How I Met Sam Part 23

After having some family reading time, I commented to Mom - 'Hey, we've never been up THIS early for Church - we're even ahead of schedule!' Since we had planned to be at church (oh, and set up everything, unlock the building, play piano etc.) we decided to proceed as planned. I guess Sam didn't want to feel left out and would be rather lonely laying in bed at home, so he came too.

It's kind of an odd feeling when others walk into church and nod and smile and say, 'How are you?' and you just witnessed a brutal stabbing/burglary all night. What do you say, 'Oh, we're fine, NOW.' Or do you say, 'I had a rough night.' Or do you say, 'Do you REALLY want to know?' Or, 'I've had better days...'

Anyways, halfway through church Sam didn't feel so great and had to lie down. So when church was over we took him home and let him rest. Sam, still being very self-confident decided he still needed to return to China for work that day and so around 5 p.m. we took him to the train, all stitched up and wounds bandaged and sent him back.

After a morning of work the next day, he didn't feel so great so they told him he had to take a couple days to rest and recuperate. He said that the worst wasn't the stab wounds, but the skin burns around his neck where they'd tried to strangle him. And all his muscles were sore from the fighting.

I mused to myself, 'First night in our house and he gets stabbed. Guess I won't see THAT dashingly handsome man ever again.

You could say I experienced full blown post-traumatic stress - which would be normal given what I'd seen and experienced. I struggled a lot. I couldn’t sleep. Fear was a big problem for the following weeks and months. I didn’t eat hardly anything for a week. Fear has a nauseating effect on the body. I slept 2-3 hours a night. Each night I was sure 2 of the thieves that escaped were coming back. Any little sound I was sure was them trying to break in. Since I had been the ‘rescuer’ I felt it was my role to stay alert and ‘save’ everyone if it happened again. I would doze off then jolt myself awake because I was sure I needed to be alert to call the police if necessary. The fear each night was ever present and I had so much to think through and process to bring my heart to peaceful acceptance before I could sleep.

Perhaps some of these fears were irrational, but at the time I could only imagine the worst. Every night I faced a night of turmoil, of needing rest but getting none, of lying awake but tired, too fearful to close my eyes. After many nights like this I began a process of each night walking through in my mind what the worst could be – that we’d be attacked and I’d be brutally killed. And every time I ended that mental scenario in the presence of Jesus. And this was the only way I could conquer that fear – knowing that if the ‘worst’ was to happen, it would really be the best, because what could I want more than to be in heaven with Jesus? Every night I considered my (what seemed very real) soon coming death. Each night in order to go to sleep in peace I quoted myself scripture, entrusted myself to the Lord Whom I so longed to see anyways, and pushed my anxiety onto Him. This was the process I went through for many months.
We needed to install security bars on the windows and doors, but it would take a few days before this could be arranged. I ended up on the floor of my parents' room most nights. I did this every night for the first week.

Every night the fear and stress got worse and I started to feel the whole trauma was taking me over. Indeed it was to some extent.

Link to Part 24


  1. Sarah, thank you VERY MUCH for telling your story so authentically! I do think that "My Story Part 23" and therefore "My Story Part 24" may well be a part of your story that REALLY helps a LOT of us! SO many of us, probably ALL of us, have painful, traumatic parts of our stories that NEED help also! Thank you for being REAL with us, in our "Common to Man Journey"!


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