Prologue for "16 days and Two Head Counts"
My New Years Resolution:
1. Get my life back so that I can be of greater service to the Kingdom of God!
When the Lord first moved me to begin writing again, I had a lot of fear. I wasn't sure how I could be used in such ways while I had an outstanding warrant for my arrest hanging over my head. While I knew once I presented my case, my chance of being found not guilty were excellent, facing a jury of one’s peers is never a comfortable position to find one’s self in!
I had been praying to the Lord to expand my territory and asking Him where I was to serve. I thought perhaps I was going to travel out of the country as He had placed me in a home on wheels just a couple of years prior. I had even gone as far as checking into what all I would need to do to obtain a passport. I quickly realized I would never obtain a passport with my outstanding warrant.
While moving to Florida, actually moving onto Mike’s mother’s property, and turning myself in was the last thing my flesh wanted to do, I knew it was time I faced the music and got this little bit of history officially behind me.
The last time I had lived in Florida, we were not welcome at family events. There was a rift in the family and Mike and his brother were not to be in the same place at the same time. On top of that I could never shake the feeling that Mike’s mother was not happy with his being with me.
As we began to make arrangements to come live in Florida, Mike’s mother assured me she was beyond all our history and she apologized saying she had found Christ and was a new person. She assured me there would no longer be a rift in the family and that the issues that had been in place before were no longer a problem.
As it turned out, that was not true.
The original plan was for me to finish my last class and then turn myself in. God seemed to have another plan. We were in Florida for less than 5 days when I realized we were on shakey ground. We had given Mike’s mom $500 for rent as agreed and had put $200 worth of groceries into the house, when Mike’s mom faked a seizure. Mike had originally planned to go visit an old friend that evening and his mom insisted if he didn’t come straight home to help her since she had just had a seizure that we were going to be kicked out!
I was floored by the whole ordeal. The security I had been promised by her was not looking all that good at the moment. I was worried about leaving my children in her and her roommates care as I had already witnessed how unfairly my children were treated compared to Marie’s other two grandchildren. I might have questioned whether or not I was imagining the difference if it wasn’t for the comment one of my nephews made regarding it all.; “We have been here all along, you guys just showed up.” Patrick explained when one of my children had commented that it wasn’t fair that his grandma bought special drinks and treats for his cousins and not the rest of her grandchildren.
One week before Christmas, we were informed that we needed to have our RV off their property by December 27th or they were having it towed. Due to a letter I had written at the end of October less than 15 days after we had arrived in Florida ourselves, pleading with their landlord for an extension regarding the eviction letter they had received on 10/27, they had been given 2 1/2 months free rent. Even though they were off the hook for rent, they felt like we should continue to pay to live with them! When we said we would be willing to chip in on the difference in electric, but didn’t see why we should continue to pay $500 per month towards rent when there was no rent due, Mike’s mother stated that the free rent was their blessing but it didn’t change our agreement!
Things got really bizarre at Christmas. Mike’s mom called me to say that she didn’t have a lot of money for presents this year. She claimed she wanted to get my children something but since there were so many of them anything was going to cost a lot. I told her it was okay, they were getting plenty of gifts from the school as it was and that Christmas wasn’t about gifts. She continued to say that she felt bad and wanted to get something. That is when I reminded her how much they loved the Wii Mario game that belonged to their cousins. Since she had purchased it for David and Patrick, my children were not allowed to play it unless the cousins were visiting. I suggested that she simply buy that as a group gift and they would be thrilled. I had prepared the children as always that Christmas was not about gifts and I reminded them that their grandma was on hard times. I told them that she only had enough money to buy their cousins gifts so to not expect anything. Imagine my surprise when their father had multiple packages under the tree and our children had nothing. Even worse than that, when all the gifts were opened, Mike’s mother asked if any of them had opened the Mario game. When it was discovered that no one had, her roommate said, “Oh bummer, well it was under the tree, it must have gotten lost in the wrapping paper mess and ended up in the trash.” Marie, Mike’s mom, chimed in claiming that must have been the case. I am thankful that my children know when to keep their mouths shut.
