Almost Walked Away
March 3, 2003.
Two 20 year old kids decided to say “I do”. We really had NO idea what we were doing but what we DID know was we were expecting a child, we are scared and my new husband was about to deploy for eight months.
Over those eight months I became bitter and angry that I was left alone while everyone I knew was on a ship in the middle east. I created a home…alone. I set up a nursery…alone. I delivered our child…alone. I was alone and angry.
The day came when Jordan came home. I waited on the pier with our 6 week old son, nervous wondering if he would be the same man who I married eight months prior. At first he was…until I learned he wasn’t. I learned a year into our marriage that he had a porn addiction, had been unfaithful and I came unhinged.
Jordan did the hard work and got counseling and was set free from this addiction and repented for being unfaithful but I made an inner vow to make him pay for what he did and how he hurt me. This is where I decided to walk down a path that would cause YEARS of pain and turmoil in our family. I became verbally, emotionally and at times physically abusive. I drank excessively to numb the pain. I said every hurtful and ugly word that came to my mind and Jordan believed he needed to sit there and take it for what he had done.
I remember my son was scared of me because I would yell more often then I was silent. There was nothing peaceful about me. A couple years into this hell within our home I decided being verbally and emotionally abusive wasn’t enough, I was unfaithful.
We separated, rightfully so, and I was DONE. I didn’t want to do this anymore, I didn’t want to live a life I hated anymore, I didn’t want to be married to a man I hated anymore. The next couple of months I pretended like I was single, I drank until I would black out and I would wake up not knowing how I got there. I had hit a very dark rock bottom and I just dragged there for a while.
Jordan was also done. We were rung dry and there was zero love left in the tank to give one another.
Until God intervened.
Psalm 139:8 says, “If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there.”
I would say I was hanging on the edge of death prepared to let go and allow whatever fate was waiting for me to just take over. But God was there.
When I chose to kill with my words, God was there. When I chose to drink myself unconscious, God was there. When I took off my wedding ring determined to never put it back on, God was there.
God drew a line in the sand and said, here and no further.
What I would later learn was that Jordan had an encounter with God as he was on his way to put the final nail in the coffin and take my ring back. A family friend stopped him before he got into his car and asked if he could pray with him. I don’t know if we would still be married today if it hadn’t been for that man chasing after Jordan that night. He asked him simply, “can I pray for you before you go”?
In an instant Jesus stood Jordan before him with what looked like a river of TV’s running between them playing out Jordan’s life and every sin he committed. Then Jesus walked through it and asked Jordan, “do you want to save your marriage?” Jordan said yes and all of the anger and un forgiveness he held in his heart towards me melted away.
He got in his car and drove to our apartment but I wasn’t there. He waited and prayed for three hours before I got home and I remember walking through the door ready for a fight. But something was different that time. He walked over, hugged me and said, “I’m not letting you go”.
In that moment this Jesus I heard about was wearing skin. The first real encounter I had with His grace was through my husband.
Can I say it’s been easy or everything was magically fixed? No. It was hard. Saying the words “we aren’t getting a divorce” was easy, walking that decision out wasn’t but we were both willing to do the hard work because divorce wasn't going to be the legacy that we left behind.
It has taken us YEARS to get to a place where we are today. I am a firm believer that people CAN change. The motto “once a cheater always a cheater” is so far from the truth. Jordan and I are walking examples of what God can do in and through people who are surrendered.
I can genuinely say that I love this man with my whole heart. He’s my best friend. He’s been my sounding board. He’s been my biggest cheerleader. He’s been strong enough to say “no” when I have wanted to quit on the things God has called me to. He has pushed me to greater and I am who I am today because of him (and Jesus obviously).
We almost walked away. We almost quit. I don’t know where I would be today if God hadn’t intervened. I can’t imagine who I would be but I am so thankful for God’s kindness and ability to see who we were created to be not who we were in that moment.
If you feel hopeless in your marriage we are proof that there is hope. God is not a respecter of persons and if He could take our broken, shattered marriage and make it what it is today He most certainly can do it for you too.
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