Linda Wood Rondeau

Snark & Sensibility

MY GIGI'S HOUSE
Friday, January 1, 2021 by MEREDITH SAGE KENDALL

PLEASE WELCOME

MEREDITH SAGE KENDALL

TO

FICTION FRIDAY

 

Ralynn promised God that if He allowed her to see the light of day she would seek help. Pregnant and afraid for her life, Ralynn’s chance encounter with Ms. Shelly started her on a path of healing and finding a relationship with Jesus and her purpose in life

EXCERPT FROM MY GIGI’S HOUSE

The sun was just setting and the colors were extreme. It reminded Ralynn of a masterpiece painted by Thomas Kinkaid. Even though Ralynn found herself amused when a family of ducks was attempting to swim because the water almost had white caps as it was being pushed down the canal by the higher than normal winds. She found the skyscape was a welcome relief and was drowning out the past few months of her sorrow.

Ralynn was startled when her husband placed a light jacket around her shoulders. Had she been in deep thought or remorseful thinking? She wasn’t sure what defined it anymore. Her mentor, Shelly thought it would be a welcomed distraction to go on vacation to Southwest Florida. For Ralynn the jury was still out.

After a twenty-year run, the board of directors decided the nonprofit had run its course and it was time to close. So over the course of a few months, the assets were distributed, accounts were closed and a title Ralynn had helped define her for two decades was now in the past.

Ralynn knew the stress of running the ministry had taken a toll on her life.  She had been diagnosed with asthma, but no doctor could tell her why and where it came from. She had done her own calculations and realized stress was her biggest trigger.  For the past three years, she had learned to live with it and the medication seemed to do its job. The doctors had warned her years earlier that she would need to eliminate the excess stress in her life, but her response was always the same, “Do you know what I do for a living?”

She wasn’t sure if it was pride or her ego or the fact that she really thought because this was her God-given purpose that she would be letting God down if she quit? Now she was reeling with the aftermath; depression and feeling like she had failed God

As Ralynn was sitting in the stillness analyzing where things went wrong, God pricked her heart that He had given her a new title years ago that she had been neglecting. Just then her husband, who was still serving her, now by bringing her a blanket, sat in the empty chair next to her.

The quiet of the evening was now being interrupted by boats that were trolling the canals in search of Christmas lights, the children of the new vacationers next door jumping in the pool, the common gallinules calling to each other, and the occasional splash of the mullets hitting the water. Even with all distractions, Ralynn was still not present, but when her husband cleared his throat she turned and saw that he had his hand out waiting for her to take it.

Their marriage was strained and Ralynn knew it.  Her husband was such a gentle soul, but she was wondering how she could begin to make up for all the neglect she had been responsible for all these years. She really was looking for a do-over on her marriage and she started to pray this vacation would be the start.

Taking his outstretched hand, he ever so gently intertwined their fingers. Sitting there in silence, Ralynn felt the flutters awaken insider her. She hadn’t felt them in years and now she felt a smile starting to form.

“You know how beautiful you are, Rae?”

She could feel the tears starting. He hadn’t called her Rae in years. Again realizing that was her fault due to a misunderstanding years ago.

“Rae, the lighting from the dock reminds me of when I proposed.  Do you remember?”

Again the flutters from inside her were getting more intense and the tears were about to break over her imaginary dam. Looking around, the dock lights had come on and the owners had decorated for Christmas. The extra Christmas lights had been strung to outline the dock and the sidewalk all the way to the house. Now in a full-fledged cry, Ralynn realized that she had misplaced her priorities many years ago.  Their marriage was not to be an afterthought, but her first thought and last thought of every day. The emotions of neglecting her husband and their marriage for all these years came rushing to the surface. As much as she tried to squelch the flooding tears, her body didn’t care. Still holding hands to the love of her life, he squeezed in their code, that he loved her.  Ralynn was ecstatic and did her own code back.

Ralynn, getting up from her chair, walked toward her husband, who was still sitting, and took a seat in his lap. Curling up and putting her legs under her she wrapped her arms around his neck. He embraced her with his strong arms and his grip that let Ralynn know there would be a next year.

Enjoying each other’s company, Ralynn didn’t want the moment to end, but the grumbling from her stomach was saying something different. By the time it was roaring she was sure the houses across the canal heard it and her husband, being the caring man he had always been, nudged her off his lap, took her by the hand, and led her to the house.  He sat her down at the bar and he proceeded to make their dinner.

Ralynn took her seat and started thanking God for her newfound purpose. She knew that the next chapter in her life was to work on a strong marriage for no other reason than it was what she was called to do when she stood before God, family, and friends and said “I do.”

She also knew from previous conversations with her mentor that even when there had been a time of wandering in the desert, there was no time like the present to get back on track and she was looking forward to living out her calling.

Ralynn promised God that if He allowed her to see the light of day she would seek help. Pregnant and afraid for her life, Ralynn’s chance encounter with Ms. Shelly started her on a path of healing and finding a relationship with Jesus and her purpose in life.

 

ABOUT MEREDITH SAGE KENDALL

In 1985 Meredith found herself with an unplanned pregnancy. She was a freshman in college and in love with a young man she had started dating a few months earlier. She will tell you that she was very fortunate to have a mom who chose life in 1966 and a bonus mom, who at the time, was very involved in the Right to Life movement. Meredith clearly remembers the nurse at the college clinic asking, “Would you like the number to the abortion clinic?” 

Meredith married that young man, Rob Kendall, in 1985 and just 5 months later they welcomed their firstborn daughter into this world.   In 1986 Rob and Meredith took in their first young mom who found herself in an unplanned pregnancy.  They did not have much themselves and actually were the recipients of a box of USDA food every month, but they had an extra bed and a safe tiny 2-bedroom apartment.

Over the years Meredith felt called to help women overcome their struggles and become all they were created to be.  She knew they just needed a coach as she had found in her husband Rob. He has always been her biggest cheerleader even when she reverted back into her self-sabotaging behaviors.

For the past 18 years, Meredith has been on the frontlines of ministry and is the survivor of a gang attack in 2011. Since that time she has struggled with PTSD and other stress-related illnesses. In 2003 Rob and Meredith founded Advancing the Gospel (AtG) and is the author of the 180 Program which is a series of life recovery Bible studies used in churches, prisons, and recovery centers throughout the United States.

Website MeredithSageKendall
Website for Book My GiGi's House
Website on Marriage Lessons From An Affair 
Podcast Finding Your Purpose
--

Meredith Sage Kendall
A Voice for the Voiceless (meredithsagekendall.com)
Co-Author of The 180 Program

 

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