Miscellaneous

Our Story – Chapter 3

My Word From God I needed to hear from God. The state of confusion that I lived in at this point in my life was extremely overwhelming. Many wise people in my life were telling me that I didn’t have to make a decision right away, but I couldn’t live with that. Something was calling me to get some clarity. Noah and I journeyed six hours down I-35 to my childhood home in Georgetown, Texas. I needed someone to take care of us. That someone was my mom. Not only did she play with Noah, which allowed me time to myself, but she cooked for us and cleaned up after us and rented movies for us and took us to eat Mexican food. She’s a terrific mom. But, she also pestered me a little. She was insistent that I go meet with her pastor, Dan Wooldridge. Because I literally had no strength, I didn’t even put up a fight. I was surprised how comfortable I was in Dan’s presence. A true shepherd, he listened to my story and watched as tears streamed down my face. I practically begged him to tell me what he thought I should do. He did something better. Here’s what he said: “I would respect you if you felt that you needed to remove yourself from your marriage. What you’ve endured is very hard. But, you are not a fool to stay and be a part of the redemptive work in a man’s life.” I was and still am absolutely certain that these were the words coming my Heavenly Daddy disguised in a middle-aged Baptist minister’s voice. I knew it immediately. Nearly six years later and I still remember this quote from him…word for word. And I’m so glad my mother was a pest 🙂

42 thoughts on “Our Story – Chapter 3”

  1. I”m near giving up…want to still believe in miracles. Wow…needed to read this…i also have a husband who loves the Lord and has been in some type of ministry for the last 10yrs…suddenly he doesnt’ know what he wants? he left our home over 2 months ago and myself and my girls are left trying to figure out why? and what to do next? his mother assures me it’s not an affair or porn..both of which i thought of as possibilities..our pastor assures me of the same. I know it sounds crazy, but if it were something like that i think I could better understand the stronghold satan has come to have upon his mind…so what else causes a man of God to just leave his family “to try to figure things out” which makes me feel used…”hmmm do i want her or not?” “hmmm is my family worth it or not?” where is his faith that God will restore if he makes the right choice?

  2. Where there is a great battle….there can also be a great victory. What a wise choice to stay and let God give you the honor of being a part of Chris’ healing. Now God has given you a whole new platform to minister from. We only have opportunities to share in His sufferings while we are on the earth…

  3. Cindy, will we hear from Chris? You are both beloved to us, you know? I’d also like to hear of the “redemptive work” God has and is performing in my bud. “He who began a good work…” raf

  4. It’s amazing the things God can and will do with an open heart. How awesome it is to be able to share in the redemptive work of Christ in someone else’s life… If we would open our eyes and hearts to bear one another’s burdens, to truly be the body of Christ! If we truly, deeply loved and lived like Christ, what an impact we could make for eternity.
    Mama, what a joy and treasure you are to my heart!!! Thank you for loving and living like Christ!

  5. Praise the Lord for a pastor that encouraged you and a Mom that pestered! It is so clear to see the Lord’s guiding hand all over this story.

    I love music and contantly have some praise song rumbling through my head it seems. As I read this entry one of my favorite songs by NewSong started racing through my head and I suddenly found myself singing the chorus as I was reading your post. The name of the song is “Rescue” “I need you Jesus, come to my rescue, where else can I go, there’s no other name by which I am saved, capture me with grace….I will follow you” The Lord rescued you and your marriage. I can’t wait to hear the rest of your story!

  6. Ahh! I just love when I find Jesus sleeping at the bottom of the boat in the middle of life’s BIGGEST storms! We are usually consumed by the waves…but He is always there …ready to comfort us! Awesome!

  7. Cindy, I appreciate your honesty. I can remember my own struggles with I began my journey of “hearing God’s voice” in the midst of total chaos. I believe that is one of the sweetest miracles. We are barely able to function. We can’t think or see things around us and yet, God whispers to our hearts.
    My favorite aspect of terrible trials is God’s sweet love that surrounds us like a warm blanket.
    Keri

  8. redemption. it’s a churchy word. but, reading it in your context . . . it gets stuck in my throat, choked by the tears that i’m holding back. i’m in awe of our redeeming God.

  9. YOU got to be an agent of God’s redemptive work in another of His beloved kids!

    YOU got to witness, first hand, his return from the far country.

    Amazing, Cindy…

  10. Hi Cindy, you don’t know me but I found your blog from Anne Jackson. I just wanted to thank you for sharing your story with the world. This hasn’t happened to me personally but I have to admit that I’ve wondered what would happen and how I would react if my husband (who is also in ministry) did the same thing. What a horrifying thought! It constantly reminds me to pray for him and his purity. Thanks for encouraging everyone…it is truly admirable that you stayed in your marriage and worked through this with your husband. God bless you!

