Tuesday, September 6, 2011

be·wil·dered: adjective completely puzzled or confused; perplexed.

No, I didn't feel strong.  I was bewildered. I didn't know who I could trust anymore.  Laying there on my friend's trundle bed, I found myself in a state of complete shock, and sleeplessness.  After only a few hours of restless sleep I awoke to a gnawing feeling in my stomach. It wasn't a dream, it was real. 

After breaking the heart-wrenching news to my mother-in-law, I headed to my husband's initial court appearance with my parents. I was greeted by my husband's accusers with emotional hugs, as they had been long-time family friends. They were full of sorrow, and there was a slight glimmer of hope that somehow, we would all make it through this together... in unity and forgiveness. After all, we went to the same church together.  Oh how wrong I was.

After some time passed, a line of men and women in stripes were ushered in to the room, led by officers. They were shackled, hands and feet. My husband was one of the last ones through the door, and we locked eyes. I could see the shame that he carried, but I also sensed his love for me. As I looked at him from the back of the room I saw that his hair was getting long,  "Oh, he never got his haircut. If only we had been able to get to the salon before all of this happened." This concerned me, and others like the fact that we never got out to the eye doctor to get him new glasses. The glasses he was wearing were between 7 to 10 years old. I was awakened from my thoughts when I heard my husband's name. His charges were read in front of that room full of people and my stomach turned inside out. 

That evening I started receiving text messages from someone involved. They wanted to meet me to talk about what had happened. They wanted me to "know the truth". I considered it, and debated what I should do. My mom seemed to think it could be helpful... but something in my heart made me feel uneasy. I talked to my friend, and her mom. "What would you do? Would you let someone else tell you the details of all that happened?"  Her mom replied "I would give my husband the opportunity to tell me himself." This confirmed what I was feeling. I picked up my phone I responded to them, saying that I was going to talk to my husband first. Their response "You don't know him." Those words were like a poison... fueling every fear that had lurked in my heart. The texts kept coming, and remained unread. I asked my friend's mother to let them know that I needed them to stop texting me. 

I knew my husband. I knew his heart... didn't I? It's true that lot of what happened took me by surprise.  Did this mean that throughout our relationship everything that I thought was good was a lie? Were only the bad things true? So many questions plagued my mind. The biggest one: "Can I trust him?" Should I have jumped at the opportunity to hear someone else's story about what happened? Will I never know the truth? 

 The next day I was at lunch with my brother-in-law's wife. She had taken me out to help distract me. While I was there, I received a phone call from a strange number. I walked outside to answer it. I heard his voice... was my husband. I can't remember what was said, I can only tell you that just those brief moments helped me to have more peace. It was the voice of the man I loved... He told me that he would be transported to the county jail. I could call to find out visitation information. As soon as we were done having lunch I went to my parent's house and I called the county jail.  They informed me that he was there, and he could be visited that night.   

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

"For Better or For Worse..."

"For better or for worse..." It was those words that echoed through my mind as it surged with fear, and as all of my hopes and dreams came crashing to the floor. 

It was a Tuesday in November, and we had been planning to see a professional basketball game on that Thursday. I chatted with my co-workers about how excited we were to take another couple along with us. We had only been married for four months, and everything felt so new and exciting. It wasn't long until my thoughts of the game disappeared as I was informed that there were some serious allegations against my husband. 

He had left that morning before I did for work. He always woke me up to say goodbye by giving me butterfly kisses, and telling me he loved me. He mentioned again that he needed to go get his haircut. He kept meaning to go, and really wanted to get that done before we went out of town for the game. I had pulled out my crock pot that morning before work, and used it for the first time to make a roast. I was excited about coming home to a meal that was already prepared for once. Well needless to say my husband and I never touched the roast. (To this day I have never used my crock pot again.) 

We sat in the darkness of our bedroom. As he begged me to forgive him for the mistakes he had made, he sobbed, laid his head in my lap as if he were a small child. It was then, in the chilling silence with that broken man that I made the declaration "I promised to love you for better or for worse." He told me that the person who confronted him about the allegations was waiting to accompany him to the police station to turn himself in. I thought for a moment, and then asked him if that meant he would probably go to jail. He said "I think so, don't you?" It was then that I lost all composure. How could I bear the one that I love being drug off to jail. He held me, and tried to console me, and then started to prepare. He showered and changed. He emptied his pockets, took  off his watch and handed me his wallet and cell phone. The only thing he kept was his wedding band. 

As we waited in a room at the police station for an officer to show up, he whispered with tears in his eyes "I will go through whatever God wants me to go through, in order to be a better man for you." The officer arrived and I was sent out in the lobby as they questioned my husband behind closed doors. I sat in agony... waiting, and hoping that my husband would be coming home with me that night. As the night wore on it became clear that he would have to remain at the station and I would be sent off alone, with no idea of what would happen. I got a call from my parents, who wanted to know how I was feeling and if I planned to walk away from him. I said, "When I married him, I promised to love him for better or for worse. I am going to stand with him through this."  To that they responded, "Then we will stand with you too." 

After questioning him, the officers allowed him to kiss me, and hug me before he was led away. I drove home to the dark apartment gathered a few things. I had called a friend and said "I know this sounds crazy, but I need a place to stay tonight, can I come over." Of course she said yes. Numb and weary I headed to my friend's house. I felt instantly sick as  a police drove right next to me. The police car... which I later learned, held my husband.

Psalm 56:3 NKJV
Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You.