Chapter Three - Seeing God In Our Friendships

Joy was a safe place to run when I needed wisdom and advice. I instinctively knew I could trust her. Finding someone with whom you feel safe is paramount. If you don’t feel safe, you won’t confide or confess. No one understands this better than Jennifer and her niece Hilary.

Hilary had a job at a radio station, was active in church, and had a very loving family and boyfriend. A baton twirler for her high school, she’s competed all her life, including the Miss Arizona pageant twice.

On November 9, 2004, her life changed forever. Hilary was in the workout room at her apartment complex, exercising and tanning to get ready for the Miss Scottsdale Pageant. She finished about 9:00 p.m., walked home to her apartment, entered, and locked the door. She went in to take a shower and get ready for bed. As she stepped out, a man who had broken in through the window put a towel over her head.

For the next 45 minutes he raped her. While she was being raped, she heard God’s voice tell her she was to forgive this man’s actions. Hilary knew Jesus as her Savior and Lord and had a peace that if she died, she’d be in Heaven. As horrific as it was, she cannot imagine the terror of such trauma coupled with not knowing where you would go if you died. Because of her certainty, she was able to surrender the outcome of what happened. The attacker fled when her roommates returned.

That night in the hospital after the police and doctors left, Jennifer stayed. Hilary slept the next couple of days and tried to reorient herself. Jennifer remembered, “Hilary’s sister saw her pageant items in the corner of her room and suggested keeping them all together in case she decided to compete in the pageant four days later.

“We all thought there was no way this girl was going to compete—it was a pretty bad assault. After a few days in a daze, she tried to decide whether to even attempt to compete. She

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