This is written by my wonderful husband.
I read what you guys (those who are standing for their marriage) say and it moves me. We are all on a journey with God. Let me share little by little about my journey. First of all I’m a miracle in the eyes of many. I am in my eyes. I love my wife, I love my kids, I love Jesus, I care about myself. Not that long ago, I used to beg God to brainwash me. I used to plead with him. Brainwash me GOD, I hate myself. I want to love my wife, I can’t, I don’t. I’m Garbage and because of this I push away from all that is good. I look up to the heavens and I say God WTF! I did every thing you said. I did what you said! I was pure before you, I served you, I listened to the people I thought you put over me. I married this girl you told me to marry. Now this is what I get…I’m married and I HATE it. I’m faking this and I cant do it anymore. I’m pissed! I’m pissed at YOU, and I’m going to leave this life of following Christ.
All the while my poor wife had no idea what was going on in my head, spirit, soul, heart. Yet what was she suppose to think? Of course she says what happened to us? Why is this happening and what did I do?
I said to myself I need the answers to this thing I’m in. Why God, why? So I go to all the people who say they know God. I ask them deep waters, I ask them what I don’t know the answers to. The answers ranged from the ends of the earth… nobody really know my answers, and I began my tail spin for years to come. I start my run, my run to follow the sin that was going to medicate my emotional pain.
I know a lot of people might have questions and my story might not resemble at all what you are or your spouse are going through but please allow me to share my story at my pace because its long and I never shared it publicly before. If you allow me to share I will probably answer a lot of questions.
Did you know it’s ok to have feelings? Its ok and proper to have emotions, good and bad. I was taught to burry my feelings, never trust your emotions, they will mislead you. You know I still experience good and bad feelings, emotions and thoughts. Yes, sometimes things that are contrary to God’s word. In my past I was made to feel guilty for entertaining such things because they were not proper and I could be mislead. But what I was failed to be taught by man, is that God designed me and all my emotions. God taught me that instead of pushing my contrary feelings and emotions down deep, I bring them to Him. BRING THEM TO HIM! Wow, this is a relationship now, between His word and prayer with Him he can address all my emotions. I dont have to pretend anymore! Pretend to be godly. I have a true relationship with HIM. He can address all my emotions and he can now bring His Truth to address the LIES I believe. You know the emotions that are contrary to God’s word are only reflections of the lies we believe.
My day had come, my chance to escape. I was recalled after 911 back to the military and given two days to report to my duty far far away from my life I did not want anymore. This was my chance; no more faking it, no more wife, no more life. I’m free to express my pain in the only way I know how. SIN! Ya baby sin! No cloud of witnesses watching me anymore. Now I’m going where nobody knows me or expects any standards of me. I’m going to live it up. And that’s exactly what I did. Who says nobody backslides overnight? On the outside that’s what I did, but on the inside my heart was a long time with suffering. Long time with stuffing, pushing, cramming and barricading emotional deficiencies that I felt and disappointments that had experienced. Ok God I can’t understand this thing I’m in, I tried, no answers for me, no relief…fine I got this, I know where I can go to feel better. It’s all about feeling better! Isn’t it? Isn’t it all about feeling better?
Months went by, I was far from home. Man I am having fun, it’s like I’m 18 again before I was saved. I’m free and I’m keeping my sin at bay. I keep my sin to an acceptable level because I still have some love for God you know; I’m not a total savage. But week by week, month by month I’m finding my sin increasing and the ability to sin much less resistible. Half of me is loving this life, half of me is miserable. My freedom doesn’t feel so free for some reason. But what do I have to go back to? More unanswered questions? More of the same, more of a spouse who doesn’t meet my needs. After 6 months I go home on leave for two days. I drop the bomb! The Atomic Bomb! I don’t love you, I never have. I’m sorry but I’m not attracted to you. I respect you as a person, I love you as a person, but I’m not in love with you. It’s not you really Its me, your a great girl but you deserve what I can’t give you. Wow, I’m finely honest and it feels pretty good but I feel like shit too. At this point I’m starting to really not like myself, so all the more for this. I’m doing her a favor, she deserves better than me anyway. God you told me to marry this girl and it didn’t work out so telling her this is helping her, I’m going to give her a second chance to find someone who is good for her. And me, I can find that girl who meets my expectations that my father and I have built over my life time. I mean God would want me to find that girl right? Of course he would, God wants me to be happy.
So off go I, back to my military assignment leaving what looks like tsunami of destruction behind me. But I’m good, Ya, I’m hurting but I’m strong, I will get through this, it’s for the better in the long run.
This is my prayer for you:
Vs 3. Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear: thought war break out against me even then I will be confident. One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple. For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock. Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy!
Vs 8: my heart says of you “Seek His Face!” Your face will I seek.
Vs 8 was a lesson I have learned greatly, to seek his face in the midst of trouble.
