I couldn't remember the last time I had even had a good day, one where I didn't cry or feel my heart was being ripped out or simply didn't hurt. Every day hurt.
I couldn't do it anymore.
And I couldn't change it.
All I could do was go to God and be blunt. "You have to do something. I'd quit if I could, but I have two children depending on me. You have to do something to get me out of this hell."
A simple, but oh, so clear response as audible as my children in the room with me: "You have to tell."
The thought had crossed my mind multiple times in the last year, but along with the thought came chest pain, the inability to breathe, and deep soul sobs. With each wave of fear, I had declared, "I can't tell."
This time, I only asked, "Who?"
My dear friends Kenneth and Joy came to mind. Yes, I could tell them.
I went in my bedroom, closed the door, sat on my bed with my computer, and pulled up a new email. I had no idea where to start, how to word things, or what the end would look like. I simply had to tell, so I started.
"I do not expect you to have answers or…really anything. I just need to tell someone..."I told them about my struggle with God, not understanding Him, trying to figure out what trust and faith are all over again, feeling totally abandoned by Him for nineteen years, and yet, knowing He was faithful. Strangely that was the easy part.
Then I told them about 19 years of marriage that left more scars than I believed would ever go away. I told them details, things I had never told anyone. I would write, stop, breathe deep, keep writing...and cry.
I told them about the shame. I typed, fought the desire to vomit, laid in a fetal position on my bed, sobbed until I ached, and then got up and typed more.
Then I said it, the thing that had tormented me that I couldn't admit, that hurt me to my very core, the truth.
I stared at the blurred words while hot tears rolled down my face, and I read it over and over.
Really, that was what it all came down to.
He didn't want me.
It wasn't my hair or the way I kept house or my ironing or any THING. It was me. He didn't want me.
And I closed my computer, lay on my bed, and soul cried over nineteen years of truth.
I have no idea how long I cried. When I sat up, I opened my computer and finished writing the letter.
Four hours, ten pages, and a soggy pillow later, I ended the letter with:
I hit "send", closed my computer, and put my head down. I was tired, and I needed to rest.And I wonder if I will ever not feel so completely destroyed, crushed, and shattered.Thank you for listening.Love you both.Jerri
The next day I woke up, went through the day, got to the end, and realized...it had been a really good day.
I texted Kenneth and told him. He and Joy rejoiced with me.
The next evening I texted, "Okay, that is two great days in a row."
After day three of my string of great days, I allowed myself to think maybe...possibly...
Then came the fourth day, and it was a great day, too. That is when I realized....
I wasn't sad. I wasn't fighting to be happy. There was real joy, and I wasn't having to fake it or fight for it. It was coming naturally. The smiles were real. The laughter was real.
The peace...was real.
And I knew it wasn't just a sunny time out in the prison yard before going to the cell again. I knew I was out of the prison...completely. I had been released from the dungeon and was in the sunshine. I was breathing, moving...living...hoping. I was also...
In nearly eleven months I could not remember a time when I felt sleepy. I had been mentally and emotionally exhausted. I had slept to try to escape my thoughts, but I didn't remember when my mind had been so settled I could feel my body want to sleep. I don't think I have ever been so excited to be sleepy in my life.
I wrote that letter nearly three weeks ago. Since then I have...
...cleared the flowerbeds that previously brought me to tears.
...trimmed limbs (from ground level because I don't get dizzy standing on the ground) from several trees.
...assisted Anna as she redecorated the study and made it into a guest room.
...made a wonderful trip to Galveston and enjoyed the beach and churning water.
...relaxed....honestly relaxed!...with friends.
...enjoyed a house guest so much I really hated to see her go home.
...rejoined Habitat for Humanity.
...enjoyed time with my brother.
...developed smile lines.
...had one great day after another, and at the end of each one, I am delightfully sleepy. :-)