We had a very unexpected occurrence on the private website yesterday, when a FAM member’s husband, Chris, posted a very powerful testimony. But since I had no way to contact him and was unable to reach his wife, I didn’t have a clue what was going on. I have since talked to Chris and communicated with Kelly, and have their permission to share Chris’ testimony here. It’s a powerful testimony of how one stander gave up on God, became a prodigal, and is now standing for his wife and marriage again. Meanwhile, Kelly was the prodigal, who became a stander and learned how to walk out the principles of restoration. But then she gave up on God when her husband walked out again; though I seriously doubt for long!
Not too long after Kelly posted her Restored Marriage Testimony on the site, Chris seemed to have a change of heart and mind, and since the last time Kelly posted on the site, Chris resumed his relationship with the NCP and Kelly decided to move on with her life as he shares. BUT GOD had and still has other plans and we all know that NO wisdom, No insight and NO plan will EVER succeed against God! And while Kelly and Chris still have so much to work through, I am confident that we will see this marriage fully and completely restored! And since I have not been asked by Kelly to do otherwise; they are still listed on our Restored Marriage List, so we at least are speaking their restored marriage into being! Pleas keep this family in your prayers and be blessed and encouraged by this powerful testimony as Chris shares how the Lord worked to remove his stoney heart and gave him a heart of flesh and taught him to see his wife through the new eyes that only God makes possible! AND NEVER GIVE UP ON GOD!
I am sure that some of you may know my wife, Kelly (last name omitted). Just even writing the words my wife, and Kelly (last name omitted) in the same sentence has started the crying again.
I had turned my back on her and my children, and I had turned away from the Lord. I had taken my will back, time and time again over the past sixteen months. Oh, don’t get me wrong; God has definitely spoken to me…many, many times. I heard, but did not listen. I heard, but did not obey. I just did what made ME and only ME the main focus. It didn’t matter how my behavior affected others. It only mattered what I thought, because after all it was ALL about me and my feelings. I was in charge of my destiny. What a disaster.
My wife broke our marriage vows, and while that was happening I prayed daily. I never prayed and cried out to the Lord like that at any other time in my life. I prayed that the truth would be revealed. I prayed that my marriage would be restored; that He would return my wife to me, and to our family. I prayed that the woman I married, the woman I have known for over twenty-three years would be brought back home. And you know what? He did it. She confessed her sin to me and went before the Lord and repented.
So, what did I do? I stopped praying. I stopped praying for restoration. I didn’t pray for my marriage to be restored. I started to put my “trust” or really “lack of trust” in Kelly.
I put MY expectations on her. I was hurt, angry, insecure, frustrated, sad, and depressed. I stopped standing on scripture. I totally abandoned the God who had just brought me through the most horrific episode in my life; He returned my wife to me and our children.
I, on the other hand was just hurt, and showed that through my anger. I refused to forgive her. I didn’t know it then, or really didn’t want to admit it. I said “I couldn’t forgive her.”
But I just flat out refused to do it. So for the next six months, I stayed stuck in that anger. Unwilling, stubborn and refusing to “back off my stance.” She did try to make some things right, and she tried to “work on our marriage” after she got past the residual parts of her behavior. I just refused to give her any credit; NOTHING AT ALL. I continued to be insecure, even though I had no real reason to be. I never for a minute thought to consider how her behavior had impacted her and her relationship with the Lord, with me, with our kids, and with both of our families. I wanted her to love me, only me, and to show me that she wanted to be my wife. I really had some nerve. It was all about me and my feelings. Maybe a time or two, I said to her “This behavior does not define you.” But obviously I didn’t mean it because I continued to put her down. I continued to judge her for what had happened. And I continued to make sure that she knew how “bad” she was for what had happened.
That unforgiveness kept me in my own prison cell. My unwillingness to forgive, and it was my unwillingness, led me to walk away from my family in November 2007. I remember saying that I was unhappy, and that this marriage was unhealthy for me. I remember Kelly and others saying that Jesus has forgiven ALL of our sins, and I would say “I am not Jesus. I guess I just don’t have that ’spiritual’ growth in me.” Of course, I am not Jesus. And Of course, I did not have that spiritual growth in me, but I turned away from the only one who could help me. I walked away from it all; like it was nothing.
