That is the question I have heard often and have ask myself for a long time. Only God knows. I was raised in wonderful loving family with 8 other siblings. After graduating from high school in 1967, I married my first husband in June 1968, had our first child in September 1969 and our second child in January 1971. My husband died in April 1971 in a car wreck.
I married John Kinder in 1975 and had another son in 1976. That was the beginning of my life with an Alcoholic. Times were tough. He was a police officer in Mt Airy and I thought this would be the one. Well that did not work out like I thought. He drank and later in life I learned that he also used drugs. At first drinking for him was mostly on weekends. But as time went on it progressed into an everyday thing. I even tried drinking with him, but the difference was I could set the drink down and he would continue drinking until he passed out or ran out of alcohol.
There are things I just never talked about with my family or anyone else. I didn’t want anyone to know and I was ashamed of the way I was living. He never physically abused me, but he knew how to make me feel that everything was my fault and that I was just LESS THAN. I was made to feel that I was stupid and could not do anything right. With all of this going on I still believed that I had to stay. Fear of being alone was a big part of it. Numerous fights, anger and fear controlled my life and I let it. It was not the life I wanted but it was the life I Chose. We make our own choices, good or bad, no one can make our choices for us.
John would come home at night and most of the time an argument would start over simple things like what I had for supper. There were times when he had been drunk and high the night before, and he would send me flowers at work (I’m not talking about a small arrangement I am talking about funeral arrangements) because he did not know what he had done the night before. Everyone at work thought I had the sweetest husband but if they only knew how ashamed I was when I got flowers at work.
One thing that really sticks in my mind is one evening when he came home from work, he passed out as he did almost every night. He was in bed and I don’t know why I did what I did but I picked up a pillow and put it over his face and was going to kill him, I really wanted to, but by the grace of God I laid the pillow back down (now who was the sick one). I now know that Alcoholism is a Family disease. John, me and my kids all suffered from his use of alcohol and drugs.
I tried to fix him, but nothing worked. In my mind I was the perfect wife (now that is a joke) and if I could fix him, we would live happily ever after. Oh, what a fairy tale. I did everything wrong, trying to fix him was not my job, trying to fix myself is what I needed to concentrate on. But it was so easy to blame everything on him. I was the VICTIM. Poor Me.
I always knew there was a God and I prayed day and night, but I never had accepted Jesus as my Lord and savior. I did not know at that time that Jesus was not hearing my prayers (Isaiah 59:2, John 9:31). There must have been someone praying on my behalf because I know I could have not made it without God’s help.
One-night John came home from work and a terrible fight broke out at our house. Our middle child was there with his new born baby and as John shares in his testimony, “but for the Grace of God I would have killed them.” We got away and went to my son’s house. Later that night John’s mom came to the house and prayed for us. This was really the beginning of the end. The next day we began looking for help.
After that night things started to change in our life. John got help from AA and I attended Al-anon meetings, and later we both accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior and began a NEW life together. Now that does not mean that our life was perfect, we have had struggles and still do. There had to be a lot of healing for me and the kids and we could not do it alone. There are still times to this day when some of the old wounds surface, each day is a process. But now we have God on our side.
I have learned that John did not do anything to me that I did not allow him to do. I could have left at any time, but I chose to stay. I enabled John to do the things he did. He had a place to live, food to eat, a shelter over his head and a wife who loved him.
In the bible there was a woman who had an issue of blood she tried everything she knew and spent all she had to fix the problem, but nothing worked until she touched Jesus. Jesus listened to her whole story and he will listen to yours if you will just reach out and touch him.
John and I have been together for 43 years and we have been singing for Jesus since 1998 with our Southern Gospel music group, “The Kinders.” Our primary ministry is in drug and alcoholic treatment centers and prisons. We love ministering to alcoholics and drug addicts.
My biggest regret is that I let my children grow up without Jesus and I want to tell you that If I could change anything that would be it. Children need Jesus more than ever!!!!
Last, I want to say there are programs out there for the families suffering from Addiction. My prayer is that you will grab hold of one and BE HAPPY, JOYOUS AND FREE!
Publishers Note: In 2007, God called John to be Pastor of Charity Baptist Church in Lowgap, NC where he served for 11 years. Today, they are still singing, but also find time to organize and conduct “Takin’ It To The Streets” gospel block parties through their “On Track Ministries” and are involved in “Hope For Hurting Families”, a support group for parents and families of those suffering from addiction and loss. If you have a loved one who is fighting addiction and need support in your journey please call 704-223-1013 for more information.