Why Me?

With each passing day, I would pray for God to hear my prayers. The feeling I had in my heart, like that of swallowing hard, was too much to bear. Not knowing where my husband was or if he was even alive and the 'not knowing' was so painful I wanted to die.

Married at just the young age of 19, to a man who I later found out had a drug addiction, was quite overwhelming. I had no family in town, and no church to call my home. I knew 'of the Lord', but didn't have that close personal relationship with Him. Just three months after our wedding, our marriage began to spiral into a deep abyss of darkness.

Grasping for anything that made sense, I would live day to day with the uncertainty of him even coming home. Hour after hour, I cleaned my home fanatically to keep my mind busy. Laying in bed begging God to let me know my husband was alive, countless sleepless nights, and feeling like my prayers were just bouncing off the ceiling, I wondered when this real life nightmare was going to end.

This is my journey. The journey I took to find the Lord. "Why me?", I would ask Him.

Have you ever asked the Lord that same question? "Why me, Lord? Lord? Can you hear me? Are you out there?" He gave me my answer, only many years later, after He taught me several life lessons about my own short comings.

In and out of churches, we stumbled. Destined to fail time and time again. Detesting the nights he would bring his 'buddies' home, agonizing through the nights he didn't come home, and wondering why I was still at home left me confused, angry, and lost.

I prayed for the Lord to send a Christian man to my husbands place of business. I pleaded with the Lord day in and day out for a godly example to work with my husband. I prayed diligently for the Lord to send someone, ANYONE who could teach my husband how to be a godly husband and father.

One hot sunny afternoon, he came home from work quite angry. The position he was applying for within the company had just hired a man from Southern California to fill that position. He was devastated! He informed me that the new guy was coming to OUR home that night. "HERE?", I asked. In about an hour the man arrived. He sat on the couch just across the small living room we had. Nicely dressed in slacks and a collared shirt, he began to share his testimony of salvation through Jesus Christ.

I sat on the arm of the couch just behind my husband, and listened attentively as he described exactly how he got saved, who he prayed with and how he grew in the Lord while attending the church his wife had been going to. I struggled to keep my mouth shut as I wanted to let my chin drop to the floor. Then he said the most amazing words, words that I will NEVER forget,

"I don't know why God has brought me to Northern California, but I'm here and would like to invite you to the church I am now attending. My pastor recommended it and I think you'll like it."

Tears welled up in my eyes, to the brim! I wanted to shout from the roof top, "I know why you're here! I've been praying for you to come!" However I didn't want to make my husband feel uncomfortable. We were on the verge of splitting up. I actually had his bags packed for him, but he hadn't gotten to the room yet when this man arrived. It was an interesting night, as my husband agreed to go to this man's church on Sunday. I was in a whirlwind of amazement and stunned with unbelief. The evening felt as though it was in slow motion and I was watching from an outside angle. The man invited us to come meet his pastor that week and we agreed.

That Sunday was Father's Day of 1994. We attended church and the people were very friendly. The new co worker had convinced their employer to keep my husband on board and his wife befriended me. She invited me to all the women's meetings and activities. I thanked the Lord daily for sending this man to my husband's side.

A few weeks into attending this church and my husband began to stay home. I went every time the doors were open. I was starving for the Lord and for the teaching of the Word of God. I jumped in without looking! This, of course, was not what my husband had in mind.

The next six years were heart wrenching. My husband spiraled down into that abyss of darkness yet again. Many days would pass and I wouldn't know if he was coming home or not. The daily life of a woman who watches her husband wither away, from using drugs, is an experience I wish NO ONE would have to go through. It was during this time that I would seek the Lord in prayer and through His Word with much intensity.

He taught me numerous lessons of faith, longsuffering, and meekness, just to name a few. It was on January 24, 1995 that I realized I needed a more intimate walk with Christ. I had known that Jesus died for the sins of the world, but it never dawned on me that He died specifically for ME. I knew I wasn't perfect and that I needed the Savior. That night I sat down with a lovely lady and she prayed with me. I sobbed uncontrollably! Keep in mind that not everyone sobs when they trust Christ as their Savior, but I certainly did.