I found myself sometimes just staring at nothing, looking around the room and then bringing my eyes into focus on a lamp or a piece of furniture. Realizing that my mind was just wondering. I often would say to myself “what am I doing, what have I done?” I was in a total tail spin. My life was becoming increasingly confusing, each and every day as I would distance myself from my creator bit by bit. Sin was becoming my best friend, after all it was who I spent most of my time with now. Inside I was crying, crying my bleeding heart out. Inside I was dying, dying a slow and painful death. Inside me there was a voice, there was a loud but quiet voice. His words were always in the voice, everyday His words were there. “How can I enjoy this sin” I would say. “How can I enjoy this life of sin I want with Him and His voice” I can’t, I can’t enjoy it! How can I enjoy my sin when Gods voice is talking to me? I’m Still angry God, I’m still without answers and I’m not coming off this ledge. Just leave me alone for a while and let me enjoy my sinful life would you!
That is how my life went for the next several years. A fight, a struggle to understand what I could not. A rebellion, a rebellion was all I had to offer myself in response to my disappointment with God.
Its amazing how your body adjusts. Your mind and body adjust to your new life. Somehow we can just make our lives adjust to our new way. Oh you don’t know what I’m talking about unless you have done it. We adjust, and its not hard to do. We have a way to justify our actions, our ways of thinking, and it seems as though its working. We even have a new way to god himself, a new relationship we have built with him. This works we say, I can do this, I can make this work. And so we go, making it work and making our way through it. Why do we do this, we do it because we have to; because we have to! Because the desire is still there to know a God. But, now we have changed the god we now know. We have changed him as we needed to be to cope with our current life we have built. I mean its about coping now you know, its about getting through the day. Although this new god I serve, he doesn’t give me the peace, the joy, the love. But, I can muster some of this up within my self and put it out for all to see. I can muster some up and put in on display, I mean after all I have to, its part of my cover, its part of my new life. Its not so wrong is it? Its not so wrong to change God as I need him to fit my new life I want. I mean people do it all the time when they need to find a reason to leave. People do it all the time when they need a reason to divorce, to leave the wife of their youth. People do it all the time when they need a reason to not stand, a reason to not walk through hell to get to heaven. People do it all the time when they are the innocent ones but they think they can’t make the stand. They change Him you know. Well, I got news for you…. I got some real news for you, that THE VOICE NEVER LEFT! THAT QUIET BUT LOUD VOICE NEVER LEFT! God’s true voice never left me even when I was making a new god to fit my new life. I always knew that the new god was not the true God, not the real God that saved me from my sin, and His voice was the only thing that made any sense to me. But because we are so good at serving ourselves I pursued my new god. The day was coming though, the day was coming because God loved and was patient with me. The day was coming when I was going to heed the VOICE. The day was coming when I was going to start to listen to the voice and stop serving my false god.
The first sign of life came for me while I was sitting in a hotel room in Louisiana. Far away from my family while I was all alone. This was the first time I said I need to change and I’m going to actually do it. I was scared to do it though, I was scared to talk to her. I was just afraid, I was terrified to do it. I felt it though, I felt I had to do it. It was a huge risk, so risky for me to tell her I wanted to try again. “I cant afford to be wrong here” I said, I was afraid to make the mistake of trying, and not totally giving it my all. Failing again and being even more pissed about it. “I can’t do this to her again” I thought. My mind was in a battle field moment by moment in that hotel room, I was in deep emotional turmoil. I Did not have the words to even speak to her. How was I going to do this? I picked up the phone; just staring at it, breathing hard. My eyes welling up. My life was about to change, and I was terrified. I mustered the energy to say it to her, “Julie remember when you said I could come home for any reason, even if it is only for Macy, our daughter and not for you? Do you remember saying that?” That was the best I could do, barely hanging on to each breath in disbelief in the step I was taking.
The first sign of life manifested it’s self! Fueled by the loud but still small voice pursing and calling me. There was no bright light, there was no angelic singing, there was no great weight instantly lifted off my shoulders. There was only me hanging up the phone and sitting there wondering how am I going to do this. Now it was real for me, almost like it had been written in stone; soon I was coming home.
They Could have and would have Killed Me!
They would have drown me, like a water funnel round, round and round till I plunged down into the drain maybe gone forever!
Prolonging, stumbling, and stalling a potential “Come to Jesus Moment” but in this case it was a “Come to Julie Moment”.
Thats what expectations can do you know? Barley able to pick up the phone in fear and trembling of what I was about to do, I was able to do it because SHE HAD NO EXPECTATIONS OF ME! “Whatever it takes”, I remember her saying to me. God says; There is no Fear in Love, Perfect Love Cast Out Fear and she was willing to live that out. It opened the door for me, there was not a crack to look through, the door was not ajar where I could not see what was on the other side. No, the door was wide open.
