Today’s guest post for Stories of Redeemed Marriages comes from Wendi. We hope her testimony brings hope to many who read it.
Hell is real. It’s a real place of torment that the unredeemed go for eternity and it’s also a place here on earth that some of us have visited, wallowed in and become more than acquainted with before being washed in the precious blood of Jesus….
I lost custody of my children due to some bad choices on my part in ’97. I had opted for a tubal ligation after the birth of my second daughter in ’96. I must start with this because it plays a big part in some horrible decisions that I would make in the years to come and add to the pain I would come face to face with just a few short years ago.
My husband and I met in the summer of ’98. I was in the middle of my second divorce, a 28 year old mother of 2 beautiful girls (that didn’t live with me). My husband was a 21 year old bachelor still living at home with his parents. We had an amazing courtship – many would refer to it as whirlwind.
We married in the spring of ’99. The first 3 years of our marriage was beyond amazing. He truly was the “man of my dreams.” We loved with a love that was more than a love…. Unfortunately, God was nowhere in the mix. We became Christians in 2000 but never truly surrendered to God. We thought we could still have some control of our lives… We all know that can never & will never work!
Fast forward to 2008 ~ many years, many resentments, ugly arguments, no communication, no sex and definitely, no God. By this time, drugs and alcohol had become our prime focus. We went through the motions of daily life; I was emotionally numb, carrying the weight of the baggage from years of bad decisions, the guilt of losing my babies and the resentments of feeling “stuck” in a bad marriage.
Wayland’s top priority was work, work and drinking. My addiction was more subtle, more easy to hide and more deadly. I was addicted to prescription pain killers.
My husband and I both began affairs, mine was longer but his was the turning point of our lives in many ways.
June 6th of 2010 was a day that I look back on as the second most painful, yet most eye opening, day of my life. The day my husband confessed to me of his indiscretion ~ the day I learned he was going to be a father. My heart broke, my body hurt and my head spun!… A baby? The one longing I had carried deep inside for many years (I had given birth to Wayland’s child for many years in my head) yet, it wasn’t me that was carrying his child, another woman would have that dream.
First decision, we HAD to get clean! No ifs, ands, or buts; we HAD to if we were going to fix this marriage. It took months really to come out of our drug and alcohol induced “stooper” and back to reality… We both knew we wanted to fix our marriage, and I believe that was God’s way of letting us know that His hand had been on our union the whole time; all we had to do was “let go and let God.” I cried out to Him many times during my anguish, but never from the soul. No therapist, no doctor in the world could fix our problems, only the great Healer could do that.
November 2010 my step-daughter was born. A beautiful baby girl that would bring on changes I never dreamed of! During this time we not only dealt with the pain, but with resentments and the aftermath of the affairs, the struggles with overcoming our addictions, plus DNA results, court dates, child support and finally visitation.
The other woman was not going to make anything simple. She fought us tooth & nail, took her frustrations out on me and added to my resentments toward my husband for having put me in the situation. I harbored a lot of hatred for this woman. I detested her very name; just hearing it would make me cringe – filling my heart with rage. Seeing her in court or holding the baby just twisted the knife. We would have the baby for visitation and I was in heaven… I fell in love with her the minute I held her in my arms, “the mother” – I wanted to just disappear.
I’ve always been known to be stubborn. I tried again to let God lead me without completely letting God lead me. In 2012 I had a horrible relapse, but instead of going to rehab I turned to my aunt who is also one of the most grounded Christians I know… I completely surrendered all to my Savior in August, 2012. I have never known such peace than the joy and peace I found at that altar once I unloaded all the baggage, the hurt, the resentments, the bitterness, the doubts… EVERYTHING!
The way I viewed my husband and my marriage changed! The way I viewed the world had changed! I realized that I simply could not do this on my own. Over & over I had tried. Looking around at the scattered pieces of the dreams for a life I once had was proof enough I could not have control over my life. I had to place all my trust in God’s hands! I had to let Him lead me, heal me and mold me. I truly forgave – myself, my husband and the other woman. I have grown to “love” her in a Christian way. I pray for her salvation. I respect the fact that she is my baby girl’s mom.
My husband rededicated his life just a few weeks ago with his precious daughter in his arms. The changes in this man amaze me more each day. He is a wonderful father, a great husband and my best friend. He carries himself with a dignity that only God could fill him with. He leads our family with such spiritual humbleness. We compliment one another, we strengthen the other’s weaknesses, we allow the Holy Spirit to fill our home ~ to lead our marriage. God really has turned our “mess” into a message.
While in the midst of my pain, even in the lowest points over the last couple years, one saying came to me over and over – “The Will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you” and there is more truth in those words than you will ever know or imagine.
God has worked wonders in my marriage. I see more of His handy work everyday! Wayland and I could only get so far on our own. It took God’s love and mercy to completely restore what Satan tried to destroy! We communicate, we laugh, we Pray, and most importantly we trust God and allow Him to have complete control in our marriage. “A strand of 3 is not easily broken.” We see the mistakes of our past. We have great hopes for the future.
My oldest daughter is 20 now, married to a wonderful man. My youngest is 16, an amazing young woman with a bright future ahead of her. The baby is 2… We feel Blessed to be her parents. We now guide her with The Lord’s help; she attends Church with us occasionally. I adore watching her with her little Bible, lifting her arms to worship God and asking to hear the “Jesus” song at nap time (Jesus loves me). I see God’s love in her little eyes, hear His voice every time she laughs… His plans for our lives are great because He promised a prosperous life when we allow Him full rein of every area.
We walked through the fire, was washed in the blood of Jesus, and came out stronger than I could have ever dreamed! I’ve used a lot of cliches and a lot of quotes in our story, but these old adages are beyond truthful and you can’t fix perfection. God’s amazing Grace! His joy and peace fill my soul letting me know from sun up to sun down that if I trust Him, He will never guide my path wrong.
A little family info –
Wayland & I (Wendi) have been married 13 years, we live in a small town in Virginia. We give The Lord all the honor & glory for not only restoring but improving our marriage. We are hoping to renew our vows this coming May.
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