A mistaken raid by Chicago cops sent me on a long path toward redemption.
February 21, 2019, was a typical cold winter day in Chicago. I got home from work around 6:30 p.m. and felt ready for a break after a long day of doing social work at the hospital. I took the dog out for a short walk, came back home, turned on the TV, and started changing out of my work clothes. Then I heard an excruciating noise—what sounded like a vehicle crashing into my building.
I was standing naked in my living room when police officers with guns, scopes, and lights broke down the door, rushed in, and started yelling at me to put my hands up. All I could think was, Please do not shoot me, please do not kill me.
I spent the next 40 minutes in a state of horror—crying, begging, pleading with them to let me put on my clothes. With tears streaming down my face, I cried out over 40 times: “You have the wrong place.”
As a single woman living alone, I often prayed about safety both inside and outside my home. Asking for protection was a regular part of my prayer time with God. So after the police departed that night, I found myself asking the question people often do after a traumatic experience: Where was God? How could he allow this to happen to me?
I spent the next 13 months in legal battles with the city, all the while struggling with my mental health and questioning my faith. I was going to church every Sunday and serving in my same capacity, but during quiet times, I continued to question God.
When the death of Breonna Taylor made national news, the story shook me to my core because of its similarities with mine. Police officers had raided the home of an innocent Black woman. But in that case, they’d shot and killed her.
As I grieved for Taylor, my prayers shifted from “Why did you allow …