I had only met Karen a few times casually. I sat down next to her and asked how her week was.
She had been on vacation with her boyfriend in Florida, which explained her incredible tan. But the week wasn’t all fun and games. The boyfriend made some extremely hurtful comments on the drive home. 12 hours of silence later, they were home, but time did not heal her wounds.
Karen, you deserve for a guy to find you captivating, not tear you down like that.
Tears flooded her eyes as she looked away. Her look screamed disbelief.
You don’t believe that, do you? I asked.
It’s hard to believe after all I’ve been through, she replied.
Over the next hour, she poured out her hurting heart to me. Her first husband cheated on her repeatedly and ended up leaving her with their two kids. Karen found her second husband’s body after he committed suicide on the day she found out that he had been molesting her daughter. Next came a broken engagement. A rape. Loss of a job.
Life has not been kind to Karen. It’s no wonder she doesn’t believe she has value.
Although I can’t fully understand all that she has been through, I can relate to walking through the valley of the shadow of death. I understand what it can be like to shield blow after blow from the enemy.
And so I listened. I nodded. I sympathized.
I wasn’t able to offer Karen any solutions that day in regards to her boyfriend. But I was able to offer empathy and listening ear, which is perhaps what she needed in the first place.