Dec 08 2017

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The Only One

The Five Minute Friday Word for today is only. Often, when I think about the word only, I connect it with a diminished self. I’m only a…mom. I’m only an…ok musician. Only means less than in those places. I know it’s not true, but it feels true. But there are times when only stands strong.

Some women in the news took brave steps to be the first, and possibly the only one, to speak the truth about their history and face the unknown response in telling their stories.

My story from my high school, years long, long ago, fills me with pride. I wasn’t the victim. Instead, I was the voice for her. I stood alone, and I’m glad for how I braved the unknown. I’m glad for her, and for me.

The Only One

The Only One

He stood up on the bus and looked left and right. He announced to everyone his evil plan and wanted everyone to join in with approval. His plan—to handcuff a girl to the bus. He spewed hateful words about her and got the crowd joining in.

I sat partially paralyzed. But my anger was brewing. This was so, so wrong. She was a friend. Even if she weren’t, this was no way to treat another person.

Wasn’t the bus driver going to stop it? Surely the adult driving the bus would do something.

The boy finalized his plan with these words, “Is there anyone here who doesn’t think I should do this.”

I stood up.

Short, little me.

A girl. An angry girl.

“I do.” I stared him down.

“I knew you would,” was all he said. He backed down.

I was the only one who did anything. The only one.

That’s a high school moment I’m proud of.

The spectator or the advocate

I’d like to say that my words completely stopped him, but that’s not the case. It often takes more than one person to stop a determined person bent on evil. But stopping evil always starts with someone willing to be the first to stand.

Stories of abuse abound. In the past, there were often people who knew what happened but didn’t do anything. Maybe they were like me and felt paralyzed and simply didn’t know what to do. How many of these women needed the spectator, or in-the-know person, to step up and stand? Each one. Each and every one of them would have had a different story had one person stood with them and for them.

Nothing can change the past, but we each have responsibility for our choices today. May we endeavor to be the advocate for those who are being abused. Let’s move from in-the-know paralyzed to in-the-know advocate.

Lighthouse for Life
One organization working as an advocate is Lighthouse for Life. They are “seeking to take steps against sex trafficking.”

The evil of sex trafficking is happening in our backyards, and we must do all we can to stop it.

What will you do?

  • Will you give to an organization like Lighthouse for Life?
  • Will you pray?
  • Will you be the one, even if you’re the only one, to stand?

Find out more about Lighthouse for Life here.




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Permanent link to this article: http://realinginlife.com/the-only-one/



  1. Karen

    Wow! What a powerful story! I want to tell you that I am so proud of you for standing up against the abusive bully. When I read the part where he said I knew you would I thought perhaps he was only brave enough to even think of doing it because he knew you would stop him. Who knows? Thanks so much for sharing. FMF #49.

    1. Cheryl

      Thank you. I don’t know about his thoughts at the time, but I hope this is a part of his story of a change in the direction of this life. I wish I knew.

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