His big golden brown eyes barreled into mine appealing for even a hint of mercy. He was still so handsome after all these years, looking younger than most men his age. Yet, I was unmoved by his charm and refused any option of grace.
How could I still love him and yet despise him in the same thought? He had betrayed me in the worst way. I had given him everything; my virginity, my youth, my girls, my love and my faithfulness. Now, I had nothing left to give except pain and anger.
He turned to leave the room and something empowering and vengeful took over . Before I knew it, I kicked him in an explosion of rage. My mind spun as pain surged through my foot. He seemed unmoved by my attack, looking down at me with confusion and pity.
Tears exploded from my eyes as I fell to the ground in a heap. “I hate you! I will never forgive what you’ve done to me!”
His head dropped, “I’m sorry… I’m so sorry.”
“No you’re not! You’re just sorry you got caught!” I said, wiping my cheeks. “Just go.”
He sighed and turned again to leave. I clutched my throbbing foot and began another self-pitying sob fest.
My life was over. These little precious girls would grow up without their father and I would be divorced at age thirty-five. Is this really the plan God had for my life? I didn’t know— Nothing was the same anymore.
As it turns out, I broke my big toe. Who knew that breaking your toe would make it nearly impossible to walk? In all my married years so far he had never taken care of me; let alone taken care of everything. The dishes, laundry, housekeeping all became his responsibility, while I laid flat on my back. Talk about wanting to feel sorry for myself. I felt pathetic! A scorned woman, now unable to do the only things that brought purpose and worth to my life. Being a good mother was my life! Taking care of my girls brought me joy and comfort. They were so confused by all this, and now they would have to depend completely on their dad. My job was to heal. But, I had a feeling healing physically would be easier than emotionally. I was broken.
TV held no interest and novels no appeal. My mind raced with the facts, dates and details he had laid on me, only days ago. My stomach turned as heartbreak and panic began to consume me. I just wanted it all to go away; all the hurt, all the despair, all the thoughts. The silence in my head grew louder and louder until I heard Him.
His still small voice quieted me. “You’re going to be okay. Trust me. Just breathe. In and out. In and out. Let go of everything. Put it all into my hands. I know you’re hurting beyond belief, but I do have a plan. I love you and I will heal your heart.”
I exhaled and felt peace wash over me like a warm comforting shower. A peace like I’ve never known before. It by passes all my understanding.
My eyes grew heavy, my body relaxed, and slowly I drifted off into a deep pleasant sleep.
Then I saw him in my dreams. I saw my husband as barely a teen. He was in his childhood home, surrounded by chaos. His parents fought and yelled as he cupped his hands over his ears.
“Shut up! Shut up! Stop it, just stop it! I can’t take it anymore.” He pleaded, but they couldn’t hear him over their own voices. They were masters at manipulation, and coursed between fits of anger and icy silence. He despised them for it.
I could see the pain and frustration on his adolescent face. He began to build walls around himself, to fend off the betrayal and loneliness. Like a castle, he built a fortress against invaders.
Higher and stronger the walls went, isolating him from the hurt, numbing him to his own feelings. Their madness spiraled around him, but he felt somewhat safe within the borders he had erected.
Blond curls and a sassy smirk circled around him, “What are you doing now? Stop hiding like a baby! Don’t you see what’s happening here.” She instigated, glaring at her little brother. “They’re probably gonna get a divorce. I’m sure if you were smarter and did better in school, they wouldn’t fight so much. ” She said with a huff. Antagonizing him was her distraction against the tension at home.
“Leave me alone,” He said. He could feel his anger boiling, she was always picking on him. It’s true he wasn’t the best at school. There were always whispers about him being “not normal”. Writing and reading were a challenge, and social interaction an even bigger mystery. He was awkward and different.
So he continued to build. Overtime he grew within those walls. His upper lip now covered with stubble and his jaw more defined. He looked so handsome. A young man coming into his prime and taller now than the castle walls. It began to feel like a prison around him, like being confined to a playpen. He didn’t want to stay within the fortress, but he also didn’t want to be exposed and vulnerable to his parents.
So freedom called to him. He was almost an adult, and the great wide world invited him to adventure. The dream of escape and thrill of a new life enticed him.
