The Taste of Eternal Hopelessness, the Story of Zabrina.

18 Nov

I once had a friend named Zabrina.  She was one of my best friends for nearly two years in my days of darkness and fear.  She was a unique lady, around my age, intelligent, lonely, afraid with a searching heart.  Her essence was heavy with self-hatred, for she radiated with darkness…shivering with the shame of a constant secret.  Her character changed from day-to-day, as she was trapped by her many disguises.  The mirror her greatest enemy, she deeply loathed her own existence.  You could see it.  There are many people in the world like Zabrina.  Self-conscious people who live in the frantic drought of not knowing God’s presence.  Who search for water, even though they cannot see it and don’t where it can be found….yet they search…still.

She was a nice girl who wanted to bring “peace” to the earth, but peace is something she never understood.

Zabrina lived in a small town near my own in southern Indiana.  Very often, I found random rides to her house so that we could hang out, get high, write poetry, listen to blasting music and exchange ideas on, “The purpose of life.”  We often wondered who made us and why we were on planet earth.  Yet, we were deprived in every way.  We didn’t know God.  We were dead people in our hearts and souls.  In my days of darkness and fear, I was an evil person filled with unrighteous anger.  Nothing about me was good, for in man, there can be no good apart from the redemption and transformation of Jesus Christ.

I made a terrible choice with Zabrina…oh terrible.  How shameful.

Zabrina really liked a guy named Joseph.  She was “madly in love” with him for years and years.  However, Joseph and I began to hang out on a regular basis and in our deprived and disgusting minds, we began to date.  Zabrina was furious and began to spread lies about to me to many people, including Joseph.  Of course, Zabrina was kind to me to my face.

When I learned of Zabrina’s behavior, I was full of sinful rage.  One day, when I was walking around the small town where Zabrina lived, I was with a group of my friends and saw Zabrina from a distance.  In the filth of my selfish mind, I ran after her and I loudly shouted horrible and humiliating curses.  I wanted to embarrass her in front of all of our friends so I chased her down the road.  I called her many grevious names and threatened her, even her life.  Zabrina, who was much smaller than me, in a panic, ran quickly to her house.  But I kept yelling, chased her to her front door where she quickly ran inside.  I stood outside her front door banging for quite some time.  I yelled with endless threats and terrible curse words until I finally walked away.

That night, I wrote a terrible email to Zabrina.  Zabrina and I were both poets so we were  creative with our words.  With my poetic and corrupt  mind, I wrote her a very long, intense and evil letter.  I have never written such cruel words to any person as I did then.  I told Zabrina that she was worthless, that she was the worst of all of creation and that she had only one purpose in life: to die as a result of her worthlessness.  I went on and on about how much I, and everyone she knew, hated her.  How shameful of me!  Oh, what a wretch of a person I was!  I truly lived in disobedience to God in my deprived state.  How terrible, how shameful, how disgusting and my poor friend…how could I?

About six or seven months later, God called me by His grace into fellowship with Himself through His Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ.  He gave me a new heart, He renewed my mind through His purifying Word.  I repented, I turned away from my old self and sin.  He called me to Himself and He brought my soul back from the dead.  He gave me a new life….and He enabled me to forgive.  I must forgive or I will not be forgiven by Him.  He is worthy and He is good.

I thought about Zabrina a lot after I was baptized and I wanted to contact her, although I didn’t know how.  One day by random thought, I decided to look into her email account (she gave me her password sometime ago because she wanted me to check something for her and I remembered the password.)  I opened her account and saw emails she had recently sent but I saw one saved message, so I decided to open it.

The saved message was the horrible email I sent her.  “What?  Why did she save this?”  I wondered.  Let me tell you something, people tend to hold on to things that they believe, be that bad or good.  Zabrina likely saved that email because she believed the words written in it (my assumptions).

About six months later, I actually got to see Zabrina!  I worked a night shift at a factory and had just gotten off of work.  My friend, Jeremy, gave me ride home and stopped at his house to get a few things.  And behold, Zabrina was there, hanging out with some friends!  I saw her standing on his front porch, even though it was nighttime and I could only see her outline.  I was so happy to see her, for I wanted her to see me as the new person God made me and finally, I could apologize and share the Good News of Jesus Christ!  I was so happy that I wanted to cry.

As we got out of the car, I walked with Jeremy to his front door.  There was a large group of people hanging out on his front porch so I couldn’t get to Zabrina right away.  When we came inside, I quickly walked to Zabrina and she said, “Leah!” and she gave me a hug.  I was so surprised.  She was covered in makeup and seemed quite nervous.  She did not look me in the eyes but asked how I was doing.  Oh, my heart was overwhelmed with sorrow for the things I did and said to her and I wanted to embrace her to tell her how sorry I was.

