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Forbidden Love and Secrets
Teenagers are blind when it comes to love. They’re so sure they’ve found the right guy or girl until, of course, their heart is broken. But Jessie was positive that Bryan was the guy for her. Too bad her parents didn’t approve of him. Sure he wasn’t a Christian, and he had been suspended three times, but he was so kind to her and they loved each other with all their hearts. He was her soulmate. And there were some things about Bryan that he only trusted with Jessie. She was never supposed to tell anyone, and of course, she wouldn’t. It had gotten to the point that they were so desperate to see each other, that she snuck out at night and they would go dancing or go out to eat. She always made it back before six and since she was homeschooled, she refused to wake up until after 1. Bryan was changing her for the worse.
It wasn’t all Jessie’s fault. Bryan had done this to several girls before him. He had his own way of making girls feel like they were special and needed. He was a sweet-talker and he was good at it too. But with Jessie, it was a bit different. He felt like he actually did care for her and maybe even loved her. It was a feeling he hadn’t experienced with the other girls. Maybe he had picked a winner this time. All he could think about was her. He wanted to kiss her, and touch her, and sleep with her. He wanted her to feel the same way, but she was a Christian girl. On second thought, she probably wasn’t the right girl. He wanted a girl who’d break the rules.
Jessie had pictures of Bryan all over her wall. She wished that her parents saw her the way she did. He was so gorgeous with his blonde hair and brown eyes, and those beautiful jeans he wore with those plaid shirts that made him look amazing. She kissed his picture and longed for time to pass so she could be with him. She loved him and knew they were going to be together forever. She even planned on skipping church on Sunday so she could be with him. This stubborn girl she’d turned into pleased her. She loved the feeling of doing something bad. It filled her with adrenaline. She glanced at the clock. Still four more hours until Bryan’s car would pull up in her driveway.
Bryan sat in his car, ready to drive to Jessie’s house, and rehearsed what he was going to say to her. “Hon, I know we’ve spent a lot of time together. But I don’t think it’s going to work in the future. I don’t know. It’s probably just me, not you. Don’t worry. You’ll find someone else.” Yeah, that sounded alright…
He parked in the driveway as climbed down from her window. She greeted him with a big kiss. He started to say what he prepared, but his voice didn’t work. He totally choked. All that came out was, “Ready to go?” She was too pretty to dump. And she was all his. Maybe she really was meant for him.
Her lips still tingled from the kiss. She talked to him about how her parents were driving her crazy because they didn’t want her spending time with him. He told her a couple of dark secrets of his own, and she comforted him and kissed him. They arrived at the movie theater to sneak into an R-rated flick. Bryan was going to say he was eighteen with his little sister along. He had created an ID card that was totally real except for his age and birthdate. It worked. They got in. Jessie clung to his arm the whole time because she was actually pretty scared. After the film, they were both freaked out about walking to the car in the dark. They ran all the way there and couldn’t stop laughing. He drove close to the driveway, but not in it, just in case someone was awake and noticed the lights and sounds. She got out of the car and shared a passionate kiss with Bryan. She climbed back up to her room and blew him a kiss from her window. He blew a kiss back and sighed. Guess he wasn’t breaking up with her anytime soon. Jessie changed into a tank and sweatpants and fell happily onto her bed.
“Jessie, wake up. It’s time for church,” her mother’s voice whispered, as she softly shook her awake.
“I’m driving myself. I’ll get some breakfast on the way there.”
“Alright, but don’t be late, sweetheart.”
She loved how her mom bought everything she said. She still didn’t see the bad girl Jessie had become. It was too easy to fool her. She slept for another 30 minutes, then got up and dressed in a plain tee and torn jeans. She texted Bryan and he agreed to come pick her up so they could go out to eat some breakfast. He would drive her home before her parents left the church.
“I guess I’ll see you tonight, babe,” Bryan said when he dropped her off after they had eaten at Denny’s.
