Saturday, April 21, 2012

Our Story... Part 1

Christophe set this blog up several months ago, and I guess it is time to introduce myself, too. My name is Cherie (for the purpose of this blog ;))...I am 35 years old...just an ordinary, typical busy mother and wife. We have 2 daughters (5 and 2 and both miracles of infertility) a dog, a cat, and a yellow house on the edge of the woods...but no picket white fence.

This is my feeble attempt to try and tell our is raw, it is real, it is quite ugly.  But out of that ugliness, a beautiful love story is emerging....a love story of an Amazing Savior who is working in our hearts in our darkest of times, teaching us the miracle of forgiveness and grace worked out in normal, everyday people like us.

Christophe and I met before either of us can really remember. Our families grew up knowing each other, and we started going together in 1996. He was my first boyfriend, and I was his first girlfriend, and I always said that I would not have it any other way!! We truly were in love, and we got married in May of 1997.

Sadly though, it didn't take long for our problems to surface, and then get buried without ever being dealt with properly. We both *thought* that we were saved, *thought* that we had an understand of what salvation meant....but in this last year we realize that the key components of Salvation (ie grace, forgiveness, justification, and more grace) were very lacking in our relationship.

The first few years of our marriage were great...I knew that Christophe struggled with lusts, but he kind of convinced me that it was an issue in the past, that he had dealt with them and it wasn't really a current issue to talk about.  Around 2006, I had a gut instinct start to kick in that something wasn't quite right...I wasn't positive....I kind of approached him about it....and I kind of buried it, where it festered and mushroomed.  Communication obviously was not our forte!

It was around that time that I became aware of Christophe's interest in another woman in our Church.  His head would turn, and he would watch her....he would recall things that she said for months.....and it made me feel super insecure and anxious, and had no idea how to deal with it.  Stewing over it was my answer instead of taking it to our Maker and Creator who knows our hearts.  There are many, many painful moments from these months and years, and it isn't profitable to spell it out in details.

In August of 2009, we gave up trying to have another baby naturally.  With our oldest daughter, we went through 7 years of infertility, and we were super shocked when we found out we were pregnant.  My doctor had thought that perhaps my condition had reversed itself, so in 2009, we went through the testing all over again....but all the answers were bleak at best.  We left the office and in the parking lot together said that if we were going to have another baby, it would be all GOD...and we were at peace about it.

In September, just one month later, we vacationed in Maine.  An incident happened that once again aroused my suspicions that things weren't quite right in our relationship.  Though we had sex, my heart was far from in it, and I turned away and thanked the Lord for our infertility.  That was a seed of bitterness...and that seed of bitterness fell on fertile ground, and grew and grew and grew.

I knew almost right away that I was pregnant....and with that pregnancy I was hiding a horrible secret.  I despised the relationship that we had as husband and wife, and this baby was not conceived out of love and passion and desire....I was pretty positive that it was born out of passion and desire for another woman, not me!  Even though I was happy that we were adding another baby into our family, my heartache (and bitterness) grew.  Every time I felt nauseous, I blamed Christophe.  As the time grew near to give birth, I did not want this baby to enter the world.

Our second daughter was born at 12:30 in the morning on a Saturday morning, and she was beautiful....but I didn't see beauty in her.  I wasn't sure what was wrong with me, but I felt no love, no desire, no thrill at having given birth...and in hindsight, I recognize that my heart was FULL of bitterness.  Three days later, our baby girl started having some health issues, and we spent the next 12 or 15 days in one doctor's office or another.  It was so stressful.  They were threatening to admit her into the NICU, and I just felt bewildered inside, guilty, and like this was the payment that I deserved for not having desired to give birth in the first place.  There was one awful day where I just laid in our bed and cried....Christophe tried to comfort me and I just pushed him away.  He had no idea the battle going on in my soul that was raging towards him.  I was angry and very, very bitter.

But God was working, even in those early months....He helped me to realize that it wasn't Baby K's fault that we had issues in our marriage, and HE planted a love for her deep in my heart that started to grow.  I still felt horribly guilty for the way that I felt towards her initially, and I spent many days trying to over-compensate for it.

Unfortunately, through the winter of 2010/11, K. was once again a very sickly baby.  She had horrible reflux tummy issues, and we spent that winter hunkered down in survival mode.  As a result of being housebound with 2 children under the age of 5, I kind of went a little bit crazy, or so I thought.  I now see that God was starting a huge work in me, but I didn't see it as that at first.  At first it was just one panic/anxiety attack, but it wasn't long before I spent my days going from one anxiety attack to the next.  I couldn't prepare breakfast for my family, without the feeling that my shoe was caught in the railroad track and a train was rushing at me at 100 miles per hour.  These were dark days for sure.

By the time Spring arrived, something had to change...I couldn't go on living like this, and it was either pills, the loony bin, or finding courage to talk to our Pastor.  I finally found nerve and approached him on a Sunday night, and went to talk to him the following Friday.  I am SO THANKFUL for a Godly Pastor who is gracious, kind, understanding, and took me to the foot of the Cross and Scripture to deal with my demons.  The first thing he had me do is memorize 2 Corinthians 10:4:

For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty in God, for tearing down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God; bringing every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.

That verse became my food and drink, and was before me every morning, every noon, every night, and in the middle of the night.  I learned to turn to Jesus and hold onto Him, to turn from these evil thoughts of anxiety and find peace.  It was a gradual process, but I was so thankful for the relief and focus.

A few weeks later, in having that verse in front of me all the time, I became convicted that my thoughts "were not in captivity" in regards to the situation that my marriage was in.  I was still very bitter against Christophe, and that was NOT obedient to Christ.  So on Communion Sunday in May, I left a screaming Baby K in the nursery, and went out to confess my sin to my Savior.  I poured it all out to God, K's conception, my pregnancy, her birth, my anger at both her and Christophe...and recognized that I was in desperate need of mercy for these sins that had built in my heart and soul.  I also pleaded with God, offering up a mustard-seed sized piece of faith, to please move this huge mountain in our marriage that was unmovable to me.

That night, around midnight, I confessed the whole sordid tale to Christophe, and asked him to please forgive me.  The feeling of freedom that washed through my soul was unlike anything I had ever felt before or since.  It was liberating, freeing, and for the first time in over a year, I looked at my husband with desire.  I thanked God for the courage I needed to face this head on.  Christophe had no idea what had been going on in my heart, and it was a shock to him, I think.  We cried together, prayed together, and I think this was the first realization that we had work to do in our marriage.

What I didn't realize was that this night, was opening up an even bigger can of worms......

(To Be Continued....)

No comments: