A Return From Disillusionment: A Soldier’s Tale

To say it’s been a while is an understatement! But that’s enough dwelling on the past. I figured there’s no time better to re-engage writing for K6L than the one year anniversary since the last posting. Wow! All whole year! I’m sure some of you must have had a crazy wild year while for others it may have been “just another year.” Regardless of which camp your tent is pitched in, I’m glad you’re here and I want to say thank you for still being around to support K6 Leadership.

We plan on making some changes to be more in line with what we are doing now in our life and our purpose. You will get a feel of these directional changes as we go along.

It’s been one amazing year – ups, downs, and a lot of food thrown on the floor (that would be the two and one-year-old). The Kueen (Nikki) and I loaded up a 6′ x 12′ U-Haul and our Yukon XL last June, hooked ‘em together with one not-so-secure-looking bolt, and headed back to Michigan, minus one really nice patio set. I fought for it but lost out to an abundance of baby toys… so in Kansas it remained.

The simple fact that we headed northeast to Michigan and not due south to Texas is an interesting little story of which the full ramifications have not yet been realized (and only God may ever fully know). It essentially came down to a meeting between a patriarch and his son-in-law at a Coney Island in construction-dismantled “downriver” Michigan. Against every yearning of a dream that I had had for 13 years, after discussing with my Kueen, I decided to postpone the realization of the dream a little while longer.

You may have had a dream planted in your heart or been given a vision by God of something to come in your future and it hasn’t come yet and you’re not sure if it ever will by the way things look. Hold on. Never give up. Never lose hope. Never abandon faith. Never ever EVER quit believing God will do what He said He’ll do and choose the route of, “My dream wasn’t that important anyway. After all, my life isn’t so bad.” It’s in His timing not ours and the Bible says, “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.” 2 Peter 3:8

That reminds me of the story of the man who approached God in prayer one day. “God, how long is a million years to you?” God said, “A million years is like a second.” Then the man asked, “How much is a million dollars to you?” God said, “A million dollars is like a penny.” The man smiled and said, “Could you spare a penny?” God smiled back and said, “Sure, just wait a second.”

I know that God has not put the dreams in my heart that He has to torture me – regardless how it feels at times. It’s quite the opposite, actually. He has planted the dreams and visions inside my heart and soul for the purpose of shaping me into the man He would have me be for His glory. I am fully confident, as I seek Him all these things will be added unto me (Matthew 6:33).

Upon arrival in Michigan at the end of June 2012, I was thoroughly unsure what I was going to do professionally. This was strange for me given that I had invested five years of my life toward one path and in the blink of an eye it seemed to vanish. If you strive for anything beyond the norm, there will come a time when you will be confronted and tested at a level beyond what you think you can bear. You will be confronted with doubt. You will wonder, “was it all a waste?” You will entertain thoughts such as “was I believing a lie?” or “God, I thought this was your idea. I thought you were here.” I remember too many nights falling asleep on a tear-soaked pillow. It’s even harder when a period of disillusionment like this originates from people who you know love you and you love them.

At the point we returned to Michigan, not only was I trying to normalize my heart and mind after a deployment to Afghanistan (which I don’t wish on anyone), I also had to deal with the confusion, hurt, and frustration of thinking my purpose in life was a façade. I will say this with full confidence, if something in your life arises which causes you to doubt nearly everything you believe about what you’re doing and where you’re going, you better not leave one stone unturned in searching for the truth of the matter. If you believe gossip over going to the source, if you buy into the doubt over your conviction, or if you choose to walk away and give up rather than fight with a righteous fury, you don’t deserve the life God has planned for you.

Again I repeat this life lesson: when you are the recipient of gossip, never let it rest until after you’ve gone to the source in question. Unless you don’t care about the relationship, in which case it doesn’t matter. I’ve also learned, the more devastating the news, the more crucial it is for you to seek out the truth. I did it and it changed the course of my life.

Living your purpose and calling in life will demand more than you think you have, that’s a fact. And while I am nowhere near the culmination of anything God has in store for me and my family, I have been through enough at this point to know there is nothing or no one that I will allow to stand in the way of me claiming the purpose for my creation.

As the weather cooled (mid-August) and the season changed to autumn (3rd week of August, haha) we began focusing our efforts on where we were headed and leaving the past in the past. Relationships were forming with new partners and were strengthening with older partners. I began delving into the community with which I choose to invest my life in service to others in order to fulfill God’s call for my family. This for me is an act of obedience, not necessarily preference or comfort. But that is not to say I’m working in drudgery or out of sheer duty, quite to the contrary.

