How is it that turmoil reigned in my life in my fifties? How is it that church, marriage and life in general became so engulfed in the flames of a horrid force that drove me near the brink of losing my faculties?
Life had all but handed me death on a platter. I made bad judgment in trying to help someone else and it cost me. I worked unceasingly to the point of being seared of any emotional reasoning. Lost were the feelings of why I came to God and service to Him. Anxiety attacks, and depression became a daily exercise of life. The feeling of sitting in a room and suddenly getting that feeling something ominous was about to overtake one such as myself. I wanted to run, yet reasoning gripped my spirit and soul and held me in place. Reasoning told me in the midst of an anxiety attack that if I ran would not the same fear I ran from accompany me on my journey away from that place? Why certainly, it would.
The bad judgment I made I confessed and was forgiven, yet the anguish of the deed still persisted in my mind. It paralyzed me to the point that it began to affect me physically. At the end of it all I was diagnosed as having had a heart attack, yet upon complete evaluation it was found my heart was unaffected by such calamity. I was told anxiety had played a cruel trick on me to the point my cardiologist said the initial tests said otherwise.
I then settled it in my heart even with no feelings or emotions for my faith, family or profession that it was my lot in life and I was to serve out my sentence as a lost soul till the grim reaper came for me.
Still I could not settle for this any differently than a prisoner can stand to look at the bars of his prison and think he’s in a good place. I felt marriage was no longer what I had envisioned it to be even after 36 years of marriage at the time. I started searching for why I felt this way and found many reasons to not continue that path, yet confined myself to it so long as I abided by the tenants of my upbringing that once you marry that it’s for life.
I searched the laws of divorce. I catalogued my findings, yet I could not find the nerve to make the break happen. I was still, for the moment, too fearful of all that was before me if and when I did act on it. My wife would argue, I would argue. It seemed our relationship depended on arguing. She had tried to leave me in about the seventh year of marriage and again about the time all this was going on with me. I should have let her go her way then. The break would have been much easier.
To the root of my recovery. Several months later in the 37th year of marriage I had settled back to starring through the bars of my prison with surrender. My wife and I had dwindled our marriage to being a business partnership. No romance existed and our only contact was with frivolous talk and arguments. We had nothing more in common. We’d grown irreparably apart. Yet my heart was not able to follow through.
Then something happened that became a catalyst to my inability and eventually made the move I had looked at from afar for so long. I came even closer to losing my mental stability during the following months. I sought spiritual counseling and a former Navy Chaplain told me to find someone from the secular realm to counsel with because most Christian counselors he knew were more capable of beating me over the head with a Bible and telling me what I’d done wrong more so than guiding me to correction and civil minded decisions once again. So I sought such counseling and was soon able to deal with the break away from my traditional beliefs.
At about this same time I had met someone in the same situation I was in and she had separated from her abusive husband of 34 years and the first time we met it was as though we’d known each other for eons. Perhaps we had. She had dated and/or hung around with my brother when they were in school together. We were like two broken-winged birds who came together and we nursed each other. My psychologist called her my “shiny new toy” and she would wear off after a while. How much do some people know? That was four years ago. We’re still together stronger than ever. She has been the instrument of God to bring sanity back to my life. I’ve been given the privilege to introduce her to a deeper knowledge of God. We talk together, we laugh together, we weep together. We enjoy the full range of emotions together. We found God together. Now we have a new church family and we know they love us.
I can’t describe what I see in her eyes when she looks at me. They dance with excitement. Her lips spread into a full teeth grinning smile and explodes with light from within. Her arms wrap around me in such a way my whole body trembles in her embrace. I cannot describe in words what I feel when we are together. No night goes by that we don’t talk for at least an hour before we drift off to sleep. Even after all this time, we still have much to talk about. We’re never at a lost for words. I’ve never had that before in my entire life. She’s a light in the darkness I walked in for quite a few years prior.
Libby is indeed the love of a lifetime. The love of my life. I take responsibility for her care. I cover her. I’m been given reason to live again. She is that reason.