Saturday, August 22, 2009
My Testimony Part II
"He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand." Psalm 40:2
Summary from part one written August 21, 2009. It's about 1982, I'm about 24 years old and I live in a dump in an alley. I'm married to a guy in the Navy Seal team who has a serious drinking problem and didn't want me, his wife, to be in his life, but I was too naive to know it. Sounds like a sad story and it gets worse, but I'm here to tell you, it gets much better, believe me.
It was about this time I decided to go into the US Navy. This helped with my self esteem, but as soon as I left boot camp I began heavy social drinking and made some serious mistakes. Unfortunately I felt justified in those decisions and sought opportunity to rub it in my spouses face. I became rebellious and felt like I was fighting back for all that he had done to me.
Moving on. We bought a house and enjoyed getting it set up. We enjoyed boating, water skiing, jet skiing and going to swap meets. We spent a lot of time with friends and partying. I soon became pregnant. I was happy, but very scared that I would be left alone to raise a child.
I wasn't ready to trust the man I had married. I had always had a sense that he would leave me from the morning after our wedding. I had nightmares about it and would wake up screaming, but I never took any of it seriously.
Within six weeks of finding out I was expecting, I had a miscarriage. The morning after the miscarriage I woke up in the hospital with my spouse at my side. His first words were something like this, "I'm going to go fishing. See you later." OUCH! It makes me cry just typing it.
Finally, I began to deal with that sin against me from childhood and got some counseling which helped. I sought marriage counseling, but my spouse wasn't interested.
Fast forward, it's January 1986 and I'm living in a barracks in the Philippines. Yes, I got transferred without my husband. Open a new chapter...I suddenly think that I'm a single woman and I still feel justified in that choice because after all, my spouse had been rotten to me so he can't complain if I do the same to him.
I met some single girls and all we cared about was new clothes, going out drinking and dancing and laying by the pool. I was about 28 years old. I had a lot of fun and did some touring and lot's of shopping. The Philippines is a really beautiful, tropical place but it is ravaged by typhoons, earthquakes and poverty. I met some very sweet nationals there. At one point I had a maid, a seamstress and a yard boy.
About nine months after I got there my spouse got transferred there and we moved into base housing. I spent more time with him partying and drinking. Some of my single friends got transferred out, but my new forever friend was still there. We had been room mates for several months prior to my spouse moving there.
She had renewed her relationship with Christ somewhere in all of this. I noticed a difference in her, but I didn't know what it was. She was going to a place she called "The Center". I wanted to go to "The Center" and see what was going on, but I wasn't sure I would be welcome there.
One night my friend invited me to go with her to "The Center" (Overseas Christian Servicemen's Center or OCSC). I felt accepted and loved and within months I became a Christian. I am 30 years old now and it's September 18, 1988. Several of us were baptized on October 10th in the South China Sea. What a glorious day!
My forever friend and I getting baptized together with loved ones all around us. Her fiance was there, my spouse was not. It was a time of mixed feelings, but I did not regret this decision to follow Christ.
God can forgive anyone of anything. I had accepted that and I was so happy. Life changed rapidly after that. I stopped drinking immediately. God at work. I told my co-workers (all guys) that I had become a Christian. God put it on my heart to stop using bad language. A missionary friend had given me some scripture to memorize which helped a lot.
I started wearing appropriate dresses and going to church (the first time I went to church I wore a black mini skirt and a big shirt over a tank top). I went to "The Center" about three times a week. My parents sent me a Bible with my name on the front for Christmas that year.
All of this was more than my spouse could handle. He asked for orders out of there ASAP and was gone before I could say anything. I moved back into the barracks. My forever friend got out of the Navy and I spent the longest, loneliest seven months waiting to get out of the Navy and go home to my family.
I continued going to "The Center" and spent a lot of time in prayer and counsel with the missionaries there. They were awesome and cared about me and loved me through those lonely months.
I am here to tell you that I survived and God has never failed me. There is no need to depend on others for my happiness. God provides for all my needs. He led me through the next several years of valley's and mountain tops. Life is good in this new chapter God has written for me. PRAISE HIS HOLY & BELOVED NAME!
"Then I said, "Here I am, I have come-
it is written about me in the scroll. I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart." Psalm 40:7 & 8.