Participants: Cheri Peters (Host), Tom & Vicki Mann
Series Code: CLR
Program Code: CLR00073B
00:11 Welcome back, I'm going to introduce you to Tom and Vicki,
00:13 but before we go there Vicki I would like to say couple more
00:16 things about what you said on the last segment.
00:18 The importance of any relationship as it ends whether
00:25 divorce, or death, or whatever, just as a relationship ends is
00:31 to do the healing first is really important.
00:34 You did a lot of healing with pastors, with counselors,
00:37 looking at those feelings of worthlessness, what did I do
00:41 right, what did I do wrong, what things did I carry into
00:44 that relationship that was a problem.
00:47 It looks like you've covered a lot of that.
00:49 I want to encourage people, if you are going through
00:53 that in your own life, don't jump into another
00:55 relationship, even though I'm an relationship addict.
00:59 So to me what I realize in my healing and recovery,
01:04 is I did not know how to be outside of that.
01:06 If you are like that find some one around you to teach you
01:11 how to stand on your own.
01:12 When you stand on your own and get that recovery work
01:15 done, you can bring so much into a relationship
01:18 and it is amazing.
01:19 So I'm glad that you shared that with us, thank you.
01:22 I would like to know how you guys met?
01:26 How did you and Tom met?
01:29 Will actually we met at a contemporary
01:30 Christian music concert.
01:32 I was driving around the square with my mother and I saw
01:35 it was going to be on that evening, this was like two
01:38 hours before the concert started.
01:40 I said to my mother, I wanted to go to that and I
01:43 completely forgot about it and didn't even get a ticket.
01:46 My mother said I'm not interested in that kind of thing
01:49 at all, so you will have go by yourself.
01:51 It was just like the Holy Spirit spoke to me, I said you
01:54 know what mom, I really feel like I'm supposed to go,
01:56 alone that's okay, I'll go by myself.
01:59 I got home and started calling around and there was a ticket
02:03 outlet there, locally and I called them.
02:05 The gal put me on hold to go and check and see if they
02:07 had tickets, she came back and said you know what?
02:10 They have one ticket left. - No way!
02:12 By this time it was an hour before the concert and I said
02:16 that is my ticket, and I gave her my name.
02:18 I said please hold it for me.
02:20 I went straight over there and got that ticket.
02:23 Later on I found out that actually, before the concert,
02:28 they will go around to different venues and if
02:31 there are any tickets left, they will pick them back up.
02:33 So it's a miracle if they had that ticket there.
02:37 So I got that ticket, I've got there a little bit before
02:41 the concert began, I hadn't been to that particular venue
02:45 before so I was asking where general seating and reserved
02:50 seating the difference, because here's my ticket, it was general
02:53 The man was pointing out to me and said if you go right
02:56 up there that is your general seating.
02:59 I was following his hand and where he was pointing is
03:04 where he was sitting.
03:07 - God is too fun! - So when I got there he smiled at me.
03:10 I thought well he looks friendly.
03:13 I wasn't looking for a date or boyfriend or anything but
03:16 I thought he doesn't look like somebody that would bite
03:18 my head off if I asked is this seat taken.
03:20 He does look like a friendly person.
03:22 So I asked him if the seat on the end was taken and that
03:25 would have put three seats in between myself and him.
03:29 He said I'm sorry all those seats are taken.
03:32 He said I'm actually saving them for friends.
03:34 I thought oh, but then he said, but actually this seat right
03:38 here is not taken, beside him on the other side.
03:41 He said if you would sit here I would be delighted.
03:44 And I thought oh he is so nice, so I took that seat.
03:48 We had a few minutes before the concert started so we
03:51 introduce yourselves and became a little bit acquainted.
03:54 I was reading, what book was I reading?
04:00 'A Purpose Driven Life', I was reading A Purpose Driven
04:02 Life and he said, oh I have read that book and we started
04:05 talking about it and one thing led to another.
04:07 He found out that I was divorced, I found that he was
04:09 divorced and we were comparing notes.
04:12 We found out a lot of the feelings that we had been
04:15 through were very much the same.
04:17 So we had some common ground.
