My New Mistresses

As I write this, I have been plugged up, stuck with needles, and humiliated in a hospital gown while being evaluated for a heart attack. Everything came back normal and I did not want to stay overnight for observation…

I have a new mistress. At least three of them. They are not quite identical triplets, but you can’t miss the familial connection.

If you read the word new as implying an old or previous mistress existed, you would be correct.

But before I tell you about the new, let me regale you with the old.

This previous mistress was young, exciting, and beautiful. Being intimate with her brought gratification like you wouldn’t believe. The degree to which she stroked my ego was off the charts.

This former preacher was powerless to turn away. She captivated my every waking thought. I couldn’t get enough of her.

Who couldn’t be intoxicated with a woman like that?

And sadly enough, this affair was always out in the open. I never hid it. I never denied it. In fact, I celebrated it. When my family protested, I always had an excuse, always had a reason to immerse myself further into her sweet embrace.

She was a charmer, that one.

I don’t regret the relationship with the church. After all, being a preacher was my calling. It was my identity and purpose all rolled into one. But with blinders on, I never quite realized how much of me my family was denied. I know they supported me, but too often they played second fiddle to my time, attention, and heart.

And my new mistresses?

The first two are guilt and regret. Maybe I am being too hard on myself, but I am deeply involved with both. I cannot change the past no matter how badly I want to. I cannot say I am sorry. I cannot make amends.

The only thing I can do is try so very hard to not make the same mistakes again.

Guilt and regret are hard to live with…

Those two mistresses have led me to their sister, fear.

For months I have been suffering in her embrace. I can hardly move forward with my life for fear the next shoe is going to drop–for fear that the strides we have made, the happiness that has come will be stripped away again.

As silly as it may seem to some, I have been living with fear, certain I was dying, and convinced I could do nothing about it.

I am a nervous wreck and logical or not, fear has become my constant companion.

23 thoughts on “My New Mistresses

  1. Les, I don’t know you but my daughter told me about your blog. I have lost 2 children, one at birth and one at 18 years old. I do not go to church but I am very spiritual – everyone has probably heard that before. However it is very true. I didn’t give God much thought until my daughter died in 2001 at age 18 but after an experience of God in the hospital I was convinced by my heart that He was good. Since then my husband has survived cancer and I have also been very sick but am well now. God does not cause these things to happen nor does he punish with them but will turn every hard thing into something good. You and especially your loved ones who are no longer with you are held securely in His arms. I also had a lot of guilt and regret but especially anger at the doctors who gave her the medicine that killed her. It took several years to work it out and sometimes it still comes back. If only I had done this or that she would still be alive! That is what I constantly thought. But I realized I didn’t know if that is true. Maybe this was meant to be somehow. However I always knew that she was ok and happy and that I didn’t have to worry about her. Hopefully you can have a happy ending – believe me, it is possible. At the time I thought it was unfair that we had to live through the deaths of our children (and in your case, wife also), but I realized that her death changed my life completely, made me a better person, and that maybe God used her death to do this for me. It wasn’t all in vain. If you open your heart to God and tell him you can’t trust Him just yet He will understand. Keep it open and you will find true peace.

    • Kara, I would love to meet you and hear more of your story. Loss is never easy from my perspective! Thank you for your comment!

  2. You forgot one-honesty! Your struggle is painful, horrible, awful. But, necessary if you plan to move forward. And I believe that is what you plan-to move forward by honoring the past and believing in the future.

  3. Sometimes, when we have been traumatized writing is the only place we can be honest. There is no fear of seeing the look on the persons face change as we share our deepest hurt and our horror stories. Staring at a computer screen seeing our words form on the page is empowering. The computer/blog makes no judgements, holds no resentment, never rejects and is always here at a moments notice when we need to bleed. Bravo my dear friend!!!

  4. I am going thru a kind of hell of my own. My beloved husband Jim was killed instantly last Oct. 6 by a texting while driving teenage boy. I’m a minister’s daughter, and although I’ve not always understood some things about God, I’ve been able to deal with them. Not anymore. Now I’m asking, Why? Why? Why? all the time. I’ve always been known as a strong woman of God, but again, I’m sure that’s not true anymore. And you know what? I. Don’t. Care. Honesty before Him is everything. He respects and, well, honors honesty, because it takes guts to lay it all out there on the line. Thank you for being courageous in writing your heart. You have blessed me and encouraged me that I am not alone in my fury and my disbelief and my broken heart. Thank you so very much. ~ Bron,

  5. Les, I am praying for you as you go through the valley. I know The Lord is faithful and He will see you through all of this. Your words, honesty and courage are inspiring to me.

  6. Les, someone mentioned you left out honesty. I would like to add courageous. Most of us cannot begin to understand this hell (for the lack of a better word) you are trying to survive and live through. I think you are very courageous as a son of a preacher and ex preacher to express your feelings so openly and raw. What a wonderful gift.
    We all have our crosses to bear, thank you for being courageous enough to put it out there for everyone, you are an inspiration.

  7. Les, this type self disclosure might be one of the greatest ministries of your entire life of service. You are not only in tune with hurting people; you are a very good writer. Masses of people need this kind of understanding of their pain–and only those who have experiences like yours can touch them. Thanks.

  8. A local suicide survivor group leads with the slogan: If love could have saved them, they would still be here. That resonates with me. Having exhausted every scenario of what I could have done to save my boy, I can only day to guilt to get out, it is not a grieving persons friend. But maybe I had to get to the place where I could say that, over time. You will find no judgment from me, friend. My only judgment is that you loved your family well.

    • Yeah. I know JD. How well I know. Your words have long been a comfort. I hate the experience you have been through that gives you the wisdom to share. I am grateful for all the long years of friendship! Love you!

  9. I hope your writing will be cathartic — not only for you and your family, but perhaps for others who are grieving and struggling. God bless you!

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