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Windswept Sand Dune - Gabriel Lacount.jpg

Windswept Sand Dune by Gabriel LaCount from Vantage

God Doesn't Like Quitters

The waves crash into my face and for a moment I forget where I am and which direction is up and how to breathe. But I break the water– gasping, dying. God’s gaze burns into my back like the sun. For a moment, all I want is to turn onto it; ease the pain, watch the clouds, move in harmony with the waves instead of against them. But I don’t. After all, God doesn’t like quitters. 

I think back to the hundreds of Sunday mornings spent braiding my hair and pretending to pay attention to my teacher, who would pretend to care that I wasn’t paying attention. I asked my mom to let me quit, but she said God doesn’t like quitters. So I did it. Every Sunday, from when I was a few months old to when I turned eighteen, I was at the church. Mom would pretend not to notice my new ‘do, which got more intricate every week. I would pretend not to notice that she wasn’t at the service after Sunday school. 

I did it all. I got married, like she told me to. She told me to find someone from a good family–I did. He’s probably still standing on the dock, looking for me, the little dot, as I swim away. He talks to me like we’ve been friends since grade school, and we haven’t had sex since our wedding night or kissed since I was the bride and everyone was watching. This marriage is only four days old and already I’m drowning.

Three minutes after I said yes, smiled into my hands, and brushed the dirt off his knee, I knew I hated him. But God doesn’t like quitters, so I did it. I had a bachelorette party and managed to forget how much I dreaded the wedding. When I cried at the ceremony, it was real. But now we’re here. I’m not running away from him, I’m swimming away. How does God feel about that? 

The thing about him, though, is that he’s perfect. Sometimes, I wake up in the middle of the night and find him praying. And he would never braid his hair at Sunday school and he always paid attention. He already told me I didn’t have to work anymore if I didn’t want to. It didn’t sound like I had much of a choice.

 

Here, there’s nothing but the salt in my hair and the sun on my back and God’s judging from up above. I can forget about my husband long enough to not care if the saltwater dripping down my face is tears or the ocean. Here, I’m not a wife or a daughter. Here, I’m just a sinner.

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