{Pieces}

{Pieces}

Sweet words
Kind glances
Knowing laughter
Increased interest
Carved out moments
Wanting to know
Asking to hear
Admitting dissatisfaction
Days to weeks to months to years
Attraction grew
Saw my own yearnings
Observed poor treatment
Began to tiptoe over emotional lines
Couched it all as fine and good
Secret messages here and there
Drew me in
Sought me out
Made me feel special
Made me feel loved
Saw parts of my heart unseen by others
Seduced by affection
Drawn in by emptiness
Reigned in by feigned love
Approached on a safe court a country away
Asked about moving beyond just friends
Naivety ruled me
I fell into the savory trap
Linked lives, linked souls, linked bodies
Only fourteen days
Guilt tasted in every touch
Eaten alive by regrets
What seemed a fantastic mystery became a nightmare
Fractured life hanging by a thread of hope to have him if she won’t anymore
His quick decision to confess it all
Overnight resignation to his church
A pastor fell fragmented
My young life shattered into 1000 pieces
Pieces that would never fit again
Pieces that could never be glued back together
Waiting with baited breath for the outcome
Elders knocked on the door
I had been staying in a downstairs room
Resigned to whatever fate came knocking
Asked to pack and leave
Pastor and his wife waiting down the road to come home
Elders met with me
Asked politely to not come back to the church
Tenderly given notice that it was me or them and they chose them
Graciously sent to 8 paid counseling sessions
Their consciences assuaged
Got up from the table
Walked out the door
I didn’t think to tell them he was the pursuer
Never welcome there again
Too much pain for me to ever come back
I loved his children
I dishonored his marriage vows
Met with wife, counselor present
Only screams ensued, no healing yet
Letter from wife 6 months later
Unfathomable grace extended
Looking back I see I was unable to comprehend his covenant
My heart too disemboweled to see beyond my own needs
A life desperate for a man’s affection
A man’s acceptance
A man’s touch
A life shattered
A faith shattered
A body used and broken
Now what?
The church knew who it was
Called a whore in town
Judged viciously
No questions asked
My fate signed, sealed, and delivered
It was all my fault
I took it all on
He cried in secret phone calls
Screamed his apologies and regrets in rendezvous
Love became something dirty
Love became something stupid
Can sin and love coexist?
Can something so wrong have pieces of rightness mixed in?
I saw things in him that I wanted
He saw me
He didn’t disregard me
He appreciated me
He listened
He cared
But lives were almost ruined
A family almost torn apart
But the family moved and mended
Children confused yet resilient
A marriage torn asunder yet not broken apart
Covenant tattered yet not completely shredded
Here I was, the other woman
Left lying by the metaphorical side of the road
Something has to be done with her
She can’t stay here
She is dirty
She is tainted
She is the woman at the well
She is the woman caught in the act
Drag her out and stone her
Stone her with taunting eyes
Stone her with jagged words that cut to the bone
Stone her with disfellowship
Stone her with tossing her towards proverbial help
Stone her with verbal knives in her back
Stone her with her unrespected singleness
Stone her for being an adulteress that pursued
Naivety
I was asked
I was approached
I was groomed
Maybe I was loved
But it was a misplaced love
An unallowed love
A love that couldn’t be
His life intertwined already
He had no covenant to give me
It was doomed from the start
Set me on a path
Married to shame
Committed to penance
Divorced from ministry
Left to my own devices
The pills called to me
The mockers chilled my blood
Death seemed a welcome relief
How did I ever end up here?
Life called to me with a louder voice
Said I still had a purpose
Said there was still a life to live
Said there was still a reason to hope again
Said that was still a chance for me
Ragged I was ragged
Ragged beyond all recognition
Beauty buried so deep it must have tossed me aside too
Used goods
How could I go on?
Held on to life
Kept on going
Dealt with the scoffers
Changed denominations
Found new crowds
New people
Shame stayed my committed partner
Whispering to me sweet words day in and day out
Year after year I tried to outrun it
I take layers off, still there are more to undo
10 years into the aftermath the Spirit said he needed to know I forgave
Exchange of letters
Healing seeped in some cracks
Love found me
Layers of forgiveness unfolding
Covenant understood now
New perspectives
More shame to let go of
A life lived in the shadow of regret
Running from a lost reputation
Wondering if I will ever really be okay again
When will the earth fall out from under the feet of my own present covenant?
Will he do to me what was done with my cooperation all those years ago?
Can I allow myself to accept his love fully?
To see the beauty is still there, to allow it to be replanted?
To divorce the shame once and for all?
To not be that young naive girl anymore who was cast out?
To know fully that God is more than his tattered servants and leaders?
To know that the only perfect house of his resides supernaturally and not physically?
To not allow anymore of my heart to be stolen or hijacked?
To begin a new trajectory of living?
21 years and still the tendrils taunt me
I never knew the depths the hauntings would go
Never knew the relentlessness of guilt
I accept all of me
I accept all of my faults
I must love all of my parts
All of my pieces
They are all me
All are threads of my tapestry
The good things, the hard things, they are all here.
This is me.
I am still here.
I am finding that girl again.
I am taking her hand and we are starting over.
We are rewriting.

It is good.

{Hope Wood © 2014}

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