Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: CHALLENGE (08/17/17)
- TITLE: Real Love
By linda simpson
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Anxious to share about the native wildlife he'd seen on his bike ride, Jim was surprised there was no car in the driveway.
â€œHi I'm homeâ€ he called, entering the house.
In the kitchen he saw a note next to the stove.
'I have to go away for a while. It's too difficult! Jayne'
Jim sank onto a chair, the note hanging limply.
'Where has she gone? What does this mean? I know she was dreadfully shocked and hurt by what I've done, but we seemed to be working through it with the counselling.'
He called his pastor who, also surprised at Jayne's departure, tried to reassure him.
â€œI'm sure she will come back. Let's pray about it!â€
Somewhat comforted, Jim was still unable to settle or sleep that night. He prayed a lot.
Having hurriedly packed a few basics, Jayne drove to the freeway.
She needed time on her own, away from Jim, to be with the Lord and
sort things out. With her favourite worship songs on, she sang and cried, not really knowing where she was going. It was too dreadful. She had always trusted Jim implicitly. He had betrayed that trust and she felt shattered. The revelation had been a shock. Truth between them had always been so important. Now she felt a portion of their 40 year marriage was based on lies. Exhausted by the emotional upheaval, Jayne pulled off the highway and booked into a motel.
She spent a lot of the night crying and praying.
The next day about noon, a phone call came from Jim's pastor to say
Jayne had rung. She was staying with their counsellors and would be
in touch when she felt able to talk with him. Jim, relieved, spent time with their pastor,who reminded him, because of his genuine repentance, the Lord would be at work in the situation. Jayne was in a safe place. But it could take time.
Counsellors, Arthur and Margaret, welcomed her to stay as long as necessary. Jayne felt protected and as best she could, able to share her feelings. After being informed, their children, also angry their trust was betrayed, had said she should leave Jim. But Jayne wanted God's will to prevail.
Arthur and Margaret, whilst giving Christian counsel, knew Jayne had to hear from the Lord herself. Secure in her current surroundings, Jayne continued to ask Jesus for direction. Gradually,her emotions started to settle, allowing her to think more clearly. Was it God's will that she leave her marriage after all these years? Did she still love Jim? At a joint counselling session Jayne had observed he was truly repentant and remorseful, but could she bring herself to trust him again? Her heart was still hurting. She had told Jim â€œYou will probably never understand how much it hurts. The person firing the gun sees what happens, but they can't feel the pain of the
bullet.â€ He had no reply.
A week later Jayne rang. The conversation was initially stilted but thawed slightly. Taking a chance Jim asked Jayne if they could meet for coffee.
â€œI'll ring in a couple of daysâ€ she replied. Hopeful, Jim continued to pray.
After the chat with Jim, encouraged by Arthur and Margaret, Jayne read and studied a book about the love of God - what real love is. Her focus turned to 1 Corinthians 13 :4-7*. As she meditated, certain portions leapt out.
'Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. IT DOES NOT DEMAND ITS OWN WAY. It is not irritable and IT KEEPS NO RECORD OF BEING WRONGED. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever truth wins out. LOVE NEVER GIVES UP, NEVER LOSES FAITH, IS ALWAYS HOPEFUL, AND ENDURES THROUGH EVERY
â€œCould I really love like that?â€ Jayne wondered â€œCan I surrender myself to that extent?â€
â€œYou can by My Spiritâ€ she felt the Lord say.
â€œBut you need to forgive Jim. Then if you want to, you can be part of a miracle!â€
â€œI don't know if I can â€“ it's such a challenge!â€
â€œIt is.â€ came the reply â€œIt wont be easy and will take time, but I'll be with you!â€
â€œThank you Lord!â€
After much prayer and many tears, two days later Jayne rang Jim.
â€œHi, would you like to have coffee?â€
JIM & JAYNE
With the Lord and support a miracle began!
*New Living Translation
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