GEMINI: GRACE and MERCY
“...Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of GRACE … and find GRACE to help in time of need…” (Hebrews 4:16 KJV).
“…Since it is through God’s kindness …[and] not by [your] good works. For in that case, God’s GRACE would not be what it really is—free and undeserved…” (Romans 11:5 NLT).
God WANTS “...to show us his GRACE (undeserved kindness) through Christ Jesus...who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for GOD WAS WITH HIM. And we are witnesses of all things (HIS KINDNESSES) which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem…” (Acts 10:38-39 KJV & 2 Timothy 1:9).
“... God said to Moses, “I will show mercy to anyone I choose, and I will show compassion to anyone I choose...” (Romans 9:15 NLT).
“…Mercy triumphs over judgement.” (James 2:13 NASB).
“…HE DELIGHTETH IN MERCY…” (Micah 7:18 KJV).
“… he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever…” (2 Chronicles 5:13-14 KJV). “…The Lord is MERCIFUL and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in MERCY…” (Psalms 103:8 KJV). “…For as the heaven is high above the earth, so GREAT is his MERCY toward them that fear him…” (Psalms 103:11 KJV). “…THE MERCY of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children's children…” (Psalms 103:17 KJV).
The reunion with Brad and the children was precious and priceless. Bradley was 17, Judy was 15, and Randy was 13. She had missed 3 birthdays! Gemini was humbled by their love and the whole experience. She was taken from her captivity just as quickly as she been taken from her life with Brad and the children.
They all had to adjust and transition from being apart to coming back together again. Not only did, her family have to welcome her home, but they had to welcome two new additions to the family too. The transition was difficult enough, but the two little girls made the adjustment more challenging.
The first baby, Grace, was a rape baby and the second baby, Mercy, was consensually forced. Gemini was concerned that they would be a constant reminder to them of her abductor and her painful ordeal
Gemini felt stressful, upon her return, and she didn’t automatically feel reconnected to Brad or her children.
Initially she was still bombarded with flashbacks from Simon’s intrusive, brainwashing, her emotions were everywhere, and she felt like withdrawing from Brad and her children.
Brad was taking a class on Trauma and PTSD, in order to help her though the adjustment period. He was so understanding about her nasty reactions, to her homecoming, and told her that her emotional reactions were normal
Brad was so loving and gracious, which was his nature and she felt so undeserving. Gemini could see how Simon ACTED like he loved her whereas BRAD was BEING loving toward her. After already being gone for almost two years, Brad sat down and took her hands into his and said, “...Gem, baby, you need time and help to recover from this horrible ordeal you faced. There are several Trauma and PTSD treatment Centers and I would like for you to think about going to one. It’s up to you. I’ll take care of our baby girls...”
“...Brad the girls are still babies and they are a handful. And unfortunately Simon Toliver is their father...” Brad shook his head.
“...Our marriage is legal and binding, Gem, but the marriage to Simon Toliver is not. He has no rights to you or the children. Bigamy is illegal and that marriage is automatically annulled. Those babies are legally Pattersons. They are MY children now..”
“...What if Simon tries to take us to court...”
“...He won’t Gem, he is facing multiply criminal charges. We won’t have to worry about him ever again...” Gemini reached for Brad and he took her into his arms. She thought: This is love.
Gemini checked into the Trauma and PTSD Treatment Center. Thankfully, it was several in the Baltimore, Maryland area. It was exactly what she needed. At home with Brad and her children she was feeling lost and out of place.
She was having problems adjusting to her life again and she was lashing out all the time.
She couldn’t relax and felt the same kind of HIGH stress she felt, during her time with Simon.
She felt numb, sometimes. She couldn’t sleep good and when she did, she had nightmares. Gemini was concerned she would never be normal again. But coming to the Trauma center gave her hope.
Brad saw her as often as they allowed. He told her to be patient and give herself time to recover. Eventually, she began to feel better. She was more resilient that she thought and in spite of it all, a part of her persevered enough to allow for positive growth; physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
Gemini had a lot of issues to work through and confront. She was afraid it could happen again. She had a boatload of “what ifs.”
The Treatment Center was a major support and helped her deal with her twisted emotions about what happened and about Simon.
She had this crippling guilt about why she felt his BOND toward Simon and why she was still concerned about whether he would get in trouble or not.
Letting Simon go and facing the truth that he was her abductor and NOT someone who truly LOVED her, was the hardest.
Gemini came to realize that it was normal, in hostage cases, to develop feelings for their abductor. In most cases it was a coping method to try to minimize the trauma of it all.