Friends I say this with great conviction:
You probably have no idea how God wants your restoration to look like. Does it have to look like you want it to? Does it have to follow the guidelines you set forth? What Does God want it to look like? Marriage is planned and beautiful and takes place in one night. Restoration is a process and unpredictable. Ask God to help you leave your expectations behind you. Ask him to help you set boundaries that might be needed in the restoration process. Boundaries are very important sometimes. Seek Him…what does he want you to do?
Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.
Boundaries can protect your heart, expectations can infect it.
I left Louisiana, I returned back to our house Julie and Macy were living in. At no time did i ever think i was sure of what i was doing. I was faintly following “The Voice” trembling along the way. It was as if i was stumbling down a dark sidewalk in the middle of the night unsure of every next step. Life at home never resumed as normal. Normal was wondering each day if i had made the dreaded mistake I feared. Wondering if at any point i was going to learn how to forgive God. I was working odd jobs, I had no career and nothing to build on. Something was missing and I was not able to find any real progress in my spirit. It was as if i was living on borrowed time and that time was short. In my spirt however the voice was talking. It was God again. He was speaking NOT TO WORRY. “Really, not to worry” I said, this is not going well here. I’m not even able to provide like I need to. I kept it all to myself, almost alone in the world with no one who understood me….that’s how I felt anyway.
I never felt safe when I left the house, I always knew I was going to see someone and I was getting little support from those around me. You know, those around me that knew me. The ones that had been there in my life for years during the good times. The ones that saw me when I was serving God and shinning like a bright star in the sky. But now it was all different, it was as though I was infectious and you had to be careful. Careful not to get to close, so for them, maybe a simple wave across the room would do. But I could still hear the whispers’ even from afar, It was as loud as the spoken word. It was written all over their faces. Expressions of fear and awkwardness as I came close on a Sunday morning or at the market. I burned inside! I didn’t ask for this! I didn’t ask to be subjected to this humiliation. I never asked God to show me how much I would run with disappoint when he revealed the lies that lay deep inside of me. The lies that I had believed for years and now exposed in me. Of course, if I would of known what marriage would expose in me I would never have done it! Who would! But ok God, here I am, I have made this choice to come home, and here I am…and ok, not to worry.
The phone rang. It was an unexpected call. The US government wanted to hire me. In my mind it was the break I was looking for. A career door was thrown wide open for me to walk through. A rare job with great benefits. Not just any career, a highly coveted one. No more odd jobs and dead ends. I knew at once it was God. I knew without any hesitation it was Him. I had nothing but peace to go after it. A huge confidence came over me.
Though I knew in my heart what was right for me, I took the news to my spiritual leaders. The ones who had known me in my church. I remember my emotions being so frail. So much pain and heartache everyone had been trying to overcome over the years i had been running from God. I remember thinking i have just been home such a short time and now I’m leaving again. This job requires me to move across the country with months of pre-training. I was in the church office when i broke the news to my most trusted leader. When i walked out, I was agitated and shaken. I felt anger, but not my usual anger, i felt righteous anger. The words that were spoken to me from that meeting kept ringing out in my head…“Your not leaving your family again!” Those words so painful to me just kept playing over and over. I truly did not understand it all my self, but I knew it was right. I knew i was doing the right thing inside. I was going away again.
Three days all alone. Three days driving across the country. My thoughts constantly racing and various scenario’s playing out in my head as the mile markers just kept clicking off. The white and yellow lines hypnotizing me as my eyes glared out there. I was alone and it felt much safer than just a few days ago when i was in the church office or in the market. For the first time i began to feel sad for Julie that i was not there. I did not understand at the time but my sadness was not a bad thing for me. I did not understand at the time but sadness is based on a truth, and simply put the truth was…I was gone again. Driving down the road not understanding anything. The confusion of it all was always right there in front of me weighing heavy, but i knew one thing for sure…I was driving in the right direction. That much made sense.
I was renting a room in a cool little town called Wyandotte Mi. So far my new work life was pretty good. I had finished my training and been on the job for a month. There was always a war in my mind. The war of good and evil. I wanted good to prevail but my weakness seemed to have the upper hand. Being weak and giving into weakness wears on you, it just wears you down. I was a warrior before, i was a bad ass for God, I knew that there was a day when the evil used to fear the man of faith i was. The young man who gave his life to serve God and didn’t care what anyone thought. Evil feared that faith, Evil knows what faith can do. But, over the years i was broken down, broken down like an old war plane because of my rebellion. Holes, rips, scares and burn marks as i sat in the desert junkyard with the others.
I said to myself, I need my family back. I wrote a letter to Julie. The letter asked her to do something unthinkable. To go out on a limb, to risk it all and take a chance. Leave all behind and come to where I am. Successful business, family, support system, church and the life she knows, just leave it all behind. An unreasonable request considering my history. But like God said…”not to worry”. Sending that letter was the result of being sick and tired of being sick and tired.
March 15, 2009. The day of my new life. I picked Julie and Macy up from the Airport in Detroit Michigan and drove them to our newly rented house.