memories stirred in her heart like a wooden spoon stirring ingredients together in a mixing bowl.
there was the rainbow at beacon rock. plans for the little restaurant in the gorge. dreams of a home on the coast.
these were not small things. his was intense, passionate. he wanted to rebuild his life. he didn’t want to do it alone. but there were character issues. and pride. it caused him to stumble. and it kept him from yielding to holy spirit, jesus and papa.
she’d seen it often. when pride rose up in him, darkness would cover his face. the tenderness she loved in him was hidden. joy was crushed in anger and unforgiveness.
nearly a year passed since any communication occurred between them. and it was her doing the reaching out. again. he’d gone dark after helping her with the car battery at the airport after thanksgiving. christmas came and went without a word.
she texted him on new year’s day, wished him well. he responded back, but even his texting voice felt small. he wasn’t in a good place, maybe drunk.
now, on the eve of another christmas, memories resurfaced. she smiled, recalling times, places, conversations. his daughter. his family. aunt louise and uncle charlie.
she texted him again, fondly recalling a few details that would make him smile if she wasn’t blocked on his phone. she visited several of his family’s facebook pages, wondering out loud if he’d been home to visit them yet. it was fifteen years now since he’d seen them.
she recalled words spoken over their lives. his momma would be a momma to her. his daughter would be her daughter, just like she’d given birth to her. aunt louise had taken her under her wing, always grateful for how she’d brought him back into communication with the family.
when it got too painful to hold on, she quietly unfriended his momma. she contacted the half-brother and aunt louise to tell them she needed to move on. they wished her well. the half-brother invited her to visit him and his wife if she was ever in alabama. it hadn’t taken long to develop bonds with them.
on a whim, she reached out to aunt louise on messenger, not knowing if she’d even see her message since they were no longer connected. why was all of this flooding back into the forefront?
praying, she got into her weekly epsom salt bath. sitting in silence, papa surprised her with a question. “would you take him back if he was all cleaned up?” her head snapped as she looked up to him. “first of all, you can please confirm this is you. i’m pretty vulnerable right now. secondly, yes, i might, but with conditions.”
the conditions were clear: he needed to be walking closely with papa, jesus and holy spirit. and he would need to come out of agreement with every spirit that does not serve jesus. those two qualifiers covered a lot of ground.
something deeper was working. she wasn’t clear on what it was. more prayer, more healing in the salty, lavender water. thirty minutes later, she was on the living room floor stretching. then cleansing her gateways. this was an important process. forgive, cleanse, release. release is equated with liberty.
late afternoon arrived and she began cooking for the week. chicken thighs fried on the stove, rice cooked in the dutch oven. when the phone rang, she was startled, but not as much as she was when she saw the location of the caller: new orleans. who and why?
she answered. “hello?” “hi ______!” i see you wanted to talk with me. it was aunt louise. calling her. from new orleans. what??? something deeper was working here.
she and uncle charlie were well. the big surprise and subsequent shock came shortly thereafter. he’d been home to visit. finally. he’d been there in october, just a few weeks ago. that was the big surprise. then came the shock.
he hadn’t gone alone. he went with a woman. not just a girlfriend. a fiancé. her head and heart reeled at the same time, shock waves tearing through her senses. aunt louise said something about them being forever grateful for bringing him back to them..somehow, the call ended abruptly.
devastation and betrayal set in. that was her trip to make with him, her family to meet. the new woman had taken credit for getting him there. truth spoke loudly over the top of the lie. she knew well the prophetic words she’d spoken over him two years earlier that propelled him forward to reconciliation with his family.
the truth could not be taken from her. his betrayal could not be ignored, either. he’d chosen not to yield, not to say, ‘yes,’ to papa, jesus and holy spirit. he didn’t want to do the work. it was easier to find someone else who didn’t require so much of him, someone who would be satisfied with mediocre.
it took two weeks to process all of it again. hashing over all the prophetic words, all the promises, all the conversations..and all the character flaws. left unchecked, the character flaws became massive stumbling blocks. indeed, they’d made the foundation of their relationship unstable.
his actions consistently sowed distrust. there was nothing solid to build on. it was unsustainable, shaky ground. she knew his history. if he was challenged to be more, he threw a tantrum. and if he didn’t get his way, he moved on to someone else.
two weeks later, she made a different decision. looking up, she spoke decisively. “i don’t want him back. if he was yielded to you, he would have come back for me. he did not. so i’m closing the door. you close it, too.”
she took back the key and the dream. papa had already breathed new life and purpose into her. it happened yesterday in the salty bath laced with lavender and into the future oils. he’d taken her heart into his large, gentle hands and breathed new life into it. it was beating strong again.
she held the key in her left hand, the side her heart lived in. someone was coming. he would be worthy of her heart, the key and the dream.
destiny beckoned as compromise lost its power and voice.
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