I am in my third marriage that has less potential then the previous ones. How do I handle the pressures of running a business out of my home while simultaneously teaching and directing a Preschool? Do I turn to vigorous self help, via counseling, books? Fake it until I make it? Is it even reasonable to expect success in any of the above?
Awhile back I submitted the story of how I was miraculously born again by reading and rereading Romans chapters 1 through 6. When I first became aware of the reality of my marriage, no potential for good, and plenty for evil, the thought of going through yet another unforgiveable divorce, paralyzed me with fear. I sunk into the depths of despair.
After I got tired of being in the pits I turned to the scriptures again. After all 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says; The whole Bible was given to us by inspiration from God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong; it straightens us out and helps us do what is right. It is God’s way of making us well prepared at every point, fully equipped to do good to everyone. I had already experienced miraculous faith to believe on God and be saved; wouldn’t his salvation include other levels, such as my marriage? So back into the word I went. I read huge portions every day. Soon I was out of the pits. I felt God speaking in my heart that everything was going to be alright if I would trust Him.
Over the next four or five years I vacillated between hope and despair, to the degree I was in or out of the Word. As the years rolled on I became aware of my husband’s downward spiral. Through a friend I realized my role of enabling the situation. I was still here so he was comfortable, no need to seek God as he had when we met. I believe it was a direct answer to the cries of my heart when I stumbled onto Andrew Wommack’s ministry. He preaches a radical gospel. Because of the time I had spent in the Word it made sense to me. It suddenly made sense to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. I knew I needed God’s power to even be a light to others let alone to my husband. I was just too human, so frail I worried there was no difference between me and unbelievers except perhaps that they were happier then I!
I vacillated through the years desperately wanting out of this marriage. But what I really wanted was to experience God. I wanted to see firsthand his power in this impossible situation. I knew all too well the flatness of escape and all the host of other problems.
I began downloading and listening to various message series from Andrew Wommack’s web site. While listening to the Authority of the Believer I was moved to move. I emailed a letter to my husband stating what I would need from him if he wished me to remain in the same house. I let him know that I was not going to be a part of this decent into evil anymore. I emailed him because he would not let me finish a sentence or thought in person. He refused to hear anything I had to say.
His response was to look after details of separation immediately. He stated that we may as well make everything legal and I agreed. The following Sunday I fell off the wagon of “I am not going to be depressed or full of fear for one moment. I am going to dream about my house, garden and the loveliness of living without all the negatives associated with my husband.” But three days later I fell apart. My tears may have started with grieving but quickly turned into panic, fear, and self pity. About 10AM I received a call from Denis inviting me to lunch. That sounded nice, maybe there was hope yet. By noon my eyes were so purple that I certainly wasn’t going public with them. Denis called to warn me that he would be late. I informed him that I couldn’t go. He could tell I was crying. Usually he seemed strangely content with me in the land of despondency. I decided that he wasn’t worth tears and hadn’t fallen apart over him in months, maybe years. His response this time was a complete surprise.
He came home and announced that he would go to a New Life Weekend with me. That was one of two choices for counseling that I had listed in my email. I continued through the remainder of the day feeling very low even as I was handed a credit card to reserve hotel, tickets, and airfare. As the dollars began adding up for the weekend, I saw my husband mourn the loss of money. I stopped and said “if you are doing this to placate me so I have nothing to say about anything, you are wasting your money!” I had already reserved tickets for the conference. There was silence for awhile and finally he said, “go ahead and finish.”
The next morning I woke up feeling optimistic again. Suddenly I realized what an attack from Satan all my sadness on Sunday had been. I realized how important it is to resist the evil one. This was a huge step towards overcoming another slippery slide into depression. There are many roads to depression. I have mourned and mourned the loss of my marriage on a dozen different angles, I do not need to go there one more time in Jesus Name.
Well, Thursday found us enroute to Washington DC for Steve’s first, all Marriage conference weekend. I kept thinking how Denis had no idea what he was getting himself into. He was avoidant of any and all wisdom and locked away inside at the age of 60 since 14. He misunderstood his family sending him away to a better school. There was a language barrier at school which he interpreted as rejection and vowed never to let anyone hurt him again. He was incapable of empathy or compassion and very defensive. He could not sooth himself with people, instead escaped with work, and sports, on and off TV. However, neither could I.
A few of my friends and relatives informed me they would pray for us. I asked for specific prayers that Denis would not feel uncomfortable at the conference for a minute and come home out of that stuck place where he was locked away. Both of those impossible prayers were answered before the weekend was over.
When it comes to describing the quality of that weekend, words escape me. The level of wisdom, the way we were helped to discover it, the power of group therapy and the hope and comfort of eight weeks of follow up. Experiencing it myself and observing Denis was a study in contrasts. I had been to a weekend before and therefore was accustomed to the format. I have also had some counseling throughout my life that I would say 99% has been God ordained. I love getting wisdom so the wisdom dispensed this weekend had a foundation to land on. Not so for Denis, everything was new. Usually he would feel drained and hate learning so much so fast. That was not the case here. For one thing there wasn’t this huge drop of knowledge. Instead, the root problem was discovered and then solutions were modeled. Immediately after, we discussed and practiced in group therapy.
Before the weekend was over I sensed a happiness and peace of mind in my husband for the first time since meeting him. I was still slowly thawing out and wondering how long this would last. In spite of my coolness he remained and remains in this place of peace and perhaps even joy.
This is the power that I crave. This can only be of God. If our marriage ever looks like a marriage, that will be a miracle because we have zero potential. (It appeared to me from group therapy that potential has nothing to do with marital success.) I am excited to be a part of Denis coming out of his locked away place. I feel God’s powerful love towards me, another miracle.