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Losing Love, Having Faith & Finding Hope
By Terryl Ebony
Trafford PublishingCopyright © 2013 Terryl Ebony
All rights reserved.
A Vision of Love and the Affection of Faith
They say opposites attract. How true that is in this case, because there were definitely no similarities. Yet still, a meeting of the minds—led to a meeting of the eyes—which—led to a meeting of a more intimate side. It took a while before the union commenced. Growing up on the same block, there were years where they did not get along. They barely exchanged pleasantries if they crossed paths. Then, there was high school. The two rode the bus and train every morning, along with other friends from around the way. Eventually they began to speak, got to know each other from a teenage perspective: love, laughter, tears, funny jokes and unleashed fears. They realized there was something there between them—something they never expected—a friendship. This new found friendship grew with every passing day. After a while, they had to admit their relationship had reached another turning point. This friendship had turned into a deeper like—and then—an even deeper love. They decided to see where and how far it would go. So, when the day came for the two to join as one, it was as if time stood still in a faithful moment of loving silence—to watch the unification of two souls as they consummated A Faithful Love.
Walking hand in hand, they were like two peas in a pod. Where you saw one you saw the other. They were inseparable. There was no doubt, love was in the air. Everything seemed perfect. Nothing was too much for them to handle. All the nay-sayers stood in awe and disbelief as these two opposites—not only came together in harmony—but they were actually happy! They knew what they felt, followed their hearts, ignored all the negativity and focused on their growing love. This was their way of life for a little over a year. Then eyes wondered and tempers flared. Who said teenage love was easy? Who said any love was easy?
Their love was eminent, but Faith wanted more. She expected something from Love that he was not able to provide—monogamy. Although Faith was filled with heartache and heartbreak she still held on to Love; but Love could not resist the enticement of other women. This would lead to their demise. He was torn for a while. He tried to remain faithful, but the voices of friends, family and his growing loins were the driving force of his decision. The pull was too strong. He could not resist temptation. Faith tried and seriously thought their love would be enough to sustain the aftermath of his betrayal. She was right, but she was wrong!
Although Love found himself attracted to other people, there was still a part of him that lusted and loved what Faith had to offer. There was something about her that he could not walk away from. She, too, had an undeniable fixation on him. She was constantly drawn back by his words, his dimples and his touch. But most of all she was drawn to the way he made her feel when they were together. Maybe Faith's inexperience and naiveté made her think one magical moment would change Love's way of thinking. Maybe sex could be exchanged for one's heart, love and compassion? Faith liked how she felt when she was with him and she realized she would have to work twice as hard if she did not want to lose it. She would not give up that easily. She felt that she could change him, make him forget about the other women and focus only what the two of them shared.
What was she thinking? You cannot change people. It is not a part of our human make-up to change people. People can and will only change who they are if that is their desire. And for some people that may take longer than others. For some it may never occur at all. That is the truth of the matter.
You have to acknowledge to yourself that there is something you are lacking or unhappy with in order for real change to begin. If you believe that you are content and not making wrong decisions, then why would you want to change? In fact, it can become very frustrating when someone else is constantly telling you that you should change this or that about yourself. Imagine being around someone who is always trying to "fix you" when you clearly do not see a problem. This causes a lot of conflict in most relationships. However, just because you do not notice the issue, does not mean it does not exist. It also does not mean it does.
Both parties have to have an open mind about how the other is thinking and communicating a concern. It is all in the delivery! If I tell you I think or I want you to change something about yourself, you will more than likely shut down or become defensive. However, if I show you what I think is wrong, you will be more open to conversation and it can possibly result in a positive change. Effective communication is key and that is what both Faith and Love lacked.
For years, there was a constant struggle to make their relationship work. One month they would break up and the next month they would make up, enough to make you dizzy. You were not sure what to expect from these two from one day to the next. Everyone was confused but for whatever reason, the couple knew they were not ready to say goodbye. Not yet—and—not for quite some time.