04:20 How we re-connected with God and re-established our relationship
04:25 with the Lord and had actually grown closer to the Lord
04:27 as a result of the things that we had been through.
04:29 So by the time the concert started I was thinking, wow,
04:32 what a cool person.
04:35 So as you are sitting there and she's sharing freely,
04:39 or openly about this divorce, what were you thinking?
04:43 I had many years before that been through it all.
04:47 Well part of a when, she was sitting next to me I thought,
04:51 wow, one of it was, I don't know how to get this other
04:55 than the story, part my story was two weeks before that
04:59 a Pastor friend of mine, I had been helping him in this
05:03 little small church.
05:05 He was a Pentecost Pastor and it was totally different
05:08 for me and he called me out in the middle church and
05:11 stopped his church and said, pointing to these ladies
05:13 and said write this down.
05:15 The Lord wants me to tell you something, he's my friend.
05:17 I'm like okay oh boy what is he going to say?
05:20 You have a wife and she's coming quickly and the
05:22 Lord wants you to know that.
05:23 When you are doing what you are supposed to be doing she
05:24 is going to come, and he smiled at me.
05:26 Afterwards I said, what was that?
05:29 I said are you serious, he said I'm sorry the Lord
05:31 impressed me to tell you that, and he was my friend.
05:34 This was like a week before I met her.
05:38 Ironically I started working back in radio that night.
05:41 I was not there actually just with friends, I was there
05:44 because I had announced that night, I had just started
05:46 working back in radio and television again.
05:48 I was up there announcing that night and introducing this
05:51 group and she just happened to come sit next to me.
05:53 Then I was sitting there and we were comparing notes and
05:55 I was going, no, I don't think so.
05:58 I had this been dating somewhat earlier to that and had
06:01 come to the point that that relationship was ending.
06:05 I thought, no this is not that easy, I wasn't sure, but
06:10 I noticed that she this woman that was really growing in the
06:14 Lord, and I was at this point as well.
06:16 I have been through quite a lot before that.
06:19 - talk about, before we get to this, talk about,
06:22 we know what Vicki's gone through because she shared with
06:26 us, what was your divorced like?
06:28 Was it similar as far as your healing?
06:31 What did that look like?
06:32 Mine was quite a long process, and to tell a little
06:36 of the background, I was one, I guess you could say,
06:39 that was just shocked.
06:41 I had a wife that just decided to leave.
06:42 - you thought everything was right?
06:45 Oh I did, and again a typical man thing to be honest with
06:47 you, I look back on it now and think that there was some
06:49 things she was crying out for help and I didn't see it.
06:52 I was the one that was left, I was the one that went
06:55 counseling alone for a whole year.
06:57 It was so bad for me where I I had gone through, at that
07:00 time, I owned 3 companies, lost the 3 companies,
07:05 was losing my home, and having to share custody with my
07:08 kids, which devastated me.
07:09 I was being accused on TV of taking money from clients and
07:13 not performing services, lawsuits and everything else.
07:16 I was at the point where, even after going to counseling,
07:20 I remember my first wife said she wanted to get back with
07:24 me, and then a week later I get divorce papers.
07:25 I was devastated and to the point, that one particular
07:30 day I decided I was going to find a gun and shoot myself,
07:34 and I was planning the whole thing out.
07:36 While I was getting ready to actually go in to do this
07:40 stuff, I saw no hope.
07:42 Here's the amazing thing, I was a believer, I knew,
07:46 and before that you could say I had a charmed life.
07:49 I had, radio, television, grew up in a Christian home,
07:52 everything you can imagine.
07:53 I didn't drink, I didn't smoke or have any of those
07:56 issues, quote "every one else", my family is good.
08:00 And my family was good.
08:01 A pillar of the church, taught, was on everything,
08:05 look at Tom, whoa, people would say that.
08:08 This took place so quickly, in fact the point I left
08:11 the church I was in on the advice of my good friend,
08:15 who was a Pastor.
08:16 He said you actually need to leave, and it was the best
08:19 advice I ever had, because people here can't believe your
08:22 wife would have left you, you must've done something wrong?
08:25 It sounds like the tornado that Vicki was talking about.
