The Story

I want to share a story that I have been trying hard to get out. It is a heroic tale of someone that is very dear to my heart. However, talking about it is very painful for me.

 

Last year I received a message that a friend of mine was in the hospital and was dying. I went to the hospital to see her and sure enough, she was facing the end of her life.

The whole way to the hospital I prayed. I prayed and prayed that God would bring her peace. I called my pastor, and he was unable to go the hospital with me. He had a sick child and it was his day off. Terrible timing, of course.

I wanted so badly to have him go to talk to my friend of 27 years. You see my friend was in hell. Her life was a living hell from day one. I wanted her to find Jesus. I wanted so bad for her to move on to a place of peace and love.

Adam told me to do it myself. I was so scared. I am no saint. I am not someone that thinks of myself as a saver or healer. I am just a nobody. But Adam convinced me that I was the perfect person to send my friend to be with the Lord.

So I did all the things he told me to do. I prayed with her. I cried with her. I tried to convince her that no matter what she did, she could find peace.

I am not so sure she was convinced and quite frankly neither was I.

Then the next day came.

I went back to the hospital to check on my friend. My friend had, prior to that day, had a brain bleed, she was septic, her heart was failing. She had a stroke. She was dying.

But she wasn’t.

She was up. She felt better. And remarkably, the brain bleed stopped. It just went away.

She was eating Ramen noodles.

I just could not believe it. She was doing great. So they decided to move forward with replacing the valve in her heart, since she was now stable enough to have surgery.

The next six months was a roller coaster of emotions and fighting for her life. God just showed her and I how powerful He was. He was answering prayers and bringing her peace.

She was saved.

You see, when Treasa was just a young 11-year old child she was my neighbor. I was a very young mother. She and I instantly bonded. We were inseparable. To this day I consider her to be my little sister, more than my friend.

One day Treasa confided in me. She told me a deep dark secret that her father had been molesting her for her entire life. I confronted her mother who told me she knew. She told me that Treasa told her when she was 3 years old. She said she didn’t believe her at first. Treasa’s mom also advised me that her husband had been reading self-help books to recover, since he was also a victim of childhood sexual violence.

I didn’t know what to do. I was practically a child myself. I talked to my husband about it. We both took some time to think. However, Treasa again told me he was still having sex with her and now also her cousin was involved.

I called the police.

He went to prison but didn’t serve as much time as he should have. Treasa’s mom convinced Treasa to lie on the witness stand, so he wouldn’t be punished as harshly.

He got out in 4 years. He remarried a woman with 4 little girls.

My friend, Treasa, went through life carrying the weight of her trauma. She never recovered fully.

Her mother introduced her to percocets, morphine and eventually heroin.

Her brother introduced her to prostitution. This came easily to Treasa considering what sex was to her. She easily numbed that with more drugs.

The years were hard. She was in and out of my life but I loved her no less. To me she was always that beautiful young girl.

Treasa was homeless. She was raped. She was trafficked. There was never a time of peace.

In the six months that were the end of her life, she found Jesus. God didn’t save her to keep her here. He saved her to prepare her for Him. He saved her so her children, herself and myself could come to a place of peace with this struggle that broke our hearts in two.

Treasa came to live with me. She spent that time as a sober mom to her children.

Treasa confronted her father, her brother and Jesus.

This is the story of bravery. It doesn’t sound like bravery but you have to understand the depth of control that the devil had on her. It was a battle.

She did lose her battle last June.

I was with her in her last moments. It was so surreal. It was peaceful. She just died right in front of me and all I could think about was how peaceful she was.

I could just imagine her waking up with Jesus holding her hand. For the first time in her life she was free.

Why am I sharing this story?

Because this group, going forward, will honor this dear friend of mine, and so many others like her.

Treasa is a shining example of who we represent. She is a faceless, nameless person that the world wishes was not here.

Her, and many like her, are an inconvenience to most people in the world.

We will march the streets, we will find the lost, we will feed the hungry, we will heal the broken, we will clothe the naked, we will hug the unloved, we will pray and sacrifice week after week.

A foundation is a bit over the top, I get it. But that is exactly why Soup for the Soul will now be called the Treasa Bartley Foundation.

Please join me in honoring my friend.

God Bless