Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Guard Your Heart (06/08/12)
TITLE: A lesson in love
By Norma-Anne Hough
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“Do what?” she replied with a smile.
“Stay so cool and calm while your world is collapsing around you!”
We were sitting in her sun lounge, drinking coffee and soaking up the warmth of the winter’s sun. Lynne’s husband had walked out on her and the two children; he had also cleaned out their banking account, and here she was serene and calm.
“I know for a fact if I were in your shoes, I would not be taking this the way you are!”
“Dear Toni, you are one of my oldest and dearest friends and still you haven’t learnt the secret.”
“Don’t start on at me with all this religious stuff.”
“Well you asked a question and the least you can do now, is let me have my say.”
“I guess so.” I replied grudgingly. I really admired Lynne and had always been drawn to her. She was so loving, kind, generous and happy. She and Brian had been together since she was sixteen. While I had gone onto University, she had done a Secretarial Course and had married Brian at an early age. He was very clever with computers and was involved with a big financial corporation in town. The boys had arrived with four years of their marriage, and Lynne had devoted herself to Brian, the boys and her home.
From an early age she had come to know Jesus. Had accepted Him into her heart, and had then made it her business to tell all her friends and family about Him.
I was the sceptic. In our home, the only time we went to church was at Christmas, Easter or for funerals and weddings. Secretly I had envied Lynne, yet still held back on committing my life to Jesus.
“Toni, from an early age my dear grandmother told me something. She had a very tough life, yet she never complained. My grandfather was a very hard man and gave her a rough ride; her mother had taught her to learn to put a guard on her heart.”
“Yes, but how do you do that? Why should you always be the one to give in?”
Lynne smiled at me.
“You pray to Jesus daily. You ask Him to help you protect your heart, from all negative feelings. You learn to love as He did and to follow His example. Once you have invited Him into your heart, He will come in and help you. Reading His word helps you guard your heart.”
“Brian still had no right to do this to you.”
“No, you are right there, but unless I try to understand and forgive him, I will open myself up to negative feelings, and will end up bitter and twisted. Brian knows the truth. He is just lost at the moment, and my prayer is that he will come back.”
I looked at her wanting to tell her how naive and stupid she was, yet there was a presence about her which prevented me.
“Toni, Jesus loves you. He is waiting for you. He wants to come into your heart and give you His joy and peace. Without Him in your life, there is no future life. He died so that you can live.”
“Lynne, I have always admired you. What you are saying makes sense, yet I am filled with so much resentment and anger. I have done so many horrible things. I don’t know how to even begin. I want to learn how to guard my heart like you do, I want what you have.” I said as the tears rolled down my face.
Coming over to me, Lynne knelt by my side and began to pray. Soon I was filled with incredible peace, and repeated the sinner’s prayer after her.
She is one amazing person. I still have such a long way to go. She deserves so much better, but now I am sure, she will come out the better person.
Learning to guard our hearts is something we really need to do. I am a work in progress. Lynne has started rebuilding her life with her boys. Brian still remains outside the fold, yet she never stops praying for him.
Author’s note: Story based on fact. Names have been changed.
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