Rejection? I Think Not!
By Roberta Kittrell
Though Jean didn't realize exactly what or who she was searching for, she spent all her teen years, as well as her twenties, searching for God. She now believes that He must have kept His mighty hand upon her all the while.
Jean had gone forward with some of her friends to accept Christ when she was 9 years old. From then on, she thought she was well covered concerning eternity.
Because Jean had an unusually good voice, she began singing in adult church choirs when she was only 10. Singing made her bubble over with happiness, which was mistaken for Spiritual joy. Unfortunately, she didn't really know Jesus.
By age 21, she assisted the choir at chapel time in a Naval Medical Hospital. It was still her singing talent that enabled her, however, not intimacy with Christ.
Jean met a young man from the academy and she felt an instant, spiritual bond with him. Josh exuded an aura of spirituality that she now knows was the love of Jesus. He was a man of God.
Some days, Jean and Josh went to dinner with her family, or they went to a restaurant and a movie. She often rode a bus to the hospital and visited with him when he was too ill to go out any further than the cafeteria. As they ate, they mostly fed on each others words.
Josh's deteriorating arthritis had developed unnoticed since senior high school. It had shocked him, as well as his whole family, when he was suddenly struck so badly that he couldn't even walk off the airplane at Christmas vacation.
After vacation, he went directly into the hospital, instead of Annapolis. He kept hope that he would return some day to the academy. He would do well; and then the arthritis would debilitate him repeatedly. Josh's faith in Christ was firm and kept him going. His faith in Christ was also being used by God to reach Jean – God used the disabled to minister to the able. She was thinking about God far more that she ever had before.
Josh got better again, so Jean brought him home for dinner. She didn't know that night was to begin her total devastation. As they rode back to the hospital, Josh was unresponsive to her chatter. When Josh was leaving they prayed together. His prayer was different than usual and he did not follow it up with the usual tender kiss. Instead, Josh opened his door, got out, turned to her and said calmly that their relationship was over and he was not going to see her any more. He closed the door and walked away and out of her life forever without even once looking back.
Jean wept bitterly as she drove back home. She couldn't understand. He refused her phone calls and was resolute in his decision to make a clean break. When she tried to visit him, she was forbidden admittance. Her heart was broken.
Josh’s rejection made Jean easy prey for Lee, a young seaman who had noticed her when he stopped by the chapel. In a whirlwind courtship, with her heart and mind in the fog, she never noticed all the warning signals. She had never met any of his family – Lee always had some reason why. Within three months, they were married and what she went through in one year, many never go through in their whole lives.
One day, while Lee was away from their apartment, Jean answered the door. There stood two teenage girls, both with rings, each saying she was engaged to Lee! Somehow, without batting an eyelash, Jean held out her left hand with her wedding rings for their inspection and simply stated that she was his wife. She was tougher by then and determined that his obvious adultery would not destroy her. But when Lee went A.W.O.L. and got in trouble with the law, Jean finally knew there was no reason to save their facade of a marriage.
Months later, Jean learned that her Dad had all but shoved Josh out of her life. He had polio and it made him bitter. He had been drinking that night and he spewed viciously whenever he got drunk. He had told Josh in private that if he really loved Jean as much as he said, he would not want to saddle her with a cripple, as he had done to her mother.
So she finally knew why she lost Josh. It didn’t help much. Having twice failed in love, Jean felt like damaged goods. She hid her hurt with wine on a several-year journey of living the low life.
Eight years from the loss of Josh and her dreadful divorce from Lee, Jean finally met the one true love she had been looking for all the time – the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Her healing had begun, and just a little later, the Lord led Jean to take a course entitled, ‘Integrity Therapy’, where she learned that she had to forgive her dad in order to be free of bitterness. With the help of the Lord, she was able to try. She confessed her sinfulness to God. She admitted that she hadn't tried to seek His Will.
It was only about one year before her father died that Jean was able to completely forgive him. But God can use any situation for good for those who love Him. In those 12 months, through her testimony and prayers, and those of her mom, her dad's heart was turned to Christ and he was saved – just four months before he died. Our God is so good!
If only Jean had given herself and her future to the Lord in the beginning and prayed for a godly man for her husband. Would God, perhaps, have then brought her to Josh, in His time, after He had transformed Jean into the perfect mate for him?
Roberta Jean Kittrell is now a widowed grandmother and great-grandmother. In His Time, God brought His man and family into her life. Fulfilling Romans 8:28-29, God has enabled her to use her past to identify with hurting people young and old so they, too, can experience the beginning again that only God can offer through the Lord Jesus Christ.
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