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Lord, with all my heart I thank you. I will sing your praises before the armies of angels. I face your Temple as I worship, giving thanks to you for all your loving-kindness and your faithfulness, for your promises are backed by all the honor of your name. When I pray, you answer me and encourage me by giving me the strength I need.
Every king in all the earth shall give you thanks, O Lord, for all of them shall hear your voice. Yes, they shall sing about Jehovah’s glorious ways, for his glory is very great. Yet though he is so great, he respects the humble, but proud men must keep their distance. Though I am surrounded by troubles, you will bring me safely through them. You will clench your fist against my angry enemies! Your power will save me. The Lord will work out his plans for my life—for your loving-kindness, Lord, continues forever. Don’t abandon me—for you made me.
~Psalm 138~ TLB
It was September 27, 2015. It started out as a typical Sunday.
We were gathering up an enormous basket-full of fresh eggs from our thirteen hens to take to Church. Our little rescue dog, Faith, got into the coop, which got us all fighting.
Still seething from that morning's fight, we piled into the van and left for church. Words, like fiery darts, began to fly. It wasn't long before my husband pulled the van to the side of the road. More angry and hateful words were exchanged, and before I knew it, my husband was yelling at the top of his voice that he was done with me for good.
In a hostile rage, he pulled back on to the freeway and drove home in stone-cold silence as I sobbed and wailed hysterically.
When we got back to the house, I was even more hysterical as I frantically followed him into our bedroom begging him not to go. Without a word, he began stuffing his clothes into giant garbage bags.
Panic set in as I fell to the floor. I began to dissociate as my husband continued to pack his belongings. I still remember the look on his face as I split in two as he looked at me, laughed, and walked out the door.
As I lay there completely split in two, crushed, devastated, and utterly hopeless, I wanted nothing more than to be spared the pain I was feeling and to just die. I didn't know what to do. My brain was already trying to compensate by going into survival mode. However, for someone with bipolar disorder, survival mode can be deadly. The trauma from what had just happened triggered the worst mania I had ever experienced in my life and a psychotic break.
That night, I started drinking.
I couldn't cope or function, and death was my only desire. I was black-out drunk each night.
I have very little recollection at all of the events that took place over the five agonizing weeks that proceeded. What I do remember is very fuzzy and not in consecutive order. No matter how many tears I cry, no how many prayers I lift up to the sky, I cannot go back and erase what happened, or the fact that I have spent the last two and a half years of my life punishing myself for it. Loathing and hating every fiber of my being for it.
Somehow, I had managed to get hired for a canvasser position with Greenpeace. Why Greenpeace? I hate Greenpeace and all that they stand for!
The first night on the job, we all had to go to some brewpub after work. I really didn't want to. Bars and alcohol have never been my thing. But, it was for work. And even though it made me incredibly uncomfortable, I felt obligated to give a couple of male co-workers a ride. One of these men was a twenty-five-year-old, that I NEVER, EVER would have given the time of day to had I been in my right mind.
Everything that happened after meeting this guy is so fuzzy and vague. But it doesn't erase the fact that I ended up having an affair with this guy who was just a couple years older than my eldest son.
Five weeks later, my husband and I reconciled. Yet, forgiveness was nowhere in sight. The fighting, drinking, porn, and abuse had escalated to new extremes. I was stuck in an endless cycle of flashbacks from every traumatic event I had ever suffered, and sinking further into the depths of depression and despair.
Just a few short months after reconciling, we ended up losing our house and moved back to Mexico.
All hope had been lost. I was suicidal, depressed, suffering from extreme panic attacks, and completely detached.
In February 2017, things got worse. Tired of the pain and loneliness, I had completely shut down. I rarely ever made sense when I spoke. Sick of the mess I had become and bound resentment towards me, my husband kicked me out. Not once. But twice. Twice within a seven day period, I was discarded, like trash.
The first time my husband kicked me out, I was very, very, VERY sick with a severe bought of bronchitis, an ear infection, and tonsillitis. He, allowed me to come home just long enough for him to take me to the clinic for a round of antibiotics, and to rest a few days. But his resentment for me showed. And I was devastated. And even though I was nowhere near being well, just a few days later, my husband had thrown me out once again.
This time around, I was done. Just done. I was too tired to continue the fight. I had completely given up.
It was around 1:00 a.m when I had finally found a cheap hotel to stay in for a few hours to try to decompress and sort out my racing thoughts. In my anger and frustration, I carelessly posted on Facebook that I had been discarded by my husband, and was now homeless and had no idea what I was going to do, or where I was to go.
Then my aunt, whom I had not heard a word from for fifteen long months prior called. She invited me to come and stay with her and her family. Reluctantly, and with no job, no friends, and nowhere else to go, I agreed.
