From Mayhem to Ministry: Part 3

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The first part of From Mayhem to Ministry can be read here.

The second part of From Mayhem to Ministry can be read here.

The Downward Spiral

The pregnancy wasn’t planned, and neither was the ensuing miscarriage. My body didn’t properly miscarry (if there is a proper way to do that), and so I had to go in for a D&C procedure. His son was 4 days old.

Insert lots of drinking and drugs here. Insert lots of depression here. Broken pieces of me littered the house, falling off of me one chunk at a time. Things got bad. Very bad. And they just kept on getting worse. When you have two people’s worlds colliding and collapsing, it gets very bad indeed.

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I didn’t know Jimmy. Didn’t really know him. He never talked about God, even when I brought God up. He would play the devil’s advocate. He wouldn’t talk about his former church life. He also didn’t want to talk about his own dad who had ran off when he was 10, not to be seen again for 20 years. His own dad who had separate families in different parts of the state, of the world. And he sure didn’t want to talk about his daughter from his first marriage that I had known nothing about. As our relationship began to unwind, to unbreathe, pieces of his puzzle came out. And while we talked about hurts and heartaches and compared notes, he still never told me that he had been called to ministry. But when I found out a few years later, everything made perfect sense.

Fast Forward

Two years into our relationship. We had changed jobs here and there along the way. He lost his new job due to a failed drug test. I was livid! Driving him home at 80 mph, I said some terrible things to him and he pulled the emergency brake. Of course, we had a wreck. Somehow we survived. The second pregnancy didn’t. Cue a second D&C. Is she down for the count, folks? No! She comes up swinging. She’s a fighter. Literally. Oh, the fights we had! When you refuse to tend a seething, cancerous wound, be prepared for some disease to set in. Self-hatred is a killer. And there was plenty of that to go around. What a wonderful time to get pregnant—for the THIRD time!

A lady very near and dear to my heart offered to pay for an abortion. We were not married. We had no money. We were most definitely not happy in our relationship. But abortion was not an option.

We got married, and we had a 9 lb 7 oz baby boy. Things did not get better.

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My mother deeded us over 2 acres of land. We built a house and moved out to the beautiful secluded country. Things did not get better.

Jimmy was selling manufactured housing (aka mobile homes), and he came home one day and said that a preacher had come in looking for a home. Turns out he pastored a church not far from where we lived.

Then Jimmy said, “I told them that we’d come to church on Sunday.”

I said, “What?!!”

So our sweet-looking family went to church. It was good. We didn’t go back.

Six months later, our marriage was dissolving. It was July 3rd, 2003, and I left Jimmy. I put a note on the table and went to the lake with some friends. I was done.

He called me. I didn’t answer. He left terrible messages on my voicemail. He called back some more. He finally got it right and left me a nicer message. I went home. And found the short straw on the end table next to the bed. We argued. He offered me some coke. I said no. I went to bed. He came to bed later.

I woke up early the next morning. It was Sunday, July 4th. He asked me what I was doing. I replied, “If we want this marriage to work, both of us know that we are going to have to get right with God.” We got up, got dressed, and went to church. Finally, things got better.

From that point on, 10 years ago, we haven’t looked back. Not a cigarette, not a toke, not a snort, not a drink. Just onward and upward.

It wasn’t always easy. Change is never easy. We had to learn new vocabulary: surrender, submit, repent, respect, faith, love, honor, healing, restoration. And I am so glad that we changed in our old vocabulary. These words are much, much nicer : )

The Wrap Up

There is so much more to this story, and the good thing is that our story is still being written. God continues to show us His unfailing love and mercy daily. He astounds us and amazes us, as only He can.

We don’t hide our story from our children. Or from anyone obviously. Jimmy did reconnect with his daughter, who is now 22. His son is 13 and is a very important part of our family. Our own son is now 10 1/2, and we also have Sweet Gigi, who is a very precocious and sweet 5 ½ years old. I am a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom, and Jimmy is a chaplain at a maximum security prison here in Texas. Because of the life he lived, he is able to reach out to guys that have previously been unreachable. God uses him in a mighty way! My call to ministry is to serve him and our family. By taking care of him, I can help him do his best to do God’s work.

The first part of From Mayhem to Ministry can be read over at Blessed Beyond a Doubt.

The second part of From Mayhem to Ministry can be read here.

We learn by listening to each other. If we are wise. Leave a comment. Leave a story. Leave some wisdom.