My heart soared with excitement for you as I read in your love story that you had been specially chosen to become a preacher’s wife. And not only how this marriage rescued you from the sex trade, but how you were actually chosen to be Hosea’s wife because of your “profession”. Did that not just blow your mind? It did mine when I read it!
Your story reminds me a little bit of a movie called “Pretty Woman” that was made many years after your life. It was about a well-to-do businessman who fell in love with a prostitue he had hired and after just one night together decided he wanted to have her all to himself and not have to share her with other men. It was a sad and compelling and shocking yet wildly popular movie. I’m surprised your story doesn’t get more attention since it’s very much in the same vein.
Anyway, as I was reading your story, I couldn’t help but think that you must have felt so lucky when Hosea proposed to you. That because this man of God chose you to be his mate, you were handed a new, fresh start. That doesn’t happen all that often, you know.
Then I read that you left your beautiful new life to return to the streets. Not only did you leave your husband behind, but 3 children as well.
When I got to that part of your story, I scrunched my eyes shut and tried to imagine what in the world could have been so horrible in your new life that it had driven you away from it and back to the streets. Did your husband not really pay any attention to you? Were you bored? Was momming too much for you? Was your spouse more married to his job than he was to you?
Although not very many would be brave enough to admit it, I think a lot of women can identify with you and that’s why your story was chosen to be included in one of top-selling books of all times. Marriages grow stale and boring. Parenting is really, really hard. Changing locations, stations in life, even a change in occupation can wreck you. Not to mention all the hormones after childbirth and lack of sleep ever after.
I don’t know what drove you to run away from what seemed like a fairytale life, but you did.
What’s the most interesting part of your saga, besides the “sacred raisin cakes” mentioned in chapter 3 (man, I’d love the recipe for those…), is the fact that your husband didn’t let you go.
You were loved, despite leaving. You were wanted despite not wanting to be there. You were pursued, relentlessly. Brought back. Bought back. Fought for. Gomer, do you have any idea how many women wish to be loved that fiercely?
I’ll bet there are a whole lot of women who feel invisible and want to act out to get some attention. Was that your story too, Gomer? Did you feel unnecessary? Unexciting? Unappreciated? Unwanted? I can imagine that even today there are some lonely, swept aside women who feel like if they ran away no one would come looking for them, or even worse no one would even notice that they were gone.
But not you, Gomer. You were something special. You have so much in common with all of womankind, many of which would probably rather die than claim to have anything in common with a hooker.
I’ll come out and say it: I’m enamored with your story. Maybe because it’s almost Valentine’s Day. But Hosea’s relentless love tugs at something deep inside of me and forces me sit up and take notice. To close my eyes and wonder about you. To wish for every woman to feel as loved and wanted and pursued and redeemed as you were. To know that for each and every one of us, despite our past or our present, there is hope.