Read The Calling Online

Authors: Deborah A Hodge

Tags: #Contemporary Christian Romance

The Calling (9 page)

That particular part of her life, she didn’t like, but she understood that kind of closeness was reserved for people who had a future together. She was sure that she and David had no future together. After she began seeing Matthew, Kim made a play for David and he responded. Consequently, two months after her arrival, David and Kim were ‘a couple’ and Matthew and Cate were ‘a couple’. In fact, Cate helped the David and Kim relationship along.

Kim had approached Cate. “Do you think enough time has passed since Jenny’s death for David to be interested in someone else?”

“I guess,” Cate’s answer was cautious.

“I know that the IMB policies prohibit dating on the mission field, but that’s not what I’m interested in. I’m interested in getting to know David better, first as friends and then, well, maybe more. Do you think I would have a chance with him?”

“As good a chance as anyone else,”

“Do you really think so?”

“Kim, you’re a great girl. David would have to be crazy not to see that.”

“I don’t know. He was crazy to have passed you up.”

“David and I… We’re just friends.”

“I didn’t believe that until you and Matthew began to see each other, and when I saw how happy you seem to be, I decided to try for a little of that happiness myself.”

“You deserve to be happy. Go for it. David is a great guy.”

“Thanks,” Kim considered the possibilities.

Once they were a couple, Kim seemed to be happy, and so did David. Actually, David seemed to be happier than he had been for a long time, causing a deep sadness to creep into Cate’s heart. She prayed that the Lord would take it away and thought it was gone until she’d see David and Kim together. She was sure at times the sadness and jealousy surfaced enough to be seen on her face or in her eyes. But, if Matthew ever noticed, he never mentioned it. Still, she was constantly afraid that he, or someone else, would notice.

Many nights she looked out her window to the mountains in the distance and prayed, “Lord, please help me with this. I don’t want to be sad or jealous. David deserves to be happy, even if it’s not with me. Maybe, it’s Your will that Matthew and I have a future together, and David and Kim. Oh, Father please, help me to yield to you. I want to honor you.” Afterwards, she would try to sleep. Sometimes the sleep came quickly; often it didn’t.

 During this time, Matthew became even more attentive. Cate was bewildered and frightened and wondered if this was the answer to her prayers. She knew she still loved David, but she might have feelings for Matthew too, and realized that it was possible to love two men at the same time. Cate knew that the most important thing she could do was seek God’s will. She tried to concentrate on really
being with
Matthew when she was with him. She refused to think about David. She gave Matthew her constant, undivided attention, and her solution seemed to work.

Things seemed to be progressing at lightning speed with David and Kim. Kim hinted that wedding bells might be ringing, and she had asked David to allow her to occasionally stay with Sarah while he was away. When David approached Cate with the idea she reluctantly agreed.

Cate had difficulty being edged out with both Sarah and David. She struggled with losing David and Sarah,
but that’s crazy because they’re not mine to
lose.
Once again, she found herself trying to submit the whole thing to God.

 

 

*****

 

 

One day while Cate was staying with Sarah, Sarah began to ask questions.

“Cate, is Miss Kim going to be my new mother?”

Her question stabbed at Cate’s heart, and she struggled to come up with the right answer, in the right tone. “I don’t know, Baby Girl. That’s a question you need to ask your daddy.”

“I did,” Sarah said.

Cate was surprised, “You did?”

“Uh-huh,”

“And what did he say?” Cate was more eager to hear the answer than she should have been.

“He said he didn’t know.”

Cate was pleased with what she heard. She smiled, “Well, there you go.”

“Cate, I want
you
to be my new mother.” Sarah spoke with the innocent candor and determination of a child.

Cate found herself searching for just the right thing to say,
I wish I could be her mother.
“Sarah, it’s up to your daddy to choose your new mother, and he’ll make the right choice.”

“But, I love
you
, I want you,”

“I love you too.” Cate quickly gathered Sarah in her arms and hugged her.

Sarah’s five-year-old mind came up with the answer to their dilemma. “Tell daddy that I love you and you love me and that if he’ll choose you, you’ll be my new mother.”

“I can’t do that, Sarah. Your daddy has to make his own choice.” Cate tenderly corrected her suggestion.

