Lugging around a tormented state of mind became more than I could bear, so I attended a Friday Night Healing Service at St. Benedicts, which I will never forget! Normally, I loved this service because of the beautiful Spirit being present. But this night, despair wrapped me in its arms and wouldn’t let go. I went forward for prayer.
The woman assigned to pray for me was the same one who asked God to let me sing like a worshipping angel. She smiled and took my hands. Too tormented to smile back I said, “Ask the Lord to please forgive me for being such an awful person.” She began to pray, but stuttered to a stop.
“I can’t pray that prayer!” she said. “God loves you just the way you are. Go home and read the Song of Solomon. That is a love letter written just for you.”
I thanked her, went home, got in bed, and read Song of Solomon. I read of the Shulamite’s love for the Beloved, and that I could understand. But His love for her . . . ? It just wasn’t possible. It wasn’t possible that anybody could love me that much. I cried myself to sleep that night. I decided I would read that little book in the Bible every night until I would no longer cry when I read it. For three months I read that book every night before I went to sleep, and every night I cried. But something else happened in those three months, the Lord asked me, “Will you let Me rock you to sleep at night?” I nodded “Yes,” through my tears. Every night I could feel His arms around me. I don’t know if my body actually moved, but I felt like we were rocking.
At the end of three months, I finally stopped crying, and the Lord said, “There are no unwanted children in My Kingdom.” I was a child born out of wedlock, and I always felt unwanted. My sister told me that’s why I married John, because he, too, didn’t want me. I don’t know psychology like she does; all I know is that when the Lord said there were no unwanted children in His Kingdom, I realized I was loved and wanted by the greatest man on earth—Jesus Christ, builder and ruler of all nations! That night, the healing of my heart began, and instead of crying I wanted to shout how much I love Him!
I admit, my healing sometimes happened through anger. John and his brother, Bob, opened a restaurant in the East Bay. I stopped in regularly to see the progress, and ooohed and aaahed over their innovations. So on opening day, I assumed I would be a part of the festivities.
As John dressed I asked, “What time should I come to the restaurant?”
John wrinkled his face, “I think it’s better if you don’t come.”
I was floored. “Why not? It’s opening day. I want to be a part of the fun.”
“Well,” he looped his belt around his waist, “you’ll just be in the way, there won’t be much happening, and Bob doesn’t want you there.”
“Bob doesn’t want me there? What did he say?”
“It’s not so much that he said anything; I just know he doesn’t want you there.” He slipped his feet into his loafers.
“Well, I’m not Bob’s wife. He doesn’t have a say in this. Do you want me there?”
He studied himself in the mirror, “I just think it would be better if you stayed away.”
“John, look at me.” He shifted his gaze toward me in the mirror. “Do you want me there?”
He returned to regarding his reflection, flattened his hair with both hands and said, “No.” John inserted his wallet in one hip pocket, stuffed his handkerchief in the other, smiled and left the house without saying another word.
This time I didn’t get wounded; I got angry. And I stayed angry until J.J., Jo, and I left for a Christian Family Camp that we attended with my aunt. The youth groups were just what my kids needed. And my prayer group was just what I needed. They assured me I should have been at the opening with a corsage on my shoulder, proudly part of the activity, and they prayed for John. Disgusted, I wondered why the Lord didn’t reveal to anyone that John had a perverse hidden sin. Why did I have to carry the burden alone? They prayed the nicest prayers for him!
But the prayer group leader, a barrel of a man sporting a white beard, took me aside by the popping bonfire that night and said, “You should have been at the opening. I don’t understand a man who doesn’t want his wife by his side. You’re a very lovely lady; there must be something terribly wrong with your husband. I’ll keep praying for him.