Chapter Nine: Will She Still Love Me Tomorrow?
The days had grown long; summer was drawing near and with it would come the end of our lives as we had known them. Chelsea and I were sitting together on the wicker furniture she’d picked from the trash, painstakingly restored, and painted a brilliant white. The neighborhood was quiet and Naomi was beginning to kick and buck in her belly as there were only a few short months until she would come. Nate’s Beach was sitting with its sand, seashells, and chunks of cherished metal. I smiled finally beginning to understand who I was and where I had been. It was in that moment that Chelsea said three sentences which forever changed the course of our marriage, our daughter’s future, and my own. The conversation drifted from the pains of her body and job to my own. She asked me questions that I was still too afraid to answer.
Instead, I chose to keep listening and waiting. Grabbing hold of my trembling hands, she looked into the depths of my soul. In the stillness of a moment I had waited my whole life for, my wife spoke.
“Nathan, I need you to know that I love you no matter what. I love each part of you. No matter what you’ve been through or what you’ve done, I love you.”
Weeping we held each other as those bleeding broken parts of my soul felt the a safe harbor of love for the first time in their lives. I had sequestered my pain for twenty-seven years. I had buried burdens no one should have to see, touch or carry. I had stuffed my soul into prison cells and corridors of chaos. I could not bear to share with this wondrous woman the horrors of my past, and yet here she sat arms wrapped around mine, holding me, caring for me, and loving me. What was this newfound hope? Could this be it? Could this be real? Could I have found someone that will not leave me, even when The Chameleons masks come off and she sees the scars riddling my tortured body and soul? Would she still love me when I tell her about how many times I was sexually abused? Would she still love me when I tell her about covens rituals and the beasts, which infected me at such a young age? Would she run? Would she stay? A thousand questions pummeled my mind and yet her words rang louder, silencing them all.
We could see she meant it. We knew it. Each of us who doubted was beginning to believe that maybe there was such a thing as unconditional love. We no longer had to experience it through other people’s stories, movies, or plays; now we had experienced it.
Three days later I told Chelsea, the woman who once tried to hide her eyes from my own, that behind my eyes there were more than just a me, but rather a we. I told her about the oaths, the cult of my Families, the dissociation of the other personalities, Nate, Nathan, Jason, Soldier, Boy and the many other parts of a fractured soul within. I shared with her I was not a whole man, but I so desperately wanted to be. I told her there was a mountain of misery, madness, and murder concealed in my past. Unable to bear the feelings of exposure, Chelsea and I retreated into our home.
In the corner of our living room, Chelsea held me and wept with me as my body trembled from head to toe. The fear of rejection was pounding through my heart, threatening to tear what little remained apart. Even as I trembled, Chelsea folded her arms over me as we let the rivers of sorrow finally flow. Chelsea and Naomi, my true family, held me close and said “I’m so sorry that happened to you. I love you still no matter what.” She washed me in undefiled love as my heavenly Father had. She did not reject me or run. She held fast to me as the supernaturally crafted stone strongholds of my heart fell down flat. She did not run from the darkness; she did not hide from the horrors of my abusers.
My wife embodied The Scriptures that night. She had come to believe the Word that is written, perfect love casts out fear. Perfect love can stare at the face of Death himself and find an ocean of peace, hope, and kindness washing his deceptive threats away. My wife did not have the strength to do this, not of herself. She was a woman who had learned Whose she was. She knew her identity was secured to The Rock of Jesus The Messiah. She had built her house upon the unshakable foundations of the Word of Yahweh. When the fierce winds of these detestable things blew against it, it did not crumble but instead held fast. She knew she was a redeemed daughter of The Living God and because of that, she had faith to love her husband even when he told her things no spouse wants to hear or learn their spouse went through.
Chelsea had supernatural strength and compassion, but the next day the heaviness of what we told her began to crush her. She stumbled her way through work in a daze. Unable to handle the pressure alone, she called me. I stepped out of work and heard my wife overwhelmed by the things I’d shared with her. I heard her struggling with the fear, the anger, and the frustration. I reminded her of The One who can carry those burdens and told her she needed to surrender them to Messiah and let Him speak to her.
Under the boughs of our backyard tree, Chelsea swung in her chair and wept. She poured her heavy burdens out on Our Redeemer, and The God of Comfort strengthened my wife. He told her words that would become a fortress of hope in the days ahead. “Chelsea, it is very critical how you react.”
Suddenly, an understanding flooded over her, and in her weakness, she found The Father’s pure grace and strength to be mightier than her fears, doubts, and disbelief. She discovered His Holy Spirit filling her and renewing her. Naomi listened in as my wife’s heart beat with supernatural courage, compassion, and love. Naomi heard the songs of peace flood over her mother and equipped her with the tools she needed to stand against the brutal spiritual and emotional attacks that were already being cunningly crafted against us. Battle lines were being drawn and it was time for us all to fight for the souls of the suffering, the slandered and those waiting to be redeemed.