08:28 It was an emotional tornado for you, you've got slammed.
08:31 - I got slammed and the day is amazing, the day I was trying,
08:35 the first time I wanted to end my life.
08:37 Right when I was planning to do this someone knocked
08:40 at my door, my dad shows up in the middle the day.
08:43 We started talking and I was telling him everything
08:45 that was going on.
08:46 I think I even made the words I don't see any hope,
08:48 I don't see anything.
08:49 He looked at me and said you're not, out of his mouth
08:51 these words, you're not trying to hurt yourself are you?
08:53 I didn't want to say yes.
08:55 He very clearly said you know you have two kids, they
09:00 need their dad so bad, this is just stuff you're losing.
09:06 You can start all over again.
09:08 I was raised in a Christian tradition where, this is what
09:12 devastated me too, if you get divorced you can no longer
09:16 serve God, it's out the window.
09:18 - a lot of people believe that.
09:20 They believe it and I was believing it too until I had
09:23 a very wise Christian woman pull me aside, an incredible woman
09:29 that pulled me aside, she was an older lady.
09:31 She said to me, you know Tom, He is going to take this
09:34 and use this for His glory and we are praying that will
09:38 happen in your life.
09:39 Well it was several years, I went back into television,
09:42 I had to go back to work.
09:43 That sounds funny that I had to go back to work in a
09:46 different way, getting back in TV and getting back in
09:49 radio, and I had gotten to the point where I just didn't
09:52 want to ever do that again.
09:53 I started dating someone up here in Southern Illinois.
09:57 and I would come up here to help and go to her church.
10:00 I remember that I was praying during that time, it was
10:04 a whole cycle for me, where again a man's self worth is
10:08 found in his vocation and in those things that are very
10:12 important to men, all of a sudden, it was stripped from me.
10:15 I was out working and actually got to the point where
10:18 I was in between jobs, I was leaving the television
10:20 station because of being a single dad and I couldn't work
10:24 night side, I couldn't continue doing that.
10:26 During that time I worked with networks and all these
10:30 things when I was in my 20s and will go wow, neat.
10:33 It just wasn't satisfying at all, none of it was.
10:37 I just thought I want to get rid of all this.
10:40 I remember I had an accident up here helping a lady that
10:44 I was dating at the time, I had come up here to visit.
10:48 She was a single mom and I cut her yard and got my foot
10:50 caught underneath the lawnmower and got stuck here.
10:53 I was in between insurance and I couldn't go anywhere.
10:56 I was stuck here for several weeks.
10:57 I was going to say, somebody could've just lifted
10:59 the lawnmower up.
11:00 - seriously, but these little things just kept happening.
11:04 More than once, there was another time I wanted to end my
11:08 life during that time.
11:09 I was about to lose my house and I remember my kids were
11:13 leaving and the hardest time for me as a dad was, I used
11:18 to go in and spend time with my kids at night.
11:20 Pray with them and all these things,
11:21 it was ripped from me.
11:24 It was pulled away and I remember on Sunday nights they
11:27 would leave and it was the hardest night for me.
11:30 I just remember one Sunday evening, I just thought
11:33 I can't take this pain anymore.
11:36 My kids had to go home to be with their mom and I decided
11:38 I can't take it anymore.
11:39 So I remember that I thought about that and was thinking-
11:42 - I think for a lot of people, that a father is so use
11:45 to being able to hold and love and kiss on their children
11:49 and now they are not even able to live in the same house.
11:52 No they're not and that was devastating, that was harder
11:57 for me at that point then the divorce and the absence of
12:01 the wife, and the waiting and it didn't happen.
12:04 I was going to counseling, which really helped me during
12:07 that time, it was an incredible Christian man,
12:09 a wonderful guy and he began dealing with me, issues with
12:12 me, he didn't focus on her.
12:14 It was like wait a minute, and reminding me because I was
12:18 going through these suicidal thoughts.
12:20 I know he knew that but that night right after that
12:24 happened my kids had written post-it notes on the door and
12:27 when I was literally thinking about doing it again I had
12:30 shut the door to the bedroom and there was post-it note
12:32 that said dad, I love you very much and the other one
12:35 said dad, I miss you, wish I were here.