Another year had gone by with the same back and forth. Love was living his life with the luxury of having his cake and eating it too. Faith settled for the contentment of the "what if" syndrome. "What if" we can make things work? "What if" I did things differently? "What if" things could be the way they used to be? Faith was still living in the past. In her mind, she kept going back to those days when they used to have fun in the sun and enjoyed life in the moment. To her, those moments meant everything! It brought out the good 'ole days and created dreams of a hopeful future. Faith held on to that feeling and those memories for dear life and hoped Love would, too. Still, nothing changed. Everything remained as it was until that day when Faith got served an unexpected curve ball called Life—a new life that is! What would she do now? What did this all mean? Nineteen and pregnant, surrounded by doubts and a relationship built on "what ifs". This could not be good. This could not be happening. This was not a part of the plan!
Faith thought long and hard before sharing her news because she was uncertain of his reaction. After all, she was still processing all of this herself. What would this mean for her life now? What it mean for their future? With mixed emotions, Faith knew she had to say something sooner rather than later. She could not and would not keep such a secret for too long.
When she finally decided to break the news to Love, there was that initial shock. Then, there was the surreal moment of happiness to becoming a father and starting a family. Quickly, the shock wore off and happiness turned into fear, uncertainty and denial. Faith was undoubtedly hurt by Love's reaction, but knew she had to live with his decision. But, how?
Shortly thereafter, everyone would know that parentage was near for these two. All the commentators, the well-wishers, and the haters came out to give their opinion. The most popular comment or question was, "Did she get pregnant purposefully, so she could trap Love in a relationship?" Faith was amused by the skeptics but offended that Love was actually entertaining the comments, especially when you consider the fact that it takes two people to conceive a child. It was also up to both of them to use protection and knowingly, neither of them did for many years. So it really should not have come as a surprise to Love that, eventually, pregnancy and parenthood would be a strong possibility. Unfortunately, that did not happen. Love did not know how to deal with everything: Faith—and the prospect of becoming a father. So, he chose to ignore it—and her.
When people are faced with opposition, they can handle it in one of three ways. They can face the reality—head on—ignore it, or choose to remain in denial. Facing the reality puts you in a better position to have more positive results. Ignoring the reality will only prolong the inevitable, thus giving you immediate, yet inconclusive results of the inevitable. You can run but you cannot hide. And lastly, denying the reality will only hurt all concerned including you. It is the coward's way out and will only give you negative results when it's all said and done.
Ignorance is unknown and denial is refusal. Both choices yield negative results. Do not compromise your integrity; that will never be good for you on any level.
For Love, coming from a world where everything was handed to him on a silver platter, having a baby and having to share his life would definitely be a new experience. He would now have to do the giving. Was he ready for such a sacrifice at 20 years old? Was he ready to commit totally to someone other than himself? He knew he was not ready or able so he was against the idea of bringing a new life into the world at that time. But Faith could not bear the thought of terminating her pregnancy.
She held steadfast to the roller coaster she was about to embark on. She knew she was not prepared for what was to come, nor could she anticipate the future. It would be hard, but she was strong and faith that she could handle anything she put her mind to. Faith stayed true to her word, true to her heart, and true to the thought of holding her newborn child.
The next nine months were going to be very emotional and Faith had to get through it. If things were not complicated enough, Faith was laid off from her job around the same time she found out she was pregnant. After living on her own for the last year and a half, she made the decision to move back to her mother's house to have her child.
Depression and suppression took over. Love had moved on without second thoughts or feelings for what Faith was enduring. Meanwhile, as anger filled her mind, love filled her heart and Hope filled her belly. Psychologically, a compilation of emotions engulfed Faith—an inability to wrap her psyche around her current situation, lack of maturity, lack of wisdom, lack of experience and the lack of support from the love she claimed her own.
One cannot genuinely commit to someone else if they have not yet made commitments to themselves. It is hard to make others happy if you yourself are not happy. These are little things that couples should think about prior to having unprotected sex, conceiving a child, or deciding to become parents. Once that child is conceived your future, your dreams, your needs and your desires are no longer your own. It becomes shared with your unborn. Every decision and action from that point forward must take into consideration the life which the mother holds inside her womb—waiting to be born. Then once the child is born, the responsibility only intensifies and becomes more.
