It was hard living in Virgina after my husband came home. It was hard because he had forgiven me and we decided to move forward...but we were still in the place. Everything around me was a reminder of what had happened.
Very early on in our relationship we had talked about kids and I don't remember when or how but we always knew that we would have 2 girls. And for some reason, we knew they would be Grace and Lucy. And not soon after he came home, we got pregnant with Grace. I knew that it was God now...helping to protect us because at this time, Scott was still drinking and if I wasn't pregnant, we would have been back at the bars where all the people I had been hanging around with and thank you God for your protection.
And at around 32 weeks we moved to San Diego.
We moved to San Diego for a school that he was going to attend. He didn't really want to do this school but a lot of people were pushing him so we did it. We were only going to be there for around 6 months. We settled into a downtown high rise and at 36 weeks, I gave birth to Grace.
It was magical and wonderful and the worst time in our life. She was colicky for 4 months and cried for 17 hours a day. He was gone all day long and had a lot of pressure on him and HATED HIS JOB. I joke around with people I tell this story to...and say at one point, we were all going to jump off the high rise because this was bad.
My husband was miserable and drinking and shut off. There was nothing. I remember scheduling times to talk with him telling him that I couldn't do it anymore. I just couldn't be married to this. There was no life. I was miserable and he was miserable...but in the back of my mind, what in the world would I do? Where would I go?
This is when I began to feel so lonely that I started talking with one of the people I hung around with in Virginia. We emailed back and forth for a while and it was a release for me. And even though nothing happened with this person back then, he was always really into me. He was always very sweet but it started to become an obsession on his end.
After a few months, it became a full on emotional affair.
My husband quit the school and we got new orders to North Carolina. We when moved there, I was still talking to this person and it made coping with my husband and his absence in our marriage bearable. It made all the nights I watched him drink himself into a passed out mess...it just made it better. My husband was still working and providing but I had a " emotional husband" too. Someone I could talk to and someone who cared.
I remember at this point, the Lord sent me a great group of military wife friends. And one day, this group met at my house. I remember one girl in particular who had long black hair and she sat quietly and listened. She never said a word. I complained and whined about my husband the whole time. And and she left I remember her asking for my number.
This is the point in my life where everything changed.
She came back later and she said she wanted to talk with me. So we sat and talked and she listed to me again, complain about him. " He doesn't know how to talk to people...he wont go anywhere with us...he just drinks and watches sports and we have no life...and he isn't interested in anything I am interested in...he doesn't even know how to light the grill." it went on and on...
I will never forget this. I will never ever forget what she said to me. "well, who do YOU think YOU are?"
My heart literally felt like it was being ripped out of my chest and my stomach was up in my throat. I was overwhelmed with a spirit of conviction that I had never felt before. All wrapped up in one moment I felt God who I wasn't even in a relationship with...I felt him speak to me. I felt him calling me. I felt him put the spot light on me and take it off of him...I was still a sinner. I was still having an emotional affair. I was just as bad.
She gave me a book. And I read it and it changed my life. I couldn't put it down and I read it and read it and read it some more.
It was called Created to Be His Help Meet By Debi Pearl.
This is where I recommitted my life to the Lord. This is where I began to hear him speak to me about my husband and this is where I learned 1 Peter 3:1.
We bought a house and moved into a different neighborhood. I kept reading and learning and I fought Satan hard. I still hadn't cut off the relationship with this other person but I was convicted. My husband was worse than EVER and it was the only comfort I had. I also was up to 232 pounds because all I could do was eat to calm the feelings of loneliness and anger.
But something strange happened. The person I was talking to started to go deeper into things and at one point started trying to convince me that my husband wasn't going to change and that I should leave him and come to be with him. We talked about me leaving and how he would be a great husband and he would take care of me...this is when my husband and I had our first serious divorce talk. It was around Christmas time. I remember sitting with him and we were making plans to go see the attorneys on base.
But then there was Grace. And I just could not do it. I JUST COULD NOT LEAVE HIM. I wanted to most of the time we were married but from the moment I saw him...I saw through him and saw to who he would become. I couldn't stop holding onto the glimpse of hope God kept giving me. I just knew that we were supposed to be together and I didn't know why but damn it...I couldn't leave. My conscience wouldn't let me. It was horrible. I fought it. But I couldn't separate my baby from her dad. That was the bottom line for me.