12:38 It just stopped me and I finally started realizing
12:42 something was there and got where it took a long process,
12:46 but I went through all that and finally relocated up here.
12:49 I really didn't want... - were you angry at her?
12:54 Yes I was and it grew, here's the thing it grew.
12:58 At that point I was so hurt I couldn't feel.
13:02 In fact during that process I got where
13:05 I couldn't do my job.
13:08 I couldn't edit, I'm very creative but I could even think
13:12 creatively, I forgot how to edit, I forgot how to shoot
13:15 with the camera, I forgot how to voice, I do voice for
13:19 a living and speak on the air.
13:20 Those skills started leaving me, it was like something was
13:23 wrong with me and I couldn't figure out what it was.
13:26 You're very essence was leaking out, like I totally
13:29 don't have it, wow.
13:30 So I decided I'm not going to do radio and television
13:34 again, I basically put my hand up one day and said,
13:37 God if you want me to do that ever again, You are going
13:41 to have to step down and show me because I'm not doing it.
13:44 - I love it, I love it because you are talking to God.
13:48 Listen here. - through all this I knew there was a
13:52 relationship with Him and to be honest with you, at this
13:56 point when I tell people this.
13:57 The thing that spoke to me was music, I couldn't listen
13:59 to sermons and for the first time in my life I couldn't
14:02 take meat I had to have milk.
14:03 It was a total different thing where I learned, I guess
14:07 you could say to depend upon, it was the thing where I
14:10 needed my Heavenly Father.
14:11 I needed, I didn't need the superficial Christian.
14:15 I didn't need the superficial trappings, I needed to be
14:18 cared for, I had never been to that point in my life.
14:23 - I'm dying here. - I'm dying here and You need to
14:26 hold me, in fact I lost everything.
14:29 So much so that I had to go back to live with my parents.
14:32 Here I am a 40-year-old guy and had three companies and
14:35 was making all the money I wanted.
14:37 I had radio and television and I had to come, my dad
14:39 which was great, they came and took care of me for a
14:42 long time, my dad had to buy me a car.
14:43 I had no car, I had no way, I had nothing, zip zilch
14:48 for a while, that was difficult.
14:51 But as we go forward, another thing about that prayer
14:56 I prayed, I went to visit this church one time and this
14:59 is where I met this first Pastor that became my friend.
15:02 He too had been through a divorce, and he was in a similar
15:06 situation and had actually been dethroned as a Pastor
15:08 of a church because he was divorced.
15:11 Just because something happened in his marriage.
15:12 Sometimes you want a raise your hand, but I did do it.
15:17 I didn't even want it.
15:18 I met this guy and he was from New York and I was from
15:22 Memphis, Tennessee, polar opposites, in fact our theology
15:26 was totally different.
15:27 We had this thing they came together and I met him one
15:30 night when I went to a church service and they were
15:34 praying over people.
15:35 I used to go to this one church just to be prayed for.
15:37 I had never been to that point where I wanted people
15:39 to pray for me and that was it.
15:41 I was to that point and needed somebody to say was
15:43 going to be okay.
15:44 - I hope that everybody watching heard that.
15:46 If you get to that point...
15:49 - you just have to put your hand on someone.
15:50 That is true, if you are on the end where you see someone
15:54 and you know, just pray for them, put your hand on them,
15:57 give them a hug.
15:59 - it's nothing, you don't even have to say magic words.
16:01 It's just I need someone to touch me.
16:04 If somebody to touch me, that is so true.
16:06 By the way, men need that too, bad.
16:09 They don't know how to ask for which is worse.
16:12 Women know how to ask for it more.
16:14 - I know as a man, I finally figured out it is very hard,
16:17 I think, for men to understand their feelings.
16:19 You have these horrible hurts and you can't explain it.
16:23 I know now because I have a wife that's great with that
16:26 and I have three grown daughters, so I really know.
16:30 It's awesome, to know their feelings, but sometimes I find
16:35 myself, sometimes as men we do have feelings but it is
16:40 like we can't get in touch with them.
16:41 We can't, it's like ah, I don't feel bad.
16:45 You don't know what they are or how to define them.
