What Becomes of the Brokenhearted?
Two years before:….
June 20, 2003
Another sweet day…
The sun peeking through the leaves of the trees creates a dappled effect of light and dark on the porch floor. The kitten rolls and scratches, rubbing her back and sharpening her claws. A breeze sifts through the lattice work from the south and the shadows slide lazily back and forth across the porch floor. The birds sing sweetly, no screeches, just lovely songs trilling to each other. Mornings like this are worth a lot to the soul.
So quickly all the joy, happiness and serenity go. My chest hurts with longing for someone who will truly be a team, working together to find solutions, plan events, instead of always “we’ll do what you want” from one to the other. Now my thinking space has been invaded. No more alone time to think and write. The birds still sing, the breeze continues to float in through the windows, but I hear it, feel it, see the clarity of the nature outside, but my body hurts. I feel pain in my throat, tightness; in my chest, aches; in my joints, stiffness. The fluid flow of life’s tranquility is ebbing out of me and the hard, tough, stiff, “can’t touch me” is returning. It’s a defense against this pain. So be it. I need to work…
February 26, 2005
I came home to retrieve something I had forgotten and walked in on my husband and my granddaughter, in a lover’s embrace, in the doorway of my bedroom. …..My heart hurt, my body went hot and cold, I felt ill, sick to my stomach, shaking. I left, then returned to confirm what I saw, before leaving. I was out of town before I realized the full implications and returned to report what I witnessed to the police. ….
June 7, 2005
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. ( Psalm 34:18 )
The word brokenhearted speaks to me.
In the days and months to follow, in the blackness and fog, it became clear that my husband had been sexually abusing my granddaughter in our home during the years she was in our care. As I allowed this to wash over me I began looking backward in time and found many of the ‘problems’ we had as a family were due to this unholy relationship between my granddaughter and her grandfather. To add to this pain, upon cleaning out his things, I came upon letters and journals of others he had been with during our marriage. I had lived 25 years believing lies, trusting the untrustworthy, loving one who could not love.
My initial reaction to that morning was disbelief. My mind refused to accept what I saw. My view of my husband and my granddaughter changed. I saw him with disgust and I wanted to cradle her. She was thirteen at the time. Later it was revealed that this had been going on since she was seven.
What followed were months of questions. Why? Why did I not see this? Why didn’t she say something? Why did he do this? WHY, Why, Why, why…… And the answers came: my God is sufficient; my God knows and understands; my God heals; my God was there.
My focus remained on God and His ability to carry us through. He would reveal the truth in time.
“He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with him” (Daniel 2:22).
I became more steadfast and determined to do what God would require. My husband was a truly sick, manipulative man in need of help and repentance. I worked to get my granddaughter help, I worked to rebuild our relationship, and I turned my husband over to God, to his care and molding.
Emotionally I felt drained, intellectually I searched for truth, physically I was tired, and spiritually I drew even closer to God. My identity hurt. I didn’t know who I was. I had been mother, wife, and grandmother. Now I was alone, coming home to an empty house, waking to an uncharted day. I found I couldn’t sleep, and then I would sleep too much. I didn’t want to eat, and then I would snack constantly. My days went by with less and less being accomplished. They seemed long sometimes. I would forget things, lose things, and miss appointments. I felt self-conscious, like others pitied me, like I was touched by dirt. My trust was destroyed, I had put my trust in my husband and he used it to hurt a child, and so hurt me and the family. The nature of the offense made it public and I felt contaminated by the shame.
Where did this lead me? It led me to prayer and God’s Word. I have journals filled with scriptures and prayers. Daily placing myself and the others in God’s hands, asking the Spirit to heal, lead, guide, I found God’s word is powerful and does not return empty.
“And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will. (Romans 8:27)
As I read, whether Old or New Testament, I found others suffering as I. I found others guilty of the lies, cheating, defiance, and hatred I had been exposed to. And I read of God’s mercy and his healing. I read of his compassion and love.
“I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Joshua 1:5)
The words never leave jump out.
“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.” (Jeremiah 31:3)
The words everlasting love lift off the page to my heart.
Did I experience anger? Yes!!! Often. During our marriage, during the dysfunctional time, and after the truth came to light. What did I do with that anger? I gave it away.
In your anger do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent. (Psalm 4:4)
Turning it over to the Lord was frequent. Explosions occurred, but thankfully, I was alone most of those times.
At one point however, it left me stranded. I was with my son and his wife when I had an episode of amnesia. It didn’t last long, just long enough to frighten us. God is faithful. It was short and I turned once again to him with fervor, praising him for healing, loving me and being there for me. I learned to let the anger wash over me; let the log of anger in the stream float on by. I learned to not wade out into the water and pull it out and hold on to it. I learned to recognize that I am not responsible for the actions of others, only my own. They answer to God for their own deeds.
You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever. (Psalm 30:11,12)
March 24, 2007
The sun is making an appearance; the trees are alive with birdsong. The cats call to each other. Life is rampant around us. Spring—the ‘old has passed behold all things are new.’ We have promise of a new life, new love has blossomed, new growth is progressing, and we are regenerated through our relationship. God has promised blessings to his faithful and we have received those blessings.
The Bible teacher, Bill Britton, states: “…speak what you have heard and seen from Heaven!…if you’ve had a ‘heavenly vision’ or caught a glimpse of God’s divine purposes, hold on with bulldog tenacity for God will surely bring it to pass.”
At about 16 I had a vision, I wrote it. I saw a perfect world in which all held the truths of God close and applied them to their lives. War ended, strife ended, greed, envy, hurt, pain ended because all were engaged and focused on preferring one another, serving one another, acting in unity. That is heaven—what completes it is God’s presence—a constant outpouring of His spirit in and through us.
Then I took my eyes off the possibility and looked on reality—the sin around me—and was filled with despair. And the path I took reflects that despair. I have come through the tunnel of despair to the light of His Word and can once again see what will be. Knowing I can live in that place now, by choice. Even as my body remains in the presence of good and evil, I choose the Word—the good, and choose to disallow the evil to place darkness on my life.
It is now four years later, I have a new husband, my granddaughter is living with her parents and doing well. God is good.
Another sweet day…