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TITLE: From A Kind of Love to Godís Reality
By Shayne Catoe

Hello Friends,
My plan is to submit this 1,100 word story to a e-magazine. I need as many comments and critiques as you can afford to give, as this is my first submission anywhere. Thank you.
Mononucleosis and 18 credit hours of college donít mix. I want to go home. I want to quit, but Iím no quitter. I just want to get married. He hasnít asked me yet, but weíve talked about the date. I think heís paying on the ring.

ďI do.Ē

I love marriage. This morning, it came to me in an instant. Running, I jumped into his arms, knocking him on the bed, squealing, ďIím going home with you!Ē This is a dream honeymoon. This will be a dream marriage. Itís a long drive back to school in Tennessee.

I never see him. Heís gone today, tomorrow, and yesterday for that matter, always at school and studying or at work. Heís sleeping now, so Iím looking at him. I shake him in desperation saying, Ďplease talk to me.í I am lonely.

Iím pregnant. I cry. I donít want to grow up! My bodyís going to be ruined! I cry for a week. Iím sick for eight months. I donít want to be a bad parent. I get huge. I get an itchy pregnancy rash on my belly and legs. Itís my first anniversary. My husband kisses me. I cry. I go into labor and have a c-section. I get a baby boy.

I love my baby, and being a mommy. I wake up nightly soaked from cold sweats. I hear him change the babyís diaper. I awake hearing Velcro rip from the diaper. I think he has spanked the baby. My heart is beating faster and faster. My emotions spike. I panic. Is this how a panic attack feels? My mother is visiting from up north. She holds the baby for us, while I try to breathe. It passes. Iím fine. I tell my obstetrician at the six week check up. ďItís just your body adjusting.Ē Iím frustrated.

My husband is asked to be the new youth director. He accepts. We love the teenagers. They love us. He is always tired.

I am pregnant again. I am so happy. Five months have gone by. Something is wrong with me. Iím angry at everything, at everyone, but only my husband feels it. My husband graduates, and a beautiful baby girl is born. No cesarean section this time. Thereís no enjoying. We move north so he can be a teacher in a Christian School, before going to the mission field. Whatís wrong with me?

I know I love my baby, I know I must. Iíve never seen fuller lips, bigger eyes, a sweeter nose, and such a gentle spirit. This child is more than a dream could concoct, yet my feelings are dry. What kind of mother am I, that the bond I extend to her must be one falsely coerced? Whatís wrong with me? Thoughts go through my mind that Iíd never carry out. I say things to my husband that are out of character for me. My insides crawl to the outside, and my outsides just plain crawl. My body sweats hot, then cold. Is this what itís like to go mad? I wonít be insane! I wonít be out of my mind! Iím on edge every moment. I laugh too hard at jokes then cry in agony. Where am I? Is there no escape? What happened to the young bride of my husband? How shall he manage job, ministry, children, and now an ailing wife? Life is a peril to me. It only gets worse. One day I visit a Doctor.

Sheís a bit baffled, because Iíve waited so long to come. Then sheís not qualified to handle my complicated case, but does not inform us until I am markedly worse. I float from doctor to doctor. Medications are introduced. I pray through rage and anxiety attacks, but still experiencing the excruciating mental torture it affords. My family suffers, years pass. No one seems to have any answers. I stop eating. Itís the day after 9-11 and my dedicated husband takes me to the hospital to admit my feather weight frame. They say itís almost too late. The doctor I was seeing was shifting medicines so quickly that Iíd begun to hallucinate. After six weeks of care, Iím no longer in danger. I go home to find a clean house, because of my mother-in-law, and a worn out, yet excited family. How could they all still love me? I came home a different woman than I went away.

For many years I wanted to run my life. When God decided it would go a different way, without my permission, I turned on Him, angry. How was it He could allow such suffering in His childís life? Surely I meant more to Him than that! I fought many death rolls on my own, and nearly drowned forever. My mind much extinguished. Vapors remain, but they do remain. I spent time reading my Bible, when I could not make sense of anything else. I prayed when I could not communicate with anyone else. Jesus was all I had. He was all I needed. I didnít need my own life goals or agendas above His anymore. The Lord God became first in my life. Through losing control of my own life I gained a new and more beautiful life from the Lord.

It came at a high price. Through the refining fires came a golden soul, with many flaws, yes, but purified in the furnace of the fire.

I was never able to break free of medication or some symptoms, but will forever be grateful for Godís plan in allowing these years of training my faith, that I might loose much dross.

I have been given much by Godís grace. Jesus Christ, my Savior an LORD, a family I love who loves me unconditionally, a godly husband who provides, and children who are growing up in the admonition of the Lord, albeit with emotional scars from my experiences. Iím confident the Lord will use all these things for His glory and our good, even in the lives of my children.

I want the Lord to continue to do His perfect work, conquering my will for eternity.

Itís been the death of a dream for us. No more mission field, not even teaching in a Christian School. We need insurance, so he works as a claim representative for many years. He hates it.

A small church mileís away calls him to come and Pastor. He candidates and the little church votes. We go. We are happy again, for now, but contented for always.

God is sovereign.

II Corinthians 4:16-18
John 3:30
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