“Yeah, let’s go dancing, okay? We haven’t been dancing in so long.”
“Anything for you!” he smiled. He got into his car and pulled out. She then texted her friend and asked what the sermon was about.
Her mother walked in the door with her jacket and skirt on, and carrying that old, white purse.
“Did you like the service today?”
“Yeah, I really did!” Jessie replied innocently.
“What’d you learn?”
“That God wants us to be a good witness, but we can’t be if we don’t read the Bible.”
Her mom smiled. Totally oblivious.
Bryan pulled up that night, and Jessie carefully climbed down, wearing a very short, low, sexy black dress. They went to an amazing adult night club and Jessie grabbed some beer for both of them. On the dance floor, Jessie pulled him closer to her in a sexy manner. She turned around so her back was on him and moved her body up and down his. He touched her hips and moved his hands up her sides until they were on her neck. She turned around again and out his hands on the back of his head before sharing another kiss.
She glanced at the clock. “Time for this Cinderella story to end.”
They drunkenly walked to the car and he opened the door for her. They both laughed like idiots the entire ride home. When she got out of the car again, she kissed him over and over as both of their hands gripped the other’s back. She finally pushed him away and clumsily climbed back up to her bedroom. He smiled stupidly back at her and got back into his car.
Jessie went through the hard process of changing her clothes and fell asleep instantly.
Her mother was shaking her awake firmly. She stirred and instantly, a splitting headache came to her from all the beer last night.
“What is it?” she asked grouchily.
“It’s Bryan! He was in a car accident last night!”
The entire world froze and Jessie had to fight to breathe. “What?”
“He was driving home last night, when another car came barreling down the intersection and hit him on his side. He was rushed to the hospital and he’s in critical condition.”
Jessie hopped up, her headache worsening. She threw on clothes, not caring what she wore, as long as it was on quick. She grabbed her car keys and drove as fast as the law allowed to the hospital. It didn’t matter. When she got there, the nurses didn’t allow her to see him because of the state he was in. Tears flooded down her cheeks as she begged to see him, but they said he couldn’t have visitors until tomorrow. She drove to her church practically blind from all the tears blurring her vision.
She parked in the closest spot and slowly walked into the huge sanctuary built for the hundreds of people who regularly attended every Sunday…unlike her.
“God!” she called out. “Why did You let this happen to him?! Please let him be alright! He didn’t deserve this!” She collapsed on the ground before the large cross in the front of the sanctuary in pure sobs. “But I do…Oh, God, who am I? What am I doing? I am so sorry about the way I’ve been living. It’s all my fault. It’s my fault Bryan was in a car accident. I told him to pick me up, and I told him to take me dancing, and I got the beer. I promise that if I can see him again, I will do my very best to get him to know You.”
Jessie spun around, her eyes bloodshot and cheeks tear-stained. It was her youth pastor, Pastor Michael.
“Are you alright?”
She shook her head and burst into a new round of sobs.
“I don’t know what I’m doing with myself. Bryan got into a car accident last night, and it’s all my fault because I got us the beer. I’ve wanted to have sex with him, I skipped church yesterday, and I’ve snuck out every night for months. How can God possibly still love me after all this wrong that I’ve done?”
He knelt down next to her. “Psalms 32:10 says, ‘Many are the woes of the wicked, but the Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the one who trusts Him.’ And Lamentations 3:32 says, ‘Though He brings grief, He will show compassion, so great is His unfailing love.’ You know, Jessie, God loves you so much, that He sent His only Son to die on a cross, just for you. Now if our God is willing to do something like that, you better believe He’s never going to stop loving you. The book Song of Solomon is one big love letter from God. He was willing to write an entire book in the Bible saying just how precious we are to Him. No matter what you do, He will always be with you.”
“I want to renew my promise to Jesus. I’m ready to hand everything over to Him.”
“Pray with me, Jessie.”
Pastor Michael and Jessie arrived at the hospital the next morning so she could see Bryan. Just as they were about to enter the room, a nurse called Jessie over.
