Feelings are crazy things. I was on this roller coaster. At the top I was overwhelmed by the love that I was feeling. I had never felt anything so strong in my life but at the same time I was filled with shame and that was dipped down equally as strong. I had never cheated on anyone before and I knew that Jesus says in Matt 5:28, “But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” By now I was thinking that I loved her more than just a friend.
I was so angry. I pleaded with God to take these feelings away from me. I knew that I had already committed adultery. I probably had been for a long time. Whenever I wanted to be with her instead of my husband I was committing a sin. I had been trying for so long to be the “good wife.” I was not happy at all but I told myself that just kept my focus where it should be, which was on God. The ache inside me was so strong. I wanted to be loved and here was this woman who was offering me love but it didn’t fit into my known context of love. I don’t remember much from those days as I wasn’t journaling yet. I do remember the huge ups and downs. I wasn’t sleeping much as my mind was focused on how “wrong” this all was and trying to figure a way out.
She had opened up a door in a wall that surrounded my heart and the love was flowing out. At one point I remember the love that I was feeling for her overflowing to all of those around me, including my husband. I gave my closest friends a list of things that I loved about them. (Side note: you should try this, we all want to hear what other people love about us.) I was able to hug people now. It still felt strange but no longer horrible. And when she hugged me I felt at home for the first time.
One day about a month after my first letter, I wrote her another letter. This was in response to a letter she had written me and then torn up, giving me only pieces of it. She was scared to open up to me. In my letter I declared my love for her. Telling her that I could handle her saying anything except for her not wanting to be friends with me anymore. I was still in turmoil wondering if the love I felt was platonic or not. The next day I went to her house. We sat on the couch talking. I asked her, “If there were no husbands or children involved, what would you want?” She looked at me and said, “I would want you…for my partner.” I was thunderstruck. My soul leapt inside me but my mind was focused on what that meant for our future. I thought I could wait years for the children to be grown so we could be together. I thought of how I never wanted my children to have to deal with divorce. I didn’t say a word but my mind was in the planning stages of how this would look. My heart and mind were in battle.
Shortly after that the kids went outside. She was standing in the kitchen. I asked her if I could have a hug. She opened her arms to me. I crossed the kitchen and melted into her embrace, sighing in contentment. I pulled back, looked into her eyes and knew I wanted to kiss her and I knew that she wanted to kiss me. We did and I knew that our lives and the lives of those around us had changed.
Fast forward to yesterday and I am reading The Wisdom Jesus by Cynthia Bourgeault. She states, “In order to become known to another, we must take the risk of loving that person, and this includes the real possibility of rejection and the even more painful prospect of heartbreak if the beloved is lost to us. It is difficult to risk love in a world so fragile and contingent. Any yet, the greater the gamble of self-disclosure, the more powerful the intimacy and the more profound the quality of devotion revealed.” We both opened ourselves to love greater than any other human love we had experienced and were now on a journey to learn more about love and what it is all about. I hope you will continue with me to see what I have learned.