I have waited a long time to put my full heart and story out there. I have revealed pieces, and overall the people in our lives know that we faced a really rocky point in our marriage. I have referenced how I almost lost my husband and marriage and spoken of the milestones we have accomplished in the last year, but I have yet to have disclosed the full story. The origin of it all. The demons in the closet, if you will. Today I begin to tell it all. Not to just tell a story, but to hopefully offer encouragement to another woman, another wife, another mother. To offer support and understanding to another couple. To offer sympathy to a love lost. To offer hope to a love not yet lost.
One year ago today I was not celebrating Valentine’s Day like I had planned and certainly not how I hoped. As a matter of fact I did not get to celebrate it at all. I remember, it was a Sunday. My husband did not “feel well” and did not make it to church that morning. I didn’t feel well myself but was hoping to come home to some sort of surprise. The surprise was…there was no surprise. No “happy Valentine’s Day honey”, no flowers, no candy, no new outfit, not even a recognition that it was V-Day. Just my husband laying in a dark house showing literally no emotion. I wasn’t feeling well myself so my treats turned out to be self-bought Theraflu, Tylenol Cold & Flu, tea, and a slew of vitamins. We both kept to our corners of the living room and eventually our corners of the house. Barely a few words were spoken all day…if only I had recognized…I had felt the true thickness in the air. If only I had gone out of my way and taken a step of love on my own. This was the last biggest mistake I had ever made. For had I known what my husband had been feeling,thinking, planning in those moments and days leading up I would have given my very life to prevent what happened next.
Valentine’s Day came and went in our household completely avoided. The most extensive conversation Chad and I had was that he said he wanted to talk to me about some things when he got home from work the next day, but he didn’t want to get into it now because he didn’t feel well. Again, HOW did I not see it coming?! WHY didn’t I feel how weighted that statement was?
February 15, 2016 at approx 3:30pm my husband walked through the door…I don’t even think he sat down-I don’t know-this is a bit of a blur, he just lingered near the door, and he very matter of factly told me that he was leaving and would be filing for a divorce. He already had a place to stay…he would be staying with a friend from work, he already had his bags packed and loaded in the van along with some of his other belongings, he even had already spoken to a lawyer. It was settled and he would be back later in the week to sit down and discuss living/visiting arrangements with the kids and the bill payment situation. He was not going to leave me without the house and a vehicle. He was going to make sure we were taken care of and comfortable, but he could not be here, in this house, in this marriage, anymore. And then he left.
My head started SPINNING! Everything from the day before, the months before started flooding into my mind. If I were to imagine what it feels like for your life to flash before your eyes in a moment of tragedy this was it! In what seemed like several minutes, but I am sure was only several seconds, I saw the entire day before play out. I saw my son’s birthday a week before-when he didn’t seem quite right, I saw my missions trip in January-when he was so supportive and teasing when I came home. I saw our discussions about going back to school-when he was encouraging and driving. I saw us at Christmas and Thanksgiving with all of the different family-when at times if felt oddly strained and a little disconnected but not obviously broken. I saw us on our anniversary trip when we spent days hiking and he presented me with a new beautiful ring of my dreams…I saw it all: the good times, the fun times, the bad and difficult times, the arguments, the make ups…I was overwhelmed with a feeling of…confusion, FAKE and deception! Had any of those good moments actually been good? Were they genuine at all? Were the strained and off moments my moments of missed opportunities?
A wail rose up out of me that I almost did not recognize as my own. I collapsed into the floor and just melted in despair. I felt like I had just been notified of my husband’s death! And I guess in a way that is exactly what had just happened. He was no longer mine. He was no longer here. And supposedly he would never be back. Within a few moments I felt warm, strong arms around me. “I love you mom” my son says to me as he slipped a piece of paper into my hand. “I’m going for a walk, but I’ll be back.”
It took me a moment but I opened up the letter to the words my son wrote. In the midst of it all the 2 things that stuck out to me the most and I still remember clear to this day “fight for the man you love”…and he wrote the words of Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.” Next I did what any heartbroken girl does…I called my mom and dad.
The next days were going to be critical. Because once I got through the shock and raw emotion, it was time for a plan. A specific course of action that was going to bring my husband back. This was delicate! No amount of begging, pleading, promising to Chad was going to bring him home to me…although I did still try just in case it held up with any form of authenticity. I had to be fierce and unrelenting and come up with a battle plan against the enemy, all while being gentle, humble, and genuine while dealing directly with Chad. I had to be strategic, strong, patient, calm. I could not be manipulative or harsh. God was going to have to infuse me with all of the elements and traits that would allow me to win. Win the battle, win his heart.
I spoke with Chad on Tuesday, the next day. This is where the begging came into play to really no avail. This is the day I confessed my undying love and commitment…with absolutely no reciprocation. This is the day I realized who I was REALLY going up against and that Chad was NOT my enemy. I tried to understand how Chad had come to this decision and why he felt like this was the only solution. I tried to approach his logic from a spiritual perspective and hopefully help him see that this was not a spiritual answer. I asked him if he had been praying about this and simply stated that if he felt like this was the answer that he was given then this answer was not from God. This is not biblical and was not a solution that would be suggested by God. His answer put it all into perspective to me…”I never said this came from God… I just finally got the courage to do this.”
I knew in that first statement that I was going to have to go head to head with the devil himself. I was going to have to take my husband back. I was going to have to plead the blood of protection around my husband’s mind and body…because that dirty devil just picked a fight with a girl…a woman of God! And he was in for a fight!
Chad told me he would be by the house on Thursday after work to see the kids and to sit down and talk. And by talk he meant establish visiting arrangements with the kids and bill payment arrangements. Thursday. 2 days. I had 2 days for God to work a MIRACLE! 2 days for God to soften Chad’s heart and change his mind. 2 days for God to work me over and transform me into the woman Chad wished to love…
…to be continued