The Devil and Mrs. Jones
As I sat down to read a book for review – one that I had postponed for reasons I couldn’t fathom – I found a love story about how one woman, with the grace of God, left behind an abusive marriage and became whole again. With so much pain from my divorce still lingering years later, I was unsure if I wanted to risk opening that door in my own life again, or if I could even risk going back to that dark time in my life. What made me finally sit down to read, was the thought that perhaps there would be an answer in the book that I had been searching for, that could help ease my pain.The author of this particular book spoke of the evil that she had encountered in her life, and although it was not in the same way that I have experienced evil, it was still bone-chilling to read. I have had two encounters in my life with evil; both of them as an adult. The first time was after I separated from my now ex-husband and the second time after I had remarried.
The author of this particular book spoke of the evil that she had encountered in her life, and although it was not in the same way that I have experienced evil, it was still bone-chilling to read. I have had two encounters in my life with evil; both of them as an adult. The first time was after I separated from my now ex-husband and the second time after I had remarried.
The first time I experienced this evil was soon after the separation when I was living alone. I was deeply depressed at this time because my children were not speaking to me, and any attempt on my part to communicate with them was twisted by my ex-husband, making the situation worse. My faith and trust in God, that had once been the cornerstone of my life, was at an all-time low.
As I sunk into a deeper depression, and as my mind warred with my sanity, I was left desperately seeking approval to put an end to what had become an infinite journey. My deepening depression opened the door to the dark place where evil resides, lurking, waiting for its moment to strike. And it did, that night. As I lay down to yet another night of fitful sleep, the nightmares that darkness would bring, paved the way to that deep dark fissure where evil lay in wait. Seizing its opportunity, it paid a visit to its unsuspecting victim, me.
I remember having a nightmare in which my children were being taken away from me. I was screaming, “No! No!” I felt as though an unseen force was restraining me, and I awoke at that moment to see a black aura at the foot of my bed. It was transparent, almost like a black smoke billowing in the breeze. I don’t remember a face, only that the aura seemed to be beckoning me to it. I must have woken myself with my screams, and for a moment felt as if I were in a trance-like state, as though being hypnotized. A ripple of chills shimmered across my body, apprehension causing everything in me to be stilled, as if the predator couldn’t see me if I didn’t move; a black aura waiting to pounce, like a panther on the prowl. As the fog in my head began to dissipate, I sat breathless, too frightened to move. There were tears streaming down my cheeks, and I remember trying to focus because these two great forces were waiting for me to make a decision; a choice between the evil waiting for its chance to triumph over me, or God. As my mind gradually cleared, having made its unconscious decision, the black aura dispersed, as if knowing its opportunity had not yet come, and the room became eerily quiet.
I have memories of falling back to sleep, exhausted, and praying to God not to have another nightmare. I slept peacefully after the episode, as though angels were watching over me to keep me safe. I slept a protected sleep until the sun began to rise. I am here today because I chose God.
In the early morning hours as daylight crept in, I wondered how I had come to such a crossroad in my life. The two most precious beings in my life had been ripped away, evil pulling at my heart as a band-aid pulls at tender skin, the blood running the same bright red.
How did I come to be at this point? It hadn’t come overnight. It took years of lies, betrayal, and emotional abuse. By the time I was strong enough, or perhaps just beaten down enough to utter the words, “I want a divorce,” I was merely a shell of a human body. Had someone taken a scalpel and cut me open at that point, they would have found nothing but an empty vessel, a hollowed out log that had been slowly dying and rotting away for years, the splinters of my life flaking off into the nether land, a feeling that still holds me captive at times.
The memories of this experience are never far away, as they remind me of a place I never want to be trapped in again. The saying goes “three times the charm.” I cannot give Satan the break he is looking for. (I find myself looking around uneasily as I write this, a little afraid that just thinking about it will somehow conjure the evil back for a visit.)
A Gift from God
I remember that I loved being pregnant. Most women would say (at that time) they hated it and couldn’t wait for their baby to be born, but I loved every second of it. I actually dreaded giving birth. Not for the “normal” reasons – the pain, the discomfort, etc. – but because I loved having that little baby in my belly where I could protect it.
At the time my first daughter was born, ultrasounds were not normally done, so I found out when she was born that I had a beautiful little baby girl. I was so happy! I wanted to shout from the rooftop (or the delivery room) that I had a little baby girl! My heart felt like it was going to burst. I couldn’t wait to hold her and love her and kiss her. My excitement was short lived.
Fathers were not yet allowed in the delivery room so my ex-husband didn’t know that he was the father of a little girl. The first “official” dad was allowed a few months later. Because we knew several doctors, one of which who came to visit me in the delivery room shortly after the delivery, my ex-husband was allowed in after my daughter was born. The doctor had not told him the sex of the baby so he came in all excited and smiling. He had his camera ready to take pictures of the baby.
When I told him we had a little girl, the look on his face changed; his complete demeanor changed so drastically that a doctor friend asked him what was wrong.
I felt that my heart, which was near to bursting with love for my newborn daughter, had been hit with a hammer. He didn’t have to say a word, and he didn’t. I knew what was wrong. He had convinced himself the baby was a boy and he was disappointed. He had made it clear he did not want a girl – which was kind of funny, as though we had a choice in the matter. There I was, legs in the air, spread wide for the world to see, just like my heart; and in that one moment life changed, glass shattered.
I remember lying on the delivery table, holding my daughter, and feeling deserted; alone in a room full of people. Rampant thoughts were running through my head and I wanted to yell at him. I wanted to scream, “How can you be disappointed? We have a beautiful, healthy baby!” I wanted to cry, to sob my heart out, such was my broken-heartedness, but I didn’t want to make him look bad so I held it in. I would love this little girl enough for both of us. Little did I realize that this would be my new norm.
I thought I had experienced deep, unending hurt in my life, but nothing could have prepared me for the hurt I felt at that moment in time, a time so precious to me; a time you do not get a second chance to re-live; a moment that he forever tainted with his unhappiness and selfishness.