Friday, March 23, 2018

The Promise: A True Story – Honorable Mention

December 19, 2010 by  
Filed under Monthly Articles

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“I am with you, always,” He promised me as I looked up at Him. He wore a red and white robe. He had a kind face, but He was not smiling at me. He had a look of earnest; almost beseeching me to understand that what He was saying to me was a very serious promise: He was with me always and I was safe. I then heard yelling, His face went fuzzy and my head began to spin. I was in the back seat of our family car.

They were arguing again. It always scared me so much, even though it never surprised me anymore. I wished I could see Him again. Was it a dream? “You were so drunk you passed out and knocked over the Christmas tree, you idiot,” she yelled as she continued to drive. I started to watch outside, because she kept turning her head and not watching the road herself. Even at age five I knew that it was a good idea to stay between those lines on the road. “Well, I have to get that way to put up with you,“ he fired back.

“Let’s just get through this without all the nagging for once!” They just kept at it, like a violent volley of words being thrown back and forth to each other, with the by-product of fear lingering on me, like stale smoke. I stayed quiet. ‘Please ignore me! Don’t ask me anything,’ I thought to myself. Phew! At last we were safe in our driveway. I got out of the car, ran into the house and into my room. Shoving a pillow over my head, I fell into a deep sleep. “I am with you, always,” Jesus promised. In my dream I am wrapped in a blanket that has red and white stripes. Did I really see Christ that night so long ago? That question stayed with me for years. I needed proof.

“Girl, that is a Bible verse,” my friend Shirese said when I told her about my vision one night in high school. “It’s in Matthew 28:20.” She jumped up and grabbed her mother’s Bible. Shirese never did anything slow and that girl knew the Bible. She enthusiastically navigated her way through any and every venture, so here she was, flipping through the pages. I loved her energy and spirit. “See here, it says: “…And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

“There you go. You probably heard that in Sunday school and dreamed about it in your car,” she said. My family went to Sunday school and church every week my whole childhood, so you would think I would already have known that. “Oh, really,” I asked. “It says that right in the Bible?” I was not the Bible scholar. I was more the ‘where is the party-girl’ or ‘where are the cute boys-girl’ but never the Bible-girl. “Cool,” I said to Shirese, as we left her house to go out. Still I wondered. I needed proof.

A decade later, my dad, sober for years, stood up at a family Christmas day feast. “Oh brother, he’s always telling jokes,” I thought to myself. “This man is new to the church. He sits in the ‘this belongs to us’ pew and gets the ‘leave-our-church’ look from the parishners. He sadly leaves the building. He sits on the church steps and sighs. Another man joins him and asks him what is wrong,” Daddy paused. ““I do not fit in here. I’ve been coming for weeks and I never feel welcome,” answered the man.

“Oh, don’t despair,” said the second man. “I’ve been coming here for years and I am with them, but still they refuse me.” Dad continued. “The first man said, “I’m sorry. Uh, I’m Bob. Good to meet you.” He then asked the second man his name, and was answered with, “Well, I am Jesus Christ.””

Daddy winked at me. I smiled. Some cracked-up, mama nodded and others sighed. Fathers are excellent at finding proof. Now here I am, fifty years old this Christmas season. My folks and I have grown-up. It must have been difficult to be teenaged parents and raise a feisty, vision-seeing girl like me. I no longer question if I saw Jesus that night. I know on that Christmas night long ago, He made a promise that helped me get on with my life: He is with me always.

Bridget Buchanan Broihahn

Mrs. Broihahn is a mother to Brie and Brian. She works for the Mahomet-Seymour School District in special education and is a freelance reporter and photo/journalist for local newspapers. She has two doggies, Chewy and T-Bone, and loves to garden.

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