Thursday, July 24, 2008

Part 8: Dark Night of the Soul

For Part 1 click here
For Part 2 click here
For Part 3 click here
For Part 4 click here
For Part 5 click here
For Part 6 click here
For Part 7 click here
I was so happy to be home. Paul was happy to be home. Henry was happy to be home. But Steph was obviously suffering from "clipped wings" having us home again. She was used to going where she wanted to and when she wanted to go without really checking in with Mom.

One evening I went into her room to say goodnight and she was on the phone crying. I thought, "Great! She finally broke up with her boyfriend Randy." Now maybe things with get back to normal around here. Wrong!

A week after Christmas I came home from work and she and Randy were there waiting for me. "Mom... I'm pregnant." I still don't remember what I said to her. I was in shock. My perfect Christian girl! How could this happen?! We talked about sex. She was adamant about waiting for marriage. And it wasn't like she was stupid or naive. She knew what to do to protect herself. She even took her friend to Planned Parenthood over the summer to get birth control pills after she had a close call.

She assured me that she would finish her senior year and that she a Randy would get married. But that wasn't what I was worried about most. I was already dreading the long distance call that I had to make to Jason in Saudi.

Jason must have been in shock too. I suspect this because for the first time ever - he was speechless. I was relieved that he had nothing to say, but I knew it wouldn't last long and I was right. The next day he called me and let it all out! He told me that he knew that she was having sex and how I shouldn't have let her stay out so late. He told me how Randy promised him that he wouldn't keep Steph from going to college and succeeding in life.

Jason came home about a month later and never return to Saudi. He was very sick with diverticulitis (which has a big stress component) by the time he arrived home. I was stressed to the max also. I had refilled my Zoloft and started taking it again. I was having chest pains from the anxiety and my doctor put me on Ativan. Jason and I were at each others throats with blaming one another.

In February Steph moved in with Randy. She transfered to the alternative school in the district so that she could work and finish school. She graduated in May and Ethen was born on August 13, 2006. Steph and Randy have not married yet, but they bought a house together. Jason and Randy still do not speak.

After all this, I stopped going to church. I felt ashamed of what had happened in my family. I had gone to Saudi because I thought God wanted me to be with my husband - but we fought the whole time, so I came home. My daughter got pregnant half way through her senior year and was now living with her boyfriend. My husband, who was supposed to be a godly man, couldn't even find it in himself to forgive Randy.

The sad thing is that I didn't feel I could share these feelings with anyone that I went to church with. Sadder still is that nobody at my church even called me to find out why I stopped going. I'm not even sure that anyone noticed. I had definitely entered a "dark night of the soul". I even stopped reading my Bible. I was scared of walking away from God, but I just didn't know how to make it better. I felt empty.


Anonymous said...

Wow, I don't even know what to say to this. I've had people in church let me down too...people are human. I've had them lift me up as well though.
God will never leave you alone though....He is ALWAYS there!

Can't wait to hear the rest....

Hot Tub Lizzy said...

Wow sweetie - this "story" is just gripping.

My church did the same thing, and I did the same thing. I know we've got more story, but I just wanted to tell you I sure wish I could give you a hug right now!

Ronda's Rants said...

Recently someone who has attended our church for over 20 years, who was an Elder, and taught Sunday School left our church, I called to tell her I missed her and she said I was the only one who called ! I was shocked, first because it had taken me a month to get around to calling her and secondly we have over 500 members. How could that be? What I have found is that most people really...just don't know what to say to someone who is hurting.
It is sad to read that you felt you couldn't share your feelings with anyone you went to church with. I haven't read Hannah's name in this post...I don't mean to be critical but where is she?
I have had moments that I thought "Why is this happening to my family?" and always looking back, after we came through it...I can see that God was there! I need to work on seeing Him while I am in the midst of it. You speak for all of us...just different variations of the same darkness. I can't wait to hear how He worked all this out! I just love reading your story.

Jessica said...

WOW what a story. HUGS my parents became grandparents three years ago. :) needless to say I waited til I got my associates. I was scared but excited to have a baby.

Jennifer said...

Wow--your story is amazing! Thank you so much for sharing it!!

iPost said...

I don't go to church anymore because I felt like they were all hypocrites. Always banging on our door (when I was little) and asking where our offering was. We were in dire straights because of my father's job, but they wanted their money and didn't offer any assistance to us. I tried again in my teens, only to be raped in a church. And believe it or not, I gave it one last shot after my kids were born. Now I call myself a "Tracey-ist" and I take what I know as God inside of me and worship Him the best I can by living a virtuous life. I can do that outside of a church.

Heather said...

As dearly as I love The Lord, I don't understand how sometimes His people can be so self-involved. They should have called you when you hadn't been in a while.

Insane Mama said...

I can't believe they didn't call! Wasn't someone worried?

Kendrawolf said...

Well, I blame myself as much as them. It was a VERY large church. 10,000 attendees. In a church like that, your experience is what you make it. You can be as anonymous or as involved as you want. Obviously the few people I counted as my friends there were as self centered as I was at the time.

Hot Tub Lizzy said...

psst*** I adore Colin Firth

another day in paradise said...

OK, the line that gets me here is "Nobody called...." As a believer, I don't want to be lumped in with those who heap the judgment on each other.

jennifer said...

I understand avoiding church. I think that is a common reaction and really it is where we should be to draw comfort from others. But when we hurt we have fleshly reactions.

Your story is fascinating.


sassy stephanie said...

I have been in the same boat with the church thing. We stopped going and six weeks into it, returned. That week, we got a card in the mail letting us know our Sunday School class "misses" us.