On July 15, 1990, I felt like my life was pretty much over. My wife had rejected me. I had just got out of the hospital from a nervous breakdown. I had no idea who Jesus Christ was. My wife was not happy to see me home. She had thought I was gone for good. I felt so alone. I had a wife that lied about how I was beating her and my children. She was telling this to a therapist that we were both asked to go see. He was buying the whole thing and I felt like this guy was going to rule over me for the rest of my life. He would say, “I’m sorry, but you’ll have to come again next week.” I felt so out of control of my own life. I felt so helpless. I felt like I was in a prison. I had packed my bags once and had come back again, after my uncle suggested going home. After I had left, my uncle said to his son, “Your cousin needs God.”
My father-in-law had given me some books about marriage to read. I was sitting in my little computer room and I grabbed one of these marriage books. I hated to read. I opened the book to the introduction. I still to this day don’t really know what it said. I only know who wrote the introduction. It was written by Pat and Shirley Boone. I read those two names and BOOM! I was changed in a moment. The incredible depression was gone! I couldn’t get to a phone fast enough to ask my father-in-law to take me to church!
16 years before that moment, I had attended a church and their youth group. Someone there had me read, “The Cross and The Switch Blade”. Pat Boone was involved with that book and also the movie. All I could think of as I called my father-in-law was that 16 years ago I was happy. I had a lot of fun with those kids. I had never made a decision for Jesus Christ though. I got my father-in-law on the phone and we arranged to go to church that evening. I warned him on the way to not push me into something I didn’t want to do.
I really don’t remember the message from that evening. I do remember the family though that sang and spoke of God. The husband spoke and the wife and children sang. I couldn’t believe that such a young child could dress so nice and sing so easily in front of all these people.
Finally it was decision time for me. An invitation to know Jesus Christ was given. I hadn’t heard these words for 16 years but it was like I had heard them yesterday. My father-in-law turned to ask me if I wanted to go forward. He was too late. I had already made my mind up to go and I hurried forward.
As I was being prayed over, I broke into tears and I grabbed the man and held on for dear life. I was now home. I had made a decision to follow Jesus Christ for the rest of my days on this earth. One minute after giving my life to Jesus, a man gave me my first Bible. I had dinner that evening with the church in their lower level. I sat with the Pastor of the church. He was from my hometown. He was my age.
I’m now a member of that church. I’ve done so many things in the past 7 years that amaze me. I didn’t know I was capable of doing such things. I’ve sang solos. I worked in a type of boy’s group called Royal Rangers. I’ve worked in Children’s Church. I’ve run a Bible Study at work. I’ve given testimonies, I’ve sang and I’ve preached at an Open Door Mission for people who live in the streets. I’ve even cleaned bathrooms for Jesus! I’ve done so much. I’ve been in several summer programs for kids. I’ve been blessed by each one of these ministries!
You might think that my life was perfect from there on, right? Wrong! My life was and still is a real mess but now I have Jesus to give me strength; every step of the way.
In 1992, my wife had me in court. She tried to get me kicked out of my house. She said I beat her and my daughter. During all of this I enjoyed an incredible peace. I was spending a lot of time at church alone. I would sing praises to God and worship him as if a full-blown Church service was taking place. I would also read the word out load as if it was being preached to me by Jesus himself. I never was thrown out of my house and I told my wife that I forgave her.
On December 1, 1993, I came home to an empty house. No furniture, no kids, no wife, no camper, no van! Nothing but an empty house! I didn’t see my kids for a couple of weeks. Again, I made it through this disaster because of Jesus Christ!
I could at least see my kids on Wednesdays and every other weekend. I never missed a child support payment and I never missed a visit opportunity with my kids. I didn’t see them much during holidays. I kept on though, thanks to Jesus Christ who continued to give me strength. My kids are both saved by the way.
Finally in June of 1997, a fair visitation agreement was signed by a judge. I could now see my kids on holidays and for half of the summer. Praise God.
Things looked real bleak for me as far as my neighbors were concerned. They saw me moving out of my house due to having to split everything with my wife during this divorce. They saw that I was the big looser in this divorce. My parents also felt this way. My wife had control over everything it seemed. BUT GOD!
It looked like my wife would destroy Christ in my kids but it never happened. They have grown stronger each year. My son turned 16 last December. As of this past week he has decided to move in with me. Praise the Lord! Maybe someday my daughter will do the same when she is older.
My wife has thrown out Bibles and tapes and everything that my kids get about Jesus but she couldn’t throw Jesus out of their lives. Jesus lives in me and in my kids. He gives us the strength to love a woman that has no love for Jesus or anyone else.
Jesus has provided a wonderful Christian mate for me. We hope to be in a house and also married sometime in June of 1998. She has 3 children and I have 2 children. It will be a big family for sure. It will be a new adventure that God will give us both.
My advice to mothers and fathers going through divorces is this. Pay those child support payments! Visit with your children every chance you get! Don’t give up! Let God give you the strength to continue. Don’t walk out on your kids! Love them all you can! Give what you can to God, in money and in service! Your kids and God will never forget what you’ve done. They will see the strength in you that God gives and they will want that same strength for their lives. Perhaps my children will grow up and have godly marriages that will last forever and perhaps their children will also. That’s another adventure that God will give my kids and their kids.
God Bless You All. I hope that this message has given you hope to continue on in your situation. Whether in a divorce or whether in another situation. Perhaps you have never given your life to Jesus Christ. I encourage you to bow your head and do so now. You will never regret it. In the Love of Jesus Christ. Grace be with you all.