5 years into our time at FBC, J was called by a local pastor who asked if he would consider sending a resume to another church. FBC had just sold the parsonage and gave us a housing allowance which we used to buy a home. We were very settled in at FBC and I had dreams of staying there until retirement. I was very happy, teaching the Youth, and serving with some great friends. I wanted nothing to do with this move.
As the months went by of communicating with the "next church" I came around...to a point. I was not thrilled with this move, however, I love to make others happy and seeing J so excited was contagious. I also felt led to follow my husband's leading in this. I knew that God would bless my obedience. It was not a huge move only a hour from our house.
We were voted in unanimously and J started the commute up there. He went Monday's, Tuesday's, and Thursday's. We drove up together Wednesday's and Sunday's. Our house was up for sale and we were hoping to relocate up there quickly so that we could be together more often.
At this point, I am asking J to finish this part of the story.
Let me start by saying that I make no excuses for what happened. I am also not going to fall into the trap of saying that I am glad this happened because my marriage is stronger. Our marriage is stronger but that is only by the grace of God.
I was extremely excited to be at the new church. The people were great, energetic, and they laughed at my jokes!!! I started to rely on me and not on the Lord. I became very prideful being in a larger church and preaching on the radio every week. It became more about me and less about the Lord. This would ultimately lead to the biggest mistake of my life. You see, in my mind, I was walking in a playground-when in reality I was walking in a battlefield and was not prepared for battle.
Within a few months of being at the new church I entered into an adulterous relationship. My focus was not on the Lord and I kept going down a slippery slope. Let me make something clear- Satan did not make me sin, I did. James says that we are all enticed by our own desires. I take full responsibility for my actions and there is no one to blame but myself.
I thought that I could end it and really desired to but didn't. I never thought of the consequences and I lost sight of God's hatred of sin. Again, it was all about me. This went on for three months before I was questioned about it and came forth with the truth. Believe it or not, I was finally glad to start telling the truth again. I was not sure what was going to happen. I resigned the church and thought for sure that I was going to lose my family. I was extremely confused and didn't even know what I wanted. I was truly blinded by my own sin and selfishness. I was too prideful to ask for help.
Over the course of the few weeks that followed, God got hold of me again. I repented and began to see just how disgusting sin is. I was also a mess. Heather had a supernatural strength. God was using her to keep us together. She was so supportive of me, even though I put her through hell on earth. We were in church the very next Sunday, where we are currently members. The very first song that was sung by the choir was "I am a friend of God." I lost it. I couldn't see myself as a friend of God when I had just gone through the last three months of trying to do things without Him.
This is not easy to write but it is my prayer that our story would be used by the Lord for His glory and to give hope to others. Our marriage is stronger today than it ever has been, but it should have been that way before!! It could have been with God as the focus and not me. I have found contentment in the Lord now which is something I didn't have before. God is in control and that is not based on my circumstances or just when I need Him. We need to ask ourselves whether we treat God as the spare tire or the steering wheel. He used to be my spare tire. I kept Him in the trunk and just pulled Him out when I desperately needed Him. Once the problem was solved He went right back in the trunk. Now He is the steering wheel. I realize that I cannot go anywhere or do anything right unless I am holding on to Him and letting Him direct my steps. Will I ever pastor again? It really doesn't matter. What I mean is- I am going to walk with the Lord whether I am in a pulpit or sitting in the pew. It is not about my position in a church, but my position in Christ!!! I have found forgiveness from my Lord and my wife.
Here we are almost two years later. God has blessed us in so many ways. I am so thankful to be married to Heather. She is my everything!! I love her more than words can describe. She is beautiful, smart, funny, and the woman of my dreams!
What a blessing it is to still have my family. To God be the glory for the great things He has done. It is all about Him!!