When you find something that has equipped you to radically revolutionize everything in your life to a level most people will never experience and you can help others do the same and it happens to be God’s will for you, who in their right mind would ever walk away from that? There are very few people in this world who are actually living the life they’ve always dreamed of deep down inside. And now that I understand a great deal of the process, I know why. Guts.

Can we all live a life like that? Absolutely! We love watching actors and actresses live out their dreams on screen, we go crazy with enthusiasm (think painted flabby naked chests) watching our favorite sports teams hoist the trophy at the end of a grueling season, we’re inspired to tears by the Olympian holding her gold medal high above her head smiling through tearful pain and exhilaration – these things inspire us, motivated us, and give us a sense of destiny which we wish we could only make our own. We experience these emotions because it’s the real stuff life is made of. We were born to live that way, in some shape or form. It’s not intended for all of us to be Olympic athletes or movie stars but I think you get my point. So few people will battle beyond the fear, doubt, and worry which we all experience.  I believe the only difference between the champions who live their dreams and those who choose the daily grind instead is faith. It’s one of the worst afflictions a human can have – lack of faith. Jesus repeatedly condemned having a lack of faith, all the while encouraging us to have faith, just little tiny faith would change everything. Matthew 17:20

If the odds, percentage wise, are so astronomically low that someone will actually win a gold medal versus all those who “wish” they could, why would anyone even try? Faith. Those athletes believe that if they put in the work, eat properly, condition their mind with the right inputs, and take quitting off the table that they have a real shot at achieving their goals and dreams. And they do.

That’s the transition Nikki and I made in the autumn of 2012. I still haven’t totally nailed down the eating properly part yet as I really like rainbow sherbet! But as far as only allowing good things into our minds, maintaining perseverance, serving others with all of our hearts, and doing it all for God’s glory – we’re better than we’ve ever been!

We love our life today! We love the relationships in our life! There are new friendships this year alone that did not exist prior that I believe are going to be with us until the day we die. Praise God for that! We love waking up every day knowing that were living our purpose not someone else’s! We love being leaders in a worthy cause and we love sharing it with others.

The world is dark and it seems to be getting darker. But as long as my God is on His throne, there is HOPE!  There’s actually a group of people who have said enough is enough and we are about changing it. We are disgusted with the influences that are trying to claim our kids. We’re sick and tired of seeing families get torn apart because of a lack of support and right information. We are not for everybody and we know that. We love everyone but we know we’re not for everyone.  We don’t care. We are for who we are for, period.

The Facts:

  • For nearly 6 1/2 years I have been in excellent-living training with a movement called Team.
  • For 18 months we’ve been partners in a purpose-driven, lifestyle-providing business called LIFE. It’s what we do.
  • I’ve done my due diligence in seeking the truth.
  • Unlike when I was a Registered Nurse or when I was a Sergeant in the U.S. Army, we are the anti-pyramid.
  • We are not for the weak-kneed or excuse-laden.
  • We do not sell trinkets, soap, or juice.  We sell hope – for those with faith.
  • Everyone has their own journey. Live yours and love it!
  • When/If you return from disillusionment… You will be dangerous.
  • We love you.

God bless,

Adam & Nikki

K6L Krew 222x222 A Return From Disillusionment: A Soldiers Tale

 

PS. FYI: Just as we began K6 Leadership last year discussing from our point of view such things as broken relationships, addiction and renovation, we will continue to offer true, open, honest, and vulnerable content along those lines. The intent of this post is to give a bit of a feel of what K6L is going to represent as we go forward. Nikki and I receive tremendous feedback from people when we share our testimony. Now, we will be sharing more of how it came to be and how you or someone you love can apply the principles in various areas of life to go after and achieve the dreams of your heart.

PSS. Please let us know how we can serve you. If it’s in the realm of our imagination or power, we will.

Comments are LOVED!!

Enjoy this amazingly inspirational short video:

 What If…?

Mom Said, “Everything Will Be OK…”

Being a mom is more of a blessing than I could have ever imagined.  Each one of my children reminds me of a certain point in my life and was given to me at that time for a specific reason.  The Lord has His perfect timing.  At times, I had felt it was the worst,  and Mom said, “Everything will be OK…”And Mom Said1 Mom Said, Everything Will Be OK...

 

Gavin was our first.  Adam and I had been married for a year when I found out I was pregnant.  It was “planned” and we were so excited.  I was going to be a MOM!!  We went to doctor appointments together and had the ultrasound to find out we would be having a son.  We felt his first kick, saw him move in my belly, and were excitedly anticipating his arrival.

