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  • Anne M

Exotic Outcast

Since my teenage years, life has been a wild ride through deep valleys and some great heights. Wherever I stood, I always felt judged. First, as a 16-year-old teenage mom and years later, when becoming the wife of a Caribbean man. I lived in a rural German town where hardly anyone ever accepted a teenage mom, nor had they ever seen a person of color marrying one of their own. Both events made me sort of an exotic outcast, but triggered me to be obsessed with becoming a successful woman “to show them” who I am. Whatever that could mean, I was not even sure.

With studies completed, I followed my husband to his home country, into an environment I had never expected to experience in my life. Leaving my parents behind broke my single-child-heart. Yet, the adventure before us felt so exhilarating! I stepped into this new world with the confidence that with my life-long partner at my side I could master anything. Together, we could surmount any obstacle we’d find on our way. We did and life was good.

Only, our relationship shattered within a few years. Mistrust, betrayal, infidelity, hatred, even violence became a reality which I tried to cover with a smiling face, masking the hurt by working day and night. Professional and financial success were my refuge to shield a broken heart, deep pains, and the loss of joy.

Then, in a twist of fate I lost it all. Separation followed by death found me alone, stranded, penniless. I had children to raise, mouths to feed. Alone.

Just when I thought life didn’t make sense anymore, the God, whom I had pushed aside for decades, brought me back to life. On my ensuing journey, I encountered people who showed me a healing path that I never knew existed. Through Rachel’s Vineyard, a healing retreat for post-abortive persons, I learned about Grief to Grace, but hesitated for a long time about attending. Then I took the leap of faith and traveled from Haiti to Minnesota.

I will always remember the day I entered the meeting room. Light-filled, bathed in glittering sunlight streaming through the wall-height windows, I was awe-struck and knew something good must be happening. It was hard work. A group sweltering with pain, turned into people with smiling faces of compassion and hope. Healing of the unspeakable and inconceivable took place in the safety of this room where the presence of the Most High was palpable. My mind and soul shifted, and life took on a new meaning.

Filled with gratitude, I remember this healing retreat so often. What a blessing it was! Never will I forget this house by the lake and this room where so much heartbreak but so much more love was shared. Every time I think about it, my heart melts with fondness.

"Seek him who can heal you and you will not be disappointed. Jesus is faithful. He will make a way where we do not see a way."
Anne M.

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