My daughter posted to her blog today about being accused of cheating and how it affected her life. As she stated her identity at that time was not found in Christ. Her blog has brought a flood of raw emotion and the deep need to explain how I fell short when she needed me desperately.
Satan as we all know continuously attacks us. he is the father of all lies and through this season in my family’s life he was victorious at tearing us down and bringing heartache. Thankfully I can say that God picked up the pieces and brought beauty out of the ashes.
We had pitched in as a family and tried to save my husbands computer business. For 18 months all four of us worked all day and all night. Through this business failing my husband and I hurt each other even more with adultery. I always blamed him more because his was a physical relationship and mine was only a virtual one. But as Matthew 5:28 says: But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. It doesn’t matter who did what- we did it and it hurt our marriage and our children.
If this wasn’t enough turmoil in our life my mother got ill with congestive heart failure and we moved her into our home. The doctors said she would only live 6 months without heart surgery which she refused to have done. My mother was not a person who complimented others. Constantly I was told what a bad mother I was as well as a terrible wife. She tormented me often that if I was a good wife he wouldn’t have found another woman. So while Satan sewed seeds of discontent, my mother watered and fertilized those seeds daily.
At this time in our lives my family didn’t know that I had no personal relationship or identity in Jesus. While I tried to raise my children with their own identity in Jesus, my mother when I was 10 years old looked me straight in the eye and told me I was a bastard child and going to hell. God doesn’t let bastards go to heaven. This is why I did not have an identity in Christ. As a family we went to church regularly, I volunteered for many activities and pretended like Mommy would be going to heaven even though I knew different.
As everything is unraveling in our lives depression was beginning to take over my mental state. I felt that I had failed as a wife because I wasn’t able to save his business. We had to refinance our home to wrap up all the debt that came with this failed business. I felt that I had failed my children because instead of being at home working with animals and doing our homeschooling they were stuck on the road or in the store. Then having my mother living in our home tearing everyone down in every way possible, simply reinforced that I was a failure. Mom hated living in Colorado, hated not drinking and was difficult to live with. Her health improved enough that she rented an apartment in the Senior housing in Silt. This at least removed her from our home and gave each of us some much needed space.
4H had been a bright spot in our lives. It was uplifting and encouraging. The girls learned so many things through our club. It was an escape for me, because I felt I did good and was appreciated by the leaders and the kids.
Nov 19,1999 Trident stormed our home. Trident is the drug enforcement team in Garfield County, Colorado. I still today believe this organization should be dismantled and prosecuted for their illegal behavior. There is no control over this agency- it is comparable to the Gestapo of Russia. According to the arrest records they had our home under surveillance for one week. Nov 19 was a Tuesday which was my mothers shopping day. Her dementia was in full force this day and she had called me several times accusing me of trying to starve her. I kept telling her I would take her shopping in the afternoon after school. When the girls finished their schoolwork I began getting us ready to go to the store. Regina asked me if they could stay home. She said Grandme is having a bad day and i don’t want to go through it. Regina was 12 and very responsible. I agreed to let her, Adriane and my granddaughter Christiane stay home. I left (according to the arrest report) the house at 3:00. I drove to the Silt Senior housing picked up my mother, took her to City Market and the Corner Store. I drove her home and put away her groceries. I arrived back home at 4:30PM.
I was greeted at the front door by uniforms. My PSTD kicked in full force and I was only processing blocks of information with very little detail. I thought the uniforms were EMT’s and that Regina had had an asthma attack. I didn’t understand why they were blocking me and wasting time. At some point I realized that the uniforms were all police officers and that all of my kids were in the living room appearing uninjured. Through the next several hours of interrogation, insults and being slapped by the lead arresting officer Mike was no where to be found.
