Tag Archives: broken marriage

forever and a day

It could have been yesterday.

Hot …. humid… a day scorched around it’s edges by a punishing almost-summer sun.  It was a long hot day and I was so lonely.    I remember that well.

The weight of my twenty years hung heavy around my shoulders. Only two months of space separated me from the dirt and dysfunction of a disastrous and abusive 3-year relationship.

Even then I recognized how close I came to becoming a statistic.

Finally on my own with a place to call home—or at least where I could turn the key in a lock without fear,  I was just beginning to detox from all those years of lying… and laying with a proverbial devil. By this time, I was experiencing something close to the emotional “DT’s”— anxiety, uncertainty and doubt plagued my waking hours and strangely quiet moments.

Chaos… is bad and yet strangely comforting in it’s predictability. To those unfamiliar with it,  sometimes silence feels deadly.    It did that night.


Although we spoke to one another regularly, I felt so far from God. It was as if I was making a collect call to Him every time… hoping He’d accept and always surprised when He did.    He was still very near to me though. How near would take me many, many more years to discover and still more years to embrace.

I had a long way to go to before I’d discover who God really is and at this point in my life I’d long forgotten who I was. Maybe I’d never known at all. It was time to find out.

By the time I’d gathered up enough courage to pack up my 70 Dodge Dart and drive away from hell,  I knew only that life *could* be better and I was allowed to start over.


But that night, I was tired. The deep kind of tired that comes from fighting to get to the other side. The kind of tired that almost makes you forget what you were fighting for.. give up and halfway wonder if it might have been better to stay in “Egypt”…..

And lonely.

forever and a day

All those years of forced-chosen-forced isolation not only left me with little self-respect but, no real friends. One or two hung about the fringes of my life and maybe one would actually answer the phone on a night like this.     Maybe.

One ring.
Two….. three…
On the fourth an unfamiliar voice chirps:

“Widespread Panic Hotline!
We are open for your requests now!!”

HUH?!?!  Checking the number…yes… it was correct and I hear my friend laughing in the background as this crazy…. happy person proceeds to draw me into conversation.

I can’t remember he said.   I just remember how he said it.

He was…. funny.
Stupid funny.
A complete stranger and yet…  not.

My friend got on the line and I heard the words “party”, “come”, “tonight” and before I knew it, I was hanging up to get ready to drive somewhere I’d never been before. Taking another wild chance, on my own.

Funny how your mind works because I was intrigued and excited and scared out of my wits all at the same time. The freedom I felt was intoxicating and yet foreign and  I had to keep telling myself that this was “normal”… people socialize all the time.. yes, it was good to go.

Stepping out the door into the hazy gray softness of twilight, the heat of the day still radiating from the pavement,  I clearly remember  glancing at the sky and catching sight of the moon—round and full of promise.

Suddenly, I felt like that moon:
fat and hopeful,
bright and courageous.

The Honey Moon

And God as my witness, I looked straight into the face of that laughing moon and I knew it.
I felt it…. and  I said it out loud:

“Tonight I will meet the man I’m going to marry.”
I meant it.
And I did.
June 16, 1989.
Twenty five years ago today.

Five months later we’d stand together before a JP and a handful of family and friends and swear we’d do whatever it was we were supposed to do from that point on…. forever.

Like we knew what forever meant!  Lawd….. at that moment, forever was the furthest thing from our minds and yet, when it was all over, there we were— married and our forever had begun.

You know, some people think forever is a long time…. as if it’s a long way off or someplace you get to eventually  or achieve.   I disagree.

Forever is actually…. always…  right now.  It’s always today and each day the choice is made to keep on going within it.

Today, June 16, 2014  is  a piece of my forever….what we like to call our “Little Anniversary”, the anniversary of the day we met. It means more than the day we married.

For both of us, it was a life altering moment.

For me in particular,  it was a shot in the dark… aiming at a minuscule glimmer of hope on the horizon. A moment of near-blind faith and trusting in what little I knew of God to be true…that good was still possible…and still out there somewhere,   for me.

Trusting I had not been abandoned without hope.


And people…. I KNOW…. the struggle is real.

I don’t care where you come from or how long you’ve known each other or were engaged, I’m convinced that no two people come to this place without a lot of wreckage in their wake.  There’s a lot of necessary casting off and taking on. There’s a lot of death and dying to self along the way…and many, many moments of resurrection.

I’m humbled by the realization that there was a time in our recent history when we came
—> this<— close to losing it all and not making it to this day.

When the deep wounds of our pasts would find their way to the surfaces of our individual lives and threatened to poison and kill our marriage.
When there was nothing left to do but slice ourselves open and deal with it all.
When all we could do is  trust and allow God to cleanse,  purify and heal these hurt places in us once and for all.

Painful stuff.

Hard and yet so necessary….

and so beautiful.

Long Term Marriage

Twenty-five years… of coming  so close to becoming a statistic.… and choosing  instead to  listen beyond the noise of the waves crashing on the breakers and fight our way out into the calm of wide-open seas.

Only because we did…. with God’s help…. can we celebrate the gift of our lives together — every day that’s passed between then and now and every day we’ll share from this day forward … forever.

