Jessi stared at her Bible, sadness and grief etched onto her face. She whispered tearfully, “Where are you, God? Who are you?” She hadn’t expected an audible voice to answer, but she had hoped to feel something. Think something. Want something. “How can I know who I am without you?” But there was nothing. A curious and thoughtful child, Jessica Alley loved God, her mother, siblings, and learning. She feared her father. She thought her childhood ended at ten, when her mom died in a car accident. She quickly set to work caring for her four siblings. She was happy to do it, because it would keep them together. Jessi never expected to become a secret child bride on her thirteenth birthday. She knew her brothers would kill him if they found out; knew they would be sent to juvenile detention; knew she and her sisters would be placed in foster care. Unwilling to lose them, she learned to hide it. She had to protect the ones she loved. Teaching children at church, feeding the homeless, tutoring in math, and learning two foreign languages with her best friend were very useful distractions. She couldn’t be a virgin, but almost perfect, anyway.
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by Joanna Hope
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by on October 01, 2016
- WestBow Press, January 2013
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