I was recently asked why I shaved. I simply said I wanted change. Truth be told, it was so much more. For years, I had been wandering. I forgot who I was. I forgot the reasons I had married my wife. I had began to think I was a psychopath, I no longer had empathy. I had no interest in religion, no interest in God and no interest in being what God called me to be. I had a boss tell his boss that I had serious personalities issues. I’ve been fired, I’ve been humiliated and I’ve been attacked. I started to separate myself from family. I was filled with selfishness, anger and hurt. In all of this, I allowed the demons within me to define me, to defeat me, to hold me in the pit. Shackled to my own demise. The chains clanged loudly to remind me with each decision. I tried to escape all on my own. Afterall, I am a man. I can handle it.
On the 31st of March, just before dinner my wife and I began to talk. Almost to the date, one year before, I ended a 4-1/2 year affair with another woman. It left many questions unanswered in Crystle’s mind. In our 23 years of marriage, I remained faithful for a short period of time. At one point, I scheduled a counseling appointment (without her knowledge) to try and figure out why I was doing what I was doing. I was that guy. That guy searching and trying to fill the void of many wounds. I was that guy trying to cover hurt and pain with superficial affection and attention. For the last year, Crystle has insisted on complete transparency and I resisted. She wanted complete honesty and I could only offer up parts. She initially prayed to be let go from me, to be able to stop loving me. God told her NO.
Over the whole weekend, we laid in bed talking (as this is at times the only sanctuary in our house). I had been praying since the beginning of February for God to show me how much I love this woman and to show me how to love her. He grabbed my heart that weekend and it felt like He was crushing it. I felt pain that I hadn’t felt in years. We talked and cried and then cried and talked some more. I proceeded to answer everything she wanted answered. I had to conquer the demons within me and truth was the only way to freedom. As God was squeezing my heart, tears would flow. I had never cried so much in my entire life. As I hurt and carried on painful conversations, she started to feel the pain release. That weekend was the hardest weekend of my life. I bared all, showed every vulnerability and weakness you can imagine.
My heart was crushed that weekend. I can tell you without a doubt in my mind that I am a new creation. I see everything differently now. I feel His presence. I feel His love. I love all He loves. I need people in my life. I need to surround myself with those that are willing to know my failures and know His grace is my redemption. He has shown me to love her with all I have. I am blessed to have her. I am blessed that she stuck by my side. I told her I will do my best to out love her. Of course, she has a huge lead on me. I finally understood the concept of serve to be served.
Originally saved at 14, rededicated at 41. I have a strong passion for men and marriage. I’ve been there. I have been redeemed and I have been one of the ones who God blessed me with a woman that loves me more than she loves herself. So you see, I can no longer look in the mirror and see that same bearded face I saw for years. I am no longer that man. He plucked me from the pit. That is the reason I shaved.
Thank you Jesus!