We were always a close family. We do what needs to be done so Dylan was packed up and made the trip to the Outer Banks.
I'd like to report that it was easy. I'd like to say "I fixed her." But truth be known she got detention on the very first day of school! My own three daughters while we had our normal mother/daughter conflicts had never equipped me caring for a girl struggling the way that my niece Dylan did.
In the first few weeks we did have successes. I was tough on her I admit. She was required to use an alarm clock to get herself up. I allowed her one reminder wake up from me. She had to have her bed made, be dressed and have breakfast finished and ready to walk out the door when I left for work.No exceptions. If there was any infractions she would have to go to bed one half hour early for each infraction.
At night after homework was done and dishes were washed she would lay on the sofa with her head in my lap so I could play with her hair and she would talk. It was a really sweet time.
But still she had so much anger and fear and distrust.
One morning when I was home and she was at school I knelt down by my bed to pray for this sweet angry child.
God spoke clearly to me "Get a pen and paper and write this down." That had never happened to me before so I obeyed quickly. I have this paper tucked away but it being 11:30 PM I will summarize now the words I was given to write down.
"Mark this day.How does it look to you now? I tell you the day will come when I will reach out my hand to Dylan and she will no longer strike out like a wounded animal." It was actually a lot longer than this but these words of prophecy ended simply with "Tell Dylan I love her." And yes....these were words of prophecy. I knew it that day. I was sure that they were not my words and I was confident that the day would come when Dylan would be healed.
After about two months things were calmed down and it was time for Dylan to be back with her parents. I'd like to say that that was the happy ending.....but it was not. Things were ok for a time but as she got older her problems got bigger.
My beautiful niece went down the road that so many go down and she became a heroin addict with all the horrors that that word entails. The addiction was crushing her and crushing her family. I hated what was happening but I knew for certain that the promise of God would be fulfilled. I clung to that and shared it with her mom as the only encouragement I could offer in this nightmare.
Abraham and Sarah waited a long long time for God's promise to be fulfilled. Sometimes it seemed that maybe it would never happen.
Over the last five years we have all watched Dylan's life unfold and have seen how truly magnificent our Father God is. In her healing not only does Dylan not recoil from the hand of God but she is being used as the hand of God to others who are now living in pain and in fear that she knew so well.
Today she posted that she and a friend had started a street ministry to the homeless. She has gone through the legal channels to be able to distribute Narcam for those who battle addiction.
The Bible says "He that has been forgiven much loves much." I would like to think that it also would follow that "She who has been healed much, heals much."
While this may seem to be the story of a little girl gone wrong, gone right. I'ts really a story about a Father who keeps His promises.
"We love because He first loved us."