Saturday, February 28, 2009

Chapter Four: Not Bent, Broken

Why is that you can never just "break up" once? First there was the break-up with Zeke, then again with Zeke. But then it was his family.

I'll never forget that night at the Flying Star. Sitting alone opposite of Ben, Jill and Kelly (of course Zeke was not there), as if I were on trial. While exact words escape me, the gist of the conversation was something akin to "Zeke doesn't love you, so we don't either." I may be exaggerating, maybe, but that's the message my heart heard loud and clear.

Then there was the weekend that the band was scheduled to lead worship at a youth camp. Considering that the "band" was Zeke and his family, I felt that there was no way I could go with them. How can you lead worship with disunity on the team? Makes sense, right? Wrong! I was crucified for my decision to withdraw. After all, I had "given my word". How were they going to use that against me when the decision was made when we were still planning our wedding? I decided, instead, to go to Chicago to support our sister church. While I enjoyed my first visit to the Windy City, my heart still ached. It was a deep ache, like I was missing out on my destiny, and so I cried....again.

The next week was my birthday. What a weekend that was. My parents were scheduled to come down to meet Zeke, and the plan was that he would ask for my hand in marriage. Instead, they came down to find their very broken daughter, struggling to enjoy her favorite day of the year. We took the tram to Sandia Peak (my first time to the top of the mountain) and ate an early dinner. It was freezing, but I made myself walk to the edge of the mountain to see the city. As I stood there, my eyes became glued to his neighborhood, a place I knew well. Why couldn't I just let this go? Why was my heart still bleeding from this? What was wrong with me. I picked up a few rocks, and as a symbol of surrender, I threw them all over the edge. I watched each one tumble, one by one down the desert peak. Was this enough? Was that all it would take to get my life back? Looking back, I wish that I would have listened to my mother that weekend who, in the wisdom only a mother has, said that God's plans are often hidden by our agendas, and that I needed to let Zeke go. But I couldn't....I wouldn't.

When I was in college, I took a pyschology class. It was my favorite class as it explored so much of the science of human nature. I was particulary fascinated with a lecture regarding the tendencies of abused women and why they stay with their abusive mates. I distinctly remember asking myself, "How can they be so broken to believe that these men are their best option?". My professor taught that there is a bell type model which shows that the women actually believe that the "good" qualities in these men outweighed the "bad" qualities, therefore they were willing to sacrifice themselves for the greater "good".

Was this why I couldn't let go? I believed with all my heart that Zeke was a good man, anointed and called by the Lord to great things. I believed that he loved me deeply, and was just a little confused. I made so many excuses for him, even when the "other woman" showed up.

It was the first weekend of April. I had taken one of my many trips to Phoenix, and came back for a Monday night service. We had a special speaker, and I was on the worship team that night. So was Zeke. He walked in and we made eye contact, as we often did. There was a sadness in his eyes, possibly regret, but I just couldn't read him anymore. We made it through rehearsal, when I saw his parents walk in, accompanied by a pretty hispanic girl. I gave him the benefit of the doubt, and believed that she was just a family friend. After all, Ben and Jill and Kelly were all laughing and joking with her as well. But when worship ended, he sat down right next to her and put his arm around her, whispering in her ear, making her giggle, just like he used to do with me. My already broken heart screamed "Enough! Isn't it enough? I can't possibly break anymore!" And my shaky smile quickly melted into more tears.

But I still wouldn't let go....

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