Thursday, February 28, 2008

All in the Name of Love

“Excuse me, will you please look into the camera?” the agitated photographer asked.
“I need you to look into the camera, Miss!” he said.
Purposely looking over my left shoulder with my eyes closed, the photographer finally took the picture. I wasn’t in a very cooperative mood so he finally settled for a profile shot. There’s something about a policeman trying to get you to pose for a mug shot that is very upsetting.

It all began on a hot summer night in 1997 when the big breakup happened between me and my then boyfriend, Gene...
Having two children and a tattoo bearing his name, I took our breakup very hard.
Especially when he started seeing other people.
One night our kids stayed over at my parents; so after going out with some co-workers, I decided to pay Gene a visit. I noticed the other woman, whom I call Rebound, was there. I finally persuaded him to come outside so we could talk and after arguing for a few minutes, what happened next is still out of my realm of thinking.
I ran into his house, locked the deadbolt leaving him outside. In his bedroom there was Rebound sitting on his bed on the comforter I had purchased for him. Following an exchange of words, we got into a cat fight. I could hear Gene knocking on the door and ringing the doorbell trying to awaken his sleeping roommate, so when Rebound ran from the room, I ran out the back door. I quickly got in my car and sped off.

Instead of going home though I returned to the crime scene. I parked down the street and snuck up to his house. I stood on the tips of my toes trying to see through the blinds covering his bedroom window. I wanted to see if Rebound had let Gene back into the house and if she did I wanted to know if he was comforting her...
on the comforter I had purchased.
I could hear them talking, but was having a hard time seeing anything.
Then I looked down and there it was. Lying on the ground was a big block. Instead of standing on it for a better view, I hoisted the heavy cement block up over my shoulder and sent it crashing through the window.
For a brief moment, I felt some sick gratification in hearing Rebound scream from the shattering glass and blinds ripping out of the wall. I felt like I was on a re-run episode of COPS as I again ran to my getaway car. This time I took myself home as I felt I had worn out my welcome . I didn't even think of returning to the location of my crime of passion. I'm sure Gene was probably a little mad at me by now.

I was so freaked out at myself as this was not normal for me. I quickly changed into my pj's, and hid under my covers. I felt so ashamed and then my doorbell rang. Looking out my window I saw a police car parked in front of my apartment.
I couldn't believe Gene called the cops on me!
I opened the door to two police officers as I tried to act like they woke me up.
“Miss Jane, we are placing you under arrest.”
Shocked I gasped and said “For WHAT?”
“For trespassing, vandalism, disturbing the peace and assault. Will you please get dressed so we can take you downtown?”

The ride to the police station was very quiet. So many thoughts were racing through my mind. Thoughts such as:
4 tickets in one night?? I've only gotten speeding tickets before...
How did this happen?
How am I going to explain this to my parents and my kids?
Should I call Gene with my one phone call?
These handcuffs are so tight…

After a few deserved hours in jail my aunt bailed me out and back home I went with my 4 tickets and no man. A few days later we apologized to each other and Gene was able to drop only 3 of the tickets because in Nebraska assault is a ticket that can't be dropped. So, for the next year I was reminded of my night with Rebound as I endured the diversion program. In order to get my clean record back I had to go through many hours of serving my community and lots of counseling. After an entire year of meeting all of the requirements successfully, the state finally forgave me.
Things got better as Gene came to his senses and stopped seeing Rebound immediately and admitted that I am the only woman for him.
I like to think I didn't scare him into loving me as others have suggested.
I didn’t even have to get my Gene tattoo removed, because two years after that crazy night, I walked down the aisle to marry my best friend.
Since that night so long ago, we've both re-committed our lives to Jesus, bought a home, added another child, a dog and now have a granddaughter on the way.
Life is good.
As for Rebound, we too forgave each other and last I knew she's somewhere in Florida.
My sincere hope is that she lives happily ever after far away .
OKAY...that's just a glimpse of the ugliness of my past.
I can't believe I acted like that!
I share this with you because when I gave my heart back to Jesus He took me as is.
No hesitation on His part.
I didn't have to "clean up" my mess of a life before He wrapped me in His arms.
He didn't require me to go through any program first before my slate was wiped clean because Jesus has already gone through the diversion program for me.
He took my place for what I deserved.
Dying on the cross was what He did so that I could escape going to hell.
Jesus took my place in the Eternal Diversion Program and to Him I am thankful.
~Many Blessings~


Lizerd said...

I love your refreshing! And I love what God is doing in your life. You sound like so somebody I would so enjoy hanging out with...we are much alike!
Blessings! Liz

Amy L Brooke said...