“I am doing really well, Zabrina.  My life is very different now.  How are you?”  I asked.  I wondered if I should go ahead and apologize and begin to tell her how Jesus saved me but I could tell that Jeremy was in a hurry to get me home.

“Oh, you know, just been hanging out and having fun.”  Said Zabrina, as she played with the ends of her shirt.

“Oh, maybe I shouldn’t apologize right now, there are tons of people everywhere and Jeremy is in a hurry to get me home.”  I thought to myself.

“Zabrina, can we please hang out sometime?  I really miss you and would love to spend time together.”  I said to Zabrina.  She agreed and I gave her my phone number.  I did not hear from her after that because I moved to Joplin, Missouri, about a month later to attend college…but something horrible happened.  Worse than I could have imagined.

About six months later, I was doing a summer internship with a missions camp in southern Indiana when I received a random phone call from my sister.  She told me some terrible news…

“Leah, do you remember your friend, Zabrina?”  She asked, with a shaking voice.

My mind began to race, “Yes, of course, why?”

My sister replied, “She died yesterday.”

Shock numbed my face and my eyes immediately began to water.  In a panic, I frantically asked my sister what happened to Zabrina but my sister did not know. I quickly called Zabrina’s life-long best friend, Sarah.  I asked her what happened and she gave me horrific news.

Zabrina came home one day, wrote a long letter, put the letter in a jar.  Then, Zabrina lied on the couch, put the jar on her stomach and shot herself in the head.  Her mother came home to find her.

Oh the horrors of the earth…an earthquake in the eternities when her blood was shed!                                          

Oh, tears have drenched the sun…and all grief enclouds her broken head.                                                                  

The greatest sadness she approached…with a raging mind and heart.                                                                            

Oh, my friend, Zabrina, where did you go?  You have lost your second start...

It was a sad day and a sad period of time for many.

I went to Zabrina’s funeral a few days later.  It was dark and horrible.  Zabrina was cremated and on a table sat her ashes.  I saw pictures of Zabrina, my familiar friend whom I would never see again.  I saw pictures of her wearing clothes that I regularly saw on her.  I saw pictures of her, with her usually messy hair, fake smile and empty eyes. I walked around and looked at the many pictures and I cried very hard.

I saw her mother, whom I knew so well, sitting there and repeating words that didn’t make sense, “I feel Zabrina, she is here.  Her soul is here….all she ever wanted to do was help people!!!!!!!!  She was a good girl!!  ZABRINAAAAAAA!!”  Her mother wept loudly, gripping the hands of those around her, unable to fully express her grief.

As you see, those who live in the frantic drought of not knowing God’s presence, make up their own hope and it is false.  They have dialogues with their imaginations as their souls thirst for the living God..searching for water though they do not know where it can be found.  And with all the rejoicing inside of my frail body and alive soul…I can say, that Jesus is the living water.  He is!  He is!  He is!

I saw so many of my old friends, sitting on the floor, sobbing.  I said hello to some of them but they were in no mood for conversations and quite honestly, neither was I.  I sat down in one of the seats available and I wept very hard.

A man stood up and spoke for quite some time, but I don’t remember what he said.  However, there came a time when one of Zabrina’s friends stood up and read the letter that was found on Zabrina’s stomach.  Why they read this letter?  I do not know.  The letter was filled with this angry message: “I hate myself and everything in this world.”

Oh my heart was torn.  She died only to receive that which she had sown during her short life.  A life of sin, disobedience to God and hatred.  Now, she will suffer forever in her drought…a dry place with no light and no hope….hell.  Oh, a glimpse into eternal hopelessness and the darkness that rules this world.  Time is so short, and we must not waste it.

I cannot remember all that Zabrina’s letter included but it was beyond disturbing.  The funeral was short and I did not talk to many people, for everyone seemed to be in a daze of grief and shock that separated them from reality, and it would for some time.  You know, death does that, for the mind of man was never created to embrace this unnatural separation called death.

I walked away from the funeral, dumbfounded and sad.  My friend was gone.  No time to apologize to Zabrina, no time to give her the Good News that would set her free from Satan’s eternal grasp, if she were to accept it.  No time now.  It’s over.

How do you face the hopelessness of the soul of one who is forever gone?  You grieve and you praise God for His justice, and you grieve, nonetheless.  I also had to forgive myself for my own cowardliness and selfishness of my past life.  I even wondered if I had something to do with her suicide but I will never know.  I must forgive myself and press on.  I often think about Zabrina and I grieve deeply.

