Rebecca West: Words & Music

SUNSHINE ON THE MOUNTAIN
an autobiography by Rebecca Lynn West

Chapter 5


The Saddest Words


I did everything humanly possible to hold my marriage together. Every time Gary came home, which was not often, I had a fabulous dinner prepared for him. I had purchased new lingerie. I had turned our bathroom into a spa! All for him. But I never received a word of thanks or appreciation of any kind.


Then one day it dawned on me! This is not about me!


It was Gary who needed a change of heart. The emotional struggles that he had within himself attributed to his actions. So once again I gave Gary to God, knowing that the Holy Spirit was the only one who could help him. But it had to be Gary's choice.


No one is perfect. I do not claim to have been the perfect wife, but if there were any hidden problems that I was not aware of I was always willing to talk about them. But Gary never wanted to talk about anything. It seemed to me that he would close up into a shell and close the world out, including me.


I prayed as hard as I had ever prayed in my whole life. I took long walks, cried, and prayed until I was completely exhausted. The Holy Spirit was covering me during this time, and even then I felt Him close to me. My strength was gone, but God helped me through each day. I just kept running to Him more than I ever had in my life.


During this time I had a dream of a large snake. It was as large as a four-lane highway and extended as far as I could see. I sat straight up in bed and heard myself say, "There is a storm coming!" Now I understand that the Holy Spirit was telling me that I was going to face a huge trial. I did not know at that time just how harsh and painful it would be.


Gary was still involved with the church 150 miles away from our home. He was staying away more and more from home and from me. He was either living in the apartment in the basement of the church building there or with someone in that area. He continued to demand that I stay home and not accompany him there.


Over this period of nine months I had 13 dreams. As time went on, I saw all of them come to pass.


I remember in one of the dreams I saw Gary's dad crying. He was crying so hard that he was shaking all over. His heart was broken, not only for himself and Gary's mother, but also for me. I had a wonderful relationship with them. They treated me like their own daughter.


Gary's parents were aware that something was going on between Gary and me, but I never discussed it with them. For some reason at that time I did not want to talk about it with anyone other than with my friend, Mary, who lived in Branson, Missouri. The poisonous arrow of rejection had pierced my heart very deeply. I was emotionally paralyzed and found it extremely difficult to talk about it.


Mary was my very best and dearest friend. She called me every single night that Gary was away. She would listen to me talk and cry for hours. She was so compassionate and nonjudgmental. Mary lived 40 miles away, but she drove from her house to mine every week and took me to lunch. By this time I was a "zombie". I didn't know what I was doing most of the time. Mary saved my life. She helped me keep what sanity I had left. I also know that God was with me, even though I had no feeling of any emotion except pain and grief. It overtook me completely.


It was not until several people started calling our home office and asking why I didn't come to church with Gary anymore that I realized I was being lied about and lied to. I only knew that Gary was not coming home as often. I guess I did not want to admit that anything was wrong, even though it was plain to see that everything was wrong.


I was in denial.


Gary would call me every morning from Illinois and tell me that he loved me. I believed him. When you want to believe something, you will convince yourself that it is true even though your heart knows better. I was being told that the church people did not like me anymore and they were being told that I did not like them anymore! Lies and more lies.


The people were being told that Gary and I were getting a divorce, so they would call and ask me about it. It was the first I had heard of a divorce and I told them I knew nothing about it, and that we were not getting a divorce.


I was still praying that Gary would come home. He told me a couple of times that he was coming home and never going back to that area, but it never happened. I was crushed, heartbroken and at "the bottom of a pit".


One day my sister called me and said that Gary had been seen with a girl in some restaurants. It was the adopted daughter of the pastor. She had been the one that was singing with me at that church. My sister did not want to tell me this, but she knew it had to be said. Then I told my sister a little of what had happened from my point of view, but not very much. It was so difficult to talk about. Later on, my sister and I talked extensively.


Soon after this, Gary came home one day and told me that he wanted a divorce. I remember it so well. We were in our bedroom. I was sitting on the edge of the bed. Gary was in the dressing area of the bathroom, not even facing me when he said it. At that moment I went numb, but felt a dagger pierce my heart.


"I want a divorce" were the saddest words I have ever heard.




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