A staggering story from Jen Edney….
6:30 am I walk out into the kitchen to start a pot of coffee and can sense something is not right. The energy in the room felt dark and deep. My friends had been up all night talking, one looked at me through eyes full of despair in trying to help and the other looked at me through checked-out eyes and asked, “How do you do it everyday?” It was a heavy question and I felt the depth of the importance of what I would say next:
“Faith, Forgiveness, Gratitude and Guardian Angels.”
This week is usually a reflective one for me every year and this year I was asked to dig much deeper and share a part of my story that I haven’t shared very much. Feb 14 is a day that I was given a second chance, it is a day I survived. The visions always come back every year and the feelings even stronger.
I wake up in the darkness. I am in the water, helpless, I can’t move my body. A man picks me up from under my shoulders setting me on the boat, darkness surrounds me as he silently walks away. I wake up the next morning where I should be, my clothes are wet and I can hardly walk my body hurts so bad. My head hurts, I reach up to touch it and find two bumps on the back of my head. I go to the bathroom and notice huge bruises on my inner thigh. I can hardly lift my leg and my whole body feels strange. February 14th, while many are focused on what flowers they are going to get or planning dates with their loved ones, this is the vision that plays over in my mind and the feelings that come back. That is the only memory I have of the day that I was drugged, raped, badly bruised and nearly drowned 10 years ago.
I was halfway around the world, away from any family and close friends, while working on my first adventure story. I needed to leave on a ship to get to my next destination, one of the most remote island’s I’ve ever been, to continue working on my story. I had booked a place to stay before arriving on the island and when I arrived there I realized it was too far inland so I asked if there was any place closer to the water I could stay. The lady rang her friend and drove me to her friends Bed & Breakfast.
When I walked into the room, I sat down on the bed I looked up at the wall. Tears filled my eyes as I stared at an image I had never seen before other then my bedroom wall. The image is of a guardian angel watching over a boy and a girl on a bridge. My uncle gave it to me and my twin brother when we were born. He died 6 months later in a car accident. I’ve always considered him my guardian angel. When I looked up and saw the image on the wall, I knew everything was going to be ok. I feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude to be where I am.
After my physical wounds healed and I had some time to process everything, I realized I had two choices: go back home or continue on with the story. I decided to continue, hopped onboard a 30ft catamaran with two other crew and crossed the Atlantic Ocean. I had never sailed or been offshore before. I got my ass kicked many times, I was sea sick, I was scared, I was humbled and I was mesmerized.
Throughout that two-month journey, with many nights alone with my thoughts on watch and many miles after that, I was able to transition my thoughts and energy from “Why did that happen to me?” to “Wow, I’m so lucky and grateful to be alive.” I went from being angry, emotional, lost and sad to forgiving, thankful, faith-filled, passionate and resilient. It was through my faith and trust in God and experiencing the fury, the calm, the beauty, the mystery of the ocean and discovering the power of forgiveness and gratitude that changed my perspective, saved me and ultimately brought me home. Credit photo as Edney Epics https://www.facebook.