Sunday, January 27, 2008

My "conversion" story

When our oldest son was 2 years old, Kent & I were so madly in love with him that we focused more energy on him instead of on each other. At the same time, Kent's job was very stressful and when he'd come home tired, weary and ornery, instead of giving him some empathy and not taking it personal (not easy to do), I would return every jab with venom.

Soon this spiraled down into both of us not feeling "in love" with each other anymore. We were in different places though. I felt that it would pass, and knew I'd never want to separate our family and turn our son's life upside-down. We were BOTH so close to him, I couldn't imagine either one of us only getting to be with him part time.

Kent, however, wasn't so sure. At the time he bought into what society said, "Kids are resilient, they'll come out just fine..." (He knows how wrong that is now.) He was thinking about leaving but never actually voiced it...I just knew.

About this same time, as our lives were spinning out of control and I was crying myself to sleep into my pillow most nights, I happened to talk to my Aunt Karen. She had been through a very painful divorce years earlier, and this brought her "to her knees". She now lives her life trying to bring others into the peace she feels knowing Jesus as the best friend who will never leave us. She cried with me and prayed with me and told me that He wanted our marriage healed even more than I did. She pointed me to some good books (including the Bible of course) that taught me how to be a better wife, and be the person Kent needed - and how to close my mouth more and just pray!

Things still weren't all better between Kent & I, though. I'll never forget sitting on our living room couch once, with our son playing nearby, and tears running down my cheeks. I calmly said, "If you really want to leave, just go and be done with it." I strongly believe that was our turning point. (You MUST read
"Love Must Be Tough" by Dr. James Dobson.) Kent said, "But I'm afraid I'll go, and then find out that my problem wasn't 'us' - you've been great lately. I don't know what is wrong with me, something is missing." I said, "I know what's missing, Kent." He knew I meant Jesus. We were going to church at the time, but he didn't have a strong connection with God.

It wasn't long and Kent was reading his Bible, too, and he got to know another Christian guy named Dave, who showed him what it looked like to be a real man in love with the Lord. One day soon after, he told me he quit his job, and had no prospects for another. Believe it or not, I was thrilled! The job was too stressful and he worked too many hours, so I knew this was a great move for our family. Within a week he had a better paying, less stressful job with regular hours. I was thanking God like crazy.

Soon things slowly began to heal between us. We got more involved in our church, and found friends that we are still very close to today - they help us through good and bad times, and through all sorts of struggles in our faith, too. We've had discussions about things that don't make sense to us, and we've searched out the Truth together. It's difficult to explain how "right" and good and deep the connections are when you grow together in faith with each other, and with other Christian friends - it is "the abundant life" that Jesus promises when we follow Him.

That was 14 years ago! We have 4 kids now, and all that seems like a lifetime ago. I often think of how different life would be had we done what society said was "OK" and gave up when it was difficult. It was the worst thing I've ever gone through, yet I'm thankful it all happened, because I may not have been able to grow closer to Jesus otherwise. Our marriage is solid these days and through the years God has brought other couples into our lives that we've had the chance to try and help through their own tough times and lead them closer to Him.

We feel so thankful that He brought us back.


Anonymous said...

Hello there. I just came across you blog as i was checking out the Healing Foods Carnival (i think it is called?). I read your story of conversion and what God did in you marriage. Thank you for posting that. It is such an encouragement to me as my husband and i are going through what feels like a uphill battle good then bad again for 5 years. I have many times wanted to give up, so has he. Jesus has been my only strength, even as he is in this day. I am sad. i never imagined my marriage being so anger-filled and strife-filled. I really was encouraged though to read your testimony. God bless you and your family. said...

Karen, I'm so thankful that you felt at least a little better after reading my testimony. I pray it gave you HOPE.

Did you see this post I put up recently?

If you haven't seen that movie, PLEASE rent it and watch it with your husband.

What about counseling? Have you tried it? It is very important to find a *good* Christian counselor to help you.

Also, please feel free to email me if you need someone to listen. My address is in this post:

I'll say a prayer for you!