Thanks for sharing. I appreciate your insight!

Kelley at Aroma of Joy said...

God bless you Leila! That could not have been an easy thing to share in such a public forum but it is those stories that God will use to transform us and others! Mine is not a pretty story either. I have spent many years burying and hiding it and I have just started to be able to face it and speak about it. That is a big reason I want to go to this conference! My email is on my profile if you want to get in touch. How fun it would be to go together!

Love, Kelley

Emily said...

What an awesome testimony! You are a redeemed woman. AMEN.

and thankyou, thankyou, thankyou for my wonderful surprise! I got it today. I already used the hand lotion and am going to dig into the book while in the hotel on the way to Washington. You're awesome. It made my really stressful day...less so. :)


"Just Me - NC Beth" said...

"....when I gave my heart back to Jesus He took me as is.
No hesitation on His part."

Amen, siesta!! He is Faithful!

Thank you for sharing! We all have our "stories", I'm sure.....


Yolanda said...

Praise HIS Holy Name! Thank you, Lelia, for KEEPING IT REAL!

He knew all that we would do, and YET, He sent His ONE AND ONLY Son, for you and I.

Love ya,

Yolanda said...

PS: I just read Psalm 32:5, for my scripture promise of the day. Yeehaw!

Keeping it real!


heather said...

thank you for sharing your story. And for the reminder that God wipes the slate clean, and is willing to forgive us even before we "clean" ourselves up.
it was a timely reminder for me today.
I have been delaying on posting on my blog, because I don't know how to express what i am going thru right now, and don't want to just write surface junk. and as of yet, i don't know how to put it into words. I am hoping that once i work through this day a bit, i will have somehow come up with the words.
God Bless you,

heather said...

thanks Lelia for your note... i understand the procrastination thing, really i do... i was supposed to be on the road to my folks an hour ago!
can't wait for those notes.
Love you,

mom said...

Wow..I learn something everyday about my girls..I did not know you had a tattoo of Gene's name..where is it your mom wants to know.
You are a funny girl and I am so glad for Gene's sack I am glad you are following the Lord.
Keep writing you have a gift to make what could be a heavy burden on your heart an open door for others to see things in the Light of Jesus. I love you even with a

Anonymous said...

That was supposed to say Gene's SAKE not sack :)

Jenny said...

Yep, He takes us just like we are. My past is ugly, but I have been able to go into some ugly situations and connect because I have been there!

Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the correction do not want anyone to worry about that. That is why you were given the gift of writing...where did you say that tattoo was??

Heather@Mommymonk said...

WOW!!! What a story of God's transforming work in your life. I'm so glad He doesn't require us to get cleaned up before we come to Him. Amazing grace.

BTW, a book is in the mail for you!

Beloved MaMa said...

I love your openess and that you are very real :0)Thanks for sharing

Sita Henderson said...

Lelia, I cannot help but see that the same passion that marked your actions in the past has been taken by God and redeemed in a new way of expression, the sensitivity to injustice, suffering, transparency, determination, courage, and it's been coated with such a marvellous sense of humour.(loved the "rebound" name!) It struck me that even in our sinful actions we can see God's stamp on us peeping through. Thank you, sweet sistah!

MaryLu said...

I'm encouraged by your openness. One day I will feel free enough to share some of my past. Ugly, ugly stuff. We all have secrets that are too personal to share, thank you for being transparent and obedient to let Jesus shine through.
Your friend,

MrsJoeB said...

Sharing your pain is honorable. God allows us to go through those times for a reason. I fully believe He uses each and every mistake we made-if just to bring us closer to Him. Look at you noe Lelia-How proud God must be!! Get ready to be used in a special way because of sharing this part of your journey to Him.
You are a blessing!!
In His Graces~Pamela

kmom3 said...

What an awesome testimony to His goodness, grace, and mercy! Thank you for sharing so openly, Lelia, and for giving Him all of the glory!
I know you touch so very many lives!

valerie said...

I am thankful that you and Gene were reunited.
I thought this story was great.
You crack me up! I bet you are so much fun to be around.
Lelia, I appreciate how you have encouraged me from the start to write posts on my blog.
Again, I'm so thankful for what God has done in your family.
He is faithful!

Samantha said...

wonderful story, thank you for sharing!

blessings to you and yours,

Faithful Froggers said...

What a testimony! Thanks for sharing such a powerful message.

May God continue to bless you greatly.

Love & FROG,

Linda said...

Love you, Lelia. Thanks for sharing, sweet friend. said...

Thanks for sharing a private part of your past. Bless you.