Ted & Gayle Haggard

So apparently, the Haggards have been in the media lately – they did a documentary with a pay-per-view cable company, were on “Oprah,” and have been written up in various magazines, newspapers, and the rest. I’m relatively unplugged from the mainstream media, but one thing that I do read with semi-regularity is Charisma magazine, and by “semi-regularity,” I mean “every few months.” My periodical-reading record is pretty dismal lately – there are so many other things pulling at me that I can’t seem to create the time to open a magazine.

Regardless, Charisma had a really great interview with Ted & Gayle with regard to their recovery from Ted’s fall from grace, how it affected their marriage, their family, and what God is doing now in their hearts and lives. The article is about 5 pages long and you can read it here.

But several things in what Gayle said stood out to me and I wanted to muse over it here.

The reason I could stay with Ted was that I settled in myself that he is worth it. Sure, I was hurting. I felt totally let down and betrayed. My heart was thoroughly broken. But I had to believe that in spite of all the pain, Ted loved me and I loved him, and that our relationship was real. He was and is so much more than this one battle that raged within him. I determined that he was worth fighting for, our marriage was worth fighting for, and the honor and dignity of our children was worth fighting for.

I really resonated with this. Some people have looked at me as though I don’t have the self-respect to leave my marriage after my husband was unfaithful to me. Others have figured that I am ‘settling’ or just ‘grateful to be married’ and that’s why I stay. People who think those things honestly don’t know me – and they honestly have no clue what it’s like to love someone so deeply. We are all flawed and although my husband made poor choices, he was motivated towards those choice by no volition of his own. As we have gotten down to the nitty gritty of his past abuse and his same-gendered attraction, we now understand what a core issue the CSA is. I have more to write about that in another post, but for now, it suffices to say that he is worth it. I am worth it. We are worth it as a couple and as a family unit.

I would encourage other women with the words that encouraged me: Love covers a multitude of sins. When I pressed myself to forgive and love Ted, I healed. When I judged him and scrutinized him for all the pain he caused, I would spiral down into despair.

I have seen this so clearly in my own life and on my path to healing. When I have been able to embrace forgiveness and to look forward, God meets me and gives me hope. Not the political, worldly hope that has been a buzzword for a while now, but long-lasting, eternal hope. Hope that is based in Jesus Himself. When I have focused on the details, the questions, and the little emotional infidelities that have taken place, wondering if he’s still looking for a hook-up or if his words accurately reflect his heart and his actions, I spiraled down, out of control. Almost as if I was inviting the Enemy to cover me in despair and forgetting that his sin, though intensely painful to me, was confessed, forgiven, and ultimately no worse than any of my sin in that it put Jesus on the cross. Love really does cover a multitude of sins.

Love never fails—if we choose love and let it do its work, we are all better for it. Not only does Jesus instruct us in the way of forgiveness and love, but His Spirit empowers us to do it. Then what we have is a relationship that is strengthened through fire. For Ted and me, this means we have each other, we have our family, and at the end of the day, we win.

This is incredibly encouraging to me and I shared with other readers on Charisma‘s website. This is testament to the healing power of God – the reason that Gayle, I, and many others have stuck with our husbands in their sexual sin. When repentance is real, healing can begin. When the pain is so great that you’re not sure you can draw in another ragged, searing breath, ask God to help you to forgive.  He will do this and it will defy human logic. When we are at the end of ourselves, He has room to move, to heal, and to provide that which we wouldn’t give Him room to do when we were in the midst of our own strength.

I’m really encouraged for the Haggards. They are the public embodiment of what my husband and I are fighting to maintain – a Christ-centered marriage, with one who has major struggles, and the other who seeks to support and heal, simultaneously. They are the proof to me that we are on the right path and that it’s not impossible. For indeed, nothing is impossible with God.

His and his,
~Cori.

