Our Story – Chapter 4

Let the Healing Begin The morning I woke up to head back to Oklahoma from Texas was the first morning in weeks that peace was upon me. Actually, peace covered me like a blanket and let me tell you, it was well received. While it was only a few weeks in the pit of despair, it felt like a lifetime. Chris greeted us with open arms and a warm home. He’d spent that week grieving himself and hoping his wife would return to give it another shot. We were about to embark on the most difficult road ever…the road to healing and restoration. While there were plenty who were skeptical of Chris’ heart, he proved to be the real deal. Many men in his situation might have waited to find a “better” job…one more comparable to his previous one. Chris, on the other hand, only wanted to provide for his family doing whatever was necessary. He began selling 2X4’s at a local home improvement store and did that successfully for 18 months. It is not by accident that I landed a part-time position at LifeChurch.tv just six weeks after Chris’ resignation. I was around the lead pastors on a daily basis and I’m sure my face was a litmus test as to the condition of our marriage. Not only that, but these amazing men and our congregation, led by our senior pastor, Craig Groeschel, supported and loved us from day one. Many ministers who fall into this type of sin end up next to the curb. Even though it was difficult, my pastor and friend took the narrow road for which I am forever grateful. Chris began to build back my trust in him. He was accountable to a few and never once got defensive when I needed to share how I felt. As we endured the pain and the consequences of his actions, I committed to God that I would not throw Chris’ sin back in his face. Frankly, I didn’t need to…the man lived in brokenness. And still, to this day, he has NEVER been defensive when I have asked questions or when I tell him I’m hurting. He will tell you that he is willing to spend the rest of his life working to rebuild my trust if that’s what it takes. Isn’t that amazing? I mentioned that Chris only worked at the home improvement store for 18 months. His length of time there was only cut short by the new role that Craig offered him at LifeChurch.tv. And within a year of his new position there, he’d be leading the same campus where he fell some two and half years earlier. Talk about kicking Satan in the… I’m sorry, did I say that out loud? We are not at the end. The restoration is progressing, but not over. We still have our days where it hurts. Days where we re-live it when others go through a similar situation. Days where we have to explain to our 8-year old why he has a brother who is not his mother’s child. And the fact that we have an amazing relationship with Chris’ son and his mom is nothing short of a modern-day miracle in itself. Come back tomorrow. More good news is on the way.

25 thoughts on “Our Story – Chapter 4”

  1. It was a blessing to witness the healing and restoration. We would see Chris at his building supply store and his countenance was good….he was humble and he was healing.

    I am also blessed to be part of a body of believers who are willing to take the risk in restoring a repentant man to a place of leadership. This is part of the miracle!

    Thanks again for your vulnerability and willingness to share your heartaches so others may be healed. Love you both!

  2. This all just makes my heart so happy! It makes me love Jesus all the more….It makes me love our church all the more…and it makes me love you two!!! God is our Healer….and when we are humble and broken He can change the world thru us!

  3. it is AMAZING not only to hear about the restoration of your covenant of marriage, but of the Scriptural process that Craig and the other LC leaders took in an effort to return Chris to a place of pastoral ministry.

    looking forward to the more to come…:)

  4. You have been in my prayers all week. I know that you and Chris are helping many people this week with your restoration journey. Love You! Pam

  5. Thank you for writing about your story. I am really benefitting from reading it. You are an amazing woman. I admire you so much!

  6. We limit God and don’t really understand that He is capable of doing more than we can ask, think or imagine…my version says (dream or fantasize).

    We like everything now, quick and easy and no one is willing to wait on the Lord to get His best – in the end, we do it our way & settle for “OK.”

    Imagine if you hadn’t stuck it out, Cindy. You would have a broken family, unsupervised visitation, bitterness (at least for a little while), instead, you forgave and restored this broken man…

    To have the unity Christ prayed for in Jn.17, we have to learn to LOVE, forgive and restore the Body of Christ.

    Thanks for giving us an example to follow!

  7. Thank you for sharing your story. I have also been through the valley and now am finally beginning to see some light and healing found safe in HIS wings. I praise God for the godly men and women who prayed us through. It has been an encouragement to me to hear of your strength and the realness of it all. It is only through God that we can find the love and trust that we need every… single… day. Praise Him that HIS mercies are new EVERY morning!

    Satan wants only to kill, steal, and destroy….BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD! EVERY knee will bow at the name of JESUS…even Satan! AMEN!

  8. Cindy, the grace you extended to Chris was indeed the grace of God working through you. I’m so happy to hear that Chris sincerely changed his heart. It sounds next to imposible to repair this kind of hurt – a hurt you obviously both share and heal from. Thank you so much for sharing this amazing story of forgiveness. It’s something I will always remember and treasure in my heart.

  9. it just twists my heart and wrenches my gut and to think there are people who won’t forgive because someone was rude to them in the hallway. Forgiveness mixed with unselfish love is a powerful thing.

  10. Cindy, Your writings are such a Blessing and are helping so many who have walked in those shoes. I love you guys.

  11. Cindy – I have truly witnessed God’s hand in your marriage. Having been so close to you both during the time Chris was in the midst of his struggle, and knowing the strength of the bond you now share – there is no other explanation except for God’s grace and your willingness to trust Him.

  12. It’s amazing to me that I had literally been back at work at LC for TWO days when everything hit the fan at our hosue….I know that was a God thing. I would never have taken the road we took if I wasn’t working here….or at least I don’t think I would have. Had I still been staying at home I think I would have just packed it up and headed to my parents in Texas…..that would have been easier. But God knew what he was doing and he knew I needed my LC family there DAILY….so back to work he sent me. Just in time. 🙂

  13. WOW I pray I never have to go through this, but it sure is good to know Jesus made a way where there seemed to be no way! God bless you guys always and thanks for sharing!

  14. Glory to God! Even through this difficult time I can see Victory on the Horizon, I can see it, thank you Lord!

  15. Hi – di d the relationship with your Husband’s other son and his mother come easy? Did you have to work to get to where you are now? Would love anything you can share on this. Looking for guidance. Thank You.

  16. OH, boy God is good not some of the time but all of the time. Girl , Girl that is God at work in your relationship. What a story , how God can take the bad and turn it into new. But we as people of christ we have to be open to receive what come’s next. May God bless you and your family. That is a blessing , i cryed when i read this. Maybe because my marriage is on the rocks. Now for the next part.

  17. thank God for whats He’s done in your life, i wish all couples going through hard time in their marriage could read and learn from what i’ve just read. i pray God to give me the kind of strength and courage he’s give you to be able to endure all things. May the good Lord to continue to lead your thru

  18. Thank you for sharing! I know we all go threw difficult times. I now realize the battle is not mine but it’s so hard to let go! I’m prayerful and hopeful that HE will work it out!

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