As a young girl, other cultures and ethnicities have always fascinated me. If I didn’t have my head buried in some book both combining fantasy and adventure genres (think The Witches by Roald Dahl, or The Secrets of Droon series by Tony Abbott), my brain would wander off looking for books about different cultures– especially black (yes, I’m going to be politically incorrect– besides, I’ve been told most are somewhat annoyed by being constantly called, “African Americans,” so as long as nobody’s insulted–and if you are, apologies, it was unintentional– I think we’re good) and Native American cultures (the latter I call “Native Americans” to differentiate between them and actual Indians.). One of my all-time favorite books about the latters’ way of life is Indian Captive: The Story of Mary Jemison, which provides an inside scoop on their way of living. I was pleasantly surprised that the author portrayed the Native Americans from both points of view: the colonists’ and the Brit’s, but also how they were viewed, more importantly, as PEOPLE. I grew to love most Native American characters in the story, and it genuinely saddened my heart that, while many of the Iroquois had very similar beliefs to us as Christians, they were yet so very far from the saving knowledge of Christ (which, if given to them, I think they very likely would have believed.).
But that isn’t just what this article is all about. You see, a semi-new Christian movie, spinning from a true tale, and about Native American’s colonist captives, rang many chords inside my heart– some all-too-painfully familiar.
In Alone Yet Not Alone, a pair of German colonist immigrant girls are taken captive. Throughout their captivity, they witness mostly brutality from their Native American captors, including the burning and ransacking of their home, as well as the murder of their loved ones. However, ironically, one of the group leaders shows himself to be somewhat compassionate, admiring main character Barbara’s courage to fight to stay with her sister, and renaming her “Susquehanna” in the process; later they are told not to fear their captors by the Native American chief, father of their group’s two leaders, Galasko (the kinder Native American, and the chief’s first heir to becoming a chief), and Hannawoa (the other, angrier and more vicious Native American, who would like nothing more than to take over and be chief himself). Later, they are introduced, as Mary Jemison was, into their captivity as family members, Galasko favoring Barbara-now-Susquehanna, while poor Marie suffers in living with her new “adoptive mother,” almost starving at one point due to lack of good food. “Susquehanna” promises to secretly bring her friend food when she can, giving her a secret signal to know when it’s safe to do so.
“Susquehanna” remains pampered, under the care of Galasko, and the two continue to grow closer despite the fact that he killed then scalped her father, and Marie’s disapproval. The two, unlike Mary Jemison and her captors, are soon seen discussing in depth about their belief differences. Galasko admits that while he knows of the “white man’s God,” calling Him “powerful”, and “good” because He created “Susquehanna”, he explains that, since she is a part of their tribe (and is therefore made Native American by adoption) and betroths himself to her (by placing a belt around her waist and a necklace around her neck), she must worship their gods now. (Galasko remains rather possessive and protective of her throughout the film; he later calls her, “mine” repeatedly) And, for a long while, it seems like she is seriously going to consider marrying him, although she admits to Marie that only God will reign in her heart. It isn’t until Galasko gives her her mother’s old brooch, without knowing it was her mother’s (it was her father’s wedding present to her mother), that she abruptly changes her mind and agrees to escape with Marie and a couple of their boy captive friends. The movie’s ending is pretty much entirely different from that of Mary Jemison’s: Long story short, they evade recapture, are rescued by British militia, are reunited with some long-lost family members, and “Susquehanna” becomes married to a well-off Christian man named Fritz, whom we know little to nothing about.
While the film had the stereotypical happy ending, I was genuinely shocked to find myself partially rooting for “Team Galasko,” if you will. Some may find this somewhat shocking, given my “old-fashioned” Christian ideals about Godly courtship, but I think it was because of a deeper, more subtle, reason. You see (for privacy reasons I will leave all names and extra detail out), I’ve a confession to make: I could relate to “Susquehanna”. A great deal, in fact. Last year, I was held captive by the very thing, the most surprising thing, that was vulnerable to sin– my heart. I fell head over heels in youthful puppy love with someone whom is not at all a bad person, but whom I knew, deep down, was not the right man for me. Was not the man God intended for me. His beliefs and mine differed; had he Christ in his heart, I would have said, “yes” to dating him in literally a heartbeat. He became the first person I was truly enamored with enough to consider dating, and my puppy love blinded me almost entirely. I naively and foolishly pursued this with emotional passion, and he returned the feelings with greatest fervor.
But at what cost? My heart? My… faith? I idiotically ignored all the red flags from God, to just stay good friends and nothing more, trusting my feelings rather than Him Who gave me those very emotions I bore, and as a result I became cornered. I found my faith facing down with wanting to be with that young man. It was this, and only this, that pulled the brakes on my speeding emotions, slamming them to a screeching and incredibly excruciating halt. And it devastated us both in the end, shattered both our hearts into a million tiny pieces, then ground them into grains of sand so small you’d need a microscope to see them. My heart, or the very few pieces of it that remained intact, was oh so numb– and the rest needed to be pulled and stitched together like that of Frankenstein’s creature. I couldn’t seem to pull it together, to love another man on God’s green Earth like that, that deeply, again.
This, this is the reason I relate to “Susquehanna” so much. Because like her, I was taken captive. Like her, I was set free. And now, my eyes have even been opened. But, unlike her, I have yet to find my true “Boaz,” and maybe this is why Fritz seems so unfamiliar, so distant, so… unrelatable… to me. Fritz’s character seems this way, I presume, because I have never found a young Christian man around my own age, with the same or similar ideals, to love– truly love. I have always been alone, in that aspect.
But that doesn’t mean it won’t ever happen in the future… after all, God works in His own timing, often in very mysterious ways. Like the title of the movie implies, I am alone, yet not alone. I may be single, but God will always be there for me. If He really wants me to marry someday, then I probably will. But if I don’t, you know what? That’s OK.
A lot of you out there might be wondering why in the world I’m even confiding my heartbreak spiritual drama to you, in comparison to a movie concerning Native American captives. Here’s why:
There are many others out there in very similar situations like mine, and I wish, with all my heart and soul, to encourage them. To remind them to be strong in their faith. To not sacrifice Jesus for a guy. I want to tell all of you who are going through that (and possibly more) that, since Jesus sacrificed Himself on Calvary for you, you ought to do likewise for Him. And if that means sacrificing a non-Christian guy so you can remain true to Him, well, let me assure you it’s worth it. It may be extremely painful, as it was for my guy friend and I, but it will save you a greater deal of hurt and struggles down the road. Just focus on Him, and take your focus off of “the guy”. If you’re thinking, “I can’t, that’s asking too much,” or “Everything reminds me of him!”, then try letting go slowly but steadily. I promise, it will heal. Sometimes, scars will remain, but it will heal. Do things to try to keep your mind off him– nap, pop bubble wrap, listen to Christian music, play with your pets. Just get busy, get active. Reconnect with God, tell Him what’s been eating you. That will help. If nothing else, you’ll have my support, and yes, my prayers too. And if you remain faithful to Him, He will always, always, have your back. No matter what.
Again, I welcome any constructive or engaging comments… feel free to leave me feedback anytime you feel called to speak out on something in this article, or any other article. Until next time, Godspeed! 🙂