There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.
(1 John 4:18, NASB)
As I lay looking at the short ceiling above me, feeling the waves move the boat ever so slowly, I know we have docked. It’s about 7 am; I am a little groggy and tired. I cannot believe I am awake but what a fantastic night! It had been an emotional few days and as I am keeping myself ever so still for fear of losing this moment, I think to myself,
“Could this be real?”
Fear; doubts cross my mind. How can you not be romantic when you are on a tropical island, having fun, great food and enjoying great people? I quickly stopped daydreaming of the past few days and as I roll over to look at him, I hear a knock at the door of the cabin. It is a peculiar knock but one I subconsciously know too well.
“Who is knocking on my cabin door at 7 am?” I quickly wipe my dreamy eyes, pushing him out of the bed. While I lay slightly in fear under the covers, he gets dressed to open the door to what I can hear are two men. They follow him around the corner where I can see them and they ask, "Are you Mr. “”?" My heart sinks and I have a knot in my throat as what appears to be a customs officer and a police officer proceed to tell him to turn around and put his hands behind his back. I frantically look in everyone’s faces and asked them
“Wait, what? What is going on?”
The gentlemen explain they don’t have much information just that they have a warrant for his arrest and they take him away. I never even got out of the bed; he never even said a word. He didn’t have to.
They took him away off the boat in handcuffs through the small hallways, in front of everybody as I stayed in my cabin. I cried, I panicked, I cursed the air, and I called a few friends. A high executive in my company must have heard something and banged on my door as he was in the next suite behind mine. This was a company trip, all paid for, organized and set up by, yup you guessed it; ME. I peered through the peep hole, wiping my tears knowing I had to respond to this knock even though the fear of what to say was running through me; it was crippling my ability to open the door. Through the small hole I could see he was holding a bottle of champagne trying desperately to show in his voice that he was there to help and with his cracked, (not so sure of himself) leary smile, said
“Rough morning?” holding up a bottle.
I remember looking down at the floor wanting to open the door and just sob on someone’s shoulder, but I didn’t and speaking through the peephole I just said,
“Not right now sir.”
He replied, “Yes, not a good time”.
As I watched him walk down the hall head hung and bottle swaying by his side, I remember thinking to myself, so few words but they couldn’t have been more appropriate or more welcomed. (That man has since passed away, soon after that trip. I can’t imagine that I was able to at that time, but I might have been assigned to share the Gospel, “The Good News” with him; who knows?) My fear and what I was dealing with had consumed me in that moment. God wasn’t in my thoughts, I couldn’t believe what was happening……… AGAIN!
Throughout the day I was a zombie. My eyes were puffy; my head was down-looking at the floor trying precariously not to make eye contact with anyone. I collected double the bags that I could carry because he wasn’t there. Pushing overly stuffed suitcases one at a time, some falling over, others wheeling in all different directions. I went through customs by myself with two passports and was asked where he was. Customs agents were asking if I needed help, looking at me crazy like this lady took all these suitcases? At any moment I knew I would just bust out in tears, so I tried to ignore any questions or make any eye contact. I just hopelessly wandered through the line, the terminal, then to the bus. I just wanted to get home!
I got on the bus to the airport when I was asked again just in a different way where he was. “Did he miss the bus?”, “Did he decide to stay?”. Laughter always followed. I don’t even know how many people asked me because I was in a fog as everyone giggled and thought they were witty. I must’ve looked like a mess. My face must have said please don’t ask me again where he is because shortly after the laughter ceased, people just started staying away from me. I’m not even sure if the tears were just rolling down my face and I just didn’t notice or if anyone even asked what was wrong. Surely how I felt on the inside must have been clearly showing on the outside. Regardless, it seemed everyone saw it with my lack of response and visible conscious absence. I just wanted to be left alone and get home. I have had many tears roll down my face on many occasions, and I was always able to be somewhere else in my mind. I could say, “Leave me alone”, without saying anything at all. This wasn’t the first time; I was good at it by now.
At the airport I ate with some friends that we had just spent the last three days with while I cried and told them how I still didn’t even know what was going on. I told them the whole sorted story that was my life; about how I was married at such a young age, that we had split up after years and that this was the first time we reconnected in sometime. We scheduled our flights back north late in the evening so we could visit the Kennedy Space Center since neither of us had been there before. Of course, I heard gasps and, “Oh my,” from them but for the most part there was nothing to say. They just listened but I feared they judged every word.
After their flight left, as I lay on the cold, hard, well designed, airport bench with tears rolling down my cheeks from one eye to the next, the puffiness of my eyes did not allow me to see clearly. My purse strap was wrapped around my neck for fear of falling asleep and leaving my purse unattended, my arms folded with the small jacket over me because I was cold, and of course I had all those suitcases I awkwardly pushed to the bench. Remember those pesky suitcases?
Now, I was thankful I had them as I propped them up as a barrier around me. The fear of going home to children that were going to expect me to explain how I let this happen again kept me completely still and silent. I knew their reaction, hurt, and disappointment would sit with me for the rest of my life and the fear was unimaginable as I laid there thinking of what in the world was he arrested for? When I tell the story in person, I laugh and joke as I remember lying in the airport with that luggage surrounding me like a fortress. How I had my purse so that when I cried myself to sleep laying on a bench no one would try to steal it. I am very animated when I tell the story, so I can see how it can be funny but even as I write there are tears while I laugh because I am afraid to admit there is still a little bit of pain left even though it’s been over ten years. The pain of having to go home and tell my four children daddy’s gone AGAIN. Pain of seeing their eyes light up because “we” were home, only to look behind me and ask, “Where is dad?”. Sitting down and having to hold each of them as they cried not understanding why this was happening. That isn’t dramatic, that was my reality because I had done it so many times before. Those were fearful and difficult times, but again so very familiar.
Fear; it cripples, it hides, it takes hold of your mind at times. It is a scary way to live when you live in fear. I thought I was being punished for something. Where was God? Why wasn’t he intervening? There was so much I didn’t understand, so much I didn’t know. I knew God, worshiped him, but on my time. There was no real relationship. No healthy fear of the God of the Universe. I didn’t know what I was missing by not fully understanding or accepting God’s love for me. I was chasing a relationship with the wrong “Him”.
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. (1 John 4:18, NASB)
To be continued.... look for my next blog!
M. Anne Blount
If you or someone you know is experiencing Domestic Violence, please don't hesitate to call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at: 1-800-799-7233. If you are unable to speak safely, you can log onto thehotline.org or text LOVEIS to 22522. There is always someone willing to help you and answer questions 24/7. Get help today.
You are not alone!!!!
If you don't know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, please click here: https://www.womenofvalorcollective.com/how-to-know-jesus