I want to begin my testimony with first giving praise to God, who has had much patience with me. I am nothing without Him and my desire is to pursue Him and daily learn what it means to serve Him with true devotion and obedience.
My life has been pretty ordinary. I was a good kid. Grew up in church and always thought of myself as a godly person. I lived a modest life and attended church regularly. I always felt that God had a plan for me. Little did I know, and how inadequate I was to understand at the time, that the path He had set before me would involve years of torment.
I met Chad and was immediately infatuated with him. We met when he came to my hometown to visit a local college which he began to attend. We soon were married. Shortly after marriage we learned our first child was on the way. We were over the moon. However, after our first child was born the bottom fell out. I discovered that my true love was chatting online and emailing other women. I was devastated. Unfortunately, this discovery wouldn’t be the only one, just the first of many (so many I don’t remember anymore).
We continued to go to church. Chad was in school to be a pastor and the dark secret that I held began to eat away at me. I loved Chad and was truly devoted to him and I wanted nothing more than for him to be free from this plague. Only a couple of people knew what I was going through and even those few only knew a small piece of what really went on in my marriage. After Chad finished college he was accepted to Duke Divinity School which moved us far away from any support that I had.
As the years progressed we would have stretches of time where everything seemed fine. Every time I believed that Chad had finally conquered the demon that so tormented our marriage. During those times we did things that we dreamed of like continuing to add children to our family by having our second boy and then adopting our daughter and son from Ethiopia. We had a little girl as well. Without fail, though, I would always discover another infidelity and we would be right back at ground zero.
After almost 4 years in North Carolina Chad was asked to leave the church that he had pastored during his time at Duke. Chad had a blog and blogged A LOT. It was a sore spot with me. It took precedence over everything, our children, myself and anything that I saw as precious. Chad promoted and wrote about issues that were controversial, gaining him a reputation (good and bad) among a number of people. The church began to read the blog and finally had had enough.
I would be lying if I said that I didn’t see this as a blessing in disguise. We were finally moving back home, back to my family and friends and that sounded like heaven to me. It wasn’t heaven though, it just continued to get worse. I found myself in a deep depression. I had struggled with depression in my life but this was debilitating. I couldn’t function. I spent hours a day in bed. I would feed my kids and get them to school but as soon as I could I would escape to the only place I found peace: sleep.
Finally, I couldn’t withstand anymore pain. I discovered another one night stand and told Chad to get out. It was liberating and horrible at the same time. I found a townhouse I could afford and the five kids and I moved in and somehow made it for a few months with help from family and some dear friends. Chad eventually landed in a seedy hotel. He had lost everything. His family, his job, his home and life as he knew it. I felt sorry for him but no longer felt any love toward him. He was the father of my children though so I continued to want to see him get better.
One day Chad’s Mom called about a book written by Steve Gallagher. It was about sex addicts. The thing that caught her attention was that this man said that there was hope and freedom through Christ, not a 12 step group or therapy. Over the years Chad and I had tried all the therapy we could afford, yet I knew that it was only God that could break the chains that held Chad deep in sin and despair. I looked at Mr. Gallagher’s website and learned that there was a live-in program and that Chad could work while he was there and pay for the treatment as he received it. I knew that this was it. I called Chad and asked him to consider it. A few weeks later Chad left for Purelife Ministries in Kentucky. God was on the move and we didn’t even know it.
Chad experienced God in a real way for the first time in a long time. He grew in humility and selflessness. We talked every time he was given phone time and we wrote each other almost every day. I did something that changed my life as well. I signed up for the At-Home program for wives. It caused me to look at myself and my own shortcomings and not just at what I considered to be the big problem: Chad’s sin. I soon began to see that my life was full of self seeking and pride. It was shocking at first. I truly hadn’t seen myself as being prideful or selfish before. But when I read the Word and looked at my life, I was lacking. I began to seek God. God met me as He is always faithful. My deep depression was soon gone. It happened really without me noticing. One day I just realized….I have peace! Things progressed with both of our walks with God and we were able to again look at one another with love.
After 7 months Chad graduated the program and no one could have been happier and more proud than I was. I finally had the man that I had always desired. We now live everyday so grateful for our many afflictions. I thank God all the time for the mercy he showed me in putting me on that path of despair and trouble, without which I never would have sought Him as I did, and He was so graciously waiting for me to finally come home.