 

At some point during that time the issues in our marriage began.  Adam drifted, and the affairs started.  I felt so alone, depressed, and was having second thoughts about my excitement of this child we were bringing into this world.  Gavin came 5 ½ weeks early.  He was a healthy 6lbs 6oz and PERFECT.

 

After he was born, Adam snapped back to “normal” for a short time.  No matter what happened after that point, I knew had someone to take care of, to love, and who needed me and loved me as much as I did him.  And that is just a glimpse of the LOVE our Father in heaven has for us.  My relationship with my son was a clear reminder of that and Gavin became my “happy place.” We went everywhere together and I was so happy just to watch him grow.

 

In January of 2006, I found out I was pregnant with our second.  This child would turn out to be the blessing to the world known as Adasyn.  Adam and I were just tolerating each other at that point.

 

To be completely honest, I was DEVASTATED when I found out I was expecting.  I had totally anticipated being a single mom of two at 25 years old.  While I was pregnant with her, Adam and I separated.

 

Being pregnant at that time forced me to focus on just that – the pregnancy – and take care of my baby.  I also had Gavin to love on and cuddle with.  Not to mention my sister was also expecting her first.  It was a huge blessing to be going through something like that together.

 

But the separation was not on the top of my mind.  I was sad for Gavin that he did not have his dad around and I was sad for our baby that was coming because I was so unsure of the relationship she would have with her daddy, if any.  And that wasn’t me being dramatic; Adam was detached from us, plus the possibility of his death related to the drug use was very real (he was 27).

 

Adasyn came three weeks early.  She was 6lbs 13oz and PERFECT.  I did not find out what I would be having with this pregnancy before the birth.  When she was born and the doctor said, “It’s a GIRL!”  I just remember true tears of happiness.  I was SO EXCITED to have a little girl.  Now, I had another person to LOVE, care for, and who needed me and LOVED me as much as I did them.

 

They were my focus the whole time and the true source of my happiness, second only to Christ.  Adasyn was seven months old before Adam came back to the house.  Before that, he had seen the kids once a week, on Thursdays, while I was at school.  I was sad for them but I knew no matter what, they would have their MOM.

 

I found out in February of 2010 that I was pregnant with our second boy, Gage.  At that time we were in Kansas.  We were a FAMILY.  And a HAPPY one at that!  We were all so excited.  But by being in Kansas, all of our family & close friends were back in Michigan.  Right before I found out I was pregnant with Gage, one of my best friends from home called and told me she was pregnant (gotta love BFFs ;).  So, finding out I was and being able to share something like that with her was awesome.  We were only eight days apart.  We talked on the phone all the time, shared belly pictures, and asked each other questions about new pregnancy symptoms.  And yes, for both of us this was our third. J

 

We found out that we were both having boys which made it that much more cool.  The kids and I spent the majority of Summer 2010 in Michigan and got to hang out all the time (Adam was on a training exercise).  Being in Kansas and having her there in Michigan going through the same process helped me to feel not so alone.

 

Adam was able to be by my side the whole time.  Beside the training time, it was wonderful.  The best pregnancy for sure.

 

Gage came on October 20th, 2010 – eight days early.  He was a WHOPPING 9lbs 5oz.  And he was PERFECT.  Adam was supposed to deploy to Iraq in October but his orders ended up being changed.  PRAISE GOD he was able to be there.   We brought Gage home and we were even more complete.  Adam was such a huge help when Gage got up in the middle of the night.  He helped with feedings and diapers so I could rest or take naps.  It was wonderful.  It was how it should be.

 

In January of 2011, Adam came home from work with orders for a deployment to Afghanistan.  He would be leaving sometime in April.  We were very upset, but we trusted God, and were very thankful that he was able to be here for me and Gage.

 

We had decided to move the kids and me back to Michigan for the time of the deployment so we could have help from family.  We put everything we had besides the clothes on our back in storage and headed north at the end of March.   He went back to Kansas by himself until he deployed.  Adam left April 12th, but I was able to be with him in Kansas for the week before he left. We had a great time.