This entry was posted on 181913H Jul 2009 and is filed under Forgiveness, Marriage Building, Path to Healing, sexual abuse, Sexual Brokenness, SSA. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

  • http://www.yourmarriagerestored.com Annalea

    Hi Cori,

    The core of where you are; of where Gayle is; of where I’ve been along with countless others was summed up perfectly when you said, “When repentance is real, healing can begin.”

    We run into so many husbands in our ministry who feel that because they’ve repented before God and apologized to their wives that their work is done. They then live their lives being sorry that they got caught in their sin instead of living out real repentance and “walking with a limp” before God and their spouse.

    This is not about them kow-towing to their wives forever. It’s about them realizing how deep their actions hurt her and apologizing from their heart until the day when she can say, “it’s okay…i’m healed…we’re good.”

  • Hiswildcherry

    Hey Cori,
    A huge step is allowing ourselves to move forward without feeling obligated to carry the load as we have before.

    This takes courage of a different sort as the tendency to feel guilty or callous or unfeeling towards another’s pain is palpable.

    It helps to remember that no man can know another’s sorrow as is true of their pain.

    I can only empathize and continue creating a strength within myself as I nurture my own life and bond deeper with my God. In that, there is freedom for my spouse to grow instead of feeling the need to be what I may inadvertantly convey is the standard.

    We don’t know the standard nor the height of the bar for our spouses, in their healing process, so we are free to explore our own maturity.
    Make sense?

  • Hiswildcherry

    Hey Cori,

    Took a while to write on this post as I am so generally angry with the mainstream body of Christ regarding all the faux pas, in the past few years, that I could not trust myself to write on it.

    I hold no one person to account. There is a sadness, deep in my spirit, that cannot be reasoned away with a possibility that we are out of the woods with all the crud that has been surfacing of late.

    Yes, it is good that skeletons in closets are being revealed but the damage being done in the Body of Christ, concerning trust in leadership, is yet to be realized.

    I have served Jesus Christ for 26 years and have sistered many baby believers through the years. I ache at the wandering and doubting and callousness which will be taking root as one after another of our so-called leadership falls by the wayside.

    Trust is a delicate emotion which can be eradicated so very easily once it has been transgressed. I, for one, am honestly cut to the quick at the indifference shown to the lambs in the Body of Christ by those who were supposedly our shepherds.

    Of course, we are able to withstand this onslaught of sin being shown but if we are all honest, none of us are impervious to the hurt and disillusionment once a reverred leader is ‘defrocked’, for want of a better term.

    Do I judge, no. I simply am sad and I hurt from the lack of trustworthy, Godly leadership at this time in the world. HWC off soapbox!

  • http://sensuouswife.com/blog Shula

    The keywords are “when repentance is real”.

    I want to point out that healing and forgiveness do not necessarily mean reconciliation. So many marriages survive adultery and even thrive afterward. Mine did not. Yet I forgive him, for my own healing’s sake. Forgiveness and healing work. Really work. How do I know? I just know.

    I am so truly, from-the-heart, happy for you and your DH, Cori. I celebrate your bond.

    With love,
    Shula

  • cori

    Annalea & Shula –

    you are both (smile) very correct. The repentance MUST be real – there must be a very real brokenness that accompanies it and if there is, it goes a long way to healing a relationship. Although I know I cannot protect myself from future hurt, part of what I need(ed – and continue to need) from my DH is a willingness to be transparent. He spent so much of his life hiding, lying, and avoiding the truth that it’s hard for him to remember that I need this, and so we continue around the mountain from time-to-time. But his repentance is real, and our healing continues. I wish all who stray (men and women alike) would embrace this the way they ought in order to preserve their marriages, but sometimes it’s just not within them. For a myriad of reasons – but the end result is the same. :(

    HWC –

    I so echo and understand what you’re saying about falling in the midst of leadership – and the subsequent response. When I thought I knew no one personally who “would do such a thing” (i.e., “fall from grace”), I was shocked and saddened to get the report of a pastor whose church we attended in college. There were some who condemned, others who embraced, and still others who limped away, so wounded that their future church-choices were badly stunted.

