‘I Do’ | The Restoration of Marriage
By John F. | Staff, Recovery & Transition Program Graduate
I met my beautiful wife when I was 18 and she was 16. We met while working at a supermarket, I worked every day of the week and she worked during the weekends. We liked each other and soon began a relationship. We remained a couple for approximately 5-6 years before we got married. We got married through the civil court and not the church because, I did not know anything about Christianity and we were never interested in the Catholic Church.
We had a wonderful family, one beautiful young girl and boy. I was a proud husband and father, I had what every person desired, a family. I would soon miss entering my home and seeing my family in the living room laughing and enjoying each others company. This soon ended when I relapsed. At this moment I was a recovering drug addict, I had stop consuming for a few years already, but the shadow of addiction followed and caught up to me.
Every single day that I worked I wasted it all on drugs. After work, my schedule was simple, go to my dealer, then go to random house and consume till I had nothing left, and finally I would return to my home. I never did drugs at home and always attempted not to enter my home under the influence. The doors to my home were always opened, it was where I would sleep off my drug use and repeat the cycle the following day. This became too much for my wife because, when you are using drugs you forget everything about responsibilities especially in my case the role of a husband and father.
My wife and I came to a mutual agreement that separation and a divorce was needed, because, remaining a family was toxic to everyone. The process of divorcing my wife took a heavy toll on me, even though, by that point I didn’t hold on to any responsibilities. My soon to be ex-wife became a father and mother to our children.
For some a divorce like this can shake someone up to the realities of what they are losing but, this separation nor the loss of my children changed me in any way. Rather, I went deeper into the abyss of my addiction. I began to feel lonely and depressed, I missed entering my home and being in the midst of my family. The only place I now found refuge was in the arms and embrace of drugs. I consumed drugs daily, I essentially lived to do drugs. Let’s put it this way, if I had 50,000 pesos, 40,000 would go towards drugs and 10,000 to food. Completely forgetting that I needed to provide for my children, who never received a penny, clothing, not even a pair of socks during this time. At this point in my life, I had nothing to live for, I was alone, lived on my own, and was isolated from everyone. There were many nights in which I sought to end my life, especially through overdoses. I would start a night doing drugs and continued on nightly binges. I had no way of controlling what was happening to me.
It wasn’t until two years ago that I sought help. After spending a year consuming drugs every day, I ran out of options for help. I sought God for help when I had nothing left. Sadly, this is the conclusion for many, when it should be the first option. It was through a pastor from my mother’s church who connected me to Ciudad Refugio. So, there I was taking the first step at restoration. I got admitted into the men’s rehabilitation program, it consisted of 1 year of restoration, 6 months of transition, and now I have 3 months post transition.
In the midst of being in the program, I began to learn more about God, the love of God, the restorative power of God through prayer and reading the Word. I even learned of the important component that family plays in restoration and being here reminded me of that responsibility I left behind. I now craved to have my family back especially my children, I wanted to be a father once again. It’s interesting, because I was admitted into this rehabilitation program to restore myself and my family, but while in this program, the devil was continually telling me that if I want to see restoration in my family I have to go to them and that I was already “fixed” I no longer needed this program. I thank God for my leaders and counselors because they continually helped me when I was close to giving up.
While in the program, I did not communicate with my ex-wife, it wasn’t until the 6th month of entering the program that my ex-wife decided to come visit with our children. Even then we didn’t speak to each other. But, she continually came to the church service that were held at the foundation before visitation. After I finished the program, she didn’t want anything to do with me nor with God and stopped coming to church for a few months. In fact, she proved this by being with someone else, what hurt was that it was a mutual friend of ours. This completely broke my heart, I thought I lost it all and once again I wanted to pack my bags and leave everything behind.
I still loved my ex-wife, and wanted to see our family get together, but because of the restorative process in my life, I didn’t dare tell her nor signaled to her what I felt, I did not want to create a fantasy that probably didn’t exist. Despite these news of her being with someone, I sought God to be my refuge and strength. I would continually pray for restoration of my family.
One day during visitation she was friendly towards me something that never happened before and so I asked God for a clear sign from Him in regard to my ex-wife. I simply prayed “God if this is you changing my ex-wife, then before anything could happen between myself and her, Lord I asked that she surrender her life to you, and that she would follow you wholeheartedly without the pressure of anyone”. I made this prayer and within a week I forgot about that prayer.
A few weeks later she started coming to church more regularly, week after week, she was there sitting and paying attention attentively unlike other times where she would easily get bored. She was acting different, she would call me and ask for my advice on random things and problems that she was facing. Something was off, she was coming to me for support, of all people, this was uncommon especially coming from her. I was trying to understand what was happening because a few weeks ago she wanted nothing to do with me. So, one night I asked God is this from you or not, because I knew I liked and loved her, but I wanted to make sure that I was not creating this all in my head. That night I went to sleep and woke up being reminded of the prayer I made and the answer that I was witnessing.
So, within a few days I approached her in front of my leaders and asked her if she wanted to mend our relationship and family. And to my amazement she said YES, and fast forward to today, I am happily married, we got married through the church and I now get to go home to my beautiful wife and children.I was blessed to have restoration in my marriage, my wife is my best friend, someone who I admire for all the moments that she spent raising our children and never giving up on our family.
“As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord” – Joshua 24.15