My Soul on Trial Chapters 9-12

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Chapter 9

I was now a junior in High School. So much happened in that year - my parents unexpectedly had my baby sister, whom my sister Sam and I had to help take care of.

It was now June and I only had a couple of weeks left of school. My cousin Travis, who is just a couple months younger than my sister Sam, came from South Dakota to visit sunny California. He has been with us for about a month now, and was now on the plane to go back home. Travis and I were best buds and I was sorry to see him leaving.

I had an itch to get out, away from all the responsibility that my parents placed on Sam and I to take care of my little sister. So, after my parents and sisters were in bed, I packed all of my things, took my parents credit card and car keys.

I had told one of my friends that night of my plan, and he said that he could help pay for the trip, if he could be allowed to join me, so before heading out of town with my parents car, I picked him up about a block away from his parents home.

I watched as my mom awoke to get ready for work the next day, unaware of what transpired the night before. Then as she was ready to leave, she reached for her keys in her purse and find them missing, confused she looked around the house for them. In her last attempt before asking my dad for his set so she could get to work on time, she went to go look in her car to see if she locked them in the car by mistake.

I could see that fear struck her as she realized that her car was missing, and watched her run into the house.

"Vince, Vince, the car has been stolen!" I heard her yell up the stairs to her bedroom. I watched as both of my parents got angry as they realized that I was gone and the items I stole.

I turned and looked at the devil, and he was pleased with himself. Even though he didn't bring us here, he knew that his was another nail in my coffin, so to speak, and that I was going south with him.

Then everything paused, and the Lord spoke to me, "You took off, taking things that didn't belong to you. Then the car broke down and because you couldn't fix it, you abandoned it. Your parents tried for months to find you, but their trail went cold when the car was abandoned and they had to pay to have it towed home from two states away. They couldn't track you by the credit card because they canceled it as soon as they discovered it was stolen. Your mother and sister prayed every night for me to keep you safe and bring you home to them. Your father, even though he wasn't a believing man, wished that you could come home, but feared you laid in a gutter dead."

I watched one of these nights the Lord was speaking of, as he was telling me about their pain and worry. I watched my mother down on her knees, with tears streaming down her face as she prayed, "Lord, please watch over and protect Eric. Lord, you know his difficulties and his habit of bad decisions; I pray that you will help him make right choices. Lord, I also pray that you will help us bring him home."

"I feared that they wouldn't want me after I did what I did. Even after spending months in South Dakota in the cold, I tried everything to stay warm instead of swallowing my pride and going home. I never did reach my cousin's place, so I couldn't go there" I replied.

Just then, we were at a familiar street. It was snowing, just like most South Dakota winter days, the shelters were full and I got kicked out of the bus depot. I watched myself walking the streets, in attempt to keep warm, when I came across a house that was boarded up with a foreclosure sign in the yard.

 "Thank you Jesus, a warm place to sleep!" I said to myself.

Then I watched myself walk around the back of the house, knocked off some of the boarding and broke into the house. In attempt to familiarize myself with the place I turned on the lights. I used some of the boards that I broke off and managed a small enough fire to keep me warm and managed to fall asleep.

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