I stayed with my aunt and her family for three months. I found a part-time job in a dog kennel and continued searching for full-time work.
I had no plans to reconcile with my husband this time.
I was sure he was having an affair based upon how he had been treating me, so I had gotten a fourth restraining order and discovered that the divorce I had filed during our previous separation was still pending.
Crushed, and drowning in despair, I listened to my aunt, and the advice of my family, and decided that I should proceed with the divorce.
Once again, I had found myself so isolated and lonely, that I succumbed to yet another cyber-affair. This guy turned out to be a con-artist in a South African prison. Was I really so lonely and desperate to have another human being to talk to that I would sink so low, and settle for one more jerk who didn't give a rat's behind about me?
In no way am I trying to justify what I did. I'm not okay with myself for what I did at all. And though I have repented of this, and received the Lord's forgiveness, I still feel filthy, cheap, and whorish.
It wasn't until April 24, 2017, that a miracle happened. Well, two miracles to be precise. That was the day our first grandchild was born. An angel was sent to us from heaven above in the form of a perfect and beautiful baby girl.
Prior to separating, we had already planned on being there together to witness the birth of our granddaughter. My heart was heavy and aching that night as I drove nearly three hours from my aunt's house to the hospital. I wanted my husband to be there -- with me -- just as we had planned, to witness our granddaughter's grand entrance into the world.
My husband was heartbroken. He wanted desperately to be there too.
On the way to the hospital, I had been communicating with my boys -- the youngest, who was still living at home with my husband, and the one who was just about to become a father. Even though we were taking an enormous risk due to having another restraining order in place, we arranged for my husband to be present at the birth anyway.
My heart was racing. I had not seen my husband, nor heard his voice in three long months. I missed him terribly. I quickly freshened up in hopes that he would notice that not only had I lost a good amount of weight, I was different. I had changed.
I waited for him. And waited. I must have gone outside to look for him a dozen times. I was getting anxious.
When he finally arrived, I was completely overcome with emotion. I fought back tears as he walked right past me without even a glance in my direction. I was crushed. I wanted him to see me and know how desperately I had been missing him.
It wasn't until I placed our granddaughter in his arms that I noticed he had changed too.
We smiled and enjoyed our precious new miracle for a while, then went outside to talk for the first time in three long and excruciatingly painful months. We talked more in an hour than we had talked in years. . And we cried. A lot.
God was surely on the move.
Could it be? Yes. It was a miracle. A miracle that we once believed was never coming. We had discovered that even though we were hurting greatly, we still felt tremendous love for each other, and we didn't want to end our marriage in divorce.
But there was still one rather large problem. The restraining order.
This time, dropping it wasn't so easy. I had to go back before the judge to request the order to be dropped. And we had to wait three more months for a court date. The situation seemed hopeless. We didn't know what to do. We didn't want to spend another day apart.
So, I went home anyway.
I went home. Home is where I belong. With my husband. The man whom God gave as a precious gift to a thirteen-year-old girl who needed someone to love, and to love her, just as He does.
It's been a year. And we are still struggling. It has been anything but easy for us, and we still have so much hurt to work through. But God is good. He is faithful. And He is for us. No matter what.
So, with that being said and done my sweet sister, I want to pause for a moment to encourage you. If you find that you are resonating with my story, please stay strong. Don't give up. Don't lose heart. Have faith sweet sister! And never, ever stop praying! God does see you. And He hears you crying out to Him. He catches each and every one of your salty tears and keeps them in a bottle. Even if you've cried oceans, He still keeps them, all.
Miracles still happen sister. And yours may be just around the corner.
Just be patient, and trust that God is working behind the scenes in your situation. I am living proof of that, sister. I'm still here, deep in the trenches. Praying, standing firm and fighting to save my marriage and family from death and destruction. The Enemy may think that he has us backed into a corner. But he is wrong. Dead wrong! The battle was already won, the day that our Savior conquered death and sin on the Cross at Calvary.
Redemption is coming. And I am ready to receive it with arms open wide. Are you ready sister?
Restless in bed and sleepless through the night,
I longed for my lover.
I wanted him desperately. His absence was painful.
So I got up, went out and roved the city,
hunting through streets and down alleys.
I wanted my lover in the worst way!
I looked high and low, and didn’t find him.
And then the night watchmen found me
as they patrolled the darkened city.
“Have you seen my dear lost love?” I asked.
No sooner had I left them than I found him,
found my dear lost love.
I threw my arms around him and held him tight,
wouldn’t let him go until I had him home again,
safe at home beside the fire.
~Song of Solomon 3:1-4~ MSG