I read 'Jane Eyre' this week and was surprised at how wonderful it was. I'd been experiencing literary guilt because of how little I enjoyed 'Pride and Prejudice', so I was thrilled to enjoy a classic in the same vein. I found the dialogue honest, the story surprising and the characters to be interesting and intriguing. The only difficult part about reading this book were the declarations of love between (SPOILER ALERT) Jane and Mr. Rochester. Like this one: "All my heart is yours, sir: it belongs to you; and with you it would remain, were fate to exile the rest of me from your presence forever."
I cried at that. In fact, every time Jane and her lover spoke to each other of devotion, constancy, their passion for one another, I cried. I cried when they rejoiced in their love, I cried when fate separated them and I cried when thy were reunited. I cried because their words pierced me too deeply, too fiercely - because they revealed that my heart is still so deeply wounded by the one I trusted before all others. Because I had said to him "all my heart is yours" and then he had an affair.
It was two years ago this weekend that he violated our vows. And because of that, I've been living in pain this last week. Wracked with memory and anger, loneliness and feelings of worthlessness, this is an anniversary that I wish I could forget. This is an anniversary that need not be commemorated, but it is one that I am afraid will always cry out to be remembered. And merciful God, how I wish it wasn't so.
Jane Eyre promised her lover that even if they were exiled from one another that her heart would remain constant. And this week, during this painful anniversary, it is hard to remember my vows, my covenant promises. It is hard to continue to give Cliff my heart, to be his life partner, to love him with abandon. This week, more than all others, I lean heavily on God's mercy and ask for the grace to continue to remain my husband's lover in exile.
But God...it hurts.