Julie was her usual effervescent self, giggling at something her friend Hanna texted as she opened her laptop. She pulled up Face Book ready to catch up with all the news of the day. Her face morphed from its customary smile to a look that resembled the pain she felt. As she stared at the screen she felt as if she had been punched everywhere at once. She could not believe what she was seeing. One after another the messages were filled with epithets, vile suggestions, and charges that she was a whore, pure filth, worse than a dog, and on and on. She was warned not to show her face in school the next day if she knew what was good for her.
The devastation eclipsed her heart and her soul. Her depression was such that she could not eat or sleep or even pray. She would not come down to dinner, she skipped youth group at church and skipped school the next day. Julie felt totally alone lost, who could she go to? The things on Face Book that were now coming on her E-mail were even worse than at first. Boys started to write her describing unspeakable things they would do to her because she “wanted it.”
She finally dragged herself down Friday night after her father threatened to break down her door if she didn’t open it and join the family. The sorrow and brokenness she felt was evident in her dull, tangled copper hair, her pasty complexion, lowered eyes, and down turned mouth. She sat at the table, a broken child. She would not look at anyone and they had to put the food on her plate. Mom had made her favorite, spaghetti. She did try to sip some water. She desperately needed the water, her lips were chapped and cracked.
Julie just sat there, her heart and spirit breaking. How could she tell anyone such horrid things? Now she was getting phone calls that told her she was a waste and the world would be a better place without her. Why didn’t she just die. Messages came across her computer; DIE, JULIE DIE!
“Julie, honey, won’t you try to eat just a little? You must be so hungry.” Mom coaxed.
Julie’s downcast head barely nodded and she picked up her fork and tried to take a small amount of the pasta. She choked and gagged. Mom jumped up.
She started to sob at the table, Chris, her older brother, left unnoticed, and went up to her room. He opened her computer and as he read what she had been subjected to, his anger exploded.
“Dad! Dad! Come up here, quick!” Chris called, fury in his voice
As her dad read the messages on Face Book and then on her email, then they listed to the voice mail on her phone and the text messages everything became clear.
They called the police and their pastor. They would go to the school the next day.
Pastor looked everything over and sat down in a corner of the living room with the broken girl.
“Is this why you skipped Youth Group Wednesday night, Julie?” he asked gently
“Uh-huh.” She sobbed.
“Julie, do you know that you are none of the things that those children wrote?
“I-I guess,” a dejected and dispirited Julie hiccupped “Some of them must be true, so many people said them.”
“Julie, look at me,” Pastor said. He waited until he held her gaze. “You are none of those things. Satan has targeted you to hurt you. Are you going to let him win?”
At that her head snapped up. Julie was not one to turn down a challenge, or to accept defeat when it was thrown in her face. That indomitable spirit was still inside her and it reared up. “This is from Satan?” she asked incredulously.
“You are the very opposite of those words. I do believe that this is a demonic attack; you have been on fire for God and it has been catching. I think Satan was very anxious to quench that fire in your soul.” Pastor responded.
“Do I have to go back to that school? After what they wrote?” She dreaded the thought of seeing those kids again. If they would write such awful things what would they do to her face. Fear swirled in her belly.
“You know, God talked about that. In Proverbs He called such people fools. In Romans 12: 19-21 it says not to take revenge but to do kindness to them. You will heap burning coals on their heads and they will be convicted. They will be made the fools and you will store up crowns in heaven. You let your heavenly Father take care of these kids, Julie. You are blameless. You can return to school when you are comfortable and hold your head high.”
“Would you like to do something right now that will help you heal from this attack?”
Julie nodded enthusiastically. The sooner she could begin to put this behind her the better. She was taken aback at his next words.
“Let’s pray for them.”
“Pastor, you want me to pray for the people who said these horrible things?”
“What did Jesus do after they had beaten Him and nailed Him to the cross?”
“He asked His Father to forgive them.” Julie said quietly.
“So He set the example for us, don’t you think?” Pastor asked?
They bowed their heads and began to pray. Julie started praying and those prayers were led by the Holy Spirit. When they had finished Julie’s heart was lighter, the joy she had had was sneaking back.
“Mom, can I have some of that ginger ale you mentioned?” Julie asked. “Come to think of it, I am starved, can I have some spaghetti?”
It was a couple of weeks before Julie returned to school, but she returned with a stronger conviction of her faith and maintained her joyful effervescent demeanor. She had given a horrible situation to God and He had healed her.
Her parents finished the police reports and contacted Face Book. The next day they were down at the school and had a meeting with the principal, Assistant Principal, and Guidance Counselor. Students were pulled out of class, and the steady hand of justice prevailed.
Julie did see a psychologist with regard to her experience, but she found her greatest help was with God.
Parents: This is a fictional story. Usually things do not turn out this well, this quickly. All too many precious young people have been driven to suicide because of the vicious words and actions of their peers or others. Monitor your child’s cell phone and computer. You will not be popular for doing it but it is for their own safety in more ways than one. Protect your child, your teenager. Remember, Privacy is a teen’s enemy.