Okay, yes, I have successfully hornswaggled my husband into blog participation, once again!!! (FYI... it usually does not take too much swoozing....I have some secret weapons that work like a charm! LOL)
He has agreed to join me for a new segment of my blog called "Marriage Moments with Missy and Garrick."
Each Sunday evening, we will do a marriage devotion together and share our experience and interactions with all of you! If I really do some begging, I may get him to join me in a few vlogging videos, but right now, that is pushing it! LOL
With Garrick's permission, I will share with you why we believe this is so important to share. For the sake of time and space I will try to condense this into as short of story as possible.
Garrick and began dating in High School. October of 1994 to be exact. Though neither one of us was aware of it when we began dating, each of us was fighting our own battle of addiction. Garrick was pretty heavily involved in drugs, using; methamphetamine, marijuana and cocaine. I on the other hand, was still struggling with an eating disorder that had been haunting me since my sophomore year.
So from the very beginning, our relationship, would appear by all logical standards, to be a recipe for failure.
I could never have explained to you why at the time, but deep in my heart, even at 18 years old, I KNEW this was the man I wanted to marry. The connection I felt with Garrick was intense and as I explained, there is no logical reason why I should have felt this way back then.
Our relationship had many struggles as he chose drugs over me many, many times, and Anorexia was my main focus. I was needy for him and he was needy for drugs. This did not make for a good combination.
After graduation, Garrick moved to Florida, hoping he could escape his addiction and start a new life. I began college at the University of Northern Iowa. Our relationship was on and off for the next year and a half. I dated a couple of other guys but never felt a connection and they really just evolved into friendships. In my heart, all I wanted was Garrick.
He continued struggling with drug use in Florida, as he quickly found out that you cannot run from an addiction, it will follow you no matter where you go. One evening he experienced severe heart palpitations after consuming too much cocaine, He felt the reality of possible death from the lifestyle he was living. He turned to help, got a sponsor and became clean and sober form that point forward. He admits to a few slip ups with marijuana use, but he never went back to hard addiction.
I found healing and recovery through my work at the UNI daycare. I realized how badly I wanted children and a family of my own, started nannying for a wonderful Christian family and God lead me to healing through these wonderful people.
Garrick moved back to Iowa my sophomore year of college, we got together one night when I was home for a weekend and the connection had never died. And now,with us both healthy and addiction free, our relationship could truly grow. We have been together, ever since!
We were married October 28, 2000. It was a dream come true for me, truly. I had known since 1994 that this was the man I wanted to marry and finally, he was my husband.
Our marriage was truly a blessing. As crazy as it sounds, we really had a wonderful, close connection and never could understand why other people struggled so much in marriage. It was effortless for us. Once we were both healthy, it was exactly like I had always dreamed it would be. We were best friends. We wanted nothing more than to be together. We were that hand holding, affectionate, mushy couple that others often can't stand. It was just who we were.
Even as we added children, though things got a little more difficult at times, we never lost that connection long term. All we wanted was to be together.
Garrick was my rock. He was perpetually upbeat, positive and had strength beyond what I ever though I could attain. He never let anything get to him. He took on each challenge with a positive attitude and never doubted a positive outcome. I leaned on him consistently,
I later found out.... I leaned on him too much.
n September of 2003, through a series of God ordained events, we gave our lives to Christ holding hands with some wonderful friends in our own living room. Our life changed once again, but with just more blessings.
God began transforming Garrick into a Godly man that sought after Biblical truth and living his life according to God's word. Our marriage continued to blossom.
God in his awesomeness, through another series of events, started a church in our home. We had no idea it would become a church, we thought we were having an at home Sunday morning Bible study with some friends, but God had other plans.
Things continued to progress and The Gate Community Church of Albia was born.
In November of 2010, life changed drastically for us.
While at work, Garrick severely injured his back, blowing out discs in his low lumbar that left him unable to even walk. We had no idea how Satan was going to use this in attempt to destroy everything God had chosen to build in our lives. Because of the severe pain, Garrick was given heavy doses of pain medications.
We though nothing of this at the time. He needed to medications. He couldn't even walk. It was so hard for me to see my strong, hard working husband, unable to even stand to use the bathroom. It broke my heart but it killed him even more inside. He had never in his life felt physically incapacitated and unable to work or even move. He struggled with depression and feeling worthless.
Over time, God healed his back slowly. He was able to go back to work and he was physically functional again.
However, there was a new issue brewing. The pain medications Garrick was given opened a door that he thought had been closed permanently in his life.
Addiction... reared its ugly head.... and for the next six years of our marriage.... Satan used this addiction to attempt to destroy our marriage, our family and our church.
Without dragging the story on endlessly, Garrick became addicted to the pain meds. When he realized he needed to stop and it had become an issue, he was prescribed benzodiazapenes for the horrible withdrawals of coming off the pain medications. This snowballed into another addiction.
Anyone who is familiar with addiction knows all of the devastating effects it carries with it; deception, manipulation. Garrick and I lost or deep emotional connection. I could not trust him and he had lost himself to the addiction. He was not the man I married.
One addiction lead to another and eventually when he kicked the pain meds and benzos he began struggling with alcohol use.
I began to feel hopeless. The man that I had wanted to marry since high school. The man that I had felt a deeper emotional connection with than any other person ever, was no longer there. I had gotten to the point that I was ready to end the marriage. I could not bare it any longer. The last two years of our life have been a perpetual roller coaster of emotions.
Throughout this time, we had good seasons where things seemed to be getting better and Garrick would kick the addiction for a time, but sadly, he struggled with continuing to fall prey to satan's evil schemes. It was tearing us apart.
In the last year Garrick has gone through treatment and continues to push forward in his recovery. Though there have been some relapses, he continues to fight and so do both of us for out marriage!
I was ready to give up friends. My heart could not take the pain any longer.
God would not allow it. Even when my mind told me to bail, God was speaking into my heart and I knew that was not the right choice.
Garrick never gave up on our marriage! Yes, he struggled with his addiction, but when I would throw that horrible "D" word around, he quickly rebuked it and told me he would never ever let me end the marriage.
There were times I would get angry at him for this, but now, I feel gratitude. Throughout this battle, God has revealed many things to me needed to change. One very big one being.... not counting on Garrick to be my rock and my glue.
That is God's job. I learned that God will always be my strength and my provider. Garrick will do that as well, but when seasons come that he can't, God will.
I learned that I am SOOOO much stronger than I ever thought I could be. I can HANDLE way more than I ever though possible and with God I can conquer whatever challenge comes my way.
Garrick has learned so much as well, one thing being, you can never, ever assume old issues cannot resurface and is allowing his "self sufficiency" to die realizing that he cannot do it on his own. He needs to let God carry him or he will surely fall.
We cannot tell you in one post all we have learned from this painful, heart wrenching experience. BUT... that is why we are choosing to share our devotions with you.
We are still on the road to recovery. It is a process. We have learned to take one day at a time. However, we have also learned God is a God of restoration and that He does not waste one painful experience He allows in our lives.
He gives pain purpose, not power.
We want to use our pain... for a purpose.
We pray that we give hope to those feeling hopeless in their marriage and we pray this draws them closer to the Healer, Wonderful Counselor and Friend.
Peace and Blessings
Missy and Garrick