Gemini got better and better. She took her meds, she began to feel safe, she began to reconnect with her family, she journaled her experience, and eventually she was able to go home. First she spent one day, a week, at home, then a weekend, then three or four days at a time, and now she was adjusted back into her life with her family.
She still had her moments, but Brad and her children ALL took the Trauma and PTSD classes. They were so supportive. They listened, they were patient, and they were positive. The whole family went to counseling and were all healing together. It wasn't easy. It was a lot of shouting, anger, crying, and laughter, but they were determined to get to the other side.
Gemini continued Trauma and PTSD counseling and had ready access to any resources she needed. Her recovery was fragile and Brad couldn’t protect her privacy completely. As the trial prep began none of them could avoid the media, the news, or the interviews of people from Gambrils or Southern Maryland.
Brad asked her about how all this was affecting her. He wondered should she be watching and listening to it. She said, “...Yes, Brad. I’m okay. I want to watch it. I want to face it. Don’t worry. I’ll be okay. I promise, if it becomes too much I’ll tell you...”
She and Brad watched the news coverage as they described her abductor. Simon Raymond Toliver was born June 6th, 1971 in Leonardtown, Maryland. He was the youngest to two sons, born to David and Martha Toliver.
It went on to say how Simon had problems with bi-polar disorder and had multiple run-ins with the law for drugs or other small criminal infractions.
They showed his arrest. He was arrested at someone else's house and not the one she’d been held hostage. She felt sick when she saw it, but she kept watching.
Simon Toliver was taken to a state hospital and given a competency evaluation. He was, initially, found competent to stand trial. Simon plead “not guilty” to kidnapping and bigamy. He claimed she came to him willingly and told him she was no longer married to Brad Patterson.
Simon claimed they were lovers for months and fell in love with one another. She asked him to rescue her from her bad marriage, because she wanted to be his wife and not Brad's.
Simon told it all! He said she was a FAKE Christian who willingly committed adultery with him for months. They were LOVERS way before she became his wife. OH MY GOD!
She looked at Brad. “...I already know, Gem. He was the last one. The unfinished business? His brother told me you broke it off with him. That’s why he was suspicious...”
“...Should we tell the lawyer?...” Brad shook his head. “....Everything else was a lie, but that. What if it comes up during the trial...”
“...We can tell her, if she ask, but it has nothing to do with the kidnapping or the bigamy charges ...”
“...What about the ministry, Brad...”
“...Right now, all I care about is you...” She didn’t deserve Brad’s love, but he gave it to her anyway. She prayed that God would help her become the wife Brad truly deserved too!
The news started reporting that Simon was acting erractic in the State Hospital and they were thinking about changing his competency status. They did. Another doctor said his behavior was starting to show signs of psychosis and he would NOT be able to stand trial.
Gemini’s lawyer said she would have to provide proof of her kidnapping. At this point, it was her word against his. There was no dim room, no tapes, no evidence she was being forced to stay with him, and no proof that he abducted her.
Her lawyer was good and she believed Gemini. She knew a excellent forensic detective. She said Fred Buckley was one of the best in the country. He was detailed oriented and will spend hours examining the crime scene. If there is truth to found, Fred would find it.
For Fred, it was personal, his father had spent years in prison for a crime he didn’t do. It was because of sloppy forensic work. Fred believed Gemini too. He planned to test every piece of evidence and reconstruct everything she said happened.
Fred Buckley felt discouraged, at first, but he was relentless. Simon had two houses, on the water, in St. George’s Island. They were built identical, accept one was a bi-level and the other a tri-level. Simon covered all his basis. He was crazy, not stupid.
Fred made her describe the house a hundred times, before he caught it. One was 7512 Kingston Road and the other one was 7512 Kingston lane. Kingston Lane was the tri-level where she was kept. Simon was arrested from Kingston Road.
Fred found Kingston Lane and the original dim room. It was the tri-level house. When he would take her to the dim room, and she could see it, it was on the second floor, but the original dim room was in his basement behind a hidden panel.
Fred said it was a small cement room, worse than a prison cell, with a toilet, shower, one bed, no windows, and a small dim light. Simon and Gemini’s DNA were everywhere.
Fred Buckley thought the house was absolutely beautiful! It was on private property, had multiple patios with breathtaking water views. You could enjoy those same views from the dining room and kitchen. It had arched windows, French doors, fireplaces everywhere, and open spaces. Light was everywhere throughout the house. He’d built a pool and courtyard. The master suite was off the chain and he even had a wine cellar. There were four other bedrooms, 4 ½ baths, walk-in closets, sitting areas, and cubble holes.
