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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/600134-How-Many-Times
by Kenzie
Rated: E · Non-fiction · Romance/Love · #600134
And I wonder, again, how many times I will allow my heart to be broken.
How Many Times?
By Marilyn Mackenzie




A year ago, about fourteen months ago, actually, I started corresponding with a wonderful Christian man. We developed a friendship over the Internet, then talked on the phone. Finally, we met. By then, we were both convinced that ours was the forever love we’d always sought. The unconditional kind of love, love that endures all things. And we spent the past year getting to know each other better, loving each other more and more each day, from a distance.

But life doesn’t always turn out as we’ve planned. Nor does love, or what we’ve thought was love. How could two mature individuals get fooled once more about what life and love are all about? How many times will we be fooled by something that appears to be love, but is not?

The Bible gives the best definition of love, unconditional love, in I Corinthians 13. It tells us that love is patient and kind, that it is not rude or irritable or resentful. That wonderful unconditional love that we all want and seek hopes, believes and endures all things.

I thought about this not long ago, after my honey and I had finished our discussion on instant messenger. His last words to me that night were, "go to hell." Not the message I had expected from him at all. Certainly not the words of a good Christian man to the woman he intends to marry.

I awoke in the middle of the night with tears on my pillow. I guess I’d been crying, although I don’t remember doing so. I rolled over and tried to sleep once more. But I couldn’t turn off the thoughts running through my head. I finally gave up, turned on the light and picked up my writing tablet and pen.

My thoughts were about love, about unconditional love, and about marriage. Hadn’t we, after all, been planning to wed?

"What's required of a couple intending to marry is unconditional love. Unconditional love. Such love is described in the Bible as patient, kind, not boastful or arrogant or rude. Such love does not insist in its own way. Unconditional love is not irritable or resentful. It bears, believes, hopes and endures all things. Unconditional love. That's what is required in marriage. Not having unconditional love is what's wrong with marriages today. People today allow puppy-love and lust to take them into marriage. Is it any wonder that marriages don't last? That they cannot stand up when trouble is introduced. But unconditional love can and does hold a marriage together like glue. Unconditional love, the kind our Lord has for us. That's what is required in a marriage. Without unconditional love, marriages are doomed."


************************



Despite the advice of friends, I accepted his apology for hurting me with his typed words. We continued our Internet and phone relationship, thinking, perhaps that having survived yet another trial, that our love was stronger.

At Thanksgiving, we both visited my family in Michigan. He was kind to my parents and enjoyed hearing their stories. We both rejoiced at the renewed love of my parents. They are in their 70’s and are holding hands and acting like young lovers again, flirting and teasing each other. My love and I confessed to my parents and to each other that we wanted what they had. We each want that kind of love in the winter of our lives.

A week later, he arrived in my town, each of us thinking that having him closer would allow our love to develop more deeply, and help us reach our goal of being married sooner. But, during our visit in Michigan, I hurt my back, and my love’s first proof of his unconditional love here in Texas was taking me to the emergency room.

My knee problems have been my occupation for the past year. I was hurt at work and had surgery. Two to three hours a day, I exercise my knee and leg, hoping to strengthen it enough to be able to work full time once more. Three times a week, I visit a physical therapist. These problems have kept me prisoner in Texas, when I’d rather move from this state. I’ve never really felt that Texas was my home.

My son has problems too, and although he’s 18 and legally an adult, I cannot abandon him. We’ve recently discovered that his peculiarities might have a name – Asperger’s Syndrome – and now know how to proceed in having him develop an independent life.

How does the man of my dreams look at these things?

He’s among those who think that if I prayed harder, if I believed more deeply, that my problems would disappear.

He’s among those who think that once a kid reaches adulthood, his parents are no longer required to help him – financially nor emotionally. And he’s among those who think that mental disorders, problems individuals have with fears or obsessions or depression, are the result of demonic activities. He doesn’t believe that these kinds of problems will be helped or healed by medications or doctors, but must be dealt with solely as spiritual problems.

And how do I respond?

I’m left to wonder why stronger faith and prayer should heal my afflictions, and those of my son, and not those of my love. He has high blood pressure and has to take daily medications. Heart problems are serious, of course. But a God, who is expected to provide the miracle of healing my knee and my back, and my son’s disturbances, should also be big enough to heal high blood pressure.

I wonder, too, if my love isn’t jealous of the close relationship my son and I have developed over the years, a closeness forced upon us by having to strike out on our own when his dad was abusive. Closeness later forced upon us even more when our relatives, who had been our neighbors and the reason for our moving to Texas in the first place, all moved away.

How did I respond? By sending my love away again. By asking him to leave because I truly feel he is not capable of giving unconditional love to me, a love that must include my son, at least for now.

I’m reminded of an email forward that I’ve seen many times that tells about people who enter our lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime.

I have to admit that my love has encouraged me to write about what God has done in my life and in the lives of others around me. He’s been instrumental in getting me to look at the teachings of Jesus in a deeper and more personal way.

Much of what I’ve written over the past year, especially the poetry, has included my love or been about my love. But, I wonder if those poems were about this particular man or about someone God has not shown to me yet.

And I wonder, again, how many times I will allow my heart to be broken.


There is no medicine like hope, no incentive so great, and no tonic so powerful as expectation of something tomorrow. - Orison S. Marden



Perhaps those poems I wrote back then were about a yet undiscovered love. On February 27, 2005, Incurable Romantic and I were married. *Smile* My hubby was once the sole editor of the romance/love newsletter here, and gave me advice about life and love. I'm glad I listened! I'm really glad God didn't let me marry someone else.










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