Tuesday, March 13, 2012

From a Broken Heart to a Broken Dream

For the past few days I've been trying to wrap my mind around how to tell the next part. It was truly one of the darkest and loneliest times of my life. Sure, I'd had this great epiphany about how GOD was really "the one" and I had come to terms with waiting, but I wasn't prepared for next turn our story took. I just expected things would get easier after that revelation. That couldn't have been further from the truth.

Earl had completely cut all ties with me by the end of June 2002. I was a few months from graduating, so I threw myself into my summer studies. Spent long hours working at the internship I'd landed at the top TV station in town. Basically, I did whatever I could to lose myself in everything but the heartbreak I felt. I still believed GOD was working things out I just had to find a way to keep busy.

As the summer came to a close and I finished up with school, I began searching for a job. One of the reporters at the station I'd been working at suggested I apply at a station in the Tri-Cities area of Virginia/Tennessee. She had worked there prior to coming to Knoxville and said she'd call the news director for me. I thought about it and jumped at the chance. I mean it was the station I'd grown up watching and the thought of getting my big break in my hometown certainly appealed to me. Besides it was only an hour and half from Knoxville. So by the end of August I was packing my stuff and moving to Bristol.

I was excited, yet terrified and as time began for me to leave got closer and closer, I became angry. In my mind, I started questioning GOD. How on earth could HE fix all this if I was an hour and a half away? It had already been 2 months since Earl had spoken to me and the thought of putting more distance between us seemed stupid. At that point though, I had no choice. I had a job to go to and I couldn't sit here forever.

When I got to Bristol, I ended up working the night shift. That meant I worked from 11pm to 7am producing the morning newscast. I was all alone until about 4 am when others would trickle in, but really the only people I saw were my anchor and the janitor. I had weekends off so I kept going to church, driving 45 minutes to my dad's church because I didn't have a clue where to go there in town.

As the weeks passed, I made few friends and my work hours didn't exactly leave a lot of time for socializing. I felt lonelier than ever. Even though I was still going to church, I didn't dare open my BIBLE during the week. I had no interest in hearing what GOD had to say. I would just stay at home and watch TV, sometimes glimpsing over at the GOOD BOOK but quickly looking the other way. Suddenly, I would give in to that anger that was building up inside me. I felt abandoned. GOD had sent me to this town where I barely knew anyone, given me a job where I never saw anyone and taken away the best friend I'd ever had. Yet, HE loved me? I certainly couldn't make sense of it.

Then it happened...my birthday came, September 7th, and I got a phone call. Not from Earl, but from one of my best friends, Shawnta. She still lived in Knoxville and was still going to Wooddale, the church I'd met Earl. She told me happy birthday and we chatted and then she said, "So, you heard the big news?"

My heart sunk in that moment. It felt like it was so far in the pit of my stomach it would never be able to climb out. I knew what was about to come out of her mouth. It was as if the world stood still. I wanted it to stand still. I didn't want the conversation to go on any longer. I wanted the past 3 years of my life to erase in an instant.

"No. What news?"

Silence.

"Shawnta, what news!?"

More silence.

"Um....I thought you'd already heard."

"Heard what!" I demanded.

"Earl asked Amy to marry him," she quietly and humbly delivered the terrifying blow I'd known was coming.

Silence.

"Raquel, I'm sorry. I thought Jerrie would have already told you."

Deafening silence.

After a few moments I spoke, "I have to go. I'll talk to you later."

I'm sure she said goodbye, but I don't really remember anything after that except crying so hard, I couldn't breathe. Thoughts raced through my mind. The anger I felt toward GOD swept from my head to my toes. It was as if I'd lived a lie for the past three years. I'd hoped in something that...never really was. I'd dreamed of happiness that was unattainable. I'd believed in GOD. I'd trusted in waiting every time HE would ask. And now HE had failed me. My heart wasn't just broken. My life was crumbling and I wasn't sure I'd ever be able to pick up the all the pieces.

2 comments:

  1. I didn't know this part...OH MY GOODNESS. After that you better be more consistent. Can I say it too many times?!?!? I wish we lived closer :(

    Love you!

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  2. This story never gets old to me!!!!!! Seriously, no more cliff hangers!!! ;)

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