 

It was Good Friday 2011.  I had a couple pregnancy tests left over from when I bought some with Gage.  I was a couple days late but didn’t really think much of it because I wasn’t really on a schedule yet (Gage was just 5 months).  I took one for the heck of it and it was POSITIVE.  I remember actually Laughing Out Loud!!!  I had always told Adam if he wanted four, it would have to be before he left.  I did not want to have any more kids after I was 30.  Boy does the Lord have a sense of humor.   At that time I had been 30 for 2 months.  My due date was December 26, 2011.  Adam wasn’t due home until April.  He had worked it out so that he would be home on the 23rd for two weeks for R&R (Mid-Tour Leave).

 

I told him over the phone when he called that day (10 days after he left).  He wasn’t even at his final destination yet.  He was so excited he cried. J  The deployment was not as hard as it could have been (on me).  I had three wonderful kids to take care of and another one that was growing inside me.  That was my focus.  It allowed me to keep my sanity.  With Gracen, I believe I understood the timing, from God’s perspective of His plans for us.  A few weeks later my sister had announced that she was pregnant.  How awesome that was!!!  We were three weeks apart going through another amazing time together.

 

Adam and I were able to talk almost every day.  He watched my belly grow on Skype.  He watched him kick on Skype.  And he was there when they did the ultrasound to find out the baby’s sex… on Skype.   I had my doctor appointment every month and trimesters to go through.  I was able to focus on that and look forward instead of obsess over Adam being gone.  Don’t get me wrong, I missed him terribly but being pregnant made it much easier.

 

We had found out sometime in August that their deployment was being cut short.  He would not get his leave to come home.  But the Lord answered our prayer another way.  Adam arrived in Michigan on Saturday afternoon, Dec 17th.  Gracen was born early in the morning (4:48 am) on Tuesday, Dec 20th.  Adam made it home from Afghanistan to be present for the birth of our fourth child with 60 HOURS to spare. That, my friend, is GOD.

 

I was complete when we got to the hospital.  I had been dilating for at least four weeks prior.  The only reason why Gracen did not come sooner, the doctor said, was because my water did not break.  It was definitely the most difficult delivery of them all but it was AMAZING to have my husband by my side holding my hand (or allowing me to squeeze it so hard that I almost broke it).

 

For me, at least to this point, Mother’s Day has been special.  It’s been about me being a mommy and appreciating mine.  But today, as I reflect and look into each one of their little faces, I am in awe of the blessings that the Lord has given us and His perfect purpose for each of them.  They are a part of me that represent different parts of my life which I will never forget and a constant reminder of how God took care of me and held me in His loving arms.

 

And through everything, I was blessed to have my mom by my side to care for me, love me, support me, wipe my tears, and tell me that everything was going to be OK.  And it was.

 

Even though my oldest is only eight, I feel like I just brought him home from the hospital.  I have done many nighttime feedings, changed TOO many diapers, wiped many tears, kissed plenty of boo-boo’s, read a lot of stories, cuddled and watched movies, kissed them and held them when they were sick, watched their first soccer game, took them to their first day of school, and when they were scared or upset, was able to tell them that everything was going to be OK.  There will be so many more firsts, many more boo-boo’s, and many more “it’s going to be OK” moments, but I would not have it any other way.

 

The Lord tells us in Isaiah 66:13, “As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you.”

 

Every time my mom would comfort me by telling me that “everything will be OK” I believed her and felt comforted.  Now having kids of my own, when I comfort them I feel the comfort of my God.  I tell them because He says so.  He was comforting me with each one of them as HE formed them in my womb and gave them life.

 

A Tribute to Moms - 

 

The author of this is unknown but I wanted to leave you with this… Enjoy Moms!

 

“Your Mother is always with you. She’s the whisper of the leaves as you walk down the street. She’s the smell of certain foods you remember, flowers you pick and perfume that she wore. She’s the cool hand on your brow when you’re not feeling well. She’s your breath in the air on a cold winter’s day. She is the sound of the rain that lulls you to sleep, the colors of a rainbow. She is Christmas morning. Your Mother lives inside your laughter. She’s crystallized in every teardrop. A Mother shows every emotion…………happiness, sadness, fear, jealousy, love, hate, anger, helplessness, excitement, joy, sorrow….and all the while, hoping and praying you will only know the good feelings in life. She’s the place you came from, your first home, and she’s the map you follow with every step you take. She’s your first love; your first friend, even your first enemy, but nothing on earth can separate you. Not time, not space…….NOT even death!!!”

 

P.S.

I want to mention something important. I have never struggled with the burden of infertility and I’m thankful to God for that. BUT, I know many of you have. Stay strong. Believe. If you have been given assurance from God and you know or believe in your gut you’re meant to be a mom, never give up. EVER! My prayers and love are with you. God’s timing is ALWAYS perfect. He’s never early. He’s never late. Pray hard and don’t ever stop until He delivers on His promise to you. He will.

