There are certain moments in life when you know without at doubt that Someone is truly watching over you.
Especially in times when you feel completely helpless and alone.
One morning last week, I was running just like I do almost every morning on a route that I’ve run plenty of times. I’m always very aware of my surroundings, but I haven’t been in many situations where I thought my safety—or my life—was at risk.
Until that day.
I crossed a street where a car was at a light in a lane to go straight, but then I noticed that same car drove past me on the road I had continued on, which meant the driver had diverted his path and turned rather than gone straight. He then turned right on a side street up ahead, which gave me an anxious feeling in my stomach. I was on my way back home and really didn’t have a different way to go, and I was hoping he had continued driving on the street he had turned on—but I was very nervous that wasn’t the case.
And, unfortunately, it wasn’t.
As I started to run past that street, I saw his parked car in my peripheral vision, and a man was walking toward the corner of the street. He suddenly spoke to me: “Excuse me! Do you see this?!” Instinctively, I turned and looked and saw that he was holding a gun. He asked me again, this time more forcefully, “DO YOU SEE THIS??!” I said, “No,” and then did the only thing I could think to do: ran like hell. I couldn’t turn onto any of the side streets, because that would be almost walking into a trap, as they are all poorly lit and seemed like very unsafe options knowing he could navigate through them easily. I crossed the street and started running in somewhat of a zigzag pattern, wondering if I was about to feel a bullet fire through my back.
And so I ran probably faster than I’ve ever run in my entire life. I don’t think that man actually wanted to shoot me, though. I think he wanted to scare me and figured I would freeze when I saw the gun. Then he could do whatever he wanted with me. Thank God that didn’t happen.
Even though I reported the situation to the police (who claimed they would monitor the area better), I’ve developed a certain hesitation anytime I step outside to run now. And my fear isn’t in dying—it’s in being taken advantage of and losing a piece of my innocence that has become so sacred to me. It’s not something I want someone to steal from me. But I also don’t want to live in fear, and I don’t plan on doing so. Even though I’ve had nightmares every night since this happened, I know that was a moment in my life when God showed up in a BIG way. And that in itself is a reminder that we don’t need to fear. Will bad things happen in life? Yes. But we don’t have to be afraid, because God’s got us covered.
I think the man with the gun had seen an easy target in a small woman running by herself in the early morning hours when there was absolutely no one else in sight. What he didn’t factor in was the One who isn’t actually seen. I’m thankful he wasn’t able to take my life or my purity that day, and I hope he’s never successful with anyone else in that regard.
I know my nightmares won’t last forever, and I know the anxiety I’ve felt lately won’t always be this high. I will certainly be cautious and aware, but I will not be fearful.
Because I know these words are forever engrained on my heart: I’ve got you covered.