Today's blog is Part 2 by a guest blogger. In several weeks, she will reveal her true identity, but for now, we're calling her Eve. If you missed If They Only Knew: Eve's Story Part 1, be sure to go back and read it before continuing on with today's story.
If you know of women who are struggling with forgiving themselves for mistakes in their past, please lead them to this story. Eve's story is one of years of pain, but ultimately a life of joy, peace and redemption! You won't want to miss it!
A New Voice
“What a Beautiful day!” I thought to myself. I slowed my pace as I walked across school grounds that early spring day. Scanning the campus, I can’t help but feel as though I’m alone in a crowd. Students rush past me… busy, busy. Everyone has somewhere to go - their next class, to meet a friend at the coffee shop or back to the dorms to sleep off last night’s party.
It’s times like these when I feel so alone and my mind starts to wander. The begin their battle for my attention and I wish it would stop! One voice is saying all the right things – the things I deserve to hear, “Murderer! You think you’ve fooled everyone, but what if people really knew who the real Eve Newman is? Murderer… murderer… murderer!” I shake my head to stop the internal noise and take a deep breath. Every condemning word the voice said was true and I claimed those words for myself.
Yet, somewhere deep inside, somewhere in the depths of my soul, that is if I still have a soul, a still small voice kept whispering… calling to me really, “Eve. Eve. I AM here.” Tears fill my eyes as I’m drawn towards to warmth and light in the Voice, “Eve, I love you.”
“Who are these voices,” I wonder. “And why does the One seem to “feel” for me? It must to be my self-pity,” I tell myself and with renewed determination to control my thoughts, I tell myself it “has to stop”.
I don’t deserve to feel pity. Even from myself. “Suck it up, Eve,” I quickly climb the stairs of my dorm building, “you’re just gonna have to live with what you’ve done!”
I’m really going to miss my roommate, Joanna, when summer break gets here - I feel so drawn to her sweet spirit. There’s something different about Joanna though. I’ve never known anyone who reads their Bible almost every day and prays before she eats – even in the packed cafeteria. She’s so real and beautiful in every way.
I try not to be weird about it and freak her out, but there’s something about her I can’t get enough of. Sometimes, I’ll lie in my bunk and just watch her. I can’t help but envy the joy and light that seems to seep out of her!
Even today, I chuckle when I remember the first time she asked me if I wanted to go to church with her on a Sunday morning. “Wouldn’t that be funny?” My voice was dripping with sarcasm, "The building would probably catch fire the moment I step foot in the parking lot!”
Joanna’s eyes were full of a sweet, sincere love as she put her arm around me, “Evie, God love us all, no matter what we’ve done!” The words hung like a gift in the air between us, begging me to claim it for my own, but I surprised even myself with my loud hysterical laughter. If she only knew what I had done, she wouldn't be saying that.
“I’m serious, Eve!” Joanna refused to back down.
“Oh, Joanna, I love you!” Her kindness melted my heart, “you are so sweet!
"Eve,” Joanna’s voice became soft… comforting really, “have you ever asked God to come into your life?"
The sick feeling I have become all too familiar with crawls up my spine, “I don’t deserve Him, Joanna,” I simply state.
I jerked my head up surprised now by her laughter. Seemingly unfazed at my explanation of how God felt about Eve Newman, Joanna turned to grab her purse, “Eve, come with me tonight to Campus Crusades.”
“What’s that?” I ask.
“Campus Crusades for Christ is like church for college kids - kids who want to worship and follow Jesus.”
“Yikes,” I think and quickly shake my head, "I can’t. I have to study."
Joanna stood in the door for a moment, “Ok,” she relents, “but I’m gonna pray for you today, Eve!”
I grin at her, "Be careful, that could be dangerous!” I turn and stare out the dorm window. Tulips were blooming in a garden across the street, a startling reminder that my baby would have been nearly 2 years old by now. I wondered if it was a boy or a girl. Somehow I feel in my heart it was a girl.
I rubbed my hands on my jeans and looked away. I had to corral my thoughts! Going “there” was never good. I was a horrible person and deserved nothing good! Joanna’s voice startles me as she closes the door, “You’ll see, Eve! One day you’ll see! God loves even you!”
The relief I find from hiding the real me from Joanna once again is short lived by the ever present sorrow in my heart, "Oh, if only. If only I hadn't... if only I'd never done this, or done that,” I bury my head in my hands, “if she only knew!"
