The great fire started when I broke and forsook my marriage vows. The sin in my life gave wide open spaces within my marriage, my friendships, and my most treasured relationships for evil to creep in. Satan sifted me, us, like wheat. Some of the damage and destruction that I ultimately caused could not be restored or repaired. Some of the things that were shaken…were irreparably destroyed. My marriage was one of them.
On January 24, 2008, the revelation of an extra-marital affair, through public release of my personal text messages, was plastered across newspapers throughout the United States of America. The “secrets” about the relationship with my friend and Chief of Staff; Christine Beatty, was no longer hidden. The specific words describing the torrid, passionate, and intimate moments of that relationship was in the public sphere for all to see. This was the space that many hateful forces used to employ strategies of unprecedented government intrusions, selective and malicious prosecutions against me, that would last for the next 10-years. These targeted campaigns of evil would cause great brokenness and defeat, separation and distance, sadness and depression, anger and bitterness, even bondage and incarceration.
Over the next 10-years there were some really low lows.
Honestly, I loss my marriage on January 24, 2008. Certainly it languish and limp along for 10-years before the divorce was final…but the marriage was over that day. Even though I tried with all that I was able to give from my wounded, confused, and severely deformed soul…nothing would repair the breach of trust in my marriage. In the midst of being constantly attacked, assaulted, and also maliciously pursued by my own government (and broad-based media), I struggled to be restored and reestablished in the Godly positions of husband and father. I was trying with everything I had…I didn’t have enough.
My sons experienced things that I never had to endure as a child or young man. They were confused, angry, scared, and ultimately the greatest victims in this whole mess. The tears that flowed (during those times) from all of us would later reap great joy, thankfulness, and love. But at that time, it was profoundly depressing.
Through days of incarceration, solitary confinement, and abject depression…I discovered that I was not as strong as I thought, not as smart as I believed, and not as brave as I espoused. My cowardess, passivity, and complete disregard for truth, led me to a place of brokenness and pain that I did not know I could experience. I was at a crossroads. One where I could either choose to live or die. And by the grace, faith, and power of God…I chose Life!
There were many things lost in the fiery trials of the past 10 years; my job, many relationships, and even genuine friendships. But I’m thankful for some things that burned up in the fire as well; my foolish pride, arrogance, ignorance, and inclinations to try to please “people”.
There was a great shaking in my life…and the lives of those that love me as well. But we all have discovered through the shaking, that many things remain.
Today I am giving a victory report; I AM STILL HERE! Not here in bondage…but Free Indeed. Not condemned, but Redeemed. And certainly not depressed, but full of hope, faith, and love. Confidently Expecting to joyfully experience the next season of this Abundant Life I have received.
There was a moment in this journey, when I realized that it would not be about what was lost in the hot days of living hell of the past, but much more, the things that remained. Even more, what was gained through the cleansing effects of the fire. The the fiery fury meant for evil…God made it good!
I am not the same. Everything has changed. And as I stand here today, I know one thing; the long night of despair is over…its Morning Time! There is one great thing about the Sun when it rises in the morning…it needs no formal introduction, no stage to be called upon, and nobody to affirm its glory. All you have to do is back up, move out of the way, and watch it rise, shine. Thank God its Morning Time!