At this point, Love had his eyes and his mind set on someone else. There was no room in his life for either Faith or Hope. However, at times, there were flickers of sensitivity that pierced through faithful eyes with confidence and belief that all would be fine and return to normal—a time when they only had eyes for each other. Love would rub her belly and try to comfort her with words of encouragement. He had a dimpled smile and brown eyes that would shine, giving optimism that he was happy and awaiting the big day. Faith, still in denial, viewed those smiles as hope that there was still a chance they could be a family and raise their unborn child together.
Reality came quickly, and quite harshly as Faith attended prenatal visits and sonogram viewings without him by her side—experiencing heartburn—with no one to buy her vanilla ice-cream. She felt the stretching and kicking inside with no one to soothe the uncomfortable feeling or share in the wonders of the new life she had growing inside her. There were times when Love would make excuses as to why he was not there and other times when he was blatantly honest. He wanted nothing to do with Faith and being that she decided not to terminate the pregnancy, he would only perform his fatherly duties after the child was born. He had no real intention to make a commitment to her. Faith began to face that harsh reality and struggled with the idea of raising a child on her own—not because of her own insecurities—but because of her thoughts of Hope—her unborn.
Faith and Love would argue frequently. Faith was visibly and verbally irate. There was no compromise, no medium ground, and no neutral place to call a truce. She was confused by all the mixed signals and dimpled smiles. What was real and what was not? All she knew was she was pregnant, alone and tired of looking at this man parade up and down enjoying his life while she was stuck in this unattractive, swollen body.
Faith had no idea what the future held for her and her baby. She was still young, inexperienced, and growing increasingly apprehensive about her future. She continued to give the benefit of doubt to the one that helped to create the life she held inside. She still had hopes of living the all American dream—the picture perfect family—with two parents, the kids, the dog and the white picket fence. Unfortunately, her dreams were far-fetched from reality.
Faith began to rely on others to help her through this tough time. She did not want to eat. It hurt to digest. She did not want to talk. It even hurt to think. She did not want to sleep. The nightmares were too painful. She just laid there—tissue in hand—crying her sorrows away. Friends and family would have to be her strength. She was crippled with grief and filled with uncontrollable rage. She could not be reasonable or produce a rational thought. There was just hurt that came from the heart and told a painful story on her face.
Her friends tried to nourish her body and her mind with food and laughter, anything that would not remind her of her current woes. They reminded her that she was not alone. She had support even if it was not from the one who truly mattered to her. They also reminded her that every decision she made going forward affected not only her but the one she held nearest and dearest to her—her soon to be born child. So with all faith in hand, she began to smile; she began eat; she began to nourish her body and her soul—with a new mindset—of hopeful beginnings. It was then that she started to look at life from not only her eyes, but also through the eyes of her unborn child.
What emotional damage was being done to the fetus, while drawing breath and feeding off of every emotional and nutritional crumb that she consumed (or did not)? Pregnant mothers not only need to consider the food they eat, but the food they do not eat and how that will affect their child. You must think about your emotional state—at all times—because children can take on the emotions of their mother from inside the womb which may dictate many of their future characteristics. From inside the womb, children are influenced by the tones of your voice and those surrounding you; they also pick up on your emotions. They may not know why the feeling occurred, but they do know there was some type of feeling involved: love, hate, joy, pain, laughter, or sadness. Many times we wonder why a child is so angry or so happy. Think back to when you were carrying them inside you, what were your overall feelings and emotions on a daily basis? The answers that you seek may lie in that discovery alone. Remember, emotional energy is transferable (good or bad), even within the womb.
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy."
—Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.—
Excerpted from Losing Love, Having Faith & Finding Hope by Terryl Ebony. Copyright © 2013 Terryl Ebony. Excerpted by permission of Trafford Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Humble Beginnings.................... 23
Chapter 2 New Life.................... 34
Chapter 3 Caught in the Middle.................... 45
Chapter 4 Changing Faces.................... 58
Chapter 5 I am who I am.................... 65
Chapter 6 Her Prodigy.................... 72
Chapter 7 Prostituting for Love.................... 78
Chapter 8 Losing Love.................... 91
Chapter 9 Having Faith.................... 103
Chapter 10 Finding Hope.................... 110