~ St. Basil
I knelt in the back pew, my favourite little corner of our parish, as Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Form began. My heart beat a million beats per minute and my thoughts raced even faster. What was I going to do? How could I tell my Husband? Why had I been so foolish with my words?
A thud sounded behind me as the doors opened and a tall, familiar figure knelt in the pew in front of me. I felt as if I were going to faint.
"Where are we?" my friend turned around to ask. His tone gave nothing away. Silently, I showed him the correct page in the missal. I was ever so grateful for the large white mantilla, which shadowed my flushed face.
I spent the rest of the Mass storming Heaven with prayers for understanding, help, and perseverance as my mind recalled the events of the past several hours...
Several months ago, I had attended Mass at the stone church near where my Husband and I were living. It was during a time in which I had needed a friend and God's grace. I happened to see a good friend of ours. It was a wonderful surprise! We ended up having coffee and catching up afterward. This was done, of course, with the permission of my spouse. Ever since then, we would meet up once a week or so for Mass and coffee. Often, this also included the company of a precious nun friend of ours. These weekly coffee chats were a spiritual highlight of my week.
On this particular day, however, something had come up about our pasts and who they made us today. The dear Sister had mentioned how physical abuse had affected her and how, as a nun, it impacted her apostolate. I had opened up a little and had mentioned the positive impact of my own past in helping women to overcome their own struggles. I briefly touched on having a blog as a creative outlet and aid in this endeavour. It was an amazing conversation!
In reference to what we had discussed, I sent a heavily edited version of my "Submission After Abuse" story to this friend. Granted, I had not done this with the permission of my Husband. I felt a twinge of guilt over this, but I did not think that it would be a big deal. Oh, how blissfully unaware I was of its deeper impact!
A little while later, I happened to check the tracker I keep on my blog. It is always interesting to see the various countries from which this little blog is hit and the keyword searches from which it was found. I am even more amused when someone from a nearby village or town happens to "find" me. After all, you and I could pass by each other in a given day at a bookstore, grocery story, or even at Holy Mass. Would we even know one another?
I noticed such a nearby website hit. Curiosity piqued, I clicked on a link which showed me the Google keyword search. My heart skipped a beat when I saw part of the text from my "story." Oh, no!
My secret was out! There was nothing I could do to retract it. Would this friend understand? Or would I be seen as a freak? Was the friendship over? My heart sank at the thought of my Husband and me losing a friend over my foolishness.
After Holy Mass, I gave a final heart-felt prayer and genuflected out of my pew. My Husband was in the sacristy, de-vesting from his acolyte cassock and surplus. We would meet up, as we always did, in the usual "coffee hour" spot with the other dear souls who had been present at Mass.
Removing my veil once outside of the doors, I noticed our friend close behind. He gave me a knowing grin. It was an odd sensation to have just come from a holy experience and, yet, to want to smack someone upside their head!
"You did NOT have to Google me!" I said with my hands on my hips. My anger was a front... I was close to tears.
"You have nothing to worry about," he replied.
As we made our way across the car park to the little building on the church property, this friend explained that he completely agreed with my traditional marriage. He confirmed, as I had always suspected, that he also had "old school" tendencies. Perhaps these had been instilled by traditional values in his family. It was simply life. I was dumbfounded!
My Husband joined us in the refreshment area. I had yet to explain any of this to him. It was quite the interesting verbal juggling act to explain the situation as quietly as possible, in as few words as possible, in a room full of people!
It's one thing to become acquainted with individuals though a lifestyle-friendly medium and to have that develop into an IRL friendship. My Husband and I are blessed with several of those. It is something entirely different when everyday friends discover the secret of your happy, successful marriage!
As terrifying as my initial fears were, this perilous situation ended up being for the best. Things could have turned out very badly but, by God's grace, they did not. It has been several weeks since this "Grand Revelation." Since that time, my Husband and I have gained an even deeper friendship and we are able to talk more freely about that which is such an integral part of our lives.
While this situation has taught me to be much more careful in the future, my heart is glad! Instead of "cursing the rain," I am profoundly grateful for the "harvest" it has produced. :-)