It turns out that he saw me at the door. According to him there were several officers behind me holding their guns on me. He drove on past and went to dinner. He finally returned around 8PM, intoxicated and we were transported to jail. I was held until around 2AM and they allowed me to call a bails bondman. I was charged with possession of more than 8 oz of marijuana, possession with intent to distribute and 4 special offender charges. (A special offender is one who is in possession of a firearm while committing a felony- and receives 8 years mandatory jail time). My bail was $65,000.00 When I got out I asked the bondsman to get Mike out. I should have known in a few hours it would have been cheaper and easier to get him out, but all I knew was I needed my husband. My children were at the neighbors and didn’t understand because they didn’t even know their father was a pothead. I did everything I could to keep them away from it. Mike had the same identical charges.
Now we have another challenge to walk through and try to find some justice. See there wasn’t even 7 oz of pot at the house. I even heard 2 of the officers scream it was another bad bust, there wasn’t enough to charge us with. The photos of the marijuana that Trident submitted as evidence weren’t taken on my property. Trident claimed they found 1.2 lbs in our home. That is when I learned there was no one to report them to. They set all their own rules and citizens aren’t even allowed to file a complaint about them handcuffing my minor children.
It was nearly impossible for me to get out of bed. Depression consumed me. Without God I only made it through these dark days because of my children. I failed them miserably. There are not many things in my life that I would like a second chance at but this is one of them. Of course I would like the knowledge I have today. I was not sure what would be happening. Our lawyers discussed going to trial. They discussed taking plea agreements. It felt like I would be going to jail for 32 years. 8 years for each handgun. I drew up custody papers so that my sister could take my daughters and began researching how people committed suicide in jail. I could not live in jail for 32 years. I began crocheting my girls their own blankets. I stitched every stitch with love because I believed I wouldn’t ever get to hold them again and maybe they could wrap up in their blankets and feel how much I have always loved them.
My sister disowned me. She only spoke to me about what the girls could bring when they moved in with her. She clearly stated that unless I divorced Mike she would have nothing to do with me. Mike and I took the plea offer of dropping all charges except possession with intent to distribute. If we plead guilty to that they would ask for no jail time. Mike was sentenced to 60 days jail and I was sentenced to 60 days workenders program. We both completed all court ordered jail, community service, fines and probation without delays. Lots of people believe you only plead guilty if you are guilty. While yes Mike was guilty, I was innocent. I’ve seen him use marijuana and knew he sold marijuana. He wasn’t the drug dealer standing on the corner pushing to everyone- he had a very quiet customer base of business men, town leaders and parents. I justified his illegal choices with my own belief that marijuana doesn’t hurt users, people or communities. I felt it should be legalized so therefore didn’t consider it illegal.
Walking through this arrest I realized that whether I agree with ANY law, ignoring it was the wrong response. Take steps to change the law, but abide by it until there is a change. For me this applies to biblical laws and government laws. We don’t always understand why there is a rule- but we should abide until we understand or are able to change it. Now to explain why I plead guilty to possession with intent to distribute. I knew without a doubt if I took my case to court there would be no way for anyone on this planet to find me guilty of this. But the other charge was possession of more than 8 oz of marijuana (a felony) The statute in the state laws reads: Section 18-18-403.5 of the Colorado Revised Statutes (C.R.S.) makes it a crime to knowingly and unlawfully possess a controlled substance, I took my own jury poll with giving them this statute and the basic: If Mike & I had separated the night before our arrest- he would have left our house with his golf clubs, his television and his marijuana. 80% of my poll said I was guilty of possession. I agreed with the poll. If found guilty of this felony then the special offender charges would bring in 32 years of mandatory prison. So I chose to plead guilty and put this ugly chapter behind me as much as possible.
I couldn’t fight with anyone else about anything. When Jackie at the 4H extension office said Regina had been removed from the judging team I limped away in defeat. I felt it was just their way of getting rid of the ‘drug dealers’. I was so broken at this point I didn’t even see what was happening to my precious daughters. In my eyes they have always been perfect and I was the broken one. I did not take into account that while I saw them as perfect they did not see themselves as perfect. Satan knows everyone’s weaknesses and works until he gains a stronghold.