16:48 How do you explain them?
16:50 Back to that, one night I'm at this church service and
16:54 about to walk out the door because I had enough and
16:58 I was going to go back and work in the studio
17:01 I had started working in.
17:02 I said I guess God doesn't have anything for me here.
17:06 I started thinking that way and was like if You want me
17:10 to be in media again, this thing came up in my head,
17:13 let me know and all the sudden this Pastor at the front
17:17 of the church stopped and said, you in the Orange.
17:19 I looked around and of course it was me, I had this
17:22 bright orange shirt on.
17:23 I was walking out to leave and he said, God has a great
17:27 anointing in your life and He wants you to know.
17:30 He is going to use you in radio and television, and he
17:34 said you have been in that but for some reason something
17:39 has happened and he went into this other detail.
17:41 He said you are going to be involved in networks and will
17:45 be behind the camera and in front of the camera.
17:47 God wants you to know that so you don't forget what your
17:51 calling and where you are suppose to be.
17:52 This is right after it was in my head.
17:54 - this is when you were discouraged.
17:55 - totally and I had just said that as I was walking out
17:57 this door, you want me to be in radio and television,
18:00 I'm getting a job and started thinking of all these other
18:02 vocations and then this guy stops and says this.
18:05 I meet him later and he was like, I'm sorry he said,
18:08 but I felt so impressed to tell that of the Lord in front
18:11 of everyone, tell me why.
18:12 I told him what had happened.
18:14 He said I don't know what's going to take place but God
18:16 wants you to do that so move forward.
18:19 Several years before I had actually turned down a very
18:21 big job to work at a Christian television network,
18:24 for some reason I felt the Lord didn't want me to do that.
18:26 Right after that I took a job with a friend of mine at a
18:29 local TV affiliate here, the ABC station said,
18:32 would you come work?
18:34 I said yeah, what have you got?
18:36 He said we only have minimum wage jobs, would you take it?
18:39 I started at the bottom again and immediately they made
18:43 a job for me and all these things.
18:44 I was going on, a few months before I had met Vicki.
18:47 I had kind of gotten to a point of recovering, where I had
18:52 gone - were you can breathe again,
18:53 - where I can breathe again.
18:54 I finally started a relationship and started dating and got
18:59 stuck here and all kinds of things like that.
19:01 She knew more what that other person was like, this isn't
19:06 going to work out more than I did.
19:07 It just became a thing where I resigned, okay Lord
19:12 you know I will be a dad and do whatever you want me to
19:16 do and I will be happy.
19:18 I don't have to get married again, I had gotten to that
19:20 point where it is okay.
19:23 If You want me to be single, I'll be single.
19:25 First of all my kids, I prayed that they would come back.
19:30 During that time too I started praying for justice.
19:33 I think I mentioned this to you.
19:34 Justice because what had happened to me, I was the one
19:37 that was left, I was the one that was abandoned, I was the
19:40 one - that was blindsided - was blindsided.
19:43 I felt so, there is a humiliation to it but also just,
19:48 if the word was the victim syndrome, during that time
19:54 I had to work through some anger.
19:56 Big-time anger, and even though you can be the one who
20:01 might be called the victim, I got were I hated and
20:06 the word was angry.
20:08 Being hurt turned to anger, it is part of the process,
20:11 it is the grieving process.
20:13 I like to say divorce, you know why God says I hate
20:17 divorce, it is not the people, we know that.
20:20 It is because it rips the fiber of the family, it rips,
20:25 the best term is rips your guts out as an individual.
20:28 It destroys the family, it destroys the kids and it is
20:32 a rippling effect for your whole family.
20:34 It is not just you personally.
20:36 - Usually even the church. - and the church.
20:38 It really does and I became to understand that.
20:40 People go through it, it is very hard and my opinion was
20:45 it is like going through death, but the corpse is still
20:49 there and they are still yelling at you.
20:50 That is really the way I felt, but I had to work through
20:56 that and I got angry to be honest with you.
20:57 I understand what it means when the Bible says angry and
21:00 sin not, angry to the point of hatred and murder.