“Well, I’m gonna tell daddy to choose you.”

Cate laughed and hugged her again, remembering the verse, “Out of the mouth of babes”. Even though she was still confused about God’s will concerning Matthew and her, she admitted to herself that she wished David would choose her.

When she awoke the next morning, Cate checked on Sarah, who was sleeping soundly. She decided to make coffee and have her quiet time. She had settled into her Bible reading and prayer, when she heard the door open, and David entered. He and his bags were wet from the rain that was falling.

“Hi. We didn’t expect you home today,” Cate said, cheerfully.

“I didn’t expect to be home today.” David set down his bags and reached for a towel to wipe his face and his hair.

“I’ve made some coffee. Would you like some?”

“Yes, but I’ll get it. Looks like I’ve interrupted your quiet time.”

“You’re tired from your drive. Please, sit, I’ll get your coffee.”

“Thank you, that’s very thoughtful. I am a little tired.”

David sat in his favorite chair and Cate poured him a cup of coffee. “How long has it been raining?”

“For about four hours,” David held the cup in both hands, welcoming the warmth, “it’s rained on me all the way home.”

“So, it’s probably an all day thing.”

“Probably,” David sipped his coffee, “how’s Sarah?”

“She’s fine. I can’t believe that she’s still sleeping, but we did stay up a little later than usual last night. We were reading.”

“She does enjoy reading. Thanks for reading to her.”

“I am glad she enjoys it so much. I hope it continues.”

“I do too.”

The entrance of the young reader interrupted their conversation.

“Daddy!” Sarah yelled, as she rubbed sleep from her eyes. He sat down his cup of coffee as she ran and jumped into his lap.

“Hey, Lady Bug,” David hugged her.

“Are you home to stay?”

“Yes, for now. Daddy won’t have to leave again for another week or two.”

“Yea!” Sarah said, as she looked at Cate. “I’m hungry. Can we have breakfast now?”

“Sure, we can.” Cate rose to make breakfast.

“How ‘bout,” David tickled Sarah, “I fix your breakfast while Cate finishes her quiet time.”

“Nonsense,” Cate said. “I was through with my quiet time. You’re tired from your trip. You just rest and I’ll fix breakfast.”

“Okay, it’s a deal.” David said, as he yawned and stretched.

Realizing how very tired he was, Cate suggested, “Sarah, why don’t you help me?

“We’ll make a special breakfast to celebrate Daddy coming home,” Sarah agreed and they departed to the kitchen.

David fell asleep while breakfast was being prepared. Cate put a plate back for him for later, and she and Sarah ate quietly.

Once they finished breakfast, she and Sarah retired to Sarah’s room to read her favorite story.

Finally, David awoke; he’d slept for almost three hours. He heard Cate and Sarah as they were reading and went to investigate. “Why didn’t you wake me when you finished cooking breakfast?”

“I knew you were tired and figured the rest would do you good.”

“Thanks. I do feel better.”

“We’ve been having a good time daddy.”

“You have,” David said, as he swept her up in his arms.

“Uh-huh, we’ve been reading
Cinderella
.”

“Your favorite book.”

“It’s my very, very favorite book. Will you read it to me again?”

“May I have some breakfast first?”

“Yes,” Sarah said. “We left you some breakfast in the kitchen.”

“Did you now? I’ll bet you’re ready for lunch.”

“I
am
hungry,” Sarah giggled.

“Come on,” Cate said. “Daddy can have breakfast while I make lunch.”

As David was eating breakfast and Cate was making lunch, Sarah decided to strike up a conversation. “Daddy, can I ask you something?”

“Sure, Lady Bug,”

“Daddy, can Cate be my new mother? She said it was your choice.”

David stopped chewing, swallowed hard and searched for an answer.

Cate paused in the middle of stirring macaroni, held her breath, and remained turned away from David. When Cate heard him take a big breath and release a sigh, Cate turned toward him.

“Sarah, Cate and Daddy are friends, good friends.”

“I know Daddy, but I love Cate, and Cate loves me. Maybe, she would love you too.”

“I know you love Cate, and Cate loves you, and Cate loves Daddy as a friend. She also loves Mr. Matthew, so Daddy cannot ask her to be your new mother.” With the last words he looked directly at Cate.