Because forever isn’t far away…. it’s  today.  

Because maybe you need to hear this:  there’s still hope. Keep fighting for it.

It’s worth the struggle…and today, it’s what I know.

I am blessed and grateful beyond measure.

fighting the good fight,Lorretta signature

the view from my broken marriage

It’s Holy Week.

A week of remembering the moments surrounding the single-most important person and event in all of human history:   Jesus.  

Life. Death. Burial. Resurrection.

A week to remember the everything before and after and to rejoice that we can now live from the center of  “It is finished!”

the view from my broken marriage

Yesterday, my youngest and I occupied a pew in the little Episcopal church here in town for the first of five services our community will host this week. Today we’ll be at the Methodist church. It’s one of the many things I’ve come to love about this small country town. One week out of the year we gather in one another’s churches before God, united in the Spirit to worship our Lord and Savior; Jesus. How beautiful is the body of Christ.

 In the brief moments before the service began, I recalled this time from years before and was filled with so much peace and joy for the life in Christ I have today. Because I was remembering how just a few short years ago, I sat in a pew alone, sin sick and heart damaged by so much pain and confusion.

 Everything I thought I knew about all I thought I could depend on was falling apart and crumbling beneath my feet. I was lost amidst my own shattered illusions of what it means to be a minister of the Gospel, a woman, a wife, mother, sister and friend.

I’d come face to face with my own empty definitions, which somehow had become detached or maybe had never been truly attached to their meaning in Christ. I was a lost sheep in crisis and didn’t know if I’d ever find my way back home.

I didn’t know where home could be found and mine……… was falling apart.
Two decades of denial had taken their toll and I could no longer hold back my overwhelming dissatisfaction with the temple prostitute I had become. Angry. Fearful. Frustrated. People pleaser. Need meeter.

 Years of inattention to details, false starts and unkept promises on both sides of my marriage added more and more kindling to the pile of dead wood smoldering  inside of me and before I knew it,

this girl was about to self-combust and burn herself to the ground.

 Of course, the enemy wasted no time… slipping in the well-placed attentions of others under the guise of tending to my neglected intellectual, emotional and spiritual needs. Needs I’d forgotten I had; deeper places and pieces of me I’d set aside early in my marriage thinking I’d get to them later…things all too soon forgotten until I couldn’t forget any more. The 2 Timothy “weak-willed woman”?      That was me.

I was ripe for the picking and I had no clue.

My marriage was in shambles.

Can I just say that? Yes we are both sold out followers of Christ and yes, our marriage was in trouble.

 Honestly, we were both doing the best we could with what little we understood all those years . We’d both come from homes decimated by sin and divorce. Simply staying together would have been enough to do it better than our parents had before. But that wasn’t enough and we knew it. We loved each other and we needed help. But how?

 You know I’ve written an awful lot about mentoring and accountability. It’s because God has used these relationships to change my life and marriage.

God has used other men to minister to my husband helping him to stand firm and walk the walk and other women have counseled me and loved me back from the brink of disaster. It’s scriptural (see James 5:13-20) and it’s necessary.        Do it. 

God's real help******************************

Divorce was not an option but marriage the way we’d been doing it for 20 years wasn’t either. 

We loved God. We loved each other.

However, my husband didn’t know how or where to lead,  I didn’t know who or how to follow and after 20 years, we were getting nowhere fast. The fight was on. We fought like we’d never fought before.  Something had to change; through the prayers of others and constant humbling,  something did:

We got broken.
More broken than our marriage.

Somewhere in the middle of all the battles we stopped fighting…. each other and started to realize we were actually fighting for something far greater, and it was really worth the fight. We also realized we weren’t fighting alone. So we kept fighting for it and kept talking and listening even when it hurt.

I had to find the courage introduce my husband to the woman he actually married (once I found her again myself)  and he had to find the courage to accept and encourage me here.

I had to learn how to communicate my needs respectfully and to encourage and spur him on to greatness in Christ –trusting God to do the work in His life, and he had to learn how to listen CARE-FULLY and not finish my sentences. Ha!

He’s learning how to lead…and where; through and to Christ.
I’m learning how to follow in all the same ways.
We’re both learning to trust and share the load of leading and following under God’s direction.

We hope we get to grow old together with the emphasis on the GROW in the midst of the old.

We are partners.
We are friends.
We are warriors.

Marriage as Co-creation************************** 

It’s Holy week; the time when we remember the life, death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ who is so very real, active and alive in the world today;

I know.

 Because this is the very real life, death and resurrection story He’s made of my broken marriage.  It’s still broken but we’ve decided to keep it that way.

 Because God is teaching us both to do whatever it takes to stay broken ourselves before the Lord and this marriage…this broken marriage… is our testimony and offering to Him; broken and made whole again by God


Dear reader,  I don’t know where you are today but if you are anywhere near where I once was, I want to offer you this testimony of hope; healing IS possible.

Maybe you or someone you know is struggling in this place today or from where you stand, disaster is on the horizon.


Remember! It is FINISHED! Jesus is risen for you and for your marriage today.

And know this: you do not fight alone. I’d love to pray for you and hear your heart.

Broken and Mended,Lorretta signature