Lana walked away . . . not physically, but in her heart she had packed her bags, shoved them in the car and drove away. Her emotions were drained and her soul felt stale…like old dried-up bones.
Her eyes traveled to her Bible lying where she left it months ago. Dusting it occasionally but never actually picking it up, God’s Word called to her. Staring blankly, Lana shifted her legs into a more comfortable position. She wanted to pick it back up but her emotions were paralyzed, the same as they were when Richard came to her.
The doorbell rang jolting her thoughts back to the moment…gathering her senses Lana walked to the front door and glancing out the side window-panes her spirit groaned an inward ‘OW!’ as she looked upon her friend Anna-Leigh, the community’s gossip queen. Shutting her eyes she could just see Anna-Leigh run with phone in hand, spewing gossip before nightfall…Lana just didn’t think she had it in her to deal with this.
Opening the door, she welcomed Anna-Leigh by saying, “Hi, what brings you here?”
Pulling her purse strap back on her shoulder, Anna-Leigh leaned in and said,
“Lana everyone is worried about you…so I thought I’d drop by and make sure you were okay.”
Edging herself inside the front door Lana had no choice but to open it wider and invite her in.
“Lana,” she said as she picked the cozy club chair in the corner to sit in, “so how are you…really…how are you doing?” The concern on her face seemed real, but….
“I’m really fine Anna-Leigh, how about a cup of coffee?”
Slightly frustrated as she nodded yes, and then quickly adding, “With a little cream Lana.”
Anna-Leigh wanted desperately to help Lana. She knew she was labeled a gossiper and God had convicted her massively about that. She’d prayed that every time she even thought about gossiping that God would allow her to bite her tongue! Sore as it was…Anna-Leigh had not gossiped one word in over a year. Not cured, but forgiven as she earnestly sought God for healing in this area, Anna-Leigh wanted to be of help to her friend Lana. But would she let her?
Anna-Leigh decided to go for it…as she felt God prodding her.
Lana…I know you don’t trust me with your confidences but God has forgiven me and laid his healing hands over my mouth. I do care deeply and wanted to know if you would trust me to help you?
Lana’s eyes filled, she loved Anna-Leigh, but should she dare? With a deep breath that came from the soul, Lana gave her the whole sordid story…
Richard, strong, handsome and charming had been her prince. The couple became the envy of the community. Both held in high esteem, they ‘seemed’ to have it all. Well, everything but intimacy…which quickly became a huge issue early in their marriage. What was wrong with her? She was attractive, worked out, kept up with fashion and often turned men’s heads but she couldn’t seem to turn the only one she desired. Years passed and Lana kept her vows but the wound of rejection grew deep within her soul. Managing to have two daughters, Lana threw her life into raising the two hearts she so fiercely loved. One morning Richard came to her while the children were in college and with a heavy heart told her he no longer loved her. He wasn’t sure he ever did. He described how he loved Bob and would be leaving for a new life. With no regard to her, the children and the years of marriage she had clung to…he left. But reality was… Richard had left years ago. Now at fifty, Lana was alone weaving together bits and pieces of a broken and bitter heart.
Anna-Leigh stared dumbfounded while her heart bled for her friend. She rose out of her chair and sat beside Lana wrapping her arms about her. There was nothing to say…the wound of rejection pierced Lana’s soul… covering her with a blanket of despair. God whispered to just love her as Lana’s guttural tears began to flow and so did Anna-Leigh’s…for God was showing her that we are to share each other’s burdens… not spread them.
With a friendship now bound together by trust and prayer—Lana was able to unpack her bags of pain and bitterness and in time, place them at the feet of God.
And Anna-Leigh? Well, her tongue hasn’t been sore for years.
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