Let me preface this whole thing by saying…God hates divorce. I am for marriage, so do not use this post as an excuse to leave your spouse. I am a 36 year old peace maker and a woman who has walked with the Lord since the age of 13. As a teen, I felt condemned to hell for my sins and continually went to the alter by myself when the preacher called for prayer on Sunday mornings. I have always been a person who wants to do it “right enough” and to be good in everything I do. I am a people pleaser, which has caused me grief and joy. I am a well thought of Christian lady who has the perfect family who does it all right, at least in the public eye. I am nice to everyone, even when it’s not easy, and people love me. I have the favor of God on my life and that shows in my work, my kids, and my friendships. All that to say… I really have a heart for Jesus Christ and have been in love with him for some time. I seek Him daily and pray and praise Him on an hourly basis… I believe I am a “real Christian” not perfect in any way, but knowing that my righteousness is as dirty rags. Only through Christ am I redeemed and only through Him can I be saved daily.
I have been in a relationship with a man, who I love, for 16 years. We met in college, because we sat together in nearly all of our classes. Our last names were in alphabetical order… After a few months of dating, and promiscuity, I became pregnant with my oldest girl. I remember having the thought as I was dating that my boyfriend took such good care of me. He was in total control and I didn’t have to worry about a thing. Control was there from the beginning, and I missed the warning sign. Anger and control go hand in hand…and a rageaholic quickly became his montra. While he NEVER laid a hand on me physically, he emotionally battered me and my kids for most of the 16 years and even to this day. So many occurances that I don’t remember them all… by God’s grace. I can point back to a few instances so you get the idea. October of 1993 we were together with our 5 day old baby girl in church. My mother was there, it was my home church where I grew up. We had moved to my hometown because my mom was dying of Adrenal cancer. Mom wanted to hold the baby and show her off to all of her friends..in a church where I had grown up. He wouldn’t allow her to hold the baby. He told her no. He was a proud daddy and he wanted to show off his baby. My dying mother was of course crushed, as was I when I had to tell her that she should not make me choose between her and him. I would have to by all Christian duties choose him. Thankfully, Mom let it go and loved him as best she could. I am still grieved over this immature mistake, and though I have forgiven him for it, realize that it marked my life. There are undoubtably many, many incidences that have dulled my senses through time…my friends however, can quickly recall the time he threw his baseball glove at me because I had forgot to grab his cleats (even though he was there too). Or when he abruptly announced it was time to go home during the middle of a party or gathering. Or when I was told to shut the “f” up for adding my two cents to any conversation he was dominating in front of anyone and everyone. And the list goes on.
The turning point for me was last October, when we were in the middle of a very heated argument over who knows what. We stopped at the gas station to get gas and he spurted one too many angry words at me. When I went to get out of the car, because I was angry and hurt, I apparently spilled his spit cup on him, he used this cup to spit his tobacco spittle into. I in turn recieved a wad of slimy, packed snuff thrown in my face. I got out of the car and walked for about an hour to our County Fairgrounds and hid and cried. He never came for me… I was all alone, he had my kids, and I had no phone or way to get help. It was approaching dark, and I contemplated sleeping in the covered arena area…after all, I was on the fairboard, if anyone came by and questioned my being there. After much prayer, I decided I had to get to my children. I could not imagine the torment they were in worrying for me. I walked to a nearby neighbor’s house to borrow the phone. I regretfully submitted once again to my husband. I wrote him a long and thought out letter explaining that I was not interested in divorce, but that I did want him to seek help. I gave him the rules that I needed him to adhere to so that I could see progress in our relationship. I asked forgiveness for my own disrespect and willed to try and fix it. It worked!!! He got better for at least a whole week. Now…he doesn’t even remember that happening. That was the first time, I felt a true nudging to leave him.