 

 

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 Mom Said, Everything Will Be OK...

 

Heaven’s Hellfire

K6 Leadership_Heaven's Hellfire

 

It was a beautiful, warm, clear day in September in Michigan, a truly rare event.  I had to work night shift, which for a big-shot Level I Trauma Nurse in Downtown Detroit like I was, that meant working 7pm – 7am in one of the country’s most dangerous cities during the most dangerous times.  I loved it.dusk lightning Heavens Hellfire

 

That day, I wanted to see my girlfriend for a little while before I started my shift so I left my house early.  It was a 30-minute drive.

 

Before that time it used to be difficult to get out of the house to “handle my business” because of the living situation which I was subject to – I was married.

 

By the time the day came that I am describing, that situation was indefinitely remedied. I had no idea when it would change again, but for the time being I could come and go as I pleased. Even though I wasn’t divorced…yet, we were separated so I was living a bachelor’s lifestyle, more or less.

 

I had a tiny Saturn that I used to run around Metro-Detroit in.  This is the car I used to visit my girlfriend before and after shifts on days we didn’t work together (we met at work), as well as commute from her house to mine whenever needed. That little car was so dependable. I think it had about a million or so miles on it, but it ran great; I NEVER had any problems with it.

 

Nikki’s dad sold it to me for basically nothing to help us out. I returned that favor by using it to betray his daughter.

 

So… after my visit, I continued on and headed into work. Now, where I was and where I needed to go, only required about 15 minutes worth of driving on the highway. What could go wrong?

 

I was inside the Detroit City Limits, on the expressway, when I first noticed something odd.  I lost all acceleration and my radio died.

 

For anyone who knows me, they’ll understand quickly why I had to cross over 3 lanes of 70 MPH traffic to get to the shoulder… I REALLY LIKE the left lane icon wink Heavens Hellfire

 

As I was making my way to what I hoped would be safety, I noticed the faintest whiff of… BBQ?  Then I noticed traces of smoke coming out from beneath the hood (I wasn’t out of traffic yet).  I thought, “Oh, okay, I’m just over-heating.”  Yeah, right.  I don’t know ANYTHING about cars.  I knew LESS at that time.

 

By this time I was already launching up prayers at a feverish pace to the God I believed in but didn’t want controlling my life.  I finally made it to the shoulder.   Not a moment TOO SOON.  Just as I put my trusty Saturn in park, a WHOLE LOT of smoke was pouring out from under the hood.

 

I thought, “Well, I guess the best course of action here would be to pop the hood and take a look.”

 

I mean what was I thinking?! That this was a great idea based on all my previous experience…IN NURSING?  I must have been the guy they talked about when they would say, “he’s often wrong, but never in doubt.”

 

So, I pulled the little lever under the driver’s side dash to release the hood latch.  Then, I walked to the front of the car in my cute, little scrubs, raised the hood, and POOF!

cartoon explosion Heavens Hellfire

 

FLAMES!  That’s right. As a matter of fact, it was more like INSTA-FLAMES!  Then I thought, “WHOA!”  I may have even said it out loud. I immediately began to empty the car of anything I could salvage.  This included my backpack (which I used to hide my…pharmaceuticals), phone charger, random mail, you know, all the normal stuff people have in their cars.  I was also able to save Gavin’s car seat (he was 3 at the time).

 

I waited patiently as all the appropriate public services showed. The Detroit Fire Department came to extinguish.  The paramedics came to do their thing.  And the police came because they had to, I mean, to take an official report… or see if I was murdered.

 

After all was said and done, I was physically safe and sound.  I even made it to work, only a little late.

 

I never found out exactly what happened that day, but I truly believe with my whole heart that God sent a dash of Heaven’s hellfire onto my little Saturn, maybe as part punishment, but mostly as a wake-up call.  But even after such a dramatic experience, I remained “deep asleep.”

 

Up to that point, in 9 years, if I was ever in need, I ALWAYS called my Nik first, and she was ALWAYS there for me.  That day, I was standing on the side of the expressway in Downtown Detroit, with my trusty Saturn engulfed in flames all the way to the backseat (all that remained was part of the backseat and the rear of the car), and I was in NEED.  I called my girlfriend first.  There was only one reason.  I knew… that my wife…… was in labor – with our second child.