    There is certainly responsibility that is attributed to the pastors and leadership of the church, but even the very phrase “fall from grace” suggests that there is no “return to grace,” and THAT is where the real damage is done. We are fallen creatures, no question. But Jesus makes a way for us to be restored. Unfortunately, that little tidbit seems to be neglected when dealing with sexual sin or public sin in leaders.

    Poorer are we as a body of believers for dealing with them that way – and poorer are their families for the lasting scars we inflict upon them as we go.

    –cori

  • Hiswildcherry

    Hi Cori,
    Thx for taking the time to reply.
    You make excellent points. The damage done to those who have fallen, and who are brushed aside as if too dirty for the rest of the Church body, is to be acknowledged.

    I have had strange things happen to me in my Christian walk regarding acceptance of sin and repentance thereafter…usually in the form of my having to reach out in love to someone who is on the road back to full health.

    The Holy Spirit is the master balm provider and I need to fill myself with his grace and mercy once again as I have a feeling I am close to crossing paths with an injured soul, soon. Better to be filled with compassion and not be grudge -bearing when I am called upon by the Lord to be one of his laborers in the His field.

    You offered a gentle rebuke and I receive it with humility. I will prepare my heart for service.

  • http://www.yourmarriagerestored.com Annalea

    Hi Cori,

    I so get your need for your husband to be transparent with you. I hear this from many wives in our marriage ministry. Sadly, some men use this as an excuse to stay stuck (not saying that your husband falls into this group, just sharing my observations), i.e., “well, this is my struggle and this is just where I am so give me grace when I act out in a way that hurts you” (without working to stop the behavior). Or “i watched porn today and then self-gratified…just thought you should know”. They will say they’re just being transparent ~ brutal honesty. They don’t get it.

    Transparency isn’t license to hurt someone. It’s about being a blessing to another in a way that brings healing to both involved.

    And, for a husband, it’s about considering his wife before he considers himself. Always.

    Always, Always, Always.

    Just sayin’

    Annalea

  • http://www.yourmarriagerestored.com Annalea

    Just thought I’d share this. Last Tuesday, before our ministry call started, I was really feeling that a worship song needed to be played before we started. Well….actually, I needed it and I always maintain that at least one person on our call will be blessed by something someone else says or shares. Anyway, I absolutely love the song WHO AM I? by Casting Crowns and I played it at the beginning of our call. I didn’t talk with Michael about it ~ it was really just between me and the Lord. The feedback was positive, however, and I know I’ll be doing it again. After all, church starts out with worship and I feel that these calls are the body ministering to the body so…there you go :-)

    And Cori, since I noticed that you have some songs of encouragement on this wonderful (and much needed) blog of yours, I thought I’d share these lyrics here. Plus, it’s good for all of us to be reminded of Who We Are!

    Annalea
    ——————

    Who am I?
    That the Lord of all the earth,
    Would care to know my name,
    Would care to feel my hurt.
    Who am I?
    That the bright and morning star,
    Would choose to light the way,
    For my ever wandering heart.

    Bridge:
    Not because of who I am,
    But because of what you’ve done.
    Not because of what I’ve done,
    But because of who you are.

    Chorus:
    I am a flower quickly fading,
    Here today and gone tomorrow,
    A wave tossed in the ocean,
    A vapor in the wind.
    Still you hear me when I’m calling,
    Lord, you catch me when I’m falling,
    And you’ve told me who I am.
    I am yours.
    I am yours.

    Who am I?
    That the eyes that see my sin
    Would look on me with love
    And watch me rise again.
    Who am I?
    That the voice that calmed the sea,
    Would call out through the rain,
    And calm the storm in me.

    Not because of who I am,
    But because of what you’ve done.
    Not because of what I’ve done,
    But because of who you are.