Several major battles broke out through the winter and spring months.. but the final blow for me was when he exploded at a Little League Baseball game. He has always coached my son in whatever sport was in season. It was always bad, for he could never look good enough as a coach. His team could win every game by 10 points and he would still come away angry and hurt at the defeat of one strike out or mistake. My poor children are driven to be the very best they can be at everything they do… Driven out of fear, for if they fail, they’ll have to hear him harp. After our epidsode in October I had begged him not to coach this year. He knows it always drives a wedge between him and his kids and me. He had promised he wouldn’t coach. Then…one of his long time coaching buddies called and asked him to coach so, of course, he did. His team was the worst he had ever coached. Not bad players, just no wins. It was a very humbling season for him and he was overly frustrated. Of course, that meant that my son should do exceptionally well to make up for his failure. My poor fellow, NEVER strikes out. In all of his years in ball, I can recall maybe 1 strike out. He might bloop the ball and get thrown out, or caught out, but he always swings to hit. The pressure was on…my baby boy was up to bat and my husband was coaching first. Come on, son, I have to have you! he hollered. He blooped out to the pitcher. Head down and so hurt with himself, he moaped angrily to the dugout. His dad came to chew him out… I was ready to leave then. But the game went on. My boy in his heart and maybe outloud spoke that next time, he would strike out on purpose, just to show his dad. He did. He without effort…struck out. It was obvious, but the repricussion was uncalled for. His dad threw his cap, got in his face and yelled for him to get the hell off HIS field. Get OUT… He threw his only son, one of the star players, out of the ballgame with bold demonic force.
I took my ballplayer, found my youngest daughter through the tears, and we left. I could not stay with someone who could so blatantly hurt his child in public. You know if he’s that ugly in public, how bad it can be at home. I stayed gone for all of 2 weeks. I hid in a place of peace that was constantly interupted by phone calls and begging and pleading. He had to have us back and would change. Yeah, right….
While I did go back after being insructed to do so by a Christian counselor who had seen the best side of my husband in a 1 hour session, I was bitter. I had asked for more time to heal myself. He refused that because it wasn’t about me… it never is. It was that he couldn’t deal with me being gone one more minute. He was so sweet for two weeks this time. He helped with everything he could physically do to make me happy. We had agreed to find a different counselor although I had really checked out at this point. We had determined we would read about 5 different books together and that should help fix it. At the end of two weeks, TV became more important than the books. The kids were starting to keep us busy with their activities again and then it happened. The anger showed back up. Now, being a woman that has watched anger for years, I know how to do it all right to try and keep it at bay. I know how to make sure the kids do their jobs, keep everyone flowing in peace, be sweet myself so that he can control himself. Anger is a spiritual issue. It is a deep rooted issue that takes time to get to the bottom of. Of course one word from God can change his life forever…and I know that. I know that God can deliver anyone from any issue they have. That person has to be willing to get before the Lord and confess their sins, hurts, and unforgiveness and let God heal them. I have become that person. One of the things I began to see all too clearly is that I am angry. The very thing I hate, I become, as Paul said. I don’t want to be an angry, bitter, and hurt person. I am an overcomer through Christ Jesus. I most certainly do not want my children to live out the generational curse of being angry. They are awesome and full of so many gifts, I have to stop anger in its tracks. Unfortunately, that has begun with my husband. So…back to the story, after two weeks of his being good enough, which is Satan’s lie.. he lost control again. He never really dealt with the issues to be healed although he knows that is key to this whole thing in his mind. His anger began showing itself in little ways with the kids and I. And then the explosion happened. On a Thursday in August, 2009 I was hosting, because it’s my job desciption, the County 4-H Banquet. My day was crazy busy trying to print all the last minute details and then rush to the church to put the finishing touches on the decorations, food, etc. I was sitting in the midst of my boss, and an esteemed friend, filling out the last certificates for the kids to be awarded. Here he came in a small storm. He was angry as he pitched my cell phone, which I had accidently left in the truck, across the table at me. Of course he proceeded to chew me out in front of my friends using profanity about why I didn’t have the phone. The friends made light of it, but once again, I felt 2 feet tall. Once the banquet was over we went home. I tried to lighten the spirit of the house as I visited with my oldest about how awesome she did speaking at the banquet. He came in and flicked her hair and told her he would cut it off if he ever saw her messing with it again while she was speaking. He could not believe that she would mess with her hair while speaking and how that disrupted the whole audience from being able to listen to her. He proceeded to explain that now he understood why she didn’t win when she went to State competition 2 different times with her speaking skills. I stopped him there and told him that was ridiculous, she was an awesome speaker, and he got mad, stormed into the bedroom throwing a pot of spaghetti to the floor on the way and slammed his door. I cried with my daughter as we fell asleep together after much discussion. My fleeting thought was Lord, please help me.
