Once upon a time there was a woman named Lee, who was in a relationship with a man named Dom. Dom and Lee had been together for twelve years when Lee got a message from God. Now Lee was a Baptist and Dom was a Catholic (Catholics didn't seem to be in on the whole message from God thingy, or maybe it was just Dom?)
Anyway, Lee attended church every Sunday and was very active in the choir and any church events that came up. Although she would invite Dom to attend church with her, aside from one or two visits, he declined her invitation on the regular.
Knowing that a family that prays together stays together, Lee made several visits to his church and although she considered some of the services quite dry, (No clapping, no amen's...nothing) she was pleased to realize that no matter the delivery, God's word stands on its own. Anyway, Lee told Dom about her message from God, which pretty much amounted to, "You're fornicating...stop it...now!"
Needless to say, Dom was not a happy camper because he couldn't understand what the big deal was all about (probably because Dom and Lee were scheduled to be married within six months). Dom reluctantly agreed to "project abstinence" probably thinking that he'd wear Lee down, eventually. The first week went by pretty well, but the second week began the question of parameters of "project abstinence." The themes ranged from ..."As long as there's no penetration, it isn't sex," to "How about we watch each other...you know..."
Lee didn't want to know, because she was experiencing a new lease on life. A new clarity of thought and spiritual and emotional well-being like she hadn't experienced in years!
High on the hog and confident that Dom's discontent was just a drop in the bucket, she never really noticed when Dom stopped asking. Or maybe she just thought that he was dealing as well. Then with the newfound clarity, she began to notice that Dom was doing things that would deliberately anger her, so that arguments would begin and he could exit the scene.
Lee realized that things were escalating to a breaking point, but determined to hold things together, she sucked up the strife, continued to be the peacemaker that she had always been and told herself only three more months. She then noticed that Dom, upped his game of "anger the fiancee" with really blatant, in your face, you-better pop-your neck-and-roll-your-eyes-at-me-or-you're-not-a-strong-black-woman antics.
Lee finally gave in and told Dom that she wanted to speak with him. She gave him the it's not working out speech and returned the quite ugly engagement ring. They both wept beautiful tears, hugged each other and said the placating words that people usually say at times like that, "I love you, but I guess, sometimes, love is just not enough" (What the heck is that crap?)
As she watched Dom, drive away, Lee felt two parts relief and one part disappointment. She knew that Dom had just angered her to the point of frustration, so that she would be the one to end the relationship, instead of him. She couldn't help seeing that as a weak and less than a manly thing to do. She also figured, that twelve years, deserved more consideration than that.
She then went into her house and quietly told her mother and daughter that the relationship had ended, but in amicable manner. They rallied around her, and being the strong black woman that she was, she pooh poohed their pitying looks and comforting hugs and went into her bastion of solitude (bathroom), turned on the water and cried like a baby.
She considered it only correct when Dom called the next day, to see if she was alright. But when the phonecalls continued to come in everyday, as though nothing had changed and all was well, she began to unravel a bit and a bit of her lassitude, began to slide into the anger mode. But, being one to avoid a conflict, she simply began avoiding Dom's phonecalls.
She thought that it was obvious that she didn't want to speak with him, until he began calling her mother, her daughter, her sister, her brother-in-law and then her co-workers, to find out why Lee wasn't returning or avoiding his phonecalls. Was the brother really that thick...or just insensitive?
All was well, for a little while, until Lee received a phonecall from Dom. He had news for her that he just had to tell her in person. Filled with triumph, Lee thinks to herself, I knew his a** would come crawling back, but I didn't expect it this soon! She retained that sense of confidence, even as they met face to face and he stuttered and mumbled his way through the message of his impending fatherhood, as he looked at Lee with hopeful eyes.
Meanwhile, Lee is thinking to herself, "Oh heyell nawww, I know this negro is not standing in front of me, telling me that he's gotten someone pregnant already! Wait...a minute...this sounds like overlap to me! I oughta, I should...nawww, going to jail over a no account man, is not really the game plan!" Face impassive, not displaying a lick of the thoughts and strong emotions going through her, she simply said, "Is that all? Thanks for sharing." turned and went back into her house.
Once inside, she listened for the car engine which signaled his departure, then she finally allowed the anger she felt full reign and open her mouth to emit a silent scream. Two weeks later, via her mother, she learned that he was getting married to the "mother" of his child and wedding plans were in progress.
A month later as she packed her bags for the day and left her office, she knew that she was not returning, as she carefully placed one foot in front of the other, talking herself through making the trip home and into the sanctuary of her room, walking endless, slowly towards the moment in time she'd feared all her adult life...the moment where she quietly lost it.
It was there, sitting on her bed staring at the wall, her arms wrapped around herself, she rocked to and fro and allowed herself to acknowledge the emptiness that was her reality.The busyness of work no longer a shield, she faced herself for the first time in years and realized that she was angry! She wanted to know why? Why wasn't I good enough Lord? Why wasn't the love enough Lord? What's wrong with me Lord? Maybe if I hadn't told him the truth about my dad? Where were you Lord? When my life was going all to hell...where were you? You know what? I give up...I can't take it anymore!
And as if those were the magic words necessary, Lee suddenly felt a warmth and a peace seeping into her being and wrapping itself around her mind and heart as before her very eyes a kaleidoscope of her life played and God showed her moments in her life unbeknowst to her, where He'd preserved her from harm. At that point, Lee was filled with contrition and repentance, and surrendered her will to God's call on her life to be a minister of the gospel.
To Be continued...