Till Death Do Us Part in process
by Paul Alden
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When I was 10 my mother married her second
husband, who I had known since I was a year old. He
moved us out to California in hopes of a better
life, boy was he wrong. Needless to say, Christ
wasn't the center of our home. He was an abusive
drunk and the alcohol eventually “pickled his
brain” until my mother finally, after years of
struggling with his violent behavior left for good
when I was 16.
Two years later we went back to New York for a
family reunion and I met my wife. I was introduced
to her through a cousin. She showed me a picture
of her and from the moment I saw her, I knew that I
wanted to meet her. I had a feeling that she was
a “good girl” which was a switch from what I had
been accustomed to.
Well it turned out that the chemistry was there,
(Those were the most amazing two weeks of my life)
I fell in love, came back home, immediately broke
up with my then present girlfriend and began a long
distance relationship with this angelic creature.
My heart had softened to the things of God around
that time and she was unlike any one I’d known before,
chaste,virtuous and gentle, with a servants heart,
it was a dream come true.
We began making tapes for each other and sending
letters back and forth. We talked on the phone
a lot and ran up our parents phone bill,(ahem). My
mother was thrilled with Emma but her parents
seemed intent on dissuading her from going out with me.
It seemed that we were destined to be together.
I made a couple of trips back to New York to visit
and each time we got closer. Once to take her to
her senior ball, and once to watch her graduate.
Then I began staying for summers at a time working
with my family in the wood flooring industry.
I was a musician also so I would write her songs,
one of which I recorded professionally and played
for her at the wedding reception. Oh yes, we did
eventually get married. That’s when things got a
You see I still had some issues, and come to find
out...this “angelic creature” that I fell head over
heels for, had issues too!
We had some real blowouts during those first years and would have given up had it not been for the birth of our
daughter, it’s funny how kids’ll do that.
Though I’d been saved since I was 18, I knew nothing of God.
We were committed to the commitment, vowing that somehow, someway, we would "make" it work. We did pretty good for a
while, in our attempts to hold it together but
the same issues kept cropping up again and again
adding insult to injury.
Then my son was born.
We were just two, kids having kids without a clue as to what it takes to raise a proper family but had sort of an idea of what we wanted. I took them all back to California with me hoping it would help, (what was I thinking). We traveled back and forth several times until we finally settled in New York
I'd had a dream of being part of the family business.
They had been in the industry for nearly a hundred
years. I wanted a “piece of the pie”. My uncle
wanted nothing else than to keep the business in
the family so he inflated my ego.
I eventually left because it seems they didn't
have room for a "christian". I was the first one there every morning outside, in the truck reading my bible. They told me that it began to make them, nervous. After that things began to change. They saw me as an annoyance so, I went out on my own.
We began looking for a house. We ended up with a
72’ long three bedroom 1 1/2 bath mobile home. It
had all the amenities though, a big master bedroom
with a giant garden tub, a kitchen with cabinets up
to the ceiling, and plenty of counter space, a
place for a washer and dryer set in a nice clean
mobile home park in the country, a dream come true,
for us at least.
I went to look at it after work one day. My wife
called me and said that her and her sister had been
by it but she wanted me to inspect it. When I got
there it was dark and the electricity wasn’t turned
on so I pulled out my flashlight and walked in the
front door. It was completely empty except for one
thing. Right in the middle of the living room was a
single kitchen chair with a little Gideons new
Naturally I had seen lots of them before, I think
my mother gave me a little green one with my name
written inside it of when I was younger and I’d
seen them on several occasions while residing at
the local juvenile facilities as a teenager. I
might have even read a little bit, I don’t
remember. Most everything prior to getting married
is just a big blur. I remember thinking how
strange it looked just sitting there. I knew that
the answers that I needed were in there.
I did “move out” for a while but I purposefully made time for the kids, every weekend was devoted to them, period. I also remained faithful to her and to the promises that I made to my children.
We began “talking” again.
The times that we spent together as a family began
deepening in substance. My desire to be a Godly husband and father began to overshadow any resentments that I held for her. I would recall our courtship and the wonderful
memories, now viewed through a broken heart and a
mind that was being renewed through Gods Word and His
unfathomable Grace. The Lord began to soften our
hearts towards each other and we started getting
closer. No kissing, or holding hands, things just
started to feel different. “We did get married
awfully young”, we’d say laughing together...I
liked that part.
Well, here we are nearly 17 years later with a friendship that will stand the test of time and eternity. All because of one Mans courage to do the impossible, to stand in the gap for me and my family and take the risk of loving us.
Lord, there are times when life seems to
perplexing for us to deal with but I know that You
are in control of our destiny. Help Thou our
unbelief and enable us to walk worthy of the High
calling, in obedience to your Word out of
thanksgiving for Your Perfect Provision...........
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