Now I am a dreamer, and I have for years declared that I would NOT leave him without a specific WORD from God. He gave Joseph a fleeing word, to flee with his family, and He would do the same for me. My friends can testify that I refused to give up on my marriage until God speaks. Let me preface this by saying, I realize some of you cannot imagine God speaking to you in any form, much less a dream. But in my relationship with the Lord, I have learned how He speaks to me and dreaming is one method. His plan from the beginning with Adam and Eve was to have relationship with us. I woke up about 2:30am from a dream that I had that disturbed me a lot. In the dream I was in a camp like setting, there was a huge storm blowing in and people were running this way and that. In the midst of the storm, I was talking on the phone with my husband and letting him know that his mother had better back off from trying to take my children or I would hurt her. He was very pleasant and laughed and said he would talk to her. Then I went over to a pickup truck that my friends from the past were sitting in the back of. I leaned onto the tailgate and said, I realize the choices I have made have put me in this position, and I am going to try to make better choices. When I woke up I was in a tizzy thinking, Oh Lord, am I leaving him? Why was his mom trying to take my youngest child from me. He was so light on the phone, were we friends? I prayed and prayed until 5:00 am when he got up and left for work. Once he was gone, I asked the Lord, in my heart, to please give me specific direction. I hear everything jumbled when I am upset. When I was finally back in a peaceful sleep, I dreamed that I was back in a camplike setting. A lady came to my cabin with a young boy. She said, he wants to talk to you about divorce and walked away. I inquired of the boy and he repeatedly said, you have to leave him. I tried to make light of the situation and assure the boy, when he started crying violently. He said, you don’t understand, you have to leave or he will hurt you. I argued with him and said he has never hurt me, but I knew the boy had seen something that triggered his fear and I touched his shoulder to calm him. When I touched him I felt the presence of God on him and I said, are you saying this message is from God? and he said yes, you have to go. Then I woke up, or so I thought, into another dream. I thought I was awake and I was walking through my house and could see my kids in their beds and then I saw myself curled up in a ball in the middle of my living room floor. I was in a defensive position, when my father, who is with the Lord now, spoke to me and said, “You have to leave, PUDDIN” ( which is my dad’s nickname for me). I woke up knowing God was saying go…
I spent the day planning my escape. I had been paid on Wednesday and had not deposited my check which is rare so I had $647.00. I called my best friend and told her everything that I had dreamed, and that I was planning to stay until Monday. I knew as I was saying it to her, that the Lord was going to have me go that night. I asked her and a few others to please pray for me to have wisdom.
That evening we were to go to Family Movie Night at the church we were attending. My son wanted to go to Vacation Bible School in town, which his dad had initially said he could, but changed his mind. I hadn’t spoken to him all day, and when I came home that evening a friend of his was at the house so I got my son and we left to go town even though he didn’t truly want him to. He had made arrangements to spend the night at a friend’s house. On my way back to the church, my husband called me angry and wanted me to come home. I told him, I would see him at church and we could talk after the Family Movie Night. NO..he wanted me home now. I was nice, but told him I wasn’t coming. He told me he would come embarrass me at church and I said do whatever you need to. I warned the pastor, and luckily the kids were in the movie, so they didn’t know what was going on. Here he came, and I was so very scared. I went to hide in the bathroom. He stormed in the door cursing loud enough for me to hear him. GD this and F that… and the pastor tried to calm him down. My husband poked his head in the bathroom cussing me and the pastor got him to go into a room where we could talk. He calmed a bit and we went in. The pastor asked that we each give our side of the story and I told of the two major incidents that had happened recently. My husband gave his side of the story, since he’s now learned that he has to admit his wrong to win points of approval for trying. I admitted my sin in not respecting a man that treats me and his kids that way. I declared I am not perfect and anger as well. I tried to nicely paint the picture, knowing this man of God would surely defend me. AND, he did not. He told us we were not to seperate, not to divorce, and I had to go home. I shoved a huge wall up knowing that this man barely knew me or my family and that he was just speaking from inexperience what he had been trained to say. The pastor felt the wall and my husband left thinking I would tuck my tail and come home. After he left, the pastor angrily told me that if I didn’t go home I was in sin… I told him, I guess I will just have to be in sin then.
I am far from perfect, I am a woman that loves God but struggles with everyday life, and anger, but I know that I know that I know that God said GO. That was one of the hardest things I have ever done, but the Lord is faithful to me always.
If you are interested in the rest of my story, please look for the coming articles. I pray they help you sort out your own relationship with the maker of our universe.