My heart and hand ache as I sit with tightly gripped pen and blank paper before me. Beads of perspiration dot my forehead and upper lip trying to formulate the words that may end my marriage and tear apart my family.
Dear, sweet Steve, my high school beau. I spotted him the first day of Algebra class, freshman year, melting when I gazed into those deep blue eyes. He approached me as I was leaving class and said,
ĎWhat do you think of Miss Boyle?Ē
ďShe seems mean,Ē I said with trepidation as he neared. He was actually talking to me.
ďYeah maybe, but I think sheíll be fair. Iím Steve and youíre Debra, right?Ē
I couldn't believe he knew my name. Then he smiled and walked me to my next class. My heart skipped a beat. Young people that age can be quite silly, and I was, but he seemed different, more mature. I was instantly in love.
Dating throughout high school and beyond, we attended the same junior college, then went to different senior colleges. We didnít see each other much during those last two years and on into grad school except for semester breaks and summers off. We dated others, but never pressed each other for details.
Finding jobs at different schools in our home town, I became an English teacher, he, math. That few years spent apart actually strengthened our relationship and the following year we married. It was a big affair with our families, friends and colleagues in attendance. As the bridal couple, we danced in sweet marital bliss, so deeply in love were we.
Our combined income gave us enough to buy a small house, just as I had always dreamed. We settled in like responsible adults, only, shortly after, I experienced a growing restlessness, not wanting to be adult-like. Steve was more accountable; I just wanted to be carefree, but there was no room for that.
We now have three children - Bobby, nine, Samantha, eight, and little Stevie, just turned six. They are the lights of my life, and I love them madly, but want to run away. I want to explore the world and find out who I really am. Is that bad? I donít mean to be, I just want to be free. But what is freedom?
I know the bible says, ď Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.Ē (John 8:32). Looking for answers, I went to my trusted pastor, Reverend Michaels, the one who married us. Crying tears of frustration, I asked, ďWhat is freedom? What is truth?Ē
He contemplated; leaning back in his chair, he thoughtfully replied, ďDebra, I know your family and Iíve watched you grow. Iím sorry to hear youíre in such distress. There are no easy answers, but I invite you to meet with me twice a week and together we can delve into Godís Word.Ē
So thatís what Iím doing; Pastor Michaels is helping me seek God for insight. I donít feel much better yet, but perhaps Iím getting closer to understanding myself. Iím not sure of anything, how I got so confused and how to find my way out.
Our sessions are good; I donít feel judged by Pastor Michaels, just loved. He leads me through Scripture. One that sticks with me is: ďAsk and it will be given to you; seek and you will find. Knock and the door will be opened to you.Ē (Matthew 7:8). Iím not sure where the door is that Iím supposed to be knocking on, but Iím looking, waiting.
I beg You, God, please help me before I hurt a wonderful man and three precious children with my unrest. Show me how to seek, knock, and find. I need Your help, dear Lord. Thatís all I can ask.
Iím putting away my pen and paper. I wonít write this letter to Steve, after all. I guess my selfishness and immaturity is leading me to be sinful. Somewhere deep in my soul I know that my life is with my husband, children, family, job, and most of all, God.
Our Heavenly Father gives us choices and free will, but with that comes a certain responsibility to love Him back with heart, mind and soul, and to love others as He loves us (Mark 12:30,31). I am counting on Him to show me how. I know He will.
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