21:05 - David said, David said in the Psalms, I would like to
21:08 bash their teeth in, when he expressed his anger,
21:12 it was really intense stuff.
21:13 I felt that way, and I would even say those things to God.
21:18 Give me justice, she has to pay, I didn't deserve this.
21:23 But then, God used that to start looking at Tom.
21:29 And more of that has come to me over the past few years,
21:31 that wait just a moment.
21:33 You can put the list of things that she did and people
21:36 will go oh yes, oh yes, oh yes but wait Tom there is
21:39 murder in your heart.
21:41 Not just hatred, there is murder in your heart.
21:43 Sin is sin, is sin, and you may be the quote "innocent one",
21:47 but how is it going to be your response?
21:51 Is it going to be Mine in this or not?
21:54 I think that was rolling through me and I had gotten to
21:58 the point where I kind of got over the hatred part.
22:01 Still a little angry, would love to stir things up,
22:05 but I wanted justice.
22:06 During that time I had gotten to the point where she had,
22:10 hers was on the fast track, I was on the slow track.
22:15 I think I had more to learn because I was one of those
22:19 individuals who hadn't been forgiven of a lot because
22:23 I hadn't done a lot.
22:24 Where the one who loves much, the one who has been
22:28 forgiven, the whole principle is if you have been forgiven
22:32 a lot, you love and forgive a lot yourself.
22:35 I hadn't been one of those individuals.
22:38 I could say was on the goody two shoes side where I think
22:42 it is a deeper thing and God had to deal with me.
22:46 So there is almost 3 to 4 years between that time,
22:50 but I gotten were I was ready.
22:54 - Amen, but that's huge though, isn't that huge because
22:57 I think when you are on that side you don't see a lot of
23:01 your own stuff and it is really tough to be a place where
23:04 you surrender because you say, surrender what?
23:07 It takes God a while to start showing you
23:09 - your true colors. - yeah, yeah and it is really tough
23:15 for people who have a lot of junk is real easy.
23:17 We look at ourselves and think, oh yeah I have got,
23:20 I'll give you this plus let me go get my suitcase because
23:23 I have more stuff.
23:24 Oh yeah, for a while I couldn't see anything.
23:27 Then I finally started realizing that God had a plan.
23:34 I had no clue what that plan was, but as I began to
23:42 re-establish and I guess you could say as a man I got back
23:45 where my confidence came back and I began working at what
23:48 I was good at.
23:49 I took it a step at a time until I really decided, okay
23:52 Lord, what ever You want.
23:54 So about that time it is when I began seeking all this.
23:58 In the middle of that I was that this little bitty church
24:02 and when my Pastor friend was gone I was a substitute
24:06 Pastor off and on.
24:07 I would do a lot of work, so it was a small thing.
24:10 I came from these huge churches and all these huge things
24:12 and I was in this little small town, in this little small
24:14 TV station, in this little small radio station,
24:16 and everything was 180, scaled down.
24:19 That was in this little small church with just a few
24:22 people and that was when that one week end that this Pastor
24:26 friend I got to know said, I was like, do what?
24:29 What are you saying again?
24:30 He was like you're going to meet your wife, and I thought
24:32 no I don't believe that stuff.
24:35 God doesn't work miracles, I didn't really believe that.
24:38 To be honest with you, I'm sorry the Canon was closed and
24:42 Scripture and I'm not just supposed to sit and wait.
24:45 That was my thinking and I knew him.
24:49 I knew he had done some things, but I did not know what
24:52 was about to come and then that night we met.
24:56 It was amazing, because I knew when she said she had the
25:01 last ticket, she said, I got it.
25:03 Well I knew they picked those things up earlier and I
25:05 knew that was an impossibility because they were all
25:08 picked up, but you got one.
25:10 So we started comparing notes and I think we even went to
25:15 eat and we just started connect after that.
25:19 You could probably go a little further with it, you know
25:22 all the, she knows all the details.
25:24 - women know all the details, even now a concert is over,
25:29 and you guys are eating, was there a sense that God is
25:34 doing something, that God is involved in this.
25:37 Did you guys get that sense?
25:38 Oh yeah I did, I didn't know again, me I thought she,
25:42 and I originally thought maybe I could help her because
25:45 she had been divorced less time than I had.