 

I Can Forgive, But I Can’t Forget

K6 Leadership_I Can Forgive, But I Can't Forget

 

 

forgive forget I Can Forgive, But I Can’t ForgetThat is a very popular phrase used in relationships when someone gets hurt.  Whether you use this attitude toward your spouse, a family member, or even a really good friend, in my opinion, it’s one of the most damaging held positions you can maintain… Here we go.

 

In the beginning of my and Adams relationship, things happened that caused me to say that very thing.  Of course what I meant was,

“I will say I forgive you, but I will throw it in your face every chance I get, and I will be waiting for the next time it happens.”

 

Which is exactly what I did.

 

He didn’t even have to do anything “wrong”.  I would just accuse him because he was making me “feel” a certain way (which is IMPOSSIBLE; we control our own feelings). Regardless, I felt that feeling a lot.  And by me throwing things in his face just pretty much affirmed what he was thinking.

 

Looking back, I think it was more of an encouragement for him; it was definitely a reason for him to be mad at me.

 

Usually, there are other issues, many in my case, that led up to the affair or affairs.  Obviously the trust gets compromised and it takes quite a while to get it back, if at all.  But there are issues lurking that cause someone to go outside their marriage.  Those are either issues with themselves, or issues within the marriage that need to be addressed, ideally through discussion.

 

In January of 2007,  Adam came to the house to try to reconcile.

 

It was 2 weeks before our divorce was supposed to be final.  See, Adam HATES failing at something.  For ME to divorce HIM left me with total control over that.

 

I LOVED it icon wink I Can Forgive, But I Can’t Forget

 

Anyway, at that time I saw right through him.  To be fair, his “good intentions” were there, but he always had good intentions.  That’s why I stayed soooo long.

 

After watching him for 2 DAYS, I saw the BEHAVIOR was the same and I told him to leave.

 

In April of 2007, a second attempt was made.

 

By this time he had himself cleaned up.  He looked like he had been off the drugs and he sounded good.  But honestly, I didn’t see it coming and I knew that I didn’t want to get back with him.

 

I repeat, I did not want him back.

 

BUT…

  • He sat there in the chair and ADMITTED to what he had done.

 

  • He APOLOGIZED.

 

  • He CRIED.

 

This was a first, so it did grab my attention… for a second.   At that point I did let him stay at the house, on the couch, and get time in with his kids.

 

But the biggest thing I saw over the next few months was HIM changing.  His behavior was changing.  He went above and beyond doing things to show me I could trust him.

 

The phone was a big issue.  He changed his number and only gave it to certain people.  When he talked on it we were always in the same room and he usually had it on speaker.

 

He ALWAYS left it out in the open which he NEVER used to do.

 

He smiled, he complimented, he was actively trying to get better and get better for US, not trying to follow advice of others, and, “be miserable and do it for the kids.”

 

It was like getting to know a completely different person.  Which it was, I guess. And I did not tell him to do ANY of it.  It was his decision.

 

But there is a difference between true forgiveness and the mental attitude of “I can forgive but not forget.”  I am very realistic and completely understand that we can’t just wipe memories from our brain.forgiveness quote I Can Forgive, But I Can’t Forget

 

I know I truly forgave Adam for what he did.  And believe me, I have not forgotten.  But what I use those memories for is to tell stories and give examples to help others.

 

There is not one ounce of spite or disgust for him when I talk with someone about our past.

 

It is just that… our past.  And I can honestly say (and he would back me up) that since we have been back together, I have NEVER thrown anything up in his face or ACCUSED him of his old ways.

 

I am not saying this to brag, but it was a decision I made.  I was not going to live like that again, always waiting for that other shoe to drop and trying to catch him in something else.  If something was going to happen it was going to happen and I had no ties to him (at the point he came back). And truly, I didn’t care. I don’t mean to sound harsh. I just mean, emotionally, I had moved on.

 

It’s not easy to forgive someone when you have been hurt by them.  But it NEEDS to be done in order to repair and heal.  I’m not just talking about the relationship. I mean for YOU to be healthy, sane, and functioning again. Believe me, not forgiving hurts you far more than the other person.

 

Jesus is the perfect example for us when it comes to forgiveness.  That is where I got my strength from and my ability to forgive him in that way.  When we forgive others as Christ forgives us, it makes it so much easier and our heart is softened.

 

To show grace and not resentment is the key.  We are so quick to be offended. I know of people in my own family that choose to live a life of bitterness and grudge-holding. It is SO DESTRUCTIVE.

