“I have known Sarah since we were little.” Mark started with a smile.
“We lived close to each other, so we used to play every day. We also fought every day. We were close with Camelia too; we went to Sunday School together. She was in a pink dress today,” he added.
“Do you mean coral?” Rachel said, thinking back. She didn’t see anyone in a pink dress.
“You know men are color blind, why bother to show up the brother?” He chuckled.
Mark continued, “We stayed friends throughout the years. Our families also were very close too.”
Rachel then asked, “What’s Sarah’s family like?”
Mark then said, “They are good people, gentle, loving, spiritual but protective of their children. When I went over, they always had Christian songs playing. Sometimes I would visit and find the family engaged in prayer.”
Rachel then inferred that probably the family isn’t the problem. “So, what happened between you two? Rachel prodded.
Mark let out a sigh. “Everything was going well until a year ago.” He paused and swallowed before saying, “I started developing feelings for her.”
Rachel read regret on his face. He continued, “I no longer saw her as the energetic, ill-tempered little girl or the annoying teenager that believes girls are more mature than boys. She just blossomed before my eyes. I started seeing as a woman. A kind, beautiful, sober, and industrious woman. Someone who potentially could be my wife.” Rachel saw him blushing a little.
She then asked, “Did you tell her?”
“I wanted to be sure though so, I started praying about it. A few months later, I started observing changes in her.
It was like a cloud grew over her and she didn’t smile as much anymore. She was tired and seemingly disconnected from everything around her. I mentioned it to Camelia. She confirmed my observation and approached her. She denied that anything was happening, just that she was having a hard time at school. Camelia told me this. We then decided to form a study group. We saw, however, that she didn’t have a problem understanding the concepts. It’s just that she wasn’t present. We didn’t find out what was going on so, this time we both approached her. I don’t know what it was, but she got so angry at us that night. She said we were too nosy in her business and Camelia was just making things up so I would like her instead of her. This was very shocking for me as I never knew Sarah was interested in me like that. After that she just took up her things and left. She never talked back to us deeply after that.”
Rachel didn’t know what to say. She didn’t give in to the temptation to just fill the silence either. Mark didn’t seem bothered by it. He looked as if his thoughts went on some tangent. He continued after a few moments, “I have moved on I guess; I don’t think about it too often. I have placed my focus elsewhere.”
She was curios to know what that meant but, if he wanted her to know, he would have said it. Rachel then said, “Good for you Mark, good for you. I appreciate you sharing. I might have to be on my journey now.” Mark volunteered to follow her to the bus stop. They walked in silence for a few moments. When they arrived, Mark said, “Will you talk with her? She seems to trust you.” Rachel said, “I will try.”
She boarded a taxi back to school. When she arrived, a friend had prepared dinner and left a plate for her. She has never been more grateful after the day she had. After she headed to the shower and returning, she got dressed and sat on her bed. All lights were off except for the orangeish one on her desk. This made the peach color of her room pop even more.
“Now I understand why Sarah reacted to me like that, it is her automatic response when asked to share about deep things. But why? Why does she not feel safe sharing these things? And why would she tell me anything? She knew Mark for years and cut him off just like that. Feeling helpless, she decided to lay down, curling up on the white furry blanket laid across her bed. The next thing she knew, all she saw was darkness except for a blinking streetlight, “Where am I?” she thought.
There was this presence of danger that caused her to feel immediately afraid. Chills ran up her spine as she walked towards the light. It was unusually cold. The trees whistled as the breeze carried leaves along. There was an old burgundy brick wall on the right side of the road that seemed to hover over her. “This feels so familiar.” she pondered. Before she could identify where she was, a rustle in the bushes nearby frightened her. When she moved a little closer to see, she saw the figure of a man moving forward and backward rhythmically. He was cursing under his breath, holding on to something. He was not alone too, there was a woman.
A woman squirming, fighting, pushing and crying underneath him. It was not just any woman either, it was Sarah. She was fighting hard for release, fighting for her life. His pants dangled around his thighs as they wrestled. Rachel tried calling for help but her voice wouldn’t make a sound. She tried pulling the man off, but she couldn’t touch him. It was like she wasn’t there.
She suddenly felt a strong vibration and then heard her ring tone. Jolting out of the dream she wiped her teary eyes to see who was calling. She didn’t recognize the number but decided to answer anyway.
“He…hello?” she stuttered, still shaken up.
“Hello? Is this Rachel? The voice said.
“This is she,” Rachel responded.
“Okay, good evening.” The voice remarked.
“This is Devon Dixon, your father.”
The Dangers of Isolation
Many people boast about how well they can do on their own. I was one of them. I believed the further away I stayed from people, the less pain, if any, I would feel. That was the worst thing I could have done. It led to always feeling lonely, purposeless, and empty. Here are some dangers I realized due to my intentional isolation.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (NLT)
9 Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. 10 If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. 11 Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? 12 A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.
I will just leave this verse here.
Proverbs 18:1 (NLT) Unfriendly people care only about themselves; they lash out at common sense.
- Limited Growth
I am encouraged by your faith. If I withdraw myself, how will I access sharpening?
Proverbs 27:17 (NLT) As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.
The Benefits of Community
Community is one aspect of my faith that I am just recently learning to appreciate. In my appreciation of it, I have learned to embrace it. For an introverted sensitive soul, these are things that I have found to transform my thinking and my actions.
James 5:16 (NLT) Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.
Galatians 6:1 (NLT) Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself.
Matthew 18:20 (NLT) For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.
Roman 1:11 (NLT) For I long to visit you so I can bring you some spiritual gift that will help you grow strong in the Lord.
Acts 2:42 (NLT) All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer.
- Sense of Belonging
Romans 12:5 (NLT) So it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.
Embracing the community of believers may be quite an awkward and uncomfortable thing to do but it has lasting effects. Take baby steps, you can start by just being honest. If you are not okay, say it. You are at liberty to say you don’t want to talk about, at least not now. Ask them to pray for you too. Then, you can slowly learn to break down those walls of mistrust. Mistrust should never be a way of life. If a few persons have hurt you, it is a sin to hold everyone accountable for those few persons’ wrong doing. You don’t have to live like this, you can be healed.
Was that dream true? How will Rachel handle hearing from her father? Will things between Mark, Sarah, and Camelia reconcile? All this and more Next Friday at 12 pm! If these series have been edifying and eye-opening, please do share the goodness with your community! First time visitor? Firstly, welcome! Here is the first post in the series. You just have to read it! Reach out to me if you have any questions. Until next time you are precious.