25:47 I actually gave her a phone number and said if I can do
25:51 anything, you know, here's my number, you need help,
25:56 call me, call me.
25:57 We did that, funny that night we stayed until one or two
26:01 o'clock in the morning and I had to be working television
26:04 news at 3 a. m.
26:07 - you could tell he liked you. - yeah!
26:11 We started trying to leave about 10 o'clock, I put my
26:13 purse all my shoulder and he said, I'm going to get the
26:16 bill and I said, you don't have to.
26:18 He said yeah I will.
26:19 He starts to lean over in his chair and I moved over my
26:22 chair and the next three hours went like that.
26:26 We sat there like that on the edge of our chairs for three
26:30 hours, time went by quickly.
26:32 - that is funny.
26:33 I just remember right after, tell the rest of the,
26:36 how it happened after that because I was, a relationship
26:40 was in ending for me and...
26:41 Tell a little bit about it, I went to this church and was
26:45 praying with friends first.
26:47 It was a fast track and we will tell you that in a moment.
26:51 I guess really the first thing was I ran into you a couple
26:56 days after that, didn't I?
26:57 We ran into each other again and then after that my mom
27:02 had some problems with her VCR.
27:05 He told me he worked in television, or TV.
27:08 He didn't tell me what he did in TV.
27:11 - Could tell me how to turn the VCR on! Could you come over?
27:16 Exactly, that is what he said, it's not exactly what I'd
27:20 do, but I would be happy to take a look at it.
27:25 So he came over and took a look at my mom's VCR.
27:27 It wasn't able to fix the VCR but we got to talk again.
27:32 After that I think you start stopping by pretty much every
27:35 evening, when he would get off work he would stop by for
27:38 an hour or two and we started actually bringing the Bible
27:42 out and started studying together.
27:44 We started studying the Bible together and started
27:46 praying together, that really.
27:48 That really blew my mind away and the other thing I
27:50 learned about, this was a neat thing, I went there and
27:53 she had, we told each other stories and all the details we
27:55 started sharing all the details.
27:57 The hurts of everything and I remember she had this desk,
28:00 and on the desk she had all these post-it notes and they
28:04 were Bible verses, things they had to do with, I guess you
28:07 could say, reminding her who she was in Christ.
28:10 What God would do and it really had an impression on me.
28:17 I was looking like what is she studying, wow!
28:20 Then we could pray so easy together.
28:23 She was very receptive and that blew my mind away.
28:26 I had never really experienced that to that kind of level.
28:29 - I hadn't either. - we pray together, it was like
28:32 thing, and here's the thing, I knew it.
28:36 It was like one day, I remember we were talking,
28:39 and I said you are the one and I knew it.
28:42 I remember I said that, it was like she is the one.
28:47 That's the one, Lord she is the one isn't she?
28:51 Wait a minute, do you know what is really interesting?
28:54 When you say she is the one, is all the work God did with
28:57 you guys personally, with your relationship with Him,
29:00 your healing from all those deep hurts that really opens
29:02 you up for this love relationship to happen.
29:05 We knew it, I have to say this to preface about what
29:10 I'm going to say, we got married within a month.
29:13 Well let me say this other first, - within a month?
29:16 I don't encourage that with everyone, but we knew.
29:19 It was just this incredible thing and we knew,
29:22 within a month after we met we were married and it has,
29:27 just been absolutely amazing.
29:29 - you have adult children, both of you so how did that
29:32 workout because usually people have these horror stories.
29:35 The first time they met, it was like they had been
29:38 together their whole lives.
29:39 We couldn't believe that - it was absolutely amazing.
29:42 One other thing we made very clear, I guess we talked
29:44 about this, we don't have stepchildren.
29:47 I do not believe in stepchildren, I believe that God
29:52 gave me two daughters I never knew.
29:54 You have to go into that, we have four kids.
29:59 I may have to explain that this is my stepdaughter,
30:02 but the we just have this attitude, we have four.
30:06 We have three daughters and one son and that
30:10 is the way it is.