Just a short time after this, my husband and I split up. Through a series of very unfortunate events, it was time to go our separate ways. I recall the night when he left and said goodbye. I felt like my soul was being ripped violently from my chest. It was a grieving night that left me sleepless as my daughter cried and begged for her daddy not to leave. The intense expression of fear and grief I saw on her face that night was piercing my heart. Had it not been for the incredible support of the church body, I don't think I'd be here today. My life had ended that night. The only thing that kept me going towards the Savior were my daughters. We had an infant at the time, but thankfully she has no memory of those times.

Many months went by and I didn't know if he was dead or alive. None of his old buddies had seen him in months! I knew it was time to commit myself to fasting for him. My prayer life took on a metamorphosis, the Lord was transforming my prayer life into what he wanted it to be. On a Sunday morning I stopped to pray, I knelt down and begged God to speak to me. "Why me God?" Just then a woman who had just moved back to the area, but who I didn't know very well, came to my side. Here is what she prayed,

"Dear Lord Jesus, I have no idea what this lady is going through. I only know her husband does not attend church with her. Please show her how to love her husband as you would have her to love Him. The way YOU would love him."

Just then it hit me! I had been praying all this time for God to change him so *I* could have a good husband, so *I* could have our financial needs met, and so *I* could be happy again. That sweet woman prayed with the power and leading of the Holy Spirit. That morning I knew it wasn't about ME and how *I* felt, it was about how God felt. My husband had been forsaking the Lord, not me. My prayers took on power as I began to pray for my husband to be right with the Lord, so that the Lord would be pleased, not me. I prayed for his relationship with Jesus. Through prayer and fasting I saw my life, my heart, and my mind changing. My heart became sincere towards my husband. No more selfish prayers for MY benefit. It was all about the Lord and my husband.

I was an assistant in the sunday school ministry at the time I received news that my husband was indeed alive. I was sitting in the third grade girls Sunday School class when the secretary opened the door and handed me an envelope. It was addressed to the church with my name on it. In the return address corner it had his name and an address in Oregon. "Oregon?!? Wow he sure is a long way from home.", I thought. Then fear gripped my heart. I could barely breathe. Tears filled my eyes and I bit them back as hard as I could. I feared it was a divorce request, when the Holy Spirit gently rebuked me with this message, "How dare you think the worst after praying for so long. Do you not believe in me?" I slowly and quietly opened the envelope to find that he had found himself in a church where the pastor admonished him to go home and make right with his family and make his marriage work!

I had to slip out of class as I knew I would lose it at that moment. As I entered the hallway and friend asked me why I was so upset. I was so excited to inform her that they were happy tears. She hugged me and I sobbed on her shoulder and thanked God for His faithfullness.

Over the next six months he attended church with me. He seemed excited to get his life back together and make it work this time. We journeyed together through a new found courtship, getting to know one another all over again. He eventually moved back home with me and our two daughters.

Sadly, the world still had it's pull on his life. His flesh was weak, and his addiction was strong. It wasn't long before he was using drugs again and missing for days at a time. This time I wasn't going to nag him about it. Nagging did me no good last time. This time I wanted to be a godly wife, who loved and not condemned. Each time is buddies would come by I would be kind and offer cookies and milk. They usually preferred sodas, but always enjoyed the cookies. Each time they would leave I would kindly invite them to church. My husband would roll his eyes, but these men were always so nice about it. During these many months I saw several of his buddies come to church and trust the Lord as their Savior, but my husband would find other buddies to spend his days and nights with.

One Friday afternoon, he came home and said that he wanted to go to the local rescue mission for help. I got a sitter for the girls and we went to their office, where we met the founder of the ministry. We had a very good talk with him. He explained that it was a 12 month live in program, but free of charge. He admonished us to counsel with our pastor before making this commitment. He had said that if my husband was serious, that he should come back Monday morning. "Oh no!" I thought. (Secretly wishing the man would cuff him to the chair) I feared my husband would change his mind over the weekend. Saturday and Sunday came and went and he had made no effort to prepare himself for this change. I spoke to our pastor and he supported the decision and knew the founder personally. That gave me great comfort!