But hidden behind all this glamour was the DIM room. Fred Buckley thought Simon was brilliant, but evil, wicked, manipulative, sneaky and selfish. If he was going down, he was going to take Gemini Patterson with him. However, Simon Toliver was again declared fit to stand trial.
Fred suggested another competency evaluation be conducted by Dr. Nathan Grant. Dr. Grant believed Simon Toliver was fully aware of his actions and was attempting to deceive the court.
Fred found witnesses who had literally helped built both houses along with blueprints and one that included the infamous “DIM” room, which was labeled as a storage room.
Fred presented pages and pages of forensic evidence that proved Simon was more than competent to stand trial. It was determined that Simon was narcissistically manipulative and used his bi-polar disorder as a way to make people overlook his highly functioning and sneaky ways.
Simon Toliver was NOT acting bi-polar at the time of his crime NOR did it impair his judgement. Fred Buckley made sure Simon Toliver would be deemed competent to stand trial.
Brad had reached out to David Toliver to thank him for what he did for Gemini. David told Brad that Gemini had broken it off with Simon. Thus, it made him suspicious when she said she’d come back to him voluntarily, but he had no evidence on the contrary.
What David didn’t tell Brad was that Simon had confessed his guilt, but told him he would keep this in the courts for years just to torture Gemmy. David knew it was possible. There had already be several delays and mental evaluations and this could keep the case in court for years to come.
David was also shocked at the forensic evidence that Fred Buckley had uncovered. He felt he didn’t know his brother at all. Their mother wasn’t taking it well either and the rest of the family was struggling with being in the public eye so much.
David was told, by the state hospital, that Simon would be held responsible for his crimes. He’d been taken his meds for years and there is a medical record to show the different between when he’s acting out and when he isn’t.
He would be considered legally sane, for the period of his crimes against Gemini Patterson. He would be found guilty and the clever way in which the crime was premediated may also work against him.
Simon was not going to continually play the system with the insanity plea. They were going to reject the insanity plea, once and for all, and find him guilty of kidnapping and bigamy.
Simon had transported Gemini from Baltimore to St. George’s Island with the intent to hold her hostage and force her to commit bigamy with him.
The District Judge would probably sentence him to life in prison with the possibility of parole.
The worst part was over and life was become a new normal for Gemini. She and Brad were planning another Norwegian Cruise to the Bahamas. It was delayed for two years.
She'd thought this LIFE and DREAM with Brad was over. She also thought she deserved to lose it.
Reaping what you sow is no joke. She saw it different now. YOU sow “to” the flesh and YOU reap “from” the flesh. It is NOT God who is punishing you, but your choices have consequences.
Gemini looked for biblical examples. When Abel killed his brother, he cried out that his punishment, for killing Cain, was MORE than he could bear. Simon’s lust for Delilah caused him to lose his eyesight. Mordecai’s hate for the Jews caused him to be hung on his “own” guillotine. King David’s adultery with Bathsheba found him weeping over a dead baby. The schemes of the presidents and princes, against Daniel, caused their whole families to be eaten by lions. Joseph’s brothers mistreated him, but one day they needed “his” mercy.
Her choices lead her to Simon Toliver and during that period in her life, cheating was what she did. At the time, it was RIGHT for her flesh .. “…There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, BUT the end….are the ways of death…..” (Ephesians 1:6 KJV). “…There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death...” (Proverbs 14:20 KJV). “….The way of a fool is right in his own eyes…” (Proverbs 12:15 KJV). “…Every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it BRINGETH FORTH SIN: and sin, when it is finished, BRINGETH FORTH DEATH…” (James 1:13-15 NLT). “…You have eaten the fruit of lies Because you have trusted in your way…” (Hosea 10:13 NASB).
She got away with it for a long time. The CHOICE to commit adultery with Simon Toliver shattered her life. She LOST control.
While she was cheating she NOT ONCE thought of any possible consequences, especially since she’d gotten away with for so long. That’s the deceptive part: thinking you got away with it. The HARVEST is coming!
Though she’d walked away, from the adulterous life, the seeds were ALREADY planted. Choices are seeds you sow, the consequences are the harvest you reap. When you “reap what you sow” you are the one who planted the garden. “…Choose you this day whom ye will serve….” (Joshua 24:15 KJV). “…choose LIFE…” (Deuteronomy 30:19 KJV). “…The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who CHOOSE that way. …” (Matthew 7:13-14 NLT). “… I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore [YOU] … choose life…” (Deuteronomy 30:19 KJV). “….THE WORDS that I speak unto you … they are LIFE…” (John 6:63 KJV).