“Go ahead. I’ll be right in.”
Michael walked in and saw the very cut-up Bryan. He was hooked up to several different machines and had an oxygen tube on his face. He slowly opened his eyes and noticed Michael standing there.
“Who are you?” he asked hoarsely.
“My name’s Michael. I’m Jessie’s youth pastor. I understand you’ve been through a lot lately.”
“If you’re coming here to preach to me, don’t bother. I don’t believe in that stuff. Besides, if you’re God’s so great, why did He let this happen to me?”
“God gave you free will. You don’t want to be His little robot, do you? It was your choices that got you here. I know that you were driving drunk that night. Now Bryan, I’m not going to tell you that the life of a Christian is easy. In fact, it’s anything but that. But if you endure hardships on Earth, believe me when I say that you will be rewarded forever in Heaven. The things God can do in your life will shock you. There have been times in my life when I know God has been working. My wife’s doctor told her that she wouldn’t be able to have children. We now have been blessed with two beautiful daughters. Tell me that’s not a miracle.”
Michael noticed Bryan’s eyes start to water. “I want what you have. If something like that really happened, I can’t deny that it must’ve been God at work. I believe you, and I want to feel this kind of love. I’ve never felt that at home. The truth is I was raped by a homeless woman on the streets, coming home from kindergarten when I was just six. Since then, both my parents acted like it was my fault and they hit me and beat me. I have dated, had sex with, and thrown away so many girls because all I could think was that my life is so messed up why not do whatever I want? I’ve gotten so drunk, that all I could do was just lay in bed and not do anything until I was sober, I’ve done drugs, I’ve smoked pot. I don’t want to live like that anymore. If this God is as good as you say, I want to know Him.”
“Close your eyes and pray with me, Bryan.”
Bryan closed his eyes, as if he’d been praying his whole life.
“Now, just talk to God as if He’s one of your friends. Ask Him to come into your heart.”
Bryan took a deep breath. “God, I know that I’ve really screwed things up. But I want to change everything, and I need your help to do that. Please come into my life and my heart and help me make the right choices and to get my life back on track. Thank You for loving me unconditionally.”
Michael took Bryan’s hand and continued the prayer. “Lord, help Bryan through this difficult time and help him through the difficult times yet to come. Amen.”
Jessie stood in the doorway with tears of joy in her eyes. “Congratulations Bryan. You’ve just received the greatest gift there is out there. Now we can see each other when we die, and be in a place of eternal happiness. I love you so much, and so does Jesus.” She ran up to him and carefully hugged him and much as she could without hurting him.
When Bryan was dismissed from the hospital, he was forced to pay a very hefty fine for the damages to the car that hit him as well as his own car in addition to his hospital bill. He did so without an argument because he knew it was his own fault that the crash had happened. With help from Jessie, Pastor Michael, and a loan from the bank, he was able to pay it all off. On Sunday, Jessie and Bryan went to the baptismal pool. Pastor Michael and Jessie’s other youth pastor, Pastor Cameron, stood in the water and introduced them to the church. They stepped into the water together, and Pastor Michael asked both of them, “Jessie and Bryan, have you asked Jesus Christ to be your personal Lord and Savior?”
“Yes, sir,” they both replied.
“And do you promise to live for Him all of your days here on Earth?”
“Then I baptize you, my brother and sister, in the Name of the Father, the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”
When Jessie went under the water, in just that split second that all sounds went away, she felt the overwhelming presence of Jesus. When Bryan went under the water, it cleansed him of all his past sins and mistakes. And when they both came up, they were new people. Jessie and Bryan hugged and their lips met in a very real kiss this time. They also hugged Pastor Cameron and Pastor Michael, especially, because he had brought them both closer to Christ.
Bryan and Jessie knew that trusting and living for God wouldn’t always be easy, but as long as they were there for each other and held each other accountable, it would be well worth it in the end.