I was justified. Believe me; I was definitely in the right here. Nobody could tell me any different. But of course, once again I was being foolish; kidding myself and trying to do the same to everyone around me. So I started to have an affair; with someone who I professed was the exact opposite of my wife. But she wasn’t. That lasted for ten months. I put my wife down, and I wasn’t there for my kids. I was only interested in what would make ME happy. Well, I am here to tell you something that you all already know; this did NOT MAKE ME HAPPY. I did a pretty good job trying to convince everyone else around me, but I am sure that they all knew that deep down inside I was and will always be miserable without Jesus as the center of my world.
In my moments of clarity, when I prayed and talked to the Lord, he answered me. He told me what I was to do, and I listened, but only for a short period of time. And then I took my will back. All the while, my wife, the woman who I felt betrayed by, was standing on scripture for our marriage. She stood on John 11, most specifically verse 40: “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God.” This woman waited for me; she knew I was having an affair. Yet she stood and stood for much longer than I know I could have stood. The Lord has done an amazing work in my wife. Again, I refused to see it.
The simple fact that she would even want to have anything at all to do with me is a miracle in itself. She told me the other day that she said to herself “Look at him, he is so broken, and I have caused this brokenness in him, how could I not take him back?” And what did I do? I walked out again. I said that I cannot do it. I took my will back and returned immediately to my old behavior. I said “I don’t want to be married anymore.” But she said “Okay.” And that she would not stand in the way of me moving on. I had pushed her way past her breaking point, and she filed for divorce; she moved on with her life.
I was still stuck though; still stuck in my prison cell of unforgiveness. The Lord started to work on me; I think because he knows that if he doesn’t intervene now, then all will be lost within my family. This marriage will cease to exist. He put things in my path that may have been presented to me for other reasons, but He put them there for me to turn back to him. He put things in front of me for me to see where I had gone wrong, and how I had wrongly judged this woman who truly is “the love of my life.”
All of a sudden things became much clearer to me. The Lord showed me what a fool I have been. He showed me the things that my wife has done to show her love for me. He had an apology letter she wrote put into my hands. In all my hurt and anger, I refused to see her sincerity; it was blocked from my vision. All these months, she had stopped talking and started DOING. The transformation has been amazing, and I have been able to see some of these things now. She was accommodating in my visits with the kids. She cooked for me when I came to visit. And she even allowed me back into our marital bed.
She told me that she had been praying this past Monday for the first time in a while; she too had lost all hope for us when I made my grand “announcement.” I had really reached out to God over the past week, and told him that he would have to make a way for me to make this right. The Lord had told me that now is the time for me to apologize to her for my actions, but she had told me to never contact her again, and that if I did she would have a restraining order placed on me. I called anyway, and when she answered, I said “Please do not hang up on me.” She said, “You have five minutes.” And I told her that I wanted to apologize to her for the way I have treated her over all these months. She was crying. She told me later on that she had started praying and then took my picture out of her bible and kissed it and started to pray that the Lord would show me mercy. And within ten minutes after she did that, I called. I have finally forgiven her, and that has set me free.
What an absolute idiot I have been. Only now it may be too little too late for us. She says “there’s too much water under the bridge” and that she is “out of try’s.” And I am devastated by that. I am sure we will be going to court in the next month or two, because she told me that her plan has not changed; that she has certain goals that she wants to achieve for her and our children, and that she cannot believe anything that I say. I am so sad to say that I am not included in those plans. I am absolutely ashamed at my behavior. I am so sorry that it has taken me this long to return to my Father. And I am embarrassed by what has become of my life. I am so broken by all of this.
I do have some friends who will help me get through this next part of my life though. So I am going to use that to the best of my ability. I live two hundred and fifty miles from my wife and kids, so I will now focus on getting employment and being closer to my kids so that I can at least begin to repair all the damage I have caused to them. I will not give up hope. Well, at least I will try not to give up hope. I will once again stand on John 11:40, and I will continue to pray. I will show humility. I will now seek forgiveness from my wife, and from my children. I will do all that I can to show that the Lord has started this healing process in me, and that I am on the road to no longer being broken. Let me tell you; that is a terrible place to be. So I would really appreciate your support, and I really NEED your prayers.
Chris (last name omitted)
Note from Linda: Soon after this message was posted on the site, Kelly and Chris chose restoration for their marriage and family, and I’m pleased to announce that they are now expecting another baby and will be renewing their marriage vows in late November and that the FAM Fellowship members will be able to celebrate the occasion with them via teleconference! Praise the Lord for His unfailing faithfulness!!!