The Shrine

This is part two of the "Chasing Joy" blog series that will take you through the journey of one family to rescue their daughter, and walk alongside her in her healing journey.

“Joy” had run away a couple of times before. They were always rushed and stemmed from her not getting her way or having an agenda I didn’t know about. She would take a few belongings with her but never very much. This time was different...

I remember feeling sick to my stomach as she was downstairs in her room packing. She told me she was going to go and I didn’t fight her. I knew it would only make things worse. A “friend” came to get her and all of her belongings were moved out.

After Joy left, I went downstairs to her room and expected to find a mess. Like most teens, her room was always in disarray with clothes all over the floor and dirty dishes lying about. But this time she had left it meticulous. Her room looked like a shrine. She had her bed neatly made, pillows in an orderly fashion, books neatly stacked on the bookshelves, her high school award plaques and the big banner she’d just received from State Golf Regionals hanging on the wall. I knew in my gut that this was it. I lost it. I started hysterically crying and wondered how the heck had we gotten to this place? I thought to myself, “I won't let anyone stay in this room. Ever.” I felt like a Mom who was treasuring her deceased daughters’ memories.

I honestly thought I’d never see her again. I would often go into her room to sit, cry, and cry some more. That room was all I had left of her. My heart would beat out of my chest and it was in these days when my alcohol crutch became a problem.

#SexTraffickinginAmerica #EndIt #everyONEmatters #DemandAnEnd #SafeHouseProject #ChasingJoy #MothersJourney