    I am a flower quickly fading,
    Here today and gone tomorrow,
    A wave tossed in the ocean,
    A vapor in the wind.
    Still you hear me when I’m calling,
    Lord, you catch me when I’m falling,
    And you’ve told me who I am.
    I am yours.

    Not because of who I am,
    But because of what you’ve done.
    Not because of what I’ve done,
    But because of who you are.

    I am a flower quickly fading,
    Here today and gone tomorrow,
    A wave tossed in the ocean,
    A vapor in the wind.
    Still you hear me when I’m calling,
    Lord, you catch me when I’m falling,
    And you’ve told me who I am.
    I am yours.
    I am yours.
    I am yours.

    Whom shall I fear
    Whom shall I fear
    I am yours..
    I am yours..

  • Jeaa

    A couple of years ago then i was still in Utah, my husband and i got into a fight and he moved out and said he cant live with me and his son anymore because i cut him cheating seeing the messages and emails on his phone, and even pictures they snapped in the beach with a yong girl, he denials it and left for another state so that he can have al the time in world to be free with this girl. My heart could not contain the pains that i had to travel to my home town, The a friend told me about a spell lady who helped her when she got dumped by her boyfriend. this sound crazy to me that my husband i trust with my life could do this to me. it was so unbelievable. I cried all night long, locked myself in a padded room, and thought about how miserable my life was, so i look at the web site my friend gave me about the spell lady at priestessifaagreatspellpowers.web.com, and i saw how powerful and helpful she would be. i contacted her and she decide to help me and guarantee me of results in 2days, i thgouht this was a joke, how can i see result so quickly, but i gave in to see, and at the actual time, my husband came apologising for all his stupid act, this looks sacry because this was so fast and accurate, But the most happiest part is that my family is once united again just as it was when we got married.
    The spell lady has no measure and i can never stop spreading her good works for bringing me happiness and joy. She helped my friend and now am testifying to it, why not do the same and dont make mistake in meeting rip you off on your pain. her email is priestessifaa@yahoo.com,
    Thanks spell goddess. you are wonderfully sweet to meet.

  • sylvia keith

    i just want to share my experience and testimony here.. i was married for 4 years to my husband and all of a sudden, another woman came into the picture.. he started hailing me and he was abusive..but i still loved him with all my heart and wanted him at all cost…then he filed for divorce..my whole life was turning apart and i didn’t know what to do..he moved out of the house and abandoned the kids.. so someone told me about trying spiritual means to get my husband back and introduced me to a spell caster…so i decided to try it reluctantly..although i didn’t believe in all those things… then when he did the special prayers and spell, after 2days, my husband came back and was pleading..he had realized his mistakes..i just couldn’t believe it.. anyways we are back together now and we are happy..in case anyone needs this man, his email address olotospellhome@yahoo.com his spells is for a better life. again his email is olotospellhome@yahoo.com

  • Victoria james

    I am Victoria, I promise to share this testimony all over the world once my boyfriend return back to me, and today with all due respect i want to thank DR.ATILA for bringing joy and happiness to my relationship and my family. I want to inform you all that there is a spell caster that is real and genuine. I never believed in any of these things until i loosed my boyfriend, I required help until i found a grate spell caster, And he cast a love spell for me, and he assured me that I will get my boyfriend back in two days after the spell has been cast. two days later, my phone rang, and so shockingly, it was my boyfriend who has not called me for past 4 years now, and made an apology for the heart break, and told me that he is ready to be my back bone till the rest of his life with me. DR.ATILA released him up to know how much i loved and wanted him. And opened his eyes to picture how much we have share together. As I`m writing this testimony right now I`m the most happiest girl on earth and me and my boyfriend is living a happy life and our love is now stronger than how it were even before our break up. So that`s why I promised to share my testimony all over the universe.All thanks goes to DR.ATILA for the excessive work that he has done for me. Below is the email address in any situation you are undergoing a heart break, and I assure you that as he has done mine for me, he will definitely help you too. that is his email address atilahealinghome@yahoo.com