I lay on the couch stunned, unable to move or speak. My heart ached, my legs were weak, and I trembled all over. My mind reeled with the pain so profoundly that I found myself curling up in a fetal position trying to hide from the world. How could I possibly face anyone again?
I heard the caller on the other end of the phone telling me he had left the country, and taken a younger woman with him. The bank accounts were emptied and there was nothing I could do. My husband’s voice was cold.
“If you’d shown any interest in me you’d have known I was unhappy. Besides, you’re no spring chick any more. You’ve let yourself get old. Look at yourself. You never bothered to get your figure back after the children were born. You just got fatter and fatter and sloppier and sloppier after each child. Now look at you. Six kids and you’re a mess. It’s no wonder I found someone younger and more fun than you.”
The call was two weeks ago, but it was like it just happened. If only I had retorted, I thought. If only I had uttered some hurting words. I was too stunned to say anything. Now here I am, my spirit mortally wounded, lying depressed, alone on my bed. He might as well have run me through with a sword.
“Ahem, are you listening to yourself? Haven’t you been hurt enough?”
Well, yes, I reflect to myself as I answer the voice in my head.
“Then get off the bed and start writing.”
What a ridiculous idea, I muse. How can I write when my spirit is broken?
“Just pick up the pen. It has the power to heal.”
No, only God has the power to heal. Oh dear, I contemplate. Now I’m arguing with myself.
“Okay, who do you think is talking to you?”
Startled, I recognize the voice.
“Yes, my child, even when you don’t realize it, I’m with you. Pick up the pen, and let my gift to you heal your wounds.”
I consider the idea, but I don’t know what to write.
“Write a letter revealing what is in your heart.”
I’m so lonely. I’m hurt, and confused, and scared. How do I explain all this to everyone? What about the children? How are they going to react? I know they’re grown up now, but I’m sure this is going to upset them. I don’t want to hurt them. They love their father. They look up to him. After all he has provided love and nurturing to them right along side of me. We were a team. He worked long hours and held down two jobs to pay the bills. He’d come home exhausted at night and still find time to wrestle with the boys. He doted on the girls. He’d even patiently put up with my complaints about the day. Sometimes we’d be excruciatingly tired, and there was so much to do that we’d work well into the early morning, just to be ready for the next day. I’d help him fix the car, and he’d help me fold diapers. Yes, we were a good team. Everyone saw that. How did we get to where we are today?
The ringing of the phone brings me abruptly out of my thoughts. I look at the caller ID and my heart flutters.
“God, I know you’re there. Help me to remember your written words, and to forget his sharp tongued tirade.”
The answering machine picks up. “Please, please don’t hang up. I’m so sorry. I don’t deserve for you to call me back but I know I’ve made a big mistake. Can we talk?”
I grab the phone. “Peter, is it really you? Do you love me?”
“I never should have left you. Can we talk?”
“Peter, do you love me?”
“I’m so sorry for saying those awful things. Can you forgive me?
“Peter, do you love me? Let’s talk.”
4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
-- 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
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