  11. These are parts of the journey I hadn’t heard–thanks so much for sharing. I am blessed to see the goodness of God leading you to the right people and the right places as this trial unfolds. It is a reminder that He has everything under control…we just need to listen to His voice.

    I’m so proud of you both! (and would love to meet your mom!) 😉

  12. Hi Cindy, I’ve been reading your blog via flowerdust.net and I am truly amazed and inspired by your story. Thank you for being open and honest and sharing this journey with others. It makes me think of that verse, praise be to the God of all comfort who comforts us so that we can comfort others. I have no doubt He has, is and will continue to use your story in a mighty way for His name and His glory.

    Blessings to you.

  13. This has been an absolutely amazing series. I’m so honoured and blessed by your candor and your vulnerability, even moreso for the hope that you’ve shared with us. God bless you and your family.

  14. No doubt, the hotter the battle, the sweeter the victory. It’s so easy to talk a “good game” as Christians. I am inspired by people like you who live it and not just talk it. Your marriage is no doubt better and stronger for the test it has withstood as well as the honesty that now prevails. Thanks for being so transparent BTW I found your blog on Flowerdust).

  15. Thank you for being vulnerable…and through that vulnerability you have and will touch many broken lives. Broken lives that can be made whole again by the redemptive touch of Jesus. My husband is in ministry also…your story reminds me to be on my knees daily petitioning for my husband’s purity and walk with Jesus. I personally know 2 families going through this devastating experience. I will direct them to your blog. I look forward to…the rest of the story! God bless you and your husband.

  16. Cindy. You are amazing. My heart just swells for you…with love, with empathetic pain, with Christ-inspired joy that comes from knowing you did what Jesus would’ve done–stay in your marriage and let yourself be a part of Chris’s healing (as well as your own).

    It would’ve been easy to leave, but ‘easy’ isn’t always ‘right’. I’m glad your mom’s minister spoke those words into your life rather than just giving you a pat answer. I will keep those words where I can see them–great advice for any kind of relationship!

    God bless you for your transparency.

  17. Just wanted you to know I was reading and thinking of you a lot lately. At first I was like, “I don’t want to read about dark days, especially during this time of year”, but I understand why you’re sharing and I think it’s great! You know I’ve never been much of a sharer myself, but you always have been so open. I admire that. Remember trying to get me to open up? I miss those days! Wow, we’ve come a long way since then. God pulled a miracle on my husband’s addictions as well, and I thank him every day. He is a miracle worker! I love you!

  18. The cool thing about you is that most people (male or female) would most likely not even consider taking their spouse back…but you actually listened and gave God a chance…..

    And you thought your ministry to ladies was over……humphf!

  19. Hi Cindy… You know me by name and I know you through Jim and Beth Kuykendall. I have been told that i remind them of you. It’s crazy to read your story, it’s as though I am reading my own journal. God’s GRACE is sufficiant for us and his love is so powerful in the midst of the hardest days of our lives. Some of the very words you use I have written down in my journal. I am so excited about what God has done in you and is doing in me. Thanks for sharing your story.

  20. Hi Cindy,
    Thanks for including us! You know how much we love you and Chris and we are so proud of you both and your devotion to each other and our LORD! We miss you! I know this will be an encouragement for many, many people, as there are many who are suffering and experiencing what you both have been through.
    God Bless You and have a Blessed Christmas. Give Chris, Noah and Seth a big hug from us. We love you so much!

  21. Hi Cindy,
    I found you from April’s blog (To Live is to Love). Thank you for writing about story. I can’t wait to read tomorrow. What amazing words.

  22. Cindy, I have been influenced so many years by mastering the BIble. Even though I have been out of the Bible off and on for so many years (about 6), this year I began to dig back in and start reading it every morning. I have read so far this month Numbers, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Jude, Ruth, currently reading Lamentations and will read Matthew for the remainder of December. Do I remember much of what I’ve read? It doesn’t sink in very well, because I have to get up at 4 am to get ready for work. A cup of jave and the word and off to work at 5:30 or 6:00am. But the fact that I can read so much keeps me more focused around a group of foul language employees and tons of cigarette smoke. It helps me stay positive and be a positive influence on the other fellow workers there. I WANT THE BIBLE TO MASTER ME MORE though. That will take even more time.

  23. Thank you so much for sharing with us. so good to hear of redemption when everyday I seem to hear mostly of the destructive work of satan. Thanks mostly for bearing witness and being a survivor and for your transparency. It gives me hope. You are brave. Each day I have hurried to have quiet time from my 3 little boys to check in and hear the rest of the story:) I look forward to hearing from chris and hearing more about your amazing grace regarding your middle little man. God is truly good!

