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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Promises (02/09/04)

TITLE: Through Pain, Comes Love
By Ann Marie Lindenmeyer


Before marriage, I had faced many years of broken relationships and feelings of emptiness inside. I reached a point in my life when I felt dating was not worth the heartache anymore. Strangely, things happen when least expected. Six and a half years ago I made a promise, "til death due us part."

I didn't realize that an empty hole inside of my heart was craving fulfillment. I was already a single mom with two beautiful and precious blessings, twin five-year old girls. After meeting my husband in a chat room, a relationship developed quickly and soon I was pregnant. I wanted someone in my life to fill a void and this felt right, like we were meant to be together. We married soon afterward and I moved away from home, more than 800 miles from everything I had ever known.

I soon realized that I didn't really know my husband at all. Marriage became a roller coaster ride. I was pregnant, emotional, homesick, and still empty inside. My husband was controlling and disrespectful to me for many years. I was lost.

After more than four years, I came to realize that I didn't care about my promise anymore. I wanted freedom unless things changed. The disrespect was tearing at the very core of my being. My husband was too overbearing to allow me to develop friendships outside the home. It was ‘us.' I expressed my feelings to him and the threat of me leaving caused him to make some serious changes.

My husband went to our pastor for help and guidance. The one piece of advice he gave my husband that changed our lives was to read the Bible. I also decided to follow this advice. I went to church since my daughters were young but never truly believed. Reading the Bible and suffering a heart wrenching time in my marriage is what finally led me to Jesus Christ.

At first, life didn't get easier for me in many ways. I found Christ after being lost for 32 years. Guilt overwhelmed me for many sins of my past. I received God's forgiveness, but fought with granting myself or my husband forgiveness.

We were on the road to getting back our marriage, but my heart had already walked out the door. I couldn't see how I could ever be happy. My husband was working on himself and started treating me with respect and showing me greater love. On the other hand, he became more overbearing and jealous with my time and freedom. His actions only pushed my heart farther away.

After a year of thinking we had worked on our marriage, it almost fell apart once again. Now, my heart was further out the door. The promise I had made many years ago didn't seem to matter to me. But Christ was in my life now, I read the Bible and was working toward becoming a follower of Christ in all the ways I could. Divorce wasn't an option. The thought of staying together was miserable and I expressed to my husband how I felt once again.

Darkness had come over me and I suffered severe depression and active thoughts of suicide. I wanted something to fill the void I still felt inside. I hadn't fully realized how Jesus could fill that void. Once again, I felt emptiness. Through the anger, pain, and frustration, I prayed over a period of nine very depressing, anger-filled months. During that time, an experience helped us take a huge leap in our faith and brought us to another level of understanding.

After this experience, the past six months have led me so much deeper into my faith. I now trust in God, that he is in control and knows what is best for my life. I put my faith in Him that He will lead me in the direction and path I need to follow. I know I may lose my way again in the future, but my faith will keep me going and hold me strong so that I can find my way back when I'm lost.

Through a promise made to my husband and to God, I have committed my life to him, ‘til death due us part.' My husband and I are now on a journey together to live for God in all we do. I still feel pain and still suffer, but I must have faith. The hardship from this marriage is what led me to Jesus Christ, so now I need to trust God to see me through. Jesus is the love of my life and He is what fills my heart when nothing else can. The void and emptiness felt for so many years has now been filled with His endearing love.

Copyright 2004, Ann Marie "Ree" Brown.

Member Comments
Member Date
Donna Anderson02/16/04
If the Son kept the promise to die for us, how can we not trust that He'd love us! This is the perfect love. The love that gives us the strength to endure all other half kept or broken promises.
Your article brought this truth back home to my heart!
L.M. Lee02/16/04
how good to have a husband who was willing to work with you and see those promises fulfilled.
Anthony David02/17/04
I am reminded once again of the fact that only the Lord Jesus can fill the vaccum in our hearts!