van? Why was he parked there? Was he watching the building, or worse- me? What if I had gotten out of my car, would I have been harmed?”  I will never know any answers but to this day--- anytime I see a large white work van, I feel uneasy.

Some days, it’s like this with my religious trauma, too.  Maybe it’s a church, or a minister, or even an old hymn. These triggers will always be a reminder of my trauma but I also recognize my past cannot hurt me in the present.  My future is what I choose it to be.  And I choose my own path towards healing—the one that has just enough illumination to help me find my way to the one true Jesus.

 Joshua 1:9 (NIV)  “…for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

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