The still, small Voice inside prods me to go with her, but I know I can’t. Just a short time ago I would have gone with her in a heartbeat. Flopping back on my bed, I sighed. Oh how I long to have the old me back. The “me” that didn’t have a care in the world. The happy-go-lucky girl that laughed all the time. The me that had dreams and loved to sing. I have no voice or reason to sing now it seems.
Where had the laughter and joy gone? I picked at a loose string on the red quilt my mom had bought me as a graduation present. Just where the joy and laughter had gone was really no mystery to me at all. It had died along with the best of me… and my baby.
In the silence of my dorm room, the dark moments of that summer came over me like a flood. This time I gave in and allow the memories to take me back to that day.
It was a hot, I remember, a beautiful summer morning. Even now, I could still picture Jimmy’s smug face that August day when he pulled into the driveway. Opening the passenger window, he called out, “Let’s go!” I remembered the mixture of terror and excitement pulsing through my veins as I jumped into his car. Our plans were to do some shopping and grab some lunch - or so I thought. I had another goal though. This day out together would be a great chance for us to discuss “the problem”.
Little did I know, Jimmy had ulterior motives as well!
I was quiet as Jim put a CD in the player. I’ll never forget the annoying rock song he was playing as we sped out onto the highway. I smiled nervously, “So… how do we do this?” Hoping to see some excitement come from him.
“Do what, Eve?” I swung my head to look at him in surprise.
"How do we tell our parents?" I didn’t hide how shocked I was that he felt the need to ask what I was talking about.
Jim kept his eyes steadily on the road and simply said, "We don’t."
“What do you mean, Jim?” My heart was pounding. "Look Eve, do this for me, ok?" He chucks a white envelope onto my lap and cash spills out.
“What’s this for?” I dreaded to hear the answer.
"Come on, babe,” he softens a bit, but keeps looking forward. “I’ll be the first one in my family to ever to go college. I don’t want to keep working at a gas station all my life! Having a kid would ruin that dream!” He paused to let it sink in for a moment, then went on, “And think how devastated your parents would be if they found out how you messed up big time.” I mentally cringed at the thought of seeing the disappointment on my mom and dad’s faces.
Jim continued, “They won’t understand, and besides you want to go off to State with me, right? Or do you want to wait tables the rest of your life?" His words feel a knife in my heart and I start gasping for breath.
“Stop the car!” I say through clenched teeth.
Ignoring my plea, Jim keeps talking as calmly as if we’re discussing the weather, "its all set up for ya, babe. Just go in and do it and we’ll never talk about it again.” He sounds pleased with his plan to take care of our “problem”. His smile remains smugly on his face, “Do this and things will still be perfect for us."
The interior of the car reeked from the smell of weed . Desperate now, my voice raised to a level I wasn’t accustomed to, “Pull over now, Jim! I’m going to throw up!”
Jim realized how serious I was and quickly jerked his car to the side of the road. As I leaned out the door, retching into the gravel, I looked up out across the grassy field along the highway. “RUN!” I hear a voice pounding in my head, “RUN!”
Instead, I shut the door and look at him, "You can’t be serious?" My voice is nearly a whisper. He looks at me with disgust that I had just vomited, little did he know or care it was the words coming from his mouth that made me sick.
"What’s the big deal?” Jim seems annoyed at my emotion. “People do it all the time!”
“What’s… what’s the big… deal?” My voice is high pitched and shaking. I stare out the window… numb. "Why? Why didn’t you tell me about this before we left?” I hold the envelope up in his face. I feel cold and angry all over – and it’s evident.
“Because!” Jim’s demeanor is changing before my eyes, “I knew you wouldn’t go! This is not something Eve Newman would ever do.” I am startled at the sneer on Jim’s face and the sarcasm dripping from his tongue.
“Sleeping with you should have been one of those things too!” I mutter under my breath. I sit staring at the cash in my lap. Suddenly, I am so repulsed by Jim; I wish I had never met him. He calmly lights a cigarette as we ease off the highway and for the first time in my life I feel hatred.
I sit listless and broken the last miles of the trip, my mind spinning at the sudden turn of events. Jimmy turns the car down a long drive behind a large office building. The scene before me would embed itself in my soul. There on the sidewalk stood several people. They walked back and forth holding signs and I felt like a baseball bat had just hit me across the face.
A buzzing sound filled my senses and all I could focus on was one large red sign. Its letters were orange, curving upwards to look like the flames of hell itself. The message in those flames left no question in my mind of my destiny, and those three words would follow me into that clinic, to college, and everywhere I went for years to come.
Three words that changed my life for a long, long time.
“GOD HATES YOU”.
TO BE CONTINUED…