Cate wasn’t sure what she saw in his eyes, and decided to add some words of her own.

“And, your daddy loves Miss Kim.” As she said those words, David’s expression changed, and he looked away. Cate wasn’t sure what she had seen in his expression.

“Do you, Daddy? Do you love Miss Kim?”

Without raising his head, David answered. “I don’t know, Lady Bug, maybe so.” David excused himself and left the table, walking to the living room and then through the side door.

“Where’s Daddy going?”

“I don’t know,” Cate patted Sarah’s shoulder.

Cate wondered what to do and what to say when David returned. His words didn’t confuse her, but his actions had. He had purposefully not looked at her when he spoke about Matthew and her, or about Kim.

Sarah was confused by her daddy leaving and continued to question Cate about where he was. Cate suggested that he had forgotten some business that he needed to take care of and would return soon. An hour later, Sarah fell asleep, as Cate sang softly while rocking her. Cate rose from the rocking chair and carried Sarah to her bed.

Cate waited for David. She found herself praying that God would give her wisdom in what to say when he returned. She had no idea as to why he had reacted as he had and she had no idea what to say. She tried hard to give her feelings for David to the Lord and submitted herself repeatedly to His will in the matter. Regardless, she knew she still loved David in a way that she would never love another man. She wondered if it was fair to continue her relationship with Matthew. She knew that his feelings for her were sincere, deep, and real. Matthew's loving her like that was an honor. She also knew that she had sincere and real feelings for him, but they were nothing like the love she had for David.

“Oh, Lord, why don’t you take my feelings for David away? That would make my life so much simpler,” she prayed fervently. “Trust Me,” were the Lord’s words, she heard deep in her heart. She turned in her Bible to Psalm 37:7 and read, “Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for him.” Those words had become words that sustained her when things were difficult and perplexing-an often occurrence in her life. She devoured those words and the truth they contained; they were food for a hungry, hurting, fearful soul, and a satisfying ointment for this moment. Words of gratitude welled up deep within her, “Thank you, Lord.”

The opening of the side door as David entered interrupted her thanksgiving. He noticed the Bible in her hands.

“Where’s Sarah?”

“She’s down for her nap.”

“Good, I’d like to talk to you without her hearing.” He shifted on his feet, “I’m sorry she put you on the spot this morning.”

“She’s five years old. Five year olds do that.”

“I know, but it was embarrassing nonetheless.”

“I wasn’t embarrassed,” Cate admitted, “but I noticed you were, or at least uncomfortable.”

“Yes, I guess, I was. Sarah’s been asking a lot of questions about Kim and me, and I gathered from what she asked this morning that she had been talking to you about the same thing.”

“Yes, she has,” Cate said. “She asked me if Kim was going to be her new mother. I told her that was up to you.”

“She asked you to be her mother, didn’t she?” David’s tone and expression made Cate uneasy.

“She did, and I’m sorry about the spot that puts you in.”

“She asked me that before. I explained to her about your relationship with Matthew and my relationship with Kim.”

“I tried to also,” Cate said.

“What did you tell her?” David seemed very interested to hear her answer.

“I told her that you were seeing Miss Kim and I was seeing Mr. Matthew and that you and I were just very good friends.”

“That’s what I’ve told her both times, but I guess she just wants what she wants.”

“That’s just being five years old,” Cate said.

“Yes, it is, but I know she loves you very much and is deeply attached to you. I’m not sure any other woman could fit into her life the way you have.”

“Sure, someone else could.”
But I want it to be me.
“She’s five years old. She’s got lots of room in her heart.”

“Yes, she does have lots of room in her heart, but I see in her a love for you like she had for Jenny. Sometimes I’m afraid she’s transferred her love for Jenny to you.”

“David, I don’t think that’s true. Sarah and I talk about Jenny all the time. She remembers her and loves her still.”

“We talk about her too, and I show her Jenny’s picture often, but Cate, she talks a lot about you too. In Sarah’s heart, you’ve taken that special
mother
place and I don’t know what to do about it.”

“You talk like Sarah’s love for me is a problem.” Cate’s tone revealed hurt.

“One I failed to foresee when I asked you to be her caregiver.”

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