“You make me so angry,” Bill Waves screamed!
“I’m just asking for some help vacuuming,” Josie pleaded.
“Enough,” he bellowed putting his hand up.
“I don’t understand why you’re angry,” she asked?
“Just say one more word,” he screamed. His face was beet red.
Josie slunk away to the guest bedroom, her refuge. A box of tissues, her bible, yep that will work. A bucket of Ben & Jerry’s would have been a welcome addition.
In her childhood, she remembered swimming in the ocean. As she floated, the waves came toward her. Some were a little splash that would gently nudge her. Others were much bigger and could send her tumbling, dragged under, and struggling to come up gasping for air.
The impact of the waves that had been splashing against Josie’s life were unnoticed until the big ones started coming in. After getting married, Josie and Bill moved to Idaho near his family.
When Bill left for work, Josie felt alone on planet Earth. She worked from home as a computer programmer. Solitude wasn't new to Josie, a target for mean girls in school. She longed to have a real friend. Someone she could have fun with.
Sometimes, Bill would get angry and yell at Josie. Initially, she yelled back. Later, she just let him explode knowing he would calm down later. Splash, another episode targeted hostile, shaming words at her. Splash, Bill flung critical words her way. Splash, Bill expects Josie to do all the housework.
One day at church Josie met Amy who seemed to really care for her! The friendship lifted her out of the water, like floating on a life raft. Amy spoke loving words to her and treated her so very kindly. It was awesome! They did things together and Josie’s sadness seemed like a distant memory. Suddenly Amy was fighting with the elders at the church and left abruptly. Not only did she leave the church, she left the friendship. That wave of rejection and abandonment sunk the raft. Josie plummeted to new lows.
After a few years Josie managed to resurface and was able to feel joy once again. The next wave was on its way. She met Allison “God said that you are my friend” she happily exclaimed. Josie warned Allison she’d been hurt before and said “let’s take it slow.” But after a few months they were best friends. Josie loved this friend like no other. An offense occurred, once again rejection and abandonment sent Josie sinking down to the deepest, darkest depths.
Walking around like a zombie, Josie thought if she looked down, her shirt would be red, soaked with blood; the pain was so great in her heart. She woke every night with both hands on her heart, hurting like never before. Ladies at church prayed for Josie as she trembled and wept, but peace was absent. Josie tried everything to win her friend back, getting more wounded and rejected with each failed attempt.
Josie studied selflessness and how to overcome rejection. She poured into scripture, working on a solid Identity. Why was it so hard for her to believe she was who God said she was? She loved God and was zealous in that love. Yet some tried to pin Idolatry on her. Feeling hopeless, she thought this may be her doom.
As a last ditch effort, Josie sought out a wise woman to help her.
“You really loved that friend didn't you?” The wise woman asked.
“Yes.” Josie wept, pain exuding from her soul.
“Josie, why do you let your husband yell at you?”
“What else can I do? He was enraged and if I said more it would get worse. “
Then she asked the question that brought light to Josie’s struggle. “How does it make you feel when he yells at you like that?”
Josie never thought about her feelings. They were tucked away in order to deal with people who seemed to bring her harm. “Worthless, shamed, unloved, not valued, and rejected.”
“You need to be assertive; you are not anyone’s door mat. That’s what you become when you let people walk all over you. Do you have anyone that says kind things to you and affirms you?”
There is one. Though my mother and father (and others) forsake me, the Lord takes me up. He will help me with my husband and give me a true friend.
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