Monday morning I heard a familiar sound. It was the sound of the suitcases being pulled from the closet. Only this time it wasn't to leave us, but to voluntarily commit himself to twelve months of rehabilitation.

Our girls and I took him down to the facility and said our goodbyes. It was an emotional moment, but one of the best decisions he has ever made.

I saw him grow spiritually, and physically. He began to gain his weight back and looked healthier than ever. He had a smile on his face and could sit down and have a pleasant conversation without anger. Eleven months into the program, my in laws were coming to see the children and myself. They had lived nine hours away and were on their yearly trip up the coast. The day they were scheduled to arrive, the founder asked my husband to move rooms. They often had the men change rooms if there were any incidents of disobedience. My husband has been on his BEST behavior all eleven months and he wondered why he would ask him to pack all his stuff and move just one month before his completion date. He obeyed without question and packed his things. During the morning meeting, he gave room assignments and announced to my husband that he wanted him to go HOME. In all the years he has run this mission, he has only let one other man complete early. This was quite an honor and an extraordinary day!

Just before his parents arrived I was able to go pick him up! What a surprise for them as well! The ministry offered my husband a position leading their vocational training crew in the painting division. What a tremendous blessing this was. Our hearts were so open to remain on board and reach out to other men and their families.

December was quickly approaching, as was my husbands birthday. I secretly planned a special surprise welcome home/birthday party for him. My prodigal husband had come home and I wanted to honor him in a very special way. I invited all the friends we had made in our church. These friends stood by my side through the many bad years before the rescue mission and stood by my husband during the eleven months we was there. We prepared the fatted calf,(well it was actually tri-tip), bought him a robe and new slippers, as well as a new wedding ring.

Everyone arrived as planned, while he was out with the children that day. He walked in and was so happy and certainly surprised, when each guest brought forth each gift for me to present to him. I said these words, "This my husband was lost, but now is found. Now let us all eat and be merry."

It has been eight wonderful years, getting to know each other again, and other people envy our marriage. Many of them have no idea what we have been through, and that's okay. The Lord has been good to us. We still have trials in life, but that terrible storm has passed. The Lord may allow more storms to come, but we know that He is with us.

My husband became the Executive Director of that ministry. The ministry has grown so much and we have seen so many come to know the Lord. We are honored that the Lord has allowed us to become a part of this life changing ministry. God has made something very clear to me. When I asked, "Why me?", His answer was, "Because no one else will stand by him and I need to use him."

Thank you Lord for choosing me.

There are so many valuable messages God gave me during those years, but I cannot possibly contain them all in one blog entry. That is why I am writing a book.

Thank you for taking the time to read my story. I pray that it has encouraged you. If you know someone that needs to read this, please send the link to them. Our God is a BIG God.

Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."

Sisterlisa is a homeschooling mom of four children and married to a ministry leader of a Rescue mission. She is the owner of Growing in Grace Magazine and AGMinistries.

23 *click here* to dialogue with us:

{ Kelli } at: August 28, 2007 at 5:01 PM said...

An amazing story, Lisa. Thank you for sharing it with all of us.

{ Lisa } at: August 28, 2007 at 7:18 PM said...

Thank you Kelli.

{ Linda } at: August 31, 2007 at 12:46 PM said...

Hi Lisa, I am here by way of Kelli's blog. Your story is one of amazing grace and it is so encouraging. Thank you for sharing your heart and what God has done for your family.

Anonymous at: August 31, 2007 at 1:03 PM said...

Kelli led me here too. Thank you for sharing an amazing testimony of God's faithfulness and love.


{ Sallie } at: August 31, 2007 at 2:23 PM said...

Came here from Kelli's blog too.. What an amazing story?! May God richly bless you even MORE with all that HE has in store for you and your family and the ministry!!

God bless,

{ Melody } at: August 31, 2007 at 3:19 PM said...

