Living in town was a first for me. All of my life, my father and mother had chosen to live as far out in the countryside as they could get. For the most part, I'd resented that. I was quite certain that I had been missing all the fun to be had by living 'in the sticks'.
Dad chose an apartment that was literally across the street from the High School I attended. While it wasn't in a pristine neighborhood, it was in town and I didn't really know any better anyway.
He'd rented a furnished unit, so for the first time in my entire life, I was living in what felt like a regular palace to me. All the furniture matched and was the current style. There was wall to wall carpet and even a microwave! (the first I'd ever had access to!) And best of all, there was electricity!
The TV became my best friend. Dad bought cable and I could watch whatever I wanted to see. All of this was a brand new experience to me.
There was even a heated pool in the center of the apartment complex and summer was only half over. I felt as though I had arrived.
But one bit of truth had escaped me. I still didn't have any friends. Though I was right across the street from a city school filled with 1500 students, I'd not made the kind of connections with any of them that would allow me to call them up so that we could 'hang out'.
But I didn't let that worry me. I set out to meet people right there in my new community. It wasn't long before I met Misty, a woman who, for the most part, lived alone with her two children. Her husband, Tom, was a military man and was on deployment so she was left to care for their babies.
She and I hit it off right away. It began because she was looking for a babysitter for the kids so that she could go out on the town with her husbands brother, Brett. That first night, I went over at the appointed time just in time to meet the kids, get familiar with what she had in her home and for she and Brett to take off.
But I certainly had enough time to realize that Brett was the best looking guy I'd seen in quite a while and that he clearly had some money to burn. Brett drove a very tall Ford 4x4 complete with it's own beer tap. He was a cowboy type and he was HOT! He was also 23, but that didn't seem too much to overcome to me.
That night, when Misty arrived home, we talked into the wee hours. I pumped her for any information I could get about Brett and so began my epic chase of a man much too old and much to wild for a young girl like me.
Did I mention I was fifteen? Yeah, I was.
From that point on for at least 6 months I spent every moment I could at Misty's place. It seemed like the perfect place to me. The apartment below hers was filled with three guys who loved to party and smoke weed. Her neighbor was a spunky stripper who went by Tabitha with a voice that sounded a bit like Micky Mouse and her firefighter boyfriend. We had a regular party crowd every single weekend.
I really thought I had it made. I chased and chased Brett, who, for the most part, tolerated my advances graciously but mainly just ignored me. Only once did he let me get anywhere near him, but it wasn't for lack of my trying.
But Misty and I became great friends. She was a bored young mother who resented her husbands absence and so I was a distraction. In hindsight, I think she felt honored to sort of school me in the art of being a woman. In addition, she taught me all about the use of a Ouija Board.
One night, we were bored and restless and so we got out the Ouija board to see whether we could rouse anyone. We hadn't been playing for very long when Misty asked the spirit we were speaking to to reveal itself to us. The next thing we knew, a trivet that had been hanging on the wall fell off the wall and her little girl, 2 years old at the time and watching a movie came over and looking right at me said a clear as a bell 'Here I am.'
We had not called the girl, but she was responding as though we had. In that moment, I knew that a spirit had entered that little girl and I began pulling out all the commands I could remember from my days as a Pentecostal that the spirit must leave the girl 'in the name of Jesus!'
The girl became quiet and then went back to doing what she had been before. But Misty and I were completely freaked out. We put that board away and I don't believe I ever went to her home again. I knew better than to mess with such things but I had ignored what I'd been taught and now the fear was on me.
School had started and I began instead to pour my energies into the relationships I hoped to build there.
Where was my dad during all of this? He was dating his latest girlfriend. He didn't seem to concerned with what I was doing. Since I wasn't causing him any trouble, he left me alone.
Looking back, I can see this as a time of transition for me. It was a time when I began to see a little of what I was doing and tried to make some decisions that made sense. I certainly didn't always get it right, but I think I became a lot more introspective during that year.
Thanks for joining me today and I pray your day is doubly blessed!