So I told my husband about the emotional affair and he again, forgave me. And I made a choice at that moment, after much reading in the bible...to break it off. It hurt like hell. I remember crying and it felt like I was dying. I really felt like the life was being sucked out of me. I quit smoking when I found out I was pregnant with Grace and I wasn't drinking...and now I had to get rid of the one thing that gave me comfort. But I did it. Because I just knew that God could not bless my marriage if I was not in it %100.
We made a pact that day, that we would never talk about divorce again. That no matter how bad it got, we weren't going to go there. That it wasn't an option. That we had no choice but to deal with what we had and take what we got. That no matter what, we weren't going to discuss it again.
This is where I began praying for him. But this is also where I began a cycle of spiritual superiority. I was reading the bible and I was receiving revelation and I was changing my life...but my husband...he was still drunk on the couch. And I began to become angry. And I began to feel entitled, again. But now, I was thinking...God, now I am a Christian and you want me to be happy right? You say that your husband should love you like Jesus and look at all these happy husbands and wives here at church...you want that for me...right? So I would think, I deserve a Christian husband.
My preaching to my husband became full of selfishness and the Lord took him away from me again. Literally God said, I am taking your husband away again Melissa because you are going to ruin this.You are giving him the good news, but only so it benefits you.
So he deployed, again.
And this time I was scared. You see, this whole time I believe the root of my issue was fear. I felt this ever since I was a little girl. When my parents split up I was always in fear of losing them. My dad traveled alot for work and I was convinced he would die. And my mom, whenever she would leave, I was in such a state of panic and fear, I would have full on panic attacks. I would scream and cry to the point of throwing up. And when I met my husband, he became my steadfast. He became my God. I always put all my trust and faith in him and whenever he would leave I would feel that same fear. I was back to being a little girl again.
He had to go to training for several months away in California before he actually deployed. And when he came home, we had about 2 months until he was to leave and we decided to try for another baby. We got pregnant with Lucy in one month, one month before he left. And the day he left, was another one of the most horrible and amazing days of my life.
I remember crying so hard as the bus left, I watched it drive away and I texted my husband, I don't think I am ever going to see you again. He told me to stop it and that he would be back, and that he loved me. He was going to be embedded with the Afghan Army. He would be living with them, amongst possible terrorists and this was like a living hell for me. I remember coming home and putting Grace in front of the TV and I went and locked myself in our bedroom. I called my friend Melissa and began to tell her that I felt as if God has destined me to suffer, that my marriage, my husband...God was making me suffer on purpose. And that he was going to die and I would just have to die with him because as much as I hated him, I loved him. And he was everything to me. He was everything good and everything bad, he was my life.
And within a few moments, she had about 3 people on the phone, one was a pastor and I fell to my knees as they prayed for about 20 minutes over me. They began to speak life over me and my husband and began to speak the promises of God over me. I began to feel my physical body and my spirit submit to God. I felt it. Like I was so weak and so covered in lies and fear that God was breaking it right then and there, that day. And this was when the rebuilding would start. God took my husband away from me so he could heal me.
I needed it. My husband needed it. I needed to know who I was in Christ, and not in my husband.
I gave birth to Lucy while he was on the phone with me! It was amazing. And I took care of a newborn and my 3 year old for about one and a half months before he came home. And I rocked it. It was my call. He had restored me, he had shown me who I was...the word was speaking to me. Satan was backing off. And I knew I had a job to do. I had to love my husband. I had to love him no matter what. It became my job.
To love and support my husband, no matter what.
I remember this one day though, one day that I will never forget. It was way before Lucy, way before the deployment and it was a day that God showed me hope. Because no matter how bad things get I believe God wants to give us something. People were praying that for me. I just wanted something that said, your on the right track, and I am making all of this right. For me, it was the day that my friend asked me to babysit. And I thought here we go...its just going to be me and Grace and her friend and what are we going to do all day while my husband sits on the couch and watches TV and nurses a hangover? I decided to take the kids to the aquarium which was on the way to the beach. It was about an hours drive away.
And he came with us.
I will never forget it. We had so much fun. He was fun. For about a day, I got to be with my husband like we were a normal family. We were out in the world and we were doing something the kids wanted to do and not what he wanted to do. And my heart was so happy watching him with our daughter and it was a good day. On the way home we stopped off at the beach and took the girls shoes off and let them splash around and get messy and wet and I thanked God that day. That he showed me that he was doing a work in him. We stopped and got ice cream and the girls fell asleep on the drive home. When we got home, he carried them both in, they were both in diapers. And I have a picture of him carrying them in, all slumped over and sleeping and it will forever serve as a day that the Lord gave me hope.