When we went back to our RV, they asked me why their grandma had lied about buying a gift for them. I told them I didn’t have an answer for that. I suggested that we all needed to pray for her instead of being insulted by her lie. To make matters worse, Marie continued the lie the next day suggesting that maybe someone had entered the house through the back door and stolen that one gift. I had to stop the insanity and quickly said, “Marie, a thief would have taken all of the gifts not just one. Don’t fret about it. I will make sure they get their own game with the gift card I was given.”
Christmas came and went and Mike and I still did not have housing in place. I threw out a post on facebook asking for all prayer warriors to pray over our situation and that is when a girl who had purchased several copies of my first two books, offered a solution. We ended up moving off of Mike’s mom’s property on December 27 as they had insisted we do. When we were pulling out, Mike’s mom threw herself around him and began bawling like a baby. I reminded her that we were only going up the road, not leaving the state. I still had no idea who would watch my children when I turned myself in or how any of that was going to take place. I was leaving it up to God. This was Saturday.
On Monday, Mike called me from work to let me know the US Marshall had shown up to his mother’s house to arrest me. We both wondered how on earth they even knew I was there, weeks later, that would become obvious. I was a fugitive of justice as it turned out and there was a $1000 reward on my head for whoever turned me in!
As that news hit me, I knew that the time for me to turn myself in was quickly approaching. I did not want to be caught and shackled; I wanted to settle this without my children watching me get arrested.
Mike’s mom and her roommate suddenly had a change of heart and again offered to take care of the children while I faced the music. They both promised they would not be cruel to my children this time. I really had no choice. I could not enroll them into school where we were and I couldn't take them back to their old school without being arrested. It was arranged for me to head back on the 1st of January as Mike had the day off and I would turn myself in.
We knew my bond should be set at $5000 and everyone assured me, they would bond me right out even though I had said again and again that I did not want to feed the beast. I believed I would be incarcerated for approximately 60 days. I was going to request a speedy trial and as I mentioned I was sure I would be found not guilty of my charge when all was said and done.
I drove back to Mike’s mothers with the children in tow praying the entire way that I would not be stopped and arrested. When I arrived, I said my goodbyes to the children and headed off with Mike to turn myself in. The closer we got to the jail the more nauseous I became. I kept reminding myself that God had me. Even with that, I was silently screaming in my head, “What are you doing Wendy?” I mean who on earth drives 3000 miles to turn themselves in on a non-expiditeable warrant? Me. That’s who!
When I met the US Marshall, he thanked me for turning myself in and then asked me the weirdest question. He wanted to know why I had moved off my mother in law’s property. I knew she had talked to them so I had assumed that she had explained that she had insisted we get off her property. As it turned out, she had actually told him we didn't have to move until the 15th of January and she didn't think it was right that I was trying to run from the law. He kindly reminded me if I somehow managed to post bail and did decide to run that bounty hunters would be after me this time especially since he was setting my bond at $20,000 instead of the courts recommended $5000.
I was stunned and simply began tearing up as he asked me if I wanted to make a phone call. In what seemed like slow motion, I followed him to the phone and dialed up Mike. When he answered I informed him that my bond was set at $20,000 so it looked like I would be staying longer than we had thought. He stated he had just found out that information himself and then he asked me, “What on earth did you do?”
In a daze, I stated, “Exactly what I told you I did.”
He promised he’d get a hold of my dad and get me out, but I knew in my heart that was not going to happen. I had thought I was going to spend some time in jail when we made the decision to travel to Florida. It was as if God had prepped me for it. You could go as far as to say I had resolved myself to the matter.
As I have told a few people already, I would have paid for what I got in my short stay. It is my prayer that you are touched by my story and become a partner in the ministry that God has expanded on my heart.
Watch this video for a brief announcement of what is to come!
Watch this video for a brief announcement of what is to come!