I twisted the coffee cup in my hand.
“ Laura, you look like you got something on your mind.,” Christy commented. She had invited me for a cup of coffee so we relaxed on her porch.
“I’m not sure you’d want to hear about it.”
“You never like it when I start talking about Jamie’s diaper problems.” I said.
“You’re right, but what happened this time?”
“Let’s just say that I wasn’t luvin’ having to change two outfits. Anyway, I don’t think you wanted me to come by to talk about my son’s bowel movements.”
“Well, no. I wanted to talk to you about Mark and I.” Christy fiddled with the coffee growing cold in her hand. “We had another fight this morning.”
“Oh, no. I’m sorry to hear that. ”
“Yeah, let’s just say that knock-out doesn’t even begin to describe it. How can I keep going, Laura? My life is in such a shamble.”
I stared at her anxious face and wondered, “Should I share what happened when Tom and I were at the end of our rope? A foreign thought came to me. You don’t think she wants to hear your sad story, do you?
I hesitated and asked instead, “So what did you actually fight about?”
Christy gazed at the flowers wilting in the clay pot. “Well somehow our water heater went berserk this morning and started spraying water all over the basement. Mark blamed me because I forgot to call the repairman. “ Christy sat up in her chair. “I don’t understand how we can fight over something like that. What is wrong with us?”
I thought of Tom and I again. It took us such a long time to realize that everyone, including us couldn’t live up to God’s expectations. Should I tell her how we discovered our need for someone to help us? I was hit again with an external opinion. There is no way she wants to hear your “Christianese.” You want to stay friends with her, right?
I looked at the grounds floating in the bottom of my cup. “Christy, you’ve been my friend for a long time and you and Mark have always had your fights, but you’ve come around afterwards.”
“Yeah, I know, but I really wonder why we get into arguments over so many things.”
Laura, you don’t have the answers for everything.
I tapped a rhythm on the arm of my chair. “Yeah, Tom and I fight too. We fought just last week over what we should serve for our anniversary bash.”
“Yeah, but you always seem to find a peaceful way through it. Maybe it’s time to throw in the towel.”
“Divorce, Christy? “
“What more can I do?” She stared down into her lap with shaking shoulders.
I considered how close Tom and I were to calling it quits.
You can’t do anything to stop it. Just let her cry.
Like a sudden burst of steam my mind screamed back, “Yes, I can!” I touched Christy’s shoulder. “Christy, would it be alright if I told you what happened to Tom and I five years ago?”
She nodded and I continued.
“Tom and I were at our wit’s end. We had been married for 10 years and we knew that we would not be married for 10 more. It was too hard to live together and pretend that everything was hunky—dory. We fought constantly, even over small things. Every day was a struggle to win as many fights as possible. I hated it. I couldn’t understand how two people who loved each other so much as we had could end up like that. But one day I revealed what I was struggling with to my friend. She told me honestly that she believed it was because everyone is born a failure.”
Christy questioned me, “What do she mean by that?”
“She believed, and now I do too, that no one is able to live up to what God expects of us so we are all failures. We all need God’s forgiveness to be able to live up to His expectations.”
“Laura, I knew you went to church and all, but I didn’t know you believed that. It makes sense, but I need to think about it, okay?”
“Sure, just let me know if you want to talk.”
On my way out my mind prayed, “I can see that your blood plus my testimony equals victory, God."
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