New Moon Devotion #3: Edward’s Gone

Most of us know what happens next. Jasper, the newest “vegetarian” vampire, is overcome by his thirst for Bella’s blood and hurls himself toward her. Edward, Emmett, and the rest of the family subdues him before he can do any damage to Bella, but something almost as awful has been done.
Edward begins to distance himself from Bella, breaks up with her, and moves away, promising to never come back. “It will be as if I’d never existed,” is what he tells her.

In the span of only a few days, Bella’s entire life as she knows and desires it to be, vanishes. Her love is gone, so is her best friend, Alice. Along with them goes Bella’s life-plan of becoming an immortal member of the Cullen family, and living with Edward as husband and wife for eternity.

In her eyes, she’s lost everything. Everything she desired for herself. She finds herself in a maelstrom of misery, a gaping hole in her chest, questioning—no longer daring to believe—her existence will have meaning again. She’s staring down her future: a 70-80 year stretch of emptiness. At the age of 18, Bella’s best days are behind her, a sign that she’s already begun to die.

All of this sounds familiar to me. As Job said:

Job 3: What’s the Point of Life?

1-2Then Job broke the silence. He spoke up and cursed his fate:
3-10 “Obliterate the day I was born. Blank out the night I was conceived!
Let it be a black hole in space.
May God above forget it ever happened.
Erase it from the books!
May the day of my birth be buried in deep darkness,
shrouded by the fog,
swallowed by the night.
And the night of my conception—the devil take it!
Rip the date off the calendar,
delete it from the almanac.
Oh, turn that night into pure nothingness—
no sounds of pleasure from that night, ever!
May those who are good at cursing curse that day.
Unleash the sea beast, Leviathan, on it.
May its morning stars turn to black cinders,
waiting for a daylight that never comes,
never once seeing the first light of dawn.
And why? Because it released me from my mother’s womb
into a life with so much trouble. […]
20-23 “Why does God bother giving light to the miserable,
why bother keeping bitter people alive,
Those who want in the worst way to die, and can’t,
who can’t imagine anything better than death,
Who count the day of their death and burial
the happiest day of their life?
What’s the point of life when it doesn’t make sense,
when God blocks all the roads to meaning?

24-26 “Instead of bread I get groans for my supper,
then leave the table and vomit my anguish.
The worst of my fears has come true,
what I’ve dreaded most has happened.
My repose is shattered, my peace destroyed.
No rest for me, ever—death has invaded life.”

I wrote about this feeling at length in my other blog. I went through (and in other ways, am still experiencing) a spiritual “dry time.” What I mean by that, is I’m used to God being much nearer to me than He’s been lately. That might not make sense to many of you, because either you have never experienced God’s silence and distancing and have enjoyed close fellowship with Him consistently and as of yet, without interruption; or you haven’t experienced His nearness so as to comprehend the sheer horror of that kind of loss.

I realize perfectly, now, that He’s always there. In five years of missing Him, that’s something I’ve become assured of: He really never does leave us or abandon us. But believe me, being used to hearing His voice (I guess some would say it’s velvety), and His presence (which really and truly is the greatest experience on Earth, I don’t care what drugs you may have tried in the 60s), to suddenly be without both of them is beyond misery.

I remember, and will probably never forget the times I would swear I could feel my soul burning within me, rebelling against its own emptiness. I was dumbfounded when I read Bella’s reference to the “hole” in her chest; I felt she alone could understand my pain.

How could God, or Edward do such a thing? “How? And why?! ” We asked each other. Did we do something wrong, or did he just realize he had much better things to do with his time than to spend it with us?

No. There are much bigger things at stake than our comfort in this situation. Edward had to go. Unless he did, several things in Bella’s life, and lives of those to come, wouldn’t have come about as they should have. More importantly, Bella never would have realized how much Edward loves her, and could never receive or appreciate his level of commitment.

The same goes for me. Had I not experienced what I have, I’d have never learned or grown in ways that I can now say I have.

But just how does this all sew up? How exactly does everything work together for the good? Well, you’ll have to keep reading New Moon to find out.

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~ by sarahthebaker on January 1, 2010.

2 Responses to “New Moon Devotion #3: Edward’s Gone”

  1. Oh, girl, I’ve SO been there too. And I too saw Edward’s absence from Bella as her “wilderness” experience. Great post! And Happy New Year!

    • I have a special excitement about digging into New Moon. It was the most difficult book to read, in some ways, but in others, I think it satisfied me the most. 🙂 Thanks again for your insight!

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