Everyone calls it one of the greatest love stories of our time. But to every great love story like this – there is a dark side. Another side to the “true” story. One that no one likes to talk about – especially due to the fact that these two, although both previously married to other people – were in love and married 35 years.
That dark side begins with other people, substance abuse, betrayal and broken vows. The song “Walk the Line” was written for and about Johnny’s first wife, Vivian Cash in the days when they were young and in love. It was his promise to stay faithful to her while on the road.
I did a little digging after watching the movie again. I was curious about the woman who bore Johnny four little girls. I was wondering what her ‘take’ was on the affair and betrayal. What I found was a book that she had written after this movie came out explaining her side of the story. There were letters and other information from her daughters and what they remember surrounding the events back when June started singing and touring with the band. I thought it would be a predictable story of a jilted lover – but according to her own daughters – she never spoke a negative word about June Carter in private or public. And what I didn’t expect – it is a very different portrayal of those same events in the movie.
I don’t have any problem with a “live and let live” attitude. I am no man’s judge. I leave all that up to God who makes the final decisions based on His superior knowledge of the heart of man, but it did make me realize something. No matter how pure we think our motives – when pertaining to personal happiness – many are affected by our decisions.
I realized something else. I have heard one-sided stories before from those hurt in relationships and particularly from a friend who had been divorced. It would rip my heart out – and of course this person was not to blame! Now I know first-hand that at least some of it (if not most of it) was one-sided and untrue. One person’s hell on earth, may be another person’s ticket to freedom. One person’s ugly – may be another person’s something beautiful. It is hard to think of the dark side as anything other than that – UGLY, DARK and WRONG. But when considering that there is sometimes a light that shines out from the dark and dead place, that dark place can be a new beginning and a second chance at life and love. I am not so quick to judge anymore. There are so many things I cannot understand because I have not walked them. And many things are not as they seem.
So walking my line may look a little differently than yours. But your line is the only one you can walk. I hope you will always choose integrity over the easy way out. Choosing to do the right thing may feel like a huge sacrifice – but in the end it has much less maintenance. But when talking about life and death – I choose life.
The greatest love story just may be to stay in a relationship through the ups and downs, good times and bad. But sometimes it may be letting go of something dead and gone – and reaching out for a brand new start and a new beginning. Whatever your personal journey I hope you will find that deep love of our heavenly Father who promises to walk that line with you.