So he journeyed from a place of pain, away from his childhood. Out of the city he had always known and into the forest he went. Out to the woods. The fresh pine air awakened his senses. He had escaped! He was free! He would show them, show them all!
He had the skills to earn a living and build a life. He’d been building for sometime. He could do it all by himself. He was determined to succeed! And so his pride grew and grew. It blinded him from the truth, like another wall erected, this one over his eyes. Like very dark sunglasses, he could only see what glittered. Plain and simple things didn’t hold the luster and would easily lose his attention.
He was drawn to the bright and shiny, the pleasurable and parade worthy.
One day, as he walked through his kingdom of the woods, he came upon a gold-foiled wrapped object. It laid openly on a lush velvety bed of moss. It made him feel good just to gaze at it. He looked around to see if anyone else had seen this treasure, before reaching down to pick it up. It felt smooth and nice under his fingertips. He looked around again. Had someone misplaced this? There was no one there. Only him and his new golden friend.
He unwrapped it slowly, as his heartbeat increased. It was a delicacy, unlike anything he had seen before. He so desired to taste it, devour it, to consume it. Finally, he gave into the foreplay and anticipation. For a moment he felt satisfied, and then the loneliness returned. He threw the empty wrapper to ground. He wanted more! He needed more! It had captivated him and now he was captured.
So the search began for more goodies to fill his appetite. It wasn’t hard to find them. They were everywhere. Shiny, sparkling candies glittering around every tree and shrub. Even through his dark glasses, he could easily see the sun light flickering off the gold coverings. Years went by and he continued to consume to his heart’s content. Needing more and more to get the same pleasure and always throwing away the wrappers when he was finished. The forest floor was littered with his conquests. After each treat, he had moments of guilt, follow by the rejection of gold wrapper and the momentary promise to never eat them again. He loved them, he hated them.
But, even with all this gluttony, it couldn’t satiate his emptiness. He was getting older now and needed security; a shelter of his own. His chin and cheeks now full with hair, his head showing signs of thinning. But, his body was still rugged and strong, full of ambition. So he began to search for materials and tools to create his home.
He came upon a very usable, newly formed rock, that had never been touched by other hands. He chose it to be his very own. He could see the value in it to serve his needs and yet cared very little for the rock itself. It was merely a tool to be used to build his life. It did however ease some of his loneliness, and therefore he decided to marry the little rock.
On their wedding day, the humble little rock wasn’t covered in shimmering gold or any material that shines. She was only covered in a clean white linen cloth, seemingly plain.
And so, their life began, the little rock full of high hopes and romantic notions. She didn’t realize she was merely a tool, a device to serve and give.
He used the little rock to build his house. He used it to ignite warm comforting fires. He used it to throw at the enemies outside his door that would challenge him for his wrong-doings. He used it for cooking his food and cleaning his clothes. And he used it in his everyday work as a tool for efficiency and organization.
The little rock was always in his hand, doing his work, but never receiving the love from his heart.
So as it was, the shiny golden objects began to call to him once more. The rush of passion and excitement stirred him. There was however the problem of the little rock. As long as it was nestled in his palm, he couldn’t reach for the objects he so desired. So he put the little faithful rock deep into his pocket, now he could have both hands open.
Now he was free again, free to explore all his wild fantasies. His pride continued to grow, and arrogance darkened his glasses even further. He couldn’t see the truth.
The little rock was so lonely deep within the darkness of his pocket. So lonely and needy in fact, that two small pieces broke off from herself. These small slivers became a great source of comfort and joy for the little rock. She was now aging as well and had grown so insecure and heartbroken.
But, these little ones gave her life new purpose and meaning. She became so busy with all their constant needs that it was a distraction against her own neglect.
There were times when he would reach into the depths of his pocket and bring the little rock and her pieces to the surface. Mostly because he needed something from her, and occasionally to play with the little pieces. They fascinated him so. However, it wouldn’t last long, his walls were still up. He was living a lie, and their innocence only reminded him of that.