My God is faithful, just and He is so good to those who fear Him and hope in Him. I love Him and I pray for many people who are in Satan’s eternal grasp, like my dear friend, Zabrina.  We must press on, press on and press on.

That is the story of Zabrina.

My glory, my treasure, the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

14 Nov

One hot afternoon when I was 18 years old and homeless, I was wandering the sidewalks of a small town near my hometown. In my days of slavery and bondage, I was addicted to huffing silver spray paint and I was usually so high from it, that I often, unknowingly sprayed it all over myself. I also had messy dreadlocks and I rarely wore shirts or shoes (yes, I walked around topless all summer.) I was up all night and spent that entire morning huffing paint. I had it all over my face and hands, although I did not realize it until later.

On this particular day in this small town, two of my old child-hood neighbors happened to drive by. They drove by once, turned around and drove by again. The second time they stopped, rolled down the window and with an appalled look, one of the young ladies asked me, “Whoa, Leah? I barely recognized you. What are you doing? What happened to you? Don’t you have anywhere to go?”

I laughed with a slow and tired laugh and just said, “Peace, man. Everything is cool in my world, what about yours’?.” The young ladies did not say a word but just rolled up their windows and drove away shaking their heads.

As I watched their car drive away into the busy street, I laughed at myself and the silly response I gave them. Then I began to look down at the ground, as I always did in those days and I wondered…

I squinted my eyes in thought as I felt the burning torch of shame and loneliness. I quoted one of my poems, “Loneliness is the face of my heart. The stars alone can see my face….for I was born alone without a place….a homeless soul from the start….”

I nodded my head as a means of encouraging myself. I walked on as I thought about the embarrassing incident that had just happened. I couldn’t believe those girls, who had known me since I was eight years old, saw me in this kind of state. I was so ashamed of myself and I wondered what would become of my life……

Now, let me tell you something. There exists a place on planet earth that I have hated. To me, it has been my hell on earth. It is a house in the woods of southern Indiana It exists next to a beautiful pond, kind neighbors and a familiar gravel road. It is the house where I used to live, it is the house where my mother was murdered. And in the years after her murder, I spent many days and nights in that place, lamenting loudly, having nightmares and getting high with my friends.

I do not like going there and I find great comfort in knowing that I live very far away from it now. Every now and then, I will have nightmares about this horrible place where life was so dark. Oh, how God has saved me….

I came to know the Resurrection and the Life when I was 19 years old. Oh yes, my treasure, my love, my Lord, Jesus Christ, the worthy one, the one whom the world has been waiting for, for so long. I came to know the Resurrection and the Life when I was 19 and He has done so much in my life, I will never be able to fully explain His mercies. I just give Him my life in tearful gratitude, thanking Him every second, every hour, every moment, I love Him….He loved me first and forever, I weep with thankfulness to the Lamb that was slain. I love Him, I love Him, He is my treasure and I will do anything, anything, anything for my Love. My good shepherd, my good shepherd, He is wonderful…

Anyway, since I have known Jesus and His life in me, I have had many dreams from Him. He has chosen to speak tenderly to me in such ways. Let me tell you of one dream in particular:

I had a dream that I was walking down the gravel road that leads to the house where my mother was murdered. In my head, I knew where I was and I knew that I didn’t like it and that soon, I would see the house, the place that I hate, the place where my mother died.

In my dream, it was pouring down rain so hard, that I could barely see anything. With my head tilted up, lifted to the skies, I was singing very loudly sweet praises to God. I was filled with heavenly and inexpressible joy! My voice was much louder than it could ever be in my life! My hands were lifted high and I was skipping, laughing and dancing as I made my way down the road to where my mother was murdered, “My Father is here with me! He is here with me! Haha! My Father, my Father!” I sang to God, like a child dancing in the sunlight unaware of the troubles that surround her.

Suddenly, I saw my child-hood neighbors drive by. They drove by once, turned around and drove by again. The second time they stopped, rolled down the window and with an appalled look, one of the young ladies asked me, “Whoa, Leah? I barely recognized you. What are you doing? What happened to you? Don’t you have anywhere to go?”

I ran towards their window, stuck my arms inside and wrapped my hands around one of the ladies’ faces and I shouted, with tears of joy covering my face, “Ah! Don’t you see? I have been resurrected with Jesus Christ! God saved me and He has done marvelous things in my life! And don’t you wonder these things to yourselves, for the Lord has made me a new creation! I am not ashamed, I’m alive!” I laughed loudly, let go of the woman’s face and stood back, while the girls rolled up their window and drove away.

I continued walking, skipping, dancing down the road and singing louder than ever to my King. I thought to myself with the deepest satisfaction in life, “How could I ever be ashamed or fearful again?”

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4 Oct

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