Hi Lisa, I too, came from Kelli's place. I really needed to read your story today. Thanks for sharing it!

{ Lisa } at: August 31, 2007 at 9:43 PM said...

Thank you Ladies. I pray the Lord will continue to use me to reach hurting women. I have 3 speaking engagements coming up this fall. Please keep me in your prayers.

{ Linds } at: September 1, 2007 at 1:09 AM said...

I am here from Kelli too, Lisa. Your story is amazing, and I am so glad I came to read it. God bless you both!

{ Gretchen } at: September 1, 2007 at 8:22 AM said...

I hopped over from Kelli's blog. What a phenomenal testimony you share, Lisa. Just phenomenal. I am guilty of little thinking where the Lord is concerned. This story shows, yet again, how big His vision, grace, and mercy extend. Beyond our wildest dreams. Thank you so much for sharing. Blessings.

{ Especially Heather } at: September 1, 2007 at 12:16 PM said...

He is faithful, isnt He...

{ Sisterlisa } at: September 1, 2007 at 9:05 PM said...

Thank you Linds, Gretchen and Heather!

{ Oldqueen44 } at: September 2, 2007 at 8:28 PM said...

You are indeed a good helpmeet.

{ Just Me } at: September 2, 2007 at 8:43 PM said...

Hi! I popped over from Kelli's blog too. It's been quite a day...and between the picture on Kelli's blog, and the story on yours, I know the Lord is telling me 'not to give up'. Thanks for sharing...I'm encouraged.

{ Sisterlisa } at: September 4, 2007 at 9:25 PM said...

Thank you for coming by. As women, especially if your husband is a spiritual leader, we will be attacked by the enemy. I hope to keep encouraging you all. We CAN get through. Remember the phrase from the famous painting, "when there was one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you."

{ Tammy C } at: September 15, 2007 at 6:41 AM said...

Nice to read story like yours.My nephew did die from a drug overdose at the age of 21.I don't why God didn't hear our prayers for him to be saved and stop using.My sister is still heart broken over his death.

{ Ruth } at: October 31, 2007 at 1:55 PM said...

What an encouraging testimony. God knows the whole story beginning to end.

{ Elisa @ Extravagant Grace } at: November 19, 2007 at 11:10 AM said...

Lisa, what an amazing story about God's extravagant grace in your life. Each step of the way, as you cried out to him, he answered you. Maybe not how you envisioned, but an answer nonetheless. And it is remarkable how He is using all that you experienced to serve Him passionately now. What a testimony! Thanks for sharing!

By the way, we should talk about the book thing. I'm thinking about it too, and I'd love to hear your thoughts and experience so far.



{ Carol } at: November 19, 2007 at 12:29 PM said...

Wow, Lisa! What in incredible testimony for our Lord! I was pulled into your story. Thank you so much for opening up and sharing!
Carol :)

{ Angie } at: January 22, 2008 at 10:47 AM said...

Oh Lisa, what a remarkable story of God's grace and faithfulness. Glory to Him! Thanks for your transparency and willingness to share.

Anonymous at: April 9, 2008 at 11:43 AM said...

Lisa, God blessed you with the gift of expression. Your blog is written so beautifully, I applaud your strength to use your experience to help others.

Thank you for praying with me and showing me the way. God sent you to me and because of your help, I was saved April 8th, 2008!!!

I can't wait to be baptized tonight, I'll see you there!!!

With much love, Martha

{ Jacque } at: May 7, 2008 at 10:55 AM said...

Oh my dear friend~
God is so good to us. We are so undeserved. I am so very thankful for how God used you and continues to use you! I am sorry for all the heartaches, but where would we be without them?
Surely His ways are higher than ours!
I love you, Sister, and I am thankful for God's hand upon your family and this testimony. Thank you for sharing it!
Love, J

{ Jennifer Sikora } at: October 9, 2009 at 3:41 PM said...

What an awesome testimony Lisa! I love to hear stories like these :)

{ Nikki } at: October 10, 2009 at 1:40 PM said...

We serve a mighty, awesome, and powerful God! What an amazing story He has written! All glory to His name!

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