One day, he was stricken with a horrible pain. It was debilitating. He used the little rock to carve out crutches for himself, but he was furious she couldn’t do more to ease his suffering. His freedom was gone and he felt sorry for himself. Depressed and angry he retreated deeper into his shell behind his dark glasses, leaving the little rock and pieces to fend for themselves.
He desired more goodies to lift his fragile ego, so he hobbled along forest in search. His handicap limited his mobility and he began to lose his balance. He wobbled and grappled for something stronger to brace himself, but it was no use. He fell forward face first to the ground. The little rock and pieces flew from his pocket as he descended. Ironically, he landed in a big glittery pile of his golden wrapped treasures.
Only when he opened his eyes he found that they were no longer the delicious and tempting candies that he lusted over. They had turned into manure, foul and disgusting. The stench was horrific and the rotten decay and waste oozed over his whole body.
The little rock was beside him and cracked and bleeding. She was no longer clothed in clean white linen, but had been soiled and stained from the Fall. Her wedding robes were ripped, and she had been damaged in every way. He strained to reach her, but was unable to pull himself from the muck and mire. He was helpless.
Then finally he cried out to God in desperation. “Oh Father, please help me. Please save me! Forgive me of my sins and free me from the filth of this world.” He removed his cracked dark glasses and laid them on the ground, opening his eyes to the bright clean light emerging overhead.
God heard his cry and reached out his hand to meet his, pulling him from the depths.
“Son, I do forgive you . I will make you clean. I know you’ve been searching your whole life, for love and purpose. But, you don’t need to search anymore, you are mine now. And I love you very, very much.” The Father said as he wiped off all the years of defilement and shame.
He could see the little rock and pieces behind the Father and he turned to reach for them. “Oh Lord, look what I’ve done to my little rock and to our little pieces. I’ve hurt them so much. Let me get and heal them, they are broken. I broke them.”
“No.” The Father said firmly, as he covered them with his other hand. “You cannot help them
right now, only I can fix them.” The Lord picked up the little rock and its pieces. He cradled them in the safety of hand for some time and then slowly opened his palm for the man to see.
The Father had not only fixed her, but he had transformed her into something glorious. No longer an abused, broken, bleeding little rock, she was now a beautiful glittering crystal.
“That looks like a—” He gasped, rubbing his eyes.
“A diamond— yes she is.” The father nodded. “Beautiful, flawless, precious and purified by fire. She is unique, she is to be treasured.”
“Please give me the diamond Lord, I will care for her.” He said reaching towards the Lord’s hands.
“No son, it is not time yet. I will hold the diamond and her little pieces, until you are ready and worthy to care for them. You must walk with me and learn to obey.
All those years you chased after the shiny, golden objects and all the while the most precious and rare of all was right in your hand. Now you will learn what it is to appreciate her worth. And I will teach you about your own worth in me. I’m so glad you’ve finally let your walls down, I’ve been waiting for you.”
The Father closed his fingers around the precious stones once again, and pulled them close to his heart. With his other arm he reached for the man, who now looked more like a boy again. He was starting over in life. Young and new in spirit. Born again.
Then I woke up.
Just like that.
I quickly wrote down every detail so I wouldn’t forget.
I wish I could say everything was easy after that, but it wasn’t. We separated for awhile. But, then a year later we renewed our vows.
I was being healed and learning to forgive step by step. He was being delivered and renewing his mind. We were both learning to trust God. We were both making Jesus our everything.
Now thirty years later, I’m blown away at our story. There were chapters of sickness and surgery. Chapters where tempers flared and hormones raged. Chapters where more pain and heartache threatened to sever us again.
But, through it all, there were beautiful chapters of our girls. There was so much good, so much fruit. They were healthy, happy and whole. And we as a family were kept together by His grace.
My husband is now seventy, and though his hair is gone, and his body is failing, his Spirit is stronger than ever. His heart is soft and he says every day, “I need more of Jesus.” I couldn’t ask for anything better. What a beautiful story I’ve had.
The hardest, strongest substance on earth is a diamond. It is extremely valuable and precious, forged through extreme pressure and heat.
I felt that pressure, but it did not break me.
I experienced that heat, but I was not consumed. Something beautiful and eternal was created in my life through that painful time.
I became a diamond in His hand!