Dear fearless girls, wise woman and beloved sisters...
welcome to the year of intentional grace.
(no idea what the book's actually like...I just loved the cover!)
There was a wedding close by over the weekend.
Matt was back, best friend & best man & traveling in sweet company (friends)
Old suitcases were borrowed for photo props, including this little darling for little Ezra to carry.
Then, late in a perfect summer's day everyone assembled out at Duart House in Havelock North to celebrate a happy union.
Rob & I had a picnic in the very same place, in late November..we were celebrating the day that so profoundly changed our lives...the day we meet 34 years ago.
Rose: Jubilee celebration.
And so it is, that I have been pondering these words over the last few weeks..intention & grace
and what they might mean when you bring them together to create life purpose.
I have found them quite elusive really.
I have just waited with them loosely in my hand turning them this way & that to see what might come to me.
What arrived, gently knocking on my front door, early last Friday morning, I certainly did not expect.
Here we were, drinking tea & chatting & still in bed, as we generally are since Rob works until nearly midnight most nights, so I slipped on my dressing gown, thinking it was most likely a courier, when instead I opened the door to...."Donna", X girlfriend of Rob's.
"Nice" kicked in & we were hospitable & friendly...
But I never imagined that I would get up one morning & have my heart ripped open before the day had even begun.
Intention? Grace? History!
So, beloved sisters I need your trusted wisdom, because I am pretty much a mess.
Do you mind if I explain just a little?
The young man met his Susan through a church youth group & was committed & besotted through the several years that their relationship lasted. He thought it would be forever. Susan had lost her mum to cancer & was pretty mixed up. One day she simply announced it was all over, no explanation & off she went..her best friend "Donna" was waiting in the wings to move in & comfort the heart broken chap. Meantime, the mother had given her heart to Susan & felt sure that she'd found the daughter she'd never had & always wanted & with her best christian counseling & tender care she was certain that she could nurse Susan into radiant wholeness, given time. The young man was devastated & confused & unwittingly entered a relationship with the highly attentive best friend, while also signing up to do some missions work in Samoa...& it was while there, in Samoa that he & I met, & in that month fell in love.
We eventually married, had three children & did our best to build a life together.
The mother, however, went on seeing Susan & helping her & some years later attended her wedding as the special guest of honour (not telling her son). She soon became jealous of her son's love for another woman (all the while feigning sweet christian acceptance) & began to whisper & lie about his wife to other family members causing division & endless hurt.
Just before our 20th wedding anniversary, the now not so young man, received a "wild card" phone call from his long lost Susan wanting to make amends for the hurt she'd caused. Guard down & naively delighted to hear from her, he was drawn in to the pretext...for ruse it was. She then set about organising a youth group reunion so that she could see him & her true intentions soon became quite obvious, she was wanting to reconnect & wished she had never let him go (I had twigged to her instantly so..of course we didn't go but some egg sent of photos of her!).
Devastation for me..so often feeling second best, I was shattered. Her own marriage broke a year or two down the track & another friend's as well, before she'd finished.
SO...Friday morning "Donna" knocks on the door, after 18 years with no contact (second husband waiting in the car) just in town..of course!
My last memory of her...squealing in pure delight at seeing my husband & hugging him repeatedly while barely acknowledging my presence...she insists that that is her normal bubbly personality & behaviour!
Yes, I have contacted her & we have had some discussion (via email). She now insists that she cannot remember the relationship at all or much about that time in her life & there was nothing in it, ahem..
Well I do..it's indelibly imprinted on my soul!
Please tell me how to keep moving through this.
Help me to find the intentional grace in my pain.
I woke up at 3am this morning with nightmares.
I have sobbed & sobbed & sobbed.
I'm a sensitive soul but I don't have to apologize for that, do I?
It's the photos that have been the hardest through all the years..I talk in images, it's my best language, but you knew that.
Yes they're all gone now.
It takes a lot of guts & hard work to keep a marriage together sometimes..maybe my story just might make someone else think twice before gatecrashing someone else's life/marriage.
Sometimes we do ok in the processing, sometimes we don't.
Why the heck didn't she at least give us a call first???
My intention..to make my way back to here. I just need a little time & help.
With much love to you all!