  24. Your right, your story is getting sweeter. What the enemy meant for evil God turned for good and for His glory. God is truly using you and your husband’s redemptive story to show first hand hope, and change lives and marriages. Awesome!

  25. Cindy,
    I found this blog by accident. It is so wonderful to think that the Lord is using you to witness to His grace. Grace is something we truly want from God, but often struggle to extend to others. The closer they are to us, the deeper they can hurt us, and the greater the grace required to continue to love and care. Great grace has been upon you. May I also say that it takes great grace for Chris to allow you to share this story which surely is a painful memory for him. I pray for you both that God will use you to save marriages and to encourage broken hearts. Dan Wooldridge, Georgetown

  26. “I would respect you if you felt that you needed to remove yourself from your marriage. What you’ve endured is very hard. But, you are not a fool to stay and be a part of the redemptive work in a man’s life.”

    Very encouraging! My pastor said the same to me, not in the same words. My situation is different in that I would love to be part of “the redemptive work in a man’s life,” if only he were a willing vessel.

  27. So…this is what I will be doing today. Reading your book! Thanks for making it so easy. I just wanted to let you know you were Pastor Dan to me, when you said…..”God won’t love you more if you stay and he won’t love you any less if you leave…..you just have to decide what you can do.” I still find myself repeating those words some days. It’s a process and I am so glad to read about your journey as I am on mine. thank you!

  28. I found about you on another web site and so glad I did…You are truly an encouragement…Your words I read tonight were just what I needed to hear…Thank YOU so very much for sharing. I am just now reading your story.
    May God continue to use You for His honor and glory!

  29. Thank YOU SO much for your testimony, and thank God that He has given you the restoration and peace to serve as a testimony for so many other women who are trying to figure out what to do because they too are suffering just like you did. Your story is definitely to God’s glory!!! I’ve been married for 9 yrs but I have been struggling in my marriage for 5 years and have encountered many, many infidelities in the last 5 years, all since my husband’s return from Iraq and soon after, him leaving what he was created to be from God, which is to be a soldier. God spoke to me right before he was to return from Iraq to retire from the army, and said that he couldn’t leave the army or we would see total destruction in our marriage and family, and because I couldn’t figure out how to convince him to stay in the army, he got out, and i have seen and suffered nothing but total destruction. But even with all of this, God has not yet given the ok for us to divorce, recently stopping our divorce in the courtroom. We have been separated for a year now, and are trying to salvage our marriage, but he doesn’t get much encouragement from family or friends. God has promised restoration of our marriage and family, but it does get hard at times to hang on. My husband has been lost ever since he left the army. But one thing i can say is that God, in the last 5 years has brought me so much closer to Him and to the point where I am beginning to serve Him at church, interpreting the Sunday service into Spanish. The words you mother’s pastor gave you, that you would not be a fool to stay touched me very deeply as I feel like a fool at times thinking that the grass will be greener on the other side, and each time i beg God to let me get out without me being out of His will, He reminds me of the promise that my husband will serve Him too, so I must stay. I have learned to see my husband with eyes of compassion as he is hurtful because he is hurting and doesn’t know how to let go of the hurt. He is completely lost right now, but God has begun to call unto him in the last couple of months, and its just a matter of time. It’s been very hard, but I look forward to finally seeing the day that our marriage is completely restored and healed, and the day that it will also be an encouragement for others who need to believe that God can heal and restore ANYTHING, no matter how impossible it may seem. May God continue to bless you ;-)…

  30. Dear Cindy it’s very hard, and what the pastor told you is from the Heavenly Father and that confirms what I heard last night. I asked my husband to leave for a couple of weeks, I have no place to go with my three teenagers, my mom is paranoid skidzophrenic, she threw me out when I was 14, she lives far away. My dad wouldn’t help me if his life would depend on it. Thank you Heavenly Father for helping me!

  31. Celine , your mom is so nice to take you to someone to talk too. I wish my mom would care about me in that way. There’s no one that really care if i get a divorce or not. I have to keep seeking the Lord for answers. There’s always nice to have someone to talk too. But i am waiting to see what God do in my marriage. I love you celine as a child of God.

  32. I believe that any time we choose to love, God jumps right in there with us and loves too. You are to be admired Cindy because you did not stay out of desperation and insecurity, but a true sense of love for your husband. You are a real testimony of God’s love, and one day your children will thank you and respect you because you have loved in the toughest situation. It is clear that your husband truly repented because he confessed to you. He was willing to bring his darkness into the light and this always dispels darkness. God really created a ministry in you. I am going to remember this during this huge trial I am experiencing now. Pain and adversity are the only companions that can prepare us for the ministry. Thanks for your willingness to share your pain with us. I have questioned God about pain and persecution many times. Now Celine’s word from God has broken open my confusion and I am back in the light again. It broke the spirit of doubt and unbelief that was settling over me!

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