Gemini’s new philosophy was “THE SEED YOU SOW IS THE GARDEN YOU WILL GROW.”
Everybody won’t have to endure what she’d endured, but bad choices have consequences whether we like them or not.
People are SAFE in the refuge of God’s Word, but when they step outside of if ANYTHING goes.
When she was cheating on Brad; she CHOOSE to do anything she was big and bad enough to do. But when the consequences CHOOSE her she LOST all freedom and because a slave to her “own” sin.
She respected God’s truth now, especially about “reaping what you sow.” This principle, pronounced by God, in the New Testament had the inherent POWER to the DO what it declared it would DO. “…Not one of the good promises which the Lord had made … failed; all came to pass…” (Joshua 21:45 NASB).
You may have the POWER to make your CHOICES, but you have NO POWER to dictate the consequences. God is “…watching over [his]… word to perform it…” (Jeremiah 1:12 NASB).
Gemini was a FIRM believer that you WILL reap what you sow as the bible says. “…Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. …” (Galatians 6:7-8 NASB). “… Don’t be misled: No one makes a fool of God. What a person plants, he will harvest…” (Galatians 6:7-9 MSG).
It may not seem like it, but the HARVEST is coming. It takes a WHILE for a harvest to grow. “… [But] … in the PROCESS of time IT … [will come] … TO PASS…” (Genesis 4:3 KJV). “….HE IS ABLE… [and]…NO ONE can hold back his hand…” (Daniel 4 NIV).
Between the time a seed is SOWN and the HARVEST is reaped there is a “DECEPTIVE” period of PEACE and people THINK they have gotten away with their wrongdoings. “…Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily …the HEART of the sons of men is fully set in them to [continue to]… do evil….” (Ecclesiastes 8:11 KJV). “…While they are saying, "Peace and safety!" then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape…” (1 Thessalonians 5:3 NASB). “… Let destruction come upon him (her) unawares…” (Psalms 35:8 NASB). “…whatsoever a man (woman) soweth, that shall he (she) also reap. …” (Galatians 6:7-8 NASB). “… IT … [will come] … TO PASS…” (Genesis 4:3 KJV).
No matter how long its been, you are NOT safe from the consequences of ANY wrongdoing. “…IT … [will come] … TO PASS…” (Genesis 4:3 KJV). “…Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily …the HEART of the sons of men is fully set in them [unrepentant]… to do evil….” (Ecclesiastes 8:11 KJV). THUS, “…EXCEPT YE REPENT, ye shall all likewise PERISH…” (Luke 13:3 KJV). God “….is longsuffering to us-ward, NOT WILLING that any should perish, but that ALL should come to repentance…” (2 Peter 3:9 KJV).
Her saving GRACE in all of this was God’s GREAT mercy!! It could have been WORSE. However, the bible says: God is“... RICH IN MERCY…” (Ephesians 2:1-5 KJV). “…HE DELIGHTETH IN MERCY…” (Micah 7:18 KJV). “…Mercy triumphs over judgement.” (James 2:13 NASB).
God completely and totally forgive her and he promised he would remember her sins NO more. She was FREE to live righteous and with his help, she was going to serve him, wholeheartedly, until the day she died. “… [Yet]… if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, ALL THINGS are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV). You have the indwelling Holy Spirit and can now bear God’s fruit. “…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance (self-control over your choices)…” (Galatians 5:22-23 KJV).
“…Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of REPENTANCE …What shall we do then? He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none…” (Luke 3:8-11 KJV). “…REPENT…” (Acts 17:30 KJV).
EVERY DAY, Gemini prayed “...Help me, Lord...” “…the will of God, [is]…your SANCTIFICATION (ongoing cleansing from sin)…” (1 Thessalonians 4:3 NASB). “…Be transformed (progressively) by the renewing of your mind….” (Romans 12:2 KJV). “…be conformed (progressively) to the image of his Son…” (ROMANS 8:29 KJV).
“… [Therefore]… we all … are [being]… changed into the same image [of Christ] from glory to glory …” (2 Corinthians 3:18 KJV). “…be holy, because I am holy…” (1 Peter 1:16 KJV).
“…by the grace of God I am what I am…” (1 Corinthians 15:10 NIV).
Gemini had gone through a lot. She suffered for her wrongs. But the GOOD news is that she was STILL breathing and had been given another chance.
Her baby girls didn’t remind her of her horrible ordeal after all, but they reminded her of God’s GRACE and MERCY instead! “…“My GRACE is all you need. …” (2 Corinthians 12:9 NLT). “…MERCY triumphs over judgement.” (James 2:13 NASB).