 

To truly forgive does not mean that you need to be their best friend or even continue in a relationship with them.  Honestly, the decision not to forgive will affect you the most.  There is a greater chance that you will carry that mistrust, anger, and bitterness with you to the next relationship, and the next, and the next.

 

You will not be able to form a serious relationship of value because in your eyes “they are all the same.” You with me ladies?  ;)

 

Behavior will happen that will remind you of your old relationship and you will start accusing him or her of the things that were done to you in the past.

 

So, you can accept the reality and move forward, through forgiveness, or you can keep going the route most go and live with all that poison inside.

 

The choice is truly yours.

forgiveness1 I Can Forgive, But I Can’t Forget

Dark Times…

K6 Leadership_Dark Times...

 

Dark times is how I remember them…

despair Dark Times...It was a hot, humid day in August in 2006.  I awoke with a pit in my stomach as usual.  And it was not because I was 8 months pregnant, though I wished it was.  I had not gotten much sleep the night before because I was up all night going over the phone bill with a fine-tooth comb and looking up numbers I did not recognize.

 

Adam and I were separated; Gavin (our oldest) and I were living with my pregnant sister and her husband.   We were sharing a 9×9 room on a queen bed.  It wasn’t the most ideal situation but to be away from the stress was far more important.

 

Many people asked me why I left with Gavin and not the other way around.  Well, first of all, I didn’t want to give Adam a reason to run into the arms of his girlfriend that he denied having.  Second, I honestly I did not want to be at the house alone.  I honestly would have stayed if it were just the affairs. Yes, there was much more.

 

Let’s back up a few months…

 

The turning point was coming home from one of my OB visits and finding him locked in the bathroom when he should have been sleeping.  He had worked the night before and didn’t want me to leave Gavin because he was “too tired”.  So we went to the appointment and were only gone for 30 minutes.  Gavin really had to go potty.  You know as well as I do that a 3 year old cannot really hold it that well.  He knocked at the door and begged Adam to get out so he could go potty.  After what seemed like forever, Adam opened the door and went to the other room.  I walked Gav into the bathroom to give him a hand, only to find a paper bag containing viles of morphine, a tourniquet, gauze and a needle.  I picked up the bag that was bulging from the bottom of the shower curtain, only to poke myself with a needle.  I was FURIOUS.

 

That is when I decided I would not put my children in harm’s way because of Adams wreckless behavior. That was at the end of March. I didn’t move out until June.   I was promised that the drugs would no longer be at the house.  I searched every day.  It was finally agreed that I should leave.  Adam had convinced me that we would have more of a chance to work things out that way.  Later I had realized it was his way of having more freedom to do what he pleased.

 

So this brings us back to that day in August.

 

I was in Cosmetology school and getting ready to pull an 8-hour day.  All that kept running through my mind was whose numbers were on the phone bill and was Adam really staying at a friend’s house (male) so he could be closer to work for back to back shifts?   This is what I was told when he would not come home after work. He claimed it was easier for work and to be able to clear his head. I believed him because I wanted it to be true.

 

I went into school and just sat there.  I was getting more anxious by the second.  I had went into my instructor’s office to use her computer.  I had brought the list of numbers with me.  So, I started looking up addresses.  I did find the one that belonged to his friend that he was “staying” with.  And I also found another that I believed to be the girlfriend’s.  I took those and left.

 

When I got in the car I called my mom and told her what I had found.  She knew everything that was going on up until this point.  I had planned on going to both places to find him.  I knew he was lying but I had to prove it.  She was getting ready to go to lunch and it just so happened that her bosses were out of town that day.  She offered to go with me.

 

The first stop was not a close one.  And this was before I had Tom Tom or GPS on my Smartphone.  So I had done a Map Quest print out of both.  We arrived in the parking lot of an apartment complex where he said he was staying.  And to my “surprise” his car was nowhere in sight.  I was very upset to say the least.   But at that point I had run into a problem.  I had the address to the girlfriend’s house and the directions but not from where I was… So I called my best friend Kylee.

 

I gave her the number and she gave me the directions I needed to get out of there.  I then gave her my log in for Verizon so she could go on my bill and look up another number.  This one  was not listed but I needed it.  We then headed off for the other address.

 

We drove by that house and did not find his car there either.  So my mom called the number and to our surprise it was her grandmother’s house.  My mom pretended to be a mother of a girl they worked with and that she was throwing a surprise baby shower for her daughter so she needed “her” address so she could send out the invitation.  It was not a success.  The grandmother offered to take a phone number and leave a message.  No thanks.

