Friday, September 9, 2011

Love?

Carolyn was in her 40s when she married Richard. It was the second marriage for both. She dreamed of nothing else except serving him. She loved the amenties that came with him--the country club, higher social class, and a beautiful house. They both enjoyed traveling, boating, and golfing. They pretty much lived party to party.
Through the preaching of the gospel, they both accepted Christ as Savior and gave up the old life style. Church attendance was no longer an option. Richard was ordained as a deacon and both were leaders in the church.
Carolyn thought her life was perfect. She was married to a Christian man who was a leader in the church. One day, her world came crashing down. She learned that Richard had been having an affair. He confessed to her, crying and saying that he had made the worst mistake of his life, and begging her forgiveness. Carolyn was devastated. She spent time in prayer and reading God's word. Then she took a tablet and wrote "I forgive you" seven times for seven days. It took a long time, but her heart was eventually healed and their relationship became stronger because of it.
Carolyn and Richard retired and built their retirement home on a beautiful piece of property. They became active in the community and their new church. Life was good. Carolyn thought that they would grow old together and be able to live the good life they had worked so hard to have.
Almost twenty years after the affair, Carolyn noticed that Richard was showing some of the same behaviors. He began to miss church, stop reading his Bible and began using language he had used before he was saved. He left the house often without an explanation and spent a lot of time on the computer.
"What are you doing?" Carolyn asked walking into the room.
"Nothing." Richard answered as he quickly shut the monitor off.
"Where did you go last night?"
"Just around."
"Richard, what is going on?"
"There's nothing going on. Stop being so suspecious."
"I get suspecious when you act like you are trying to hide something."
"I'm not hiding anything. Leave me alone."
One day over coffee, Carolyn confided in a Christian friend. "I think Richard is having an affair."
"How do you know?"
"He is acting the same way he did when he had the affair right after we got married."
Richard became increasingly mysterious and withdrawn. He no longer even looked at Carolyn, much less talked to her or touched her. Carolyn offered to go to counseling with him. He didn't even bother to answer. Typical lately.
As Carolyn was bring groceries into the house, Richard announced that he wanted a divorce. He had fallen in love with a younger woman and wanted to be with her.
The divorce was quick but painful. Carolyn received a fair settlement, but it did not alieviate her pain. She still loved Richard. Richard did apologize for hurting her, but that wasn't much help. Carolyn wanted her life back. She prayed about it and asked her prayer group to pray for a reunion between her and Richard.
As Carolyn was cleaning house one morning, the phone rang. The caller had to repeat himself several times before Carolyn understood that it was Richard. He was crying and begging to be allowed to come back home. "I made the biggest mistake of my life. I want to come home. I want to get married again."
"I don't know, Richard. Are you sure?"
"Yes, I'm sure. I don't know why I left. Please let me come home."
"I have been praying for you and I want us to be together again too. But I have to know that this won't happen again."
"It won't. Please let me come home."
"Fine, but we are not getting married yet. I want to make sure this is really want you want."
Richard moved into the spare bedroom and did his best to prove to Carolyn that he belonged at home. The wedding took place a month after he moved back. Finally Carolyn had her life back. Her marriage had survived two affairs and a divorce. Now she rested easy knowing that her husband was back with her.
The marriage lasted less than two months before Richard informed Carolyn that he was leaving. "Why" she asked through her tears.
"I can't get her out of my mind. I am going back to her."
Carolyn cried to her friends, prayed with her pastor, and fellowshipped with her children.
One week later, Carolyn's phone rang. She answered and heard crying on the line. "I want to come home." Richard said.
"What do you mean?"
"I made the biggest mistake of my life. Please let me come home."
READER: What do you think will happen? Drop me a line and finish the story the way you would handle the situation.
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