“There’s someone here that needs to know that God is going to pay you back for the years the locusts have taken.” A wall of a man with a South African accent had taken the mic at the front of church one morning. He had a shaved head and go-tee and had large tribal looking tattoos. He reminded me of the machine gun preacher. I was standing in the back, feeling particularly fragile. The words stirred hope inside me and I broke.
He continued authoritatively. “You have been robbed, you have been wronged. God wants you to know that He is for you. He is with you. He will contend for you. He is going to set things right. And He is going to bless you abundantly.”
I couldn’t dry the tears. I couldn’t see. They poured. And poured.
Oh, Lord. You are for me. You will repay for the years the locusts have taken. Thank you, Lord. Thank you, God.
The nights were still the hardest. When the day was done. The boys were in bed. The house was quiet. And it was me again. I had grown more accustomed to my own company. But still I had to contend with Loneliness. Sometimes he was like a dark pool, sometimes like a strong man. Sometimes like a python.
He would coil himself around my chest. Slow enough as not to draw attention. And then commence the arduous torment in which he took such delight. Into my ear he would whisper his lies.
You are too old. No one will want you.
The adversary that plagued me. The hardest to defeat. So clever with his lies. And Pity let him in. She would open the door for him and prepare me as his meal.
I sought to find contentment in my singleness. Find a place where the yearning for companionship ebbed away to something tolerable. To somehow find joy in it. Peace in the aloneness. To embrace its season for me.
Every now and then someone would come along. Words. It was always the words that drew me in. Conversations would lengthen. Then deepen. Compliments exchanged. Trust given. The seed was planted and hope would blossom. Love. A conception of combustion. Two hearts lit by the same undying fire. An embryo of Possibility and Future. And Future would look so bright. The struggle that ensued in Darkness was going to cease. Decisions. Life. Sleep. Finance. Time. Discipline. Encroaching on the Promised Land, the desert behind me. To be desired. Someone to share in all things. Someone who could look at my scars without flinching. And willing to show me their’s.
And out of no where, still in the budding stage. Hope withered. The embers cooled. The Promise Land, a mirage. A flare. Burning bright and hot at the start, but left with nothing but smoke and a signal of distress.
I didn’t guard my heart enough. I didn’t make them earn it. Or prove it. I didn’t wait it out. To see if they were who they said they were. I believed what they said. I trusted too easily. The broken heart propels itself into romance, seeking the high. Without first reading the label:
Long Term Side Effects: Bitter Disappointment
WARNING: *Not a Cure*
A dog trainer. A fisherman. A teacher. A musician. A chiropractor. A coast guard.
Each relationship a rush of euphoric flight. Followed swiftly by more broken pieces. Another shattered dream.
But in the wake of devastation, a miracle. With each relationship. Each devastating heartbreak. I found myself closer to Jesus. More reliant on Him. More focused on Him. More determined to live passionately for Him. More alive in Him. More at peace in Him. More free in Him. What an amazing God. Who could take my missteps. My mistakes. My weakness. My pain. And turn it into an ever deepening relationship with His invisible self. The invisible force who guided me. The force of love and compassion that I discovered was deeper, richer, and more beautiful than I had ever imagined.