Have you ever ignored the little gut feeling that tries to warn you not to do something? Well, darn it; I just did that and as the day continued, the warning got louder and louder and louder!
Thanks for joining me today for Coffee Hour with Chicklit Power and Monday’s Mantra with Trench Classes United. Please, come on in and get comfy for a true story, from my heart to yours that actually may take us to Wednesday’s blog as well.
I was pretty tired this particular morning and by the time I was dressed and ready to head to my deposition in Temecula, I had made a decision: beginning in two weeks, I would no longer work more than one day a week; I would trust God to meet us in our financial needs and hunker down as we prepare to launch a program that will truly help others live more transparently, love healthier and laugh more. Oh, how many times have I said I would do this? I groaned aloud as I loaded my car and got the dogs situated.
But I mean it this time! Sound familiar? Oh, thank you, Abba, for your grace that out-waits our unfulfilled promises to you and to ourselves. I asked Him to help me be a light to someone in that room today.
Looking back on the day, there were actually plenty of warning signs of a tough road ahead. For starters, I’m not sure how it happened, but my GPS sent me on a crazy hunt for my location. I mean it had me going on and off the freeway and what felt completely out of the way and instead of being early enough to be calm, cool and prepared, my equipment set up and a job dictionary built, I arrived with only 10 minutes to accomplish all of that. Talk about hot flashes running down my back! But it doesn’t stop there.
As I’m getting set up, I turned my computer on and it’s telling me “Preparing updates; 30% complete; don’t turn off computer.” WITW? (What in the world?!) And then just like that, it let me into my court reporting program…and then proceeded to freeze! At this point I had only five minutes to be ready and waiting for counsel and the witness.
To top it off, when I finally took a moment to look at the caption and let it sink in, I groaned – to myself of course, as I realized we had a minor in the witness chair with a claim of molestation by a teacher. As I was frantically trying to get my computer to cooperate – ever have one of those moments? – I invited God into my frustration and literally offered up some honest-to-goodness begging! HE HEARD ME!
I was ready to go by 10:01, thankful, trying to put the previous warnings behind me and focus, focus, focus!
Within the first hour, I could tell that this witness had definitely been molested…but the teacher wasn’t the first person who had molested her. When I hear cases like this, it confirms my knowing that dysfunction is a cycle, whatever flavor, and is cross-cultural, non-denominational and worldwide. Don’t get me wrong; I don’t keep the cases stored up in me, allowing their truth to weigh me down; but I do use this information for others good and His glory.
Several times the witness and her counsel had to confer off the record – which means we stop and they go outside and chat. No big deal; I begin editing my transcript so there’s less to do at the end. There were some questions that you could tell that while she may not have been lying, she was trying to be very careful with her response as it was a tricky question; and then there were others that she just flat-out didn’t get. To top it off, she is an African-American high school student with lots of Ebonics and once fired up, wow, all I can say is my fat fingers were all over that keyboard and my machine was smoking as the speed indicator kept flashing. They actually got up to 310 words per minute!!!
Towards the end of the day, as we tread on the waters of this witness’ promiscuity, her attorney asked to confer with defense counsel outside. I was totally a proponent for this girl, but as the case began to unfold, I began to realize she has been a troubled child since grade school, and the teacher was not the only contributing factor. In fact, when a jury hears her case, her promiscuity may deter them from the facts, from the root of it all, but is really a symptom of it all. Oh what a complicated web of dysfunction that I long for the world to understand.
I’m not sure what came over me but in the first few minutes that both attorneys were out of the room, I took the liberty – I could get in trouble for this – to begin talking with her and at the risk of incriminating myself, let me just say, it was a pretty powerful conversation and as I said the last thing, I returned to my computer screen and the door opened and the attorneys returned; I breathed a sigh of relief, and we went back on the record.
By the time we finished for the day, I was pretty wiped out. I sat in my car for a moment, allowing the air conditioning to cool me from the inside out, shaking off the oppression of the case, and then pressed my destination of home. I didn’t even give it a second thought, just expecting it to take me home the right way, not the long way.
I began to return phone calls and it wasn’t until I had been on the phone for a while, that I realized I had followed the voice on GPS and gotten off the freeway. But WITW Why? Unbelievable! It took me home the same way we came and I’m still perplexed as to why. So what should have taken about 45 minutes turned into an hour and 45 minutes! Needless to say by the time I got to my next mistake, I was pretty wiped out! Have you ever noticed that one mistake often leads to another?
Join me Wednesday for part two of this blog where I will share something that I am still trembling about, and probably will every time I think about it. What comforts me is I know that I know that He was there at the beginning of my mistake, and He certainly met me in the midst of another one.