It’s hard to watch you these days. I’ve seen you go from being the bubbly robust personality full of jokes, life and love to this docile adaptation of your existence. You used to be my go to girl. For laughs, the occasional emotional high, the random deep conversation. These days, I stare into your eyes and all I see is emptiness. It’s like you were a ziploc bag full of water and then I ran a knife through it. Apt analogy because I did run a knife through you. Through your heart and soul. I emptied the contents of everything that was warm and good and fuzzy and happy. Now it’s just a hollow cocoon.
There’s someone else Leah,
It didn’t help much that I wanted Rachel from the start. She was indeed the first person I met when I first arrived on Uncle Laban’s estate. She greeted me and gave me water to wash my feet and from then on a chord was struck. I spent every free time I had trying to be with her. To be around her. Rachel was everything I found Ideal. Her dark side was one I convinced myself I could handle so I overlooked it. Especially as I wanted the Idea of her being perfect to stay forever. Hours with her grew into days, days into weeks, weeks into months, and them I knew I was going to marry her.
I like you Leah,
You were never entirely out of the picture. You always were in the mix, My heart being set on Rachel notwithstanding. I’d heard Uncle Laban make remarks of how you and I would make a great couple. How you’re loyal, and kind, and strong. How you’re unreserved. That was my favorite quality about you, even when I did not know what fate had in store for us, you were unreserved. You’d dance around the fire whenever you felt like it. You’d come say hi when you wanted. Accompany me to the well and listen to me tell tales of my conflicts with Esau and my dreams at bethel, my wrestle with Yahweh. None of that “Don’t look desperate” bullcrap. I had fun being with you, being around you, getting used to you and being comfortable in you. But my decision was unflinchingly on Rachel and Rachel alone.
I was blindsided Leah,
That was the source of my frustration when everything got turned on it’s head in December. That long wedding week which constituted a cacophony of feelings when I realized I had you and not Rachel. I was confused, undecided, angry. First, at myself because I should have seen this coming, then at Laban because he let this happen. This was not the plan. I was suddenly much more invested in you than I thought I’d ever be. I hated the feeling of confusion, of indecision. So I snapped.
I’m Sorry Leah,
That’s when I had my public outrage. Snapped and screamed at everyone who was willing to listen without consideration for how you must have felt. I let it ring from the rooftops. I echoed “This changes nothing! Rachel is STILL the one! I will get her eventually!”. An angry and irrational me gave no thought to the fact that I had a bride who was just wed to me and just wanted to be with the man she loved. I said what I said and did what I did and hurt you. I hurt you real bad. Those words of public rejection and disrespect seared your soul to unimaginable lengths. I was speaking of my wife as though she was a mere roadside harlot. As though she were some concubine to be done away with and made jest of in the merriment of alcohol. As though she were worthless. As though you, Leah, my wife, were worthless.
I call you Leah for a reason. You see, Thankfully I’m not Jacob, and this isn’t the bible story. This is my life. Rachel symbolizes what we want, what we think is a great idea, what we’re hellbent on getting. Then Leah comes along. Now while I cannot say this about everyone else, Psalm 80 vs 1 runs my life. So the appearance of Leah is no coincidence. “Laban” dropped her in my laps and I was faced with a situation. Stay working for seven years? Or face life with your new bride. Thankfully I know how the story ends. Leah is the wife of Promise. It was never Rachel. Leah gave birth to Judah, the forerunner of the messiah. She gave birth the Levi, the high priests. She produced Reuben, Simeon and Gad, The defenders of Israel. She Produced Issachar Zebulun, Naphtali, Asher and Dan, the wealth, prosperity and sustenance of Jacob. With Leah alone, Israel was set. Heaven accommodated Rachel and even used her seed Joseph to save Israel and show that no stubbornness of man cannot be turned around by Yahweh. But that didn’t change the fact that Leah, not Rachel, was the promise.
I rest. I’ve stopped working just so I can get Rachel. I’ve stopped working. I’ve taken my hands off the mill and I’m coming home, to you. To our new marriage, to my promise. I’m not oblivious to the fact that the tears in your eyes are still fresh. I know that hurt and scorn will take forever to heal.
But I’m here.
There is no Rachel anymore.
There is no table of merriment and alcohol to laugh with friends at.
There is no one, and nothing else. It is me, you, and Yahweh’s promise.
I’m here Leah
and I’m going nowhere.