When we wed, we vow to stand by each other through life’s highs and lows, but it appears that very few of us truly understand what we’re buying into.
Unfortunately, it seems that some silent conditions are often slipped in between the pledges of love and happiness.
I’m seeing it happen in the marriages of people I care about.
I’d like to share with you one woman’s struggle that left an impression on me last night.
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Carry and Scott
Carry and Scott married less than a year ago. Both had been in previous failed marriages and were nervous to try again.
I remember when they met. Their chemistry couldn’t be denied. When they were near each other, they glowed and giggled like a couple of school kids.
Both confided in me, on separate occasions, that they believed that God had brought them together.
I invited her to call any time, but I only heard from her in some brief Facebook messages.
Then, last night, here’s what happened …
The Text Message
Carry was heavy on my heart. Since learning about the turbulence that she and Scott were facing, I’d thought of her often but for some reason, I couldn’t get her off my mind last night.
Around 10:30 p.m., I decided to text her.
Me: “Hi Carry. I was just thinking about u and wanted to tell you that I love u!”
Carry: “Wow … I was just thinking about you too! [Last week,] I thought I sent [our] pastor a text … And a stranger wrote me back with the most awesome words … I want to forward them to you!”
Me: “Please do! Isn’t God amazing?”
Carry: “Hey Pastor, it’s Carry. 🙂 I have been really, really thinking of you lately and needing some pastoral guidance more than I ever have in my life … Please, please let me know when you can sit with me … I have been doing what you have asked since we last spoke … My husband has made me out to be this very horrible person … And broke me down so much. … I attempted to take my life the Thursday before last … I’m at my wits end again … And [have] given him nothing but perfection since then … And he verbally abuses me constantly … And he doesn’t even realize what he is doing to me as a person … I lost my job … I have no income … have to ask [for money] when I need gas in my car … I’m not allowed to speak of anything … He views himself in perfection and he has been [considering himself] this strong “GODLY” man … [But] I have come to realize that he is very sick, mentally … And he will never admit [that he has] a drinking problem or any problems for that matter … I know it is time for me to leave but I have never had this low self-esteem … and I can never move ahead with the Lord as long as someone is constantly downing me … I have no resources right now … he told me I could stay if I make rent each month … geesh … I don’t even know where to begin a new life, Pastor … I need help in so many ways … I am humbled enough inside to finally ask for it wholeheartedly!
Me: “OMGosh, honey. My heart breaks for what you are going through. :-(“
Carry: “This is what was sent back …
“Dear beautiful –
I believe you have the wrong number sweetie, but I hope you don’t mind me stepping in. I mean, the message was sent to my phone so if course, I read it. … I’m a young Christian woman as well and I struggle a lot with my faith, especially when it comes to people who test it. If your husband was a true “Godly” man then he would understand that in the Bible it says that a man should LOVE his wife and a wife respect her husband and such. He has not shown you the love that you deserve. If you ask me, I would say a good place to start your life over would be a halfway home (a home for battered women looking to start over). Please never consider taking your own life, sweetie. I know life is hard. Trust me, I know! Well … I just thought I would try to help, even tough I’m not the pastor you are in search of. Remember, you are never alone … You have the Lord Jesus Christ on your side!
A stranger :-)”
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Of course, Carry’s message broke my heart. I could hear her voice through the words, as I read.
But when I read the stranger’s response, I thought about how wonderful it is that there are people out there who care, even though they’ll never know us.
As Carry’s UNCONDITIONAL love was UNRAVELING, the voice of a stranger blessed her.
It made me wonder what I would have said had I been the stranger on the other end of Carry’s text.
Do you think the stranger did the right thing by replying?
What do you think of the guidance she provided?