Her eyes were so swollen and red. Jane had been crying... crying in a way that only someone that is completely heartbroken can cry. She hadn't cried for a day.. Or for two days. She had been crying for two weeks. The tears came of their own volition now. It seemed that she could not stop.
He was leaving. Without her. She wanted to beg him to stay, but she could not. He had an obligation to his family to return home.
It was the 1950's. They were in college, and in love as only young lovers can be. They spent every spare second together. When they were not together they were thinking about and plotting their next rendezvous! Jane wanted to spend her life with him... and he with her.
But she could not.
His world was not like hers. She was American. He an Arab. She was Christian. He... Muslim. Oh! He begged her to come and be his bride. To live with him in his land far away. He promised that their marriage would be different. He would break every tradition for her.
She knew he meant it. She believed him. She would be his princess... and live in his palaces. She would have everything the world could offer from one whose wealth was seemingly unlimited. No one would be above her in his life. He wanted her to marry him so desperately! He would do anything for her...provide jewels and satins and silks. He would even build a palace in her honor if she would only come. What more could he do to entice her... to seduce her into his kingdom?
The temptation was unbearable... she wanted him so badly. Jane's heart was breaking and she refused him... turned him down. She denied her heart and his love. There was no doubt in her heart that he coveted her.
Their love was famous! Everyone knew they were meant for each other. Jane's decision stunned them all.
Yet she knew that in spite of all his promises, he would be unable to become something he was not. He would never be able to stand against thousands of years of Arab tradition. She would become his property. Their children would be his to rule. She might never return home again. If so, it would be at his whim. Every decision would be his. She would lose her freedom. She would have to deny her God and become a wife of the Muslim religion. He was not the right husband for her. She was not the right bride for him. If they had married, they would be miserable all the days of their lives.
Sorrowfully, they parted ways.. Never to meet again.
This is a true story. When I heard it from a gentlewoman I met in San Antonio, I was caught up in the tragedy and drama. It seemed so sad.
However, upon reflection, Jane's decision was a victory for her. The cost for her was high. She paid dearly in heartbreak, yet it was a victory. Had she given in, she would have had to deny her Savior Jesus. She would have given up all hope of heaven for herself and for her children.
Jane's story reminds me of Jesus being tempted in the wilderness by satan. Our Lord was offered wealth and all the riches in all the kingdoms of the world. He would have been ruler on the earth he had created and loved so much. He could have skipped the suffering and pain of the cross, avoided the beatings and ridicule. Everything and everyone would be His to rule.
As a matter of fact, Jesus could have stopped the entire plan at any time during His life here on earth. He could have done anything He was ever tempted to do. He had no obligation to us. And He was formidably tempted! The world was always tugging at Him... just daring Him to sin even one little time. He wouldn't have suffered any consequences from it. After all, He was God.
But Oh! We would have suffered. We would have been lost. The instant He gave in, it would be all over for us. No salvation. No heaven. No reward. Just hell and damnation and pain and suffering for eternity.
Yet He chose the difficult path of righteousness... to live with no sin. The heartbreaking suffering of the cross was His choice, not His duty.
His loving sacrifice enabled our eternal life if only we turn from sin and ask Him to save us. His choice gave us victory over death!
Two love stories....
Jane gave up the love of her life for the hope of eternity.
Jesus left the glory of heaven to live as a man, and gave His earthly life for the love of mankind.
Now it's up to us to choose. Heaven or Hell. Eternal life or death. It may involve some heartbreak or pain. But the reward and victory is worth it!
Kathy, first of all, welcome to FaithWriters. You've definitely made a good start with your first article. This caught my attention from the first sentence. What a sacrifice this dear lady made - and the title was so appropriate. It was indeed a tale of two loves. I guess the choice was to know love for possibly a lifetime, or to be sure of love for eternity. Jane chose well. This brought to mind the series we've been running in the Heaven Bound section of FaithWriters' Magazine over the last few months. The series is called "Desert Found Faith" and I think we started it back in November. It's been gripping reading, because even though it's in our fiction section, it is actually based on a true story. Anyway, your article really just made me think of all the obstacles Jane could have faced if she'd chosen to marry outside her faith in this way. Good work. With love, Deb