The first time we sat in our son’s house, Lonnie grabbed my hand and said, “Your mother and I, we’re gonna work on getting back together. I’ve committed to that.” And then a week later he’s, like, “I’m not seeing your mother anymore because I’ve got this other person.”
Lonnie has always been a man of utmost integrity. He’s got a spirit of excellence about him. [Our children] have never known him to break his word. They witnessed this whole craziness for year.
I was a corporate wife with a very successful husband. We moved a number of times with our children. The last move we made was to the corporate headquarters in Iowa. He had this big dream about restoring this house. Well, guess who did most of the restoring?
After five years I started focusing on how miserable I was. I took my eyes off the Lord and started feeling sorry for myself. He was still traveling like he had before. Only now, he was so frustrated, coming home on the weekends, because he couldn’t get anything done. He’d still come in on Saturdays and leave on Sunday evenings. Because of what little time he had we cancelled one vacation after the next vacation. By that time I had already made up my mind that I was leaving. We’d been married almost thirty years. I went back to Tennessee, stayed with my daughter, looked for an apartment. Lonnie came up every two weeks, and we dated. It was a fourteen hour drive for him in each direction. All of a sudden he found the time.
As things go, I met somebody that was very charming and did everything Lonnie never did. I was very flattered. I started going out with that gentleman, and I still kept dating my husband every other weekend. I know that’s a really weird situation, but that what it was. I really didn’t want to let go of him. It wasn’t because of a financial thing. At this point we were legally divorced.
He was moved back to Tennessee by the company he worked for. With my divorce settlement I had purchased some property, and built a rental building. Here was my opportunity. Well, lo and behold I finish my first building and here comes Lonnie. He buys the lot right next to me. He likes the format, copies it, hires the same builder and builds right next to me. We had to share a driveway. So we had a lot of legal stuff to go through because we had shared easements, and had legal papers. After about a year of this the attorney said, “The fact that you guys are divorced is really complicating things.”
We had gone on a New Year’s event in Chattanooga, and that was a sad evening. After about an hour and a half Lonnie said, “OK, that’s it. I’m done. I gonna take you home. I want to get remarried, but you don’t want to go there, so, I’m done.” I said, “OK, That works for me.” You know, your heart gets cold when you don’t spend any time with the Lord, and my heart was cold.
I was having regrets and I missed him. We lived in the same complex and we saw each other in passing, but hadn’t spent any time together. So, I went over and talked with him. I asked him, “Do you have a counselor?” because he’d always wanted us to go to marriage counseling. At the end of the session the counselor looks at me and says, “So, where are you with Jesus? Where do you stand in your walk with the Lord? I said, “Look, I got $3.00 worth of God. I’m good. Jesus and I, were OK. We’re not exactly on speaking terms, but I know he’s listening.” She said, “Oh, really?”
All of a sudden he’s like, “You know what? I’m interested in someone else. Maybe this isn’t such a good idea anymore.” So from that point on I was going [to counseling] by myself. I think I had a total of seven counseling sessions, and every time I went, at the end of each session she would look me in the eye and say, “So, where are you with God? Where do you stand with Jesus?” That just wouldn’t leave me. So I’d go home and get my bible out. I’d start visiting old friends; the gospels, the epistles. It was like homecoming. It was such a wonderful warmth.
Here, I’d made up my mind I’m gonna get back together, we’re gonna make this work, and all of a sudden he didn’t want to. I was, like, “God?” One day Lonnie said to me, “You’re just gonna get a condensed version of what I’ve been through for the last five years.” I did, and it was a horrible roller coaster, but it made me so appreciate how strong he’d stood for five years. It was crazy. For a year I really lost it. I was almost stalking him. I was obsessing, which is not good. I started getting anxiety attacks and all this weird stuff.
We went to the same church. He would sit up front. I would sit in the back. We had started praying together in the mornings. I would go over to his condo before I’d go to work. We had committed to do that. We were standing in church and I said, “God, I don’t know how many times I can do this because I don’t trust him anymore, Lord.” It’s like a child that keeps getting slapped. [The child] keeps putting his hand out for the cookie and each time he almost touches it he gets slapped. That’s how it had been for a year, and I just couldn’t do it anymore. [God] said, “Do you trust me?” I said, “Yes.” Then God said, “Trust me. You don’t have to trust him. Just trust me.” I said, “OK.” So I turned [Lonnie] over to the Lord and said, “OK God, I trust you. I’m gonna move forward.” It was maybe two months later that Lonnie said he’s made the decision that we were gonna give it another try. We were gonna start dating, and he wasn’t gonna see the other lady again. He kept his promise. We dated for four or five months, and he proposed on Mothers Day. We went to the pastor in our church and said, “We’ve decided to go ahead and get remarried.” He’s, like, “It’s about time.”