Confessions and Dirty Laundry

10:20 AM


The weekend flew by faster than Jessie could have imagined. While expecting disaster, she'd found relief. And yet, on Sunday night, as she packed her bag and got ready to leave for school, a deep heaviness overwhelmed her. Tomorrow was the dreaded appointment and the end of something. After that, there would be no more flutters, no more little kicks. 

"Jessie?" Her mother knocked on the door. 

"I've got some more of your laundry here."

Jessie opened the door to the sight of the top of her mother's head just barely peeking out from a mountain of folded clothes. She never did seem to remember the laundry basket. 

"Thanks Mom." Jessie smiled, taking the load," Let me take those." 

Her mother lingered. 

"Do you mind if I come in for a bit? It doesn't seem like we've gotten much time together this weekend and I haven't heard how my favorite daughter is doing." 

The warmth and kindness nearly melted Jessie's resolve. She was too close now. She had to end this tomorrow and nothing could stop her. 

"I'll be honest sweetheart," her mother paused. "You've seemed burdened lately, like you've got a lot on your mind. I could grill you for information, but the Lord has told me not to," she gave a knowing smile. 

Jessie looked over in surprise. It never ceased to amaze her how accurate her mother's reading of a situation was. 

"Instead, I've felt prompted to tell you a part of my story I've never shared.  Now, I don't know what sort of trouble you may have found yourself in, but I never want you thinking you can't come to me and your dad, or that we haven't known troubles ourselves."

Jessie nodded slowly, wondering where this was going. 

"You know, I didn't grow up in a Christian home, but I did have a good knowledge of what was right and wrong. Everyone has their own particular temptations, but mine was men."

Jessie's eyes widened in surprise. 

"I know it's hard to imagine your perfect mother being tempted by anything," she gave Jessie a sarcastic wink.

"But I didn't have Jesus in my life at that point and I was looking for love just like everybody else. My father was a good man; a strong one, and a firm disciplinarian, but even a good home wasn't enough to stop a girl from looking for a greater fulfilment. In my teen years, I had a few boyfriends. They were their own sort of trouble, but in many ways, they were stepping stones to lead me into even greater sins. After the tumultuous end of another relationship, along came another man. He was different than anyone I'd been with before. He was older, hard-working, incredibly charming, and...married." 

Jessie stared at her mother in perfect disbelief. 

"I was even younger than you are now when I entered into that relationship. For six years, I lived a tormented double life. Oh, he handed me all the usual lines about his wife not being suited to him or understanding him etc. But even though I was madly in love with him, the whole thing never did sit well with me. And yet, I couldn't seem to leave him. Now, believe it or not, I would have called myself a Christian at this time. At 16, a friend had led me to the Lord and I had never forgotten that experience. One day, in the midst of the turmoil that was my life at that time, I decided to go to a church I had heard about recently. Oh, Jessie, it was unlike anything I'd ever experienced before. The fire of God was there in magnificent ways. People were weeping before the Lord, calling out to Him in genuine repentance and He was there! You just felt it. I don't know if you've seen or experienced that kind of power in your life yet, but it's earth shaking. I started coming back to that church every chance I got. In that presence, the presence of God, I felt that wholeness and love that I'd been looking for my entire life. It was glorious. There was something greater, more pure and lovely than that toxic relationship had ever given me and I had to have it. Jesus was my pearl of great price. He gave me the strength I'd never had to leave that man. I repented completely of the life I'd been living. What garbage it was in comparison to being with him! After that, I knew what I had to do. I called his wife and confessed everything. The years of betrayal, the utter wrong I had done her. I even asked for her forgiveness. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done. Before I knew it, I had packed up my car and was moving across the country and back in with my parents. It was scary, but it was right.Finally I knew peace. At last, I knew joy. No more torment or double living. Only a few years later, I met your father and the rest is history."

Jessie sat in subdued silence, absorbing this new side of her mother. Strangely, the shocking confession left her with a profound respect for this petite little woman. 

"Do you remember when I used to read you and the boys the story of the Velveteen Rabbit?"

Jessie nodded. 

"I'd sit and cry every time and you kids would laugh at me. But that little bunny was me. Ravaged by life and fit for nothing but the fire. There was nothing about me that deserved or inspired love, but Jesus came, picked me out of the fire and made me into a new creature, with a new life and I've loved Him for it ever since. He can do the same for any of us my dear." 

With a kiss on her daughter's head, she picked up the rest of the laundry and left Jessie alone, accompanied only by her thoughts. 

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