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Victoria thumbed her way through three hairstyle magazines before she found one that suited. Something simple, easy to maintain, and will work with my unruly hair. Is that too much to ask for, she wondered? Given the last several months of change at home and at her workplace, Victoria had about enough concessions to make for a lifetime. And she realized the biggest alternation was yet to come.

In a short five weeks, Victoria would be an officially divorced woman. It pained her to even go there anymore. All the hows and what ifs had faded into the backdrop of Victoria’s mind. Now Victoria spent her mental energy contemplating surviving both emotionally and financially.

Victoria continued to reminisce the emotional counter play she’d endured when her husband said he was moving out that weekend. Stunned and in disbelief, Victoria tried to talk him out of it, suggested counseling, or even going away for a while to regroup, but all in vain.

Eventually recognizing defeat, Victoria got herself into counseling and continued to work through her anger and bitterness. She couldn’t believe how exhausted she’d become. Each night after work, she’d literally drag herself through the door and crash on the couch. After a restless night, Victoria would force herself back out the door and head to work.

Weeks went by as Victoria clung to this pitiful pattern until a friend stopped over and forced Victoria to accompany her to the symphony…it had done her good, she later admitted. So one small step led to others and finally Victoria was taking it upon herself to schedule needed…and wanted…appointments. Today was one such engagement, and as Victoria had in months’ past, was actually looking forward to bending her head back over the rinse bowl and shutting her eyes for a bit as she savored the pampering. It didn’t take Victoria long to relax in the capable hands of her good friend and stylist.

Then she’d be ushered to a quieter corner where she’d be handed a juice concoction and would relax and listen to the artisan’s metal waterfall situated nearby. This was the best part, Victoria believed, relishing a small sliver of time as her outer shell was shaped up as her soul rejuvenated. And Victoria was well aware that there was no more appropriate period in her life to take advantage of these measures of kindness that reminded her of the tender graces still at work in the world.

“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus.” Titus 2: 11 – 13

Dear Lord,

Here I am in the midst of dry, angry desert feeling more parched than ever before. My soul is shriveled and my emotions dust. I can’t wait until this season of my life is over. Seems every day my heart constricts a little further. And yet, you’re holding out hope for my recovery aren’t you? I see your hand of care through words of kindness and small gestures of concern.

Yet I am prone to resisting any attempt to entering life again. I do not want life on these terms! There, I’ve gotten it out at last. I want nothing more than another chance to get it right…but I’ve no say in the matter. It’s done and over. Now, I sense you urging me forward…to live this day fully and with grace you supply.

I understand well enough that nothing in me is battle-worthy. I am weak and frail…and I need your strength to get me on to the path of life again. Will you offer your hand to me yet again? I pray that you will disregard my mistaken attempts to push you from my heart. I am afraid; it’s true. But I cannot stay in this place of pain indefinitely. Lord, take my wounded heart and soul, hold them securely, and set a vision of hope into my mind even now.

Amen.

“Dragons and nits and the noonday demons lie in wait. But the road is not entirely rough. There are oases along the way. It would be a dreadful mistake to assume that our Beloved is only waiting for us at the end of the road. Our communion with him sustains us along our path.”

Brent Curtis and John Eldredge in The Sacred Romance

Copyright 2009 Michele Howe

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