When I told Jon I wanted a divorce, he left our house that night and moved back in with his family.
Jon was surrounded by an entire, loving family while I paced up and down in the living room on my own for months afterwards.
The first few days after Jon had left, the electricity meter ran out (!!!) (it was an old house with a meter box in the living room. You had to ‘feed’ it little blue tickets that could be bought from the Newsagency to ‘power’ the house) and the house plunged into darkness. AND COLD because the heating wasn’t going to work without electricity.
Jon left me like that. I rang him and he didn’t care. I believe he said something like “You made your bed Janet” and hung up on me.
I AM TERRIFIED OF THE DARK.
So for about a week, I hardly slept. I didn’t sleep at night and was STILL FULFILLING my Church duties in the day…so I was just about losing my mind on day 5. No food, no sleep, and feeling really, really abandoned.
I was hurting so badly that I wanted to die.
That’s when “Juliette” knocked on the front door. Juliette is really petite. She’s sooo adorable. We are about the same age, same height and in those days, both slim. At that time, were really close friends. Juliette knew about my exposed shame and chose to stand with me anyway. I couldn’t thank her enough for her kindness when I’d reached my lowest, truly.
I hugged her in the entry way and invited her into the living room.
Thankfully, my “bonus parents” had sent money when I rang them 3 days after Jon left me (I was hysterical. It took them hours to calm me down) and I was able to buy a ‘electricity voucher’, power the meter; and put the heating and lights back on. I was able to invite Juliette into a warm, cosy, lit (praise God) living room that fateful day.
Juliette regarded my shabby, broken appearance and blood-shot eyes with warmth, kindness and concern.
“Go upstairs, get some sleep Janet” she said in her cute little Columbian voice.
I didn’t believe what I was hearing.
“God sent me” Juliette said, squeezing my hand gently to focus me on the present “He said you need some rest so I am here, my friend. Go and sleep. Don’t be afraid. I will be here and I’ll make you some *columbian snacks* (I forgot what she called them, but basically dough-like breadstick things) and when you wake up, we can eat them, have a cup of tea…and talk”
“But Juliette…don’t you need to-” I started to argue. Juliette was to be my replacement as Children’s and Youth leader so she had A LOT on. Bless her. I hated thinking I was disrupting that or giving her more work to do later in the day.
“God will provide” she smiled. Juliette is so cute! Just seeing her little face light up made my heart ache. “We will be fine with planning – don’t worry. Go and sleep. Go!” and she gave me a gentle nudge.
That was all I needed. I dragged my tired, broken self up the stairs, tucked myself into bed in the guest room and was asleep in minutes. Knowing a friend was nearby gave me so much peace and took so many of my fears away.
I slept for about 2 hours. I woke in alarm. Was I alone? What was going on?
I raced down the stairs and found Juliette sitting in a chair reading a book. She looked upw with a kind smile. The kitchen smelt wonderful. Warmth and bread baking scents filled the house. I loved it.
“Do you have…err…spreads?” Juliette was still learning a lot of English words from her home language in Columbia (do they speak Spanish over there? Is Columbian a language? I need to do more research).
“Spreads?” I asked, rubbing my tired eyes.
“You know…uhh…like…” Juliette mimed putting butter on bread with an imaginary knife “spreads…like butter?”
“Oh yes” I laughed, relieved to know what Juliette meant “Yes, here – come and I’ll show you in the kitchen”.
We spent the afternoon eating these dough-stick things with jam and butter on them (Juliette had brought the ingredients, I could only supply the jam and butter) and talked about how much we loved Jesus and how He would never abandon us.
“People will fail us…but Jesus will never fail – great is His love, Janet” Juliette reminded me as we ate.
I was famished!
I felt SO MUCH BETTER from the sleep Juliette allowed me.
I will never forget her kindness that day. It meant so much to be able to sleep because friend was watching over me.
Thank you, Lord God – for friends. I am so blessed to have so many truly wonderful ones in my life.