Demise Of A Marriage: A True Story - Part 2:2 Lost & Found

Posted at 17:15pm on 19th November 2009

Arguing a case against Jesus’ claims about eternal life, Megan is brought face to face with the truth that it is her pride which prevents fulfilment of her inner yearning. A second visit to a Billy Graham rally sees her accepting that even a good friend is no substitute for faith. Only a life saving treatment will suffice. But what will it do for the gulf in her marriage.?

Catch up with the story so far in Part 1:1 The Inner Yearning. It will be posted, in parts, two or three times a week. For a free prompt to follow the story to its conclusion click the Subscribe button on the right.

FAITH: A LIFE SAVING TREATMENT

The counsellors at the rally – the second I’d attended in as many weeks – were kindness, itself, as was my friend, Eileen. Her disappointment when I had not responded to Billy Graham’s invitation on that first evening, in my home town, was self-evident. But despite the time and distance involved, she had taken me to a second venue in another county.

BELIEVE IN WHAT? A DEBATE ON LIFE

We’d had a debate after that first evening, she and I, which was ultimately to convince me that this was to be the fulfilment of my inner yearning. I’d questioned some of Jesus’ claims.

“Either you believe that he spoke the truth, or you think him a liar,” Eileen had replied as we’d walked home that evening.

“Okay! I believe that this paving stone I’m standing on will bear my weight.” I stopped walking and stood still to make my point. “But what right do I have to tell you that it will bear yours, too? I mean, the council may have dug a huge hole under it and not replaced the slab properly. How would I feel if you disappeared from sight, and sustained an injury?”

I had warmed to my subject: taking part in a debate at school had been one of my favourite activities. In fact, so good had I been at arguing my case, that the English teacher had frequently put me on the side with the least support, irrespective of my personal conviction.

LIFE SAVING TREATMENT

Eileen’s face was a pale oval in the lamplight. She paused for a moment, then she said: “If Sarah had cancer and you discovered a doctor who had a wonderful new life saving treatment, wouldn’t you want to tell everyone in the world of the miracle cure?”

Silently, and with a sense of shame as I’d recognised the pride of my intellectual prowess, I bowed my head. Eileen’s analogy was spot on.

A SEARCH – BUT BY WHOM?

As Billy Graham had said, all have sinned: we are all tainted with the same disease! And the outcome of that disease is death: eternal separation from God. But if being saved depended upon our own search for a life saving treatment, could we ever find it? Hadn’t I proved, in my own search for fulfilment, how futile it was? It was like trying to slake a thirst by drinking brine.

Yet here was God, all-knowing and all-powerful, searching for me. Endlessly stooping to my level; reaching out to me; loving me. Offering me new hope, new goals. Showing me his way, his truth, his life. Filling me with wonder. Satisfying my inner hunger and thirst. Making me his own.

And so here I was, listening again to Billy Graham, giving up the emptiness of my existence for the gift of a life of fulfilment, owning a sense of peace I’d never felt before.

FAITH & FULFILMENT

“I’ve become a Christian, James,” I blurted out when we were in bed later that night, with the lights off.

It was important, I’d been told at the rally, to share your new faith as soon as possible. Speaking it out would confirm it as inexorably as a proclamation of allegiance to King and country.

“Thought you always were one,” he replied. “Middle class! English. It all goes together, doesn’t it?”

I felt my cheeks burn. “No – you know what I mean! I’ve asked Jesus into my life.”

"Oh, well! If you need something to lean on it might as well be that, I suppose." He turned on his side, away from me, and said, into the darkness, "You want to be a bit more self-sufficient. Like me!” Then he slept.

I lay awake, a heady mix of emotions flooding through me: excitement with this new beginning; apprehension for what it was to mean to me; relief that James’ reaction had been only ridicule, not humiliation. I’d noted his easy descent into the abstract: ‘something’ to lean on instead of someone; ‘it’ instead of Jesus. But he’d come round in time, I thought. Surely he would?

DEMISE OF A MARRIAGE?

In the coming months, James made no further reference to my faith, other than to give a tacit acceptance that I would attend St Mark’s, the church at which Charles was Vicar, and that the children would go to Sunday School. Occasionally – very occasionally – he would come with me at Easter or Christmas, even, sometimes to a Family Service. Public schooling had drilled into him the rites and rituals of a Church of England ethos, but his attitude towards God, himself, remained the same: not for him!

Faith had fulfilled my inner yearning. But it had, it seemed, widened the gulf that yawned between my husband and me. Earnestly I prayed for a drawbridge to be let down.

Now read on: In Part 2:3 of Demise Of A Marriage - Lost & Found - As Megan’s lack of confidence comes to the fore, the demise of their marriage looks increasingly likely.

© Mel Menzies - All Rights Reserved

Author of a number of books, one a No 4 Bestseller, Mel Menzies is also an experienced Speaker at live events, as well as on Radio and TV.

All proceeds from Mel’s latest novel, A Painful Post Mortem, are for charities benefiting children worldwide. Buy a copy here and help raise cash for children like Rachel, who, at 13 is mother to 6 kids orphaned by AIDS, or this project, drug-proofing teenagers in the UK

Your Comments:

Herbert
25th November 2009
at 5:08pm

Have been away from your blog for a few weks - PC difficulties
which meant everything had to be refound et cetera - and have just
got this far in this tale.



Firstly I think it captures well the 60s ethos and I think I can
see some parallels with my own life which is always helpful as
others storeis can often help set our own thoughts into order - I
am not alone.



I trust you will not midn me mentioning this but I have a little
question. In the "Faith & Fulfilment" section above -
is there a missing word ~ about where the indented figure 1 is -
looks as if slight gap in the narrative? I get the sense but I am
overly organsied and tend to like no loose ends!



However - anticipating the next instalment

Mel Menzies
26th November 2009
at 2:21am

Many thanks, Herbert! First for letting me know that you're
a 'regular' and second that the story is proving helpful to
you. I hope, as it unfolds, that it will be an encouragement and
inspiration to others, too.



My second thanks is for alerting me to the error in the text.
Like you, I've been having some problems - not with the
hardware, but with a bug in the admin. side of my website. I
checked the original transcript which was accurate. But for some
reason, the admin site had changed that section of the text to a
numbered list. Tis now corrected! And next instalment is up for
viewing!

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