Our marriage came to a halt one Christmas Eve when Lucille told me she didn’t care if she ever saw me again. I did not realize how much my wife and three-year-old son meant to me until I lost them that night. We had been married for five years. My wife had tried to make our marriage work, but I had a hard heart and hurt her many times. I had also acquired a love for gambling—the thing that would eventually wreck our home. I had a good job, but my gambling kept us struggling to make ends meet and kept me out night after night. Lucille had threatened to leave me before, but this time I couldn’t talk her out of it. As I looked into her eyes, I saw a bitter young woman. Love had turned to hate, and she only wanted me out of her sight.
With a heavy heart, I moved out. Life turned into an empty shell, and even the gambling and night life no longer appealed to me. One Sunday afternoon, about a month after we broke up, my little boy Ken visited me. He couldn’t understand why Daddy did not live at home anymore, and that broke my heart. That very afternoon my brother came by and invited me to church. After saying I might go, I took Ken back to his mother. As we drove across Los Angeles, we started singing Sunday school songs. I hadn’t sung them for years.
I was ready to see if God would do something for me. I had gone to church as a youngster, and we had had family prayer in the home. But I was a long way from those childhood prayers. Now I was at the crossroads: Should I continue down the road of sin, with the same old emptiness and defeat? Or should I give God a chance?
Although the breakup of our home was traumatic, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
I decided to go to church, and by the end of the service that night, there was no resistance. I didn’t know how to pray, but it wasn’t long until I was weeping and asking God for mercy. It was an honest prayer and a prayer of submission. What a change took place! The gambling, the drinking, the cursing, and the selfishness were all gone in a moment of time.
I thought my wife would be delighted to know that I was a different person. But when I told her, she looked at me and laughed. The fact that there had been a change in me didn’t interest her at all, nor was she interested in my religion. What a blow it was when she went ahead and filed for a divorce! But I made no attempt to contest it. Even though I was terribly discouraged at times, I just kept praying and trusting the Lord.
I decided to move to Portland, Oregon. Of course I hoped that Lucille would come, and some months later she did. God answered prayer and our home was reunited, but she let me know immediately that she had no intention of going to church.
Then God worked another miracle! She started going to church with me, and one night she went to the altar and was gloriously saved. What a change it made in our home! There are not words to express the appreciation in my heart for the great things God has done for me and the happy home we have had for many years.
Although the breakup of our home was traumatic, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. As the Prodigal Son, I came to myself and turned back to Father’s house. I am convinced that if God can save a rebel like me, He can and will save anyone who turns to Him.