I’m using MY life as an example of how amazingly God can and will ultimately use us for HIS glory if we are obedient.
My cousin Ben and I met only once at a family reunion in our early teens and there was such an attraction between us we became kissing cousins. We then flirted back and forth for quite some time in writing expressing our desire to meet again. In 1964 at the age of 17 finally went to visit him. While there we tried to find some alone time but with eyes always on us only one chance presented itself. I’d had a boyfriend for nearly 2 years and was already sexually active…but Ben being inexperienced was too fearful to allow it. In truth, I’m sure if he’d been more aggressive and willing we would have been intimate. After my visit our communications went on for only a short time then we both just went on with our lives. Years later he reached out a relative to find me and we reconnected. By then I’d been married…divorced and in another serious relationship and Ben needing to be in the city suggested we meet. He was anticipating and all set for a tryst but since he was married tho never faithful and I was in a relationship refused. To say that he was disappointed is an understatement and we stopped communicating until November of 2016. I honestly don’t remember exactly how or why but we began emailing each other. Now keep in mind…we were then both 70 years old and I’d gone through a lifetime of trauma while Ben…well he’d been married for quite a number of years with grandchildren of his own. It didn’t take long before he began reminiscing about my visit when we were 17 expressing over and over how often he thought about me. Tho I just ignored his often inappropriate comments they never stopped. However, now at 75 I’d finally had enough of it and told him so in the following email exchange beginning with the subject line of his email was WHY?
Why can I not erase the image I’ve held for 56+ years of you and me in my sisters’ room? Memorable and definitely not forgettable.
I responded with:
WHY? Perhaps it’s because you’ve never been content within your marriage. You must face the reality that I am NOT who you remember. I’ve had Bell’s Palsy twice with the lingering visible side effects of a lopsided face and that once beautiful smile you’ve been picturing in your mind no longer exists. A few years ago I noticed that the brow hairs on the good side of my face began growing towards my nose and eventually the majority followed so I’ve had no choice but to remove them from both sides. THEN my eyelashes began painfully curling into my eyes leaving me with no choice but to be constantly plucking to remove the tiny irritants. I also suffer with facial eczema and yeast leaving my skin with endless flaking and peeling. l’ve also developed seborrheic dermatitis creating scabs on my scalp so the beautiful long hair I once had must be BUZZED OFF every few days. Now with an uneven face I’ve no brows, no eyelashes, no hair or a real smile which removes all sense of vanity. Several years ago began developing unhealing blisters on both legs which have left me with painful raised unsightly sores. I also suffer with a horrifying condition known as Allodynia which is 10 times more painful than Fibromyalgia that originates from nerve bundles at the base of the spine so I can’t be touched anywhere without feeling excruciating pain. It’s as if every inch of my entire body is black and blue all of the time so even the slightest touch even without any pressure is intolerable. My back is riddled with arthritis so I have difficulty standing for any length of time and have walking limitations. Add to all of the above am also extremely overweight. I’m a visual mess! Based upon WHAT WAS you’re living with fantasy thoughts of WHAT IF and you need to snap out of it. Quite honestly, I don’t want to hear any more about what you’ve been imagining for the past 56 years … enough is enough.
He responded with one word:
Then I sent him one more afterthought:
Tho I’m sure it’s never even occurred to you there’s one more thing to consider … with each thought of me, you’ve dishonored your wife.
He responded with:
Thank you for the reminder. I apologize. It will not happen again. Stay well.
Just a few months ago Ben reached out again to let me know that his wife has been diagnosed with Stage 3 ovarian cancer. As he’s remained respectful, we’ve resumed our communications with updates about her condition. Yesterday he said THIS in response to my asking to truthfully tell me how he is coping emotionally with all that’s happening:
He said, “I’m doing fairly well myself and being Susan’s caregiver has taught me the importance of our vows that we exchanged 52 years ago.”
I’ve shared all of the above to demonstrate how our actions impact others. If over the years I had been inappropriate and encouraged his thought life rather than to finally bring the truth to light he wouldn’t be the devoted husband he is today. And that has brought Glory to God.
Tho I’ve shared Jesus with him many times he’s not YET saved…BUT GOD!