 

After 5 hours of driving and searching, I came up empty.  At least as far as not being able to find his car was concerned.  On the way home I had gotten a call back from his buddy that he said he was staying with.  I had left him a voicemail when I was at his house to see if Adam was there.   We talked for about 15 minutes and he told me exactly what I had thought.  He was never there.  He didn’t give me too many specifics because he worked with Adam and the one Adam was in a relationship with.  But he did advise me to leave him and just let him go.

 

Come to find out months later, they were at the 2nd house we drove by.  Adam had often left his car at work and they drove together.  Either way, I knew he was not at a buddy’s house.  And I knew my gut was right.

 

My GUT was always right… 99% of the time icon wink Dark Times...  Call it…woman’s intuition.

 

I learned a lot being in a difficult situation like this.  Even if you are not the one destroying the marriage and betraying everyone you love, you still get judged and criticized for the decisions you make… or don’t make.  When you start coming out about the situation it is very possible that you may lose friends because they don’t want the drama or because you are not doing what theywould do.  If someone has not been through something similar they cannot understand. Period.

 

————————————–

 

Let’s look at this for a second and recap a little…

  • I lived with a great friend and her daughter while her husband was fighting in Iraq…we stayed for about a month.
  • I lived with my sister and her husband, who were 2 months behind me in their pregnancy and totally invaded their privacy.  I was staying in the room that she was planning on making a nursery until a month before the birth!
  • My mom, who heard my venting on many occasions, watched Gavin so I could go to school, and went on a crazy man-hunt with me just so I could know the TRUTH.
  • I called my best friend and had her look on my phone bill for a number and give me directions to a house that I could stalk in order to find my husband!

 

These examples are just a few of MANY.  The most importand part of all of this is that God perfectly placed the right people in my life at the right time.  It was only after I was able to heal and let time pass that I realized His perfect plan.  And it is just that, PERFECT.   Even though it may seem a little “crazy” to act that way and become “obsessed” as I did with trying to find the truth; He allowed me to find it in Him.  I am sure there are still some minor details that I don’t know, and honestly I don’t care to.

 

  I Found Truth In Him

 

I always found my peace in my Lord and He was the one I could trust. 

 

I did what I could for Adam in our marriage.  It was time to let go and let him FALL, after all, they were his dark times too.  At that time in my life I had never felt so surrounded by love.   The support I received from friends and family was a huge part in me being able to keep my sanity.  They will never know the extent to which I am forever grateful.

 

They never once judged the decisions I made.  They may not have agreed with them but they supported me through them.

 

Those were the hands that the Lord put in place to carry me through.   It is so important when someone is going through a similar situation that you love on them.  Give them what they need and try to be there for support.   DO NOT judge, do not criticize.   I could have easily blamed God for what was going on and most people do.  In many cases that is the deciding factor in who comes out alive.

 

You can choose to learn and grow or drown yourself in regret and self-blame.   When we are going through a tough time, we often hear “God will never give you more than you can handle.” I like to believe that I am a strong woman.  In a way it makes me fear for what He may give me to “handle.”

 

But I do know this… If I would have gone through this “situation” and would have chose to “drown” myself, we would not be where we are today.  A major part of this is being able to help other people that may be going down a similar path.  To God I give the glory because I could not have gotten through it without Him.

 

Even though I was able to forgive Adam, the very person who caused so much pain, he acknowledged his problems and chose to CHANGE.  That, I believe, is more difficult than anything I could have ever done.  And when that decision was made by him, the same people that were there to support me were there to support him. It was a little bumpy in the beginning (as some shared how they felt) but the bonds that are in place now are stronger than they have ever been in the history of all those relationships.

 

It is so amazing when you have gone through something that makes you question the very God you serve and ask, “WHY?”  It is only after that you are able to see the purpose which He had.   When people ask me how I was able to forgive Adam, I honestly don’t really know.  But I do know this, Jesus forgave the very people who beat, tortured, and murdered Him and hung Him on that cross.   My ability to forgive comes from Him and Him alone.  You and I both have a perfect example to follow.

 

My heart truly breaks when I hear of marriages that are suffering or have ended under similar circumstances.  It is a pain I would not wish on anyone.   But I know that restoration, recovery & redemption are possible because I have LIVED them.

 

You don’t have to continue in dark times. There is HOPE for a happy ending.  It will not be easy, nothing worth having ever is.  But it is possible.

 

If you are not subscribed to the free emails, I strongly encourage you to do so, at least to get the eBook my husband has written…it just might change your life.