[Guest Post by Ashley] I always had a close relationship with God, and felt I could always lean on Him.
In high school, I got a job at a leather store in the mall. I was a trainer on the football team and fell head over heels for popular guy on the team. I had my whole life planned out. I wanted to be a stay at home mom and be an active part of a church.
I knew I wanted to save myself for marriage, but I started to drift from God. He wasn’t into going to church or praying. I ended up dating him and we had a child born out of wedlock. We were engaged for about three years.
I wanted to join a church that I had been visiting, so I went down to the altar and spoke with a deacon. A few days later, I got a call from the membership Pastor at the church. He invited us into his office for a meeting. He advised that the church wouldn’t allow me to become a member unless we were married. I was embarrassed and ashamed.
I didn’t go back to church for almost 2 months when I finally talked him into getting married so I could be a part of that church.
We got married, and things were already headed down hill. I had been a stay at home mom and recently had a got a part time job at a local retail store. He had started gambling and taking pain pills on top of his marijuana addiction. His six figure income supported his habits. The days continued to get worse.
He would come home late at night drunk and had been spending time after work at bars and strip clubs. I became depressed. I felt ugly on the inside and the outside.
Why wasn’t I beautiful anymore?
Why didn’t he want to spend time with me?
One night in our kitchen, I prayed over him as he was trying to crush a pill to snort. He was so angry that I put my hand over a line of pills that he had crushed, then he put me in a headlock that took me to the floor. I pleaded for him to let me go…He snorted the pill in front of me off the kitchen counter.
I was devastated.
He took off to the bedroom and said he was leaving. I begged him to stay and talk.
He pulled out a gun and put it to my head and pushed me to the floor.
He yelled some profanities and took off out the door. I opened the door and yelled that I was calling the police. He came back up the steps with the gun and told me he was going to kill me. I kept locking the door as he was unlocking with his key. I prayed for God to please let me survive. I made it, and so did my son. It was a miracle that he slept through all the commotion.
I didn’t leave the marriage.
I thought I was doing the right thing. He would tell me that I had broken my vows because I was trying to leave him while he was sick (drugs were making him sick), and that I had promised to love him in sickness and in health.
At this point, I had taken on a job with a good company and could support myself and my son. My brother was very close to me, and he had been staying the night with us a lot and he could keep the arguments down at the house. I never told him about what he had done to me, but he knew something was up.
A few months after the gun incident, we took my son to a baseball game and came home to find my brother had passed away in his sleep on my couch.
My three year old son and I had found him. This was the most devastating thing that has ever happened to me.
I wanted to know where God was and why was He letting this happen to me?
I tried counseling and buying books on how to save your marriage. It was the end.
He didn’t want to be a part of our lives.
Drugs was his life.
I had been reading in Job and all the trials he experienced. This is where I gained my strength and renewed my trust in the Lord. I attended Celebrate Recovery at my church, where I learned how to deal with my codependent nature. God had given me little signs in the form of hearts, that made me realize that He was beside me each step of the way.
I decided I needed to divorce.
My son and I had moved in with my parents. I reconnected with my boss from the leather store, and we began dating. We both were single parents with ex spouses who didn’t seem to care about anyone but themselves. We both had a strong Christian background. He proposed to me last year and we ended up marrying a few months later. May 14th is our one year anniversary!!
I can say that I am thankful for the trials that I went through to make it where I am today.
I have a wonderful, loving husband that prays with me and keeps me positive. He is a great father figure to my son. He works hard every day to provide for all of us. I stayed true to God during all my sufferings, and He comforted me. He blessed me with the greatest husband ever. I cannot wait to bow at His feet and thank Him for the many blessings He has bestowed upon me. My best advice is to keep holding onto your faith when everything else is falling apart. What’s your story?
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:2-4).
Ashley is a 28 year old mom of an 8 year old, and a step mom to a 15 year old. I enjoy Bible study and love spending an immense amount of time with my husband and kids. Over the past year, I have learned a lot about marriage. I now understand why it is important to be married to someone with the same beliefs. It is also an amazing feeling when you spouse prays for you. Connect with Ashley on Twitter.