As if all that turmoil isn’t enough for one family to walk through, now we lose our contract with the Rocky Mountain News. The Rocky Mountain News merged with the Denver Post and gave me a 28 days notice of termination. So now we have to find new income that will earn us enough to not lose our home. I did at least gather some fight. I wasn’t about to lose the only home my girls had. For years I worked 2 or 3 jobs to keep up. I know how to work harder. I am still trying to figure out how to work smarter.
God blessed us with having my mother live for 4 1/2 years. While there was lots of pain with her living with us there also was a lot of healing. I was able to determine that she was a broken, tired and ill woman who didn’t find hope in life. I know only God knows our hearts but I believe Mom is in heaven. I know she was saved and God loves us where we are in life- He doesn’t have an agenda, so while she didn’t work at building me up (ever in life) she did love me. Having her live with us brought healing to my childhood abuse that wouldn’t have happened if she wasn’t here.
As Mike & I were going through probation requirements Regina ran away. She took off to California. I was not allowed to leave the state of Colorado while on probation. There were many sleepless nights praying for her safe return. She was using meth and was floundering as her blog said. All the plans were blown up and she did need a hero to come in and fix things. She needed her parents to step up and find a way. We failed her. We both felt like failures as people and undeserving of being parents. Had our identity been in Christ instead of what we were capable of we would have been better people and parents.
Adriane was put into public school and she excelled there. The better she did at school the more I felt like a failure as her mother. She is such a bright, passionate young lady and as I saw her make impressions on her world I knew it wasn’t because of what she was receiving at home- it was from was she was running away from at home. She found it very hard to be at our home. She spent many nights with her Grandme and other nights at friends. While the four walls of home still bring me security that makes me feel safe. Ever since being held at gunpoint by the police home was not Adriane’s safe place – I was never able to fix this injury for her.
Through all of these things I was still just trying to get us back to riding horses, taking care of the homestead and peace. While I am grateful that Mike and I are good at working out crisis it seems we begin to flounder when things are going well. Both of the girls grew up and moved out. They have had some great things happen and some terrible things. I am grateful that each of the girls are saved and walking with God in their own ways. Talking to Mike he knows God and has his own relationship. For me it was about 2004 when the Holy Spirit spoke to me and I woke up to accept salvation and grow an amazing new love in my life.
We’ve reached a new era in our life. Mike and I sold the house and rented a trailer in Parachute. It brought me full circle and I’ve been battling my PSTD and depression. I am grateful for the tools I’ve learned through mental health counseling at Colorado West Mental Health, as well as the Holy Spirit looking after me. I have been working through broken promises and what that means in our lives.
Mike has been talking about us retiring for years. He kept telling me we would retire and enjoy life together. But reality has slapped me in the face. He meant when he retired he would sit here and play games on the internet while I go to work for 12-15 hours a day. As he points out we can’t afford for me not to go to work and besides why would you think you would get to retire at 55?
Well I thought that you said WE were retiring. Well I thought because I took on all your debt when we got together and paid for your debt, walked thru these last 30 years with you and thought we were a team. But it seems at this point that you plan on me working for the next 10 years, retire and be your care taker for my retirement.
As I have been working through these emotions I realized that I’ve put my dreams on hold for a long time. While I realized that Mike didn’t want animals or the homestead I was doing everything I could be a good wife. I was working at paying the bills and planned on having animals later after Mike passed away. I also planned on opening my home to women that need a helping hand to get going after jail or problems. But that all left when we sold the place. I’ve been working on being a good wife. I’ve been working on doing what I think Mike wants until he passes away and I can do what I want to do. But now that the homestead is gone so are my dreams.
So as I ponder what this next chapter in life brings I give to our Lord and Savior all my hurt and disappointment. I am yours and I lay at the cross my successes and my failures. One day I will understand all of this from His point of view. For now, I will continue to work and support this family. I will continue to worship God and seek His wisdom and His path for my life. God is good, All the time. His ways are far better than my ways. Isaiah 55:9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.