30:12 You go into that with this mindset, so I think when you
30:14 hold it up before the Lord and literally claim that,
30:18 because I see them as gifts and amazing miracles with
30:21 our kids, the relationships with them.
30:26 She has things that my two needed, I have things that
30:32 her two needed, is that correct?
30:34 God has blessed in all those ways.
30:37 What is interesting is, when I hear you guys speak,
30:41 is what the devil meant to destroy both of you with,
30:45 God said you got to trust Me and stay in relationship
30:49 with Me, do your recovery work and I will bless you.
30:54 I think we forget to do that when we are really deeply
30:57 wounded, especially relationships, we forget to come
31:00 around side someone and tell them to stand up,
31:02 keep focused, this is not meant for your destruction.
31:07 God is not like that.
31:09 We are quick to jump in an out of relationships and
31:12 God says I am not like that.
31:14 I'm going to open up for questions, because I know there
31:16 are people at the café who have listen to this.
31:18 Divorce is so, I hate to say commonplace, but it really
31:23 is commonplace so I would just say is there anybody that
31:27 has a question or would like to ask a question?
31:31 Okay Patrice. - Hi I'm Patrice from Lansdale and my
31:35 question to you comes from a very deep personal side.
31:39 The first thing is, as someone who about two years ago
31:43 had to make a decision to put divorce on the table
31:48 or take it off.
31:49 My husband and I decided to take it off the table and
31:52 to seek counseling and to do some real deep healing.
31:57 There were some very sensitive issues that could have
32:01 devastated our family.
32:02 One of the things I have to say that I admire is in the
32:06 asking of forgiveness and realize what the enemy meant
32:10 for bad, God will turn around and make it for good.
32:13 I do believe that the Bible talks about generational
32:16 curses and there are aspects of that, we have to be
32:19 very careful what we pass onto our children,
32:20 when they are young or even an adult.
32:22 My question to you is this, what have you learned as
32:26 far as forgiveness has gone, as well as passing on that element
32:30 of forgiveness with your children to their parents
32:33 were no longer in their lives?
32:35 - Wow, that's heavy. - it is.
32:39 Part of the healing process is forgiving yourself and
32:43 forgiving your spouse, your ex spouse.
32:45 I was actually the person that left, when I was looking
32:50 back through the issues that we have suffered in our
32:54 marriage and it resulted in the ending of our marriage,
32:59 I saw a lot of things that I had done wrong and asked the
33:03 Lord for forgiveness and asked my
33:05 ex spouse for forgiveness.
33:07 I think it is important to do.
33:10 - so the next step, as you were talking about too,
33:12 about the children, people forget about those curses and
33:16 blessings that now I have given all this stuff to my
33:19 children, how do I allow them, or give them permission
33:23 not to receive it, not to take it on, to be able to
33:26 still love both spouses and to deal with the junk that they
33:29 saw in the marriage and not allow that
33:32 to devastate their relationships.
33:36 We try not to say bad things about our ex-spouses to the
33:40 kids, - there are some jokes, I have to admit.
33:43 But it's ones that they would do, but when it comes to
33:48 demeaning, you're right.
33:51 They love our ex-spouses too,
33:54 - we encourage a relationship with them as well.
33:57 Not just to allow the relationship to continue,
34:00 but yes encouraging the relationship to continue.
34:03 - at one time you had your ex - wife actually come out to
34:07 your house and hang out.
34:09 - that is part of an incredible forgiveness story which
34:11 I think we will share a little of that at the end.
34:16 The question is how, for me, it was really having to
34:20 forgive as a believer, let me put it in this way.
34:25 If I claim the name of Christ, and I want to take His
34:29 name in vain, how can I not forgive the way He forgave?
34:33 You have to come to that place, there is no excuse
34:36 for you not to.
34:37 Here is the other thing, in my relationship with Vicki
34:40 right now, and this is something I wish I knew before,
34:43 and I should have known that, it's forgiving.
34:45 You have to forgive every day.
34:47 - right you have to forgive them for what they may
34:51 have done to you too.
34:53 And that forgiveness thing is huge, neither one of us want
34:57 to do that, but when she said forgiving yourself for the
35:01 things you did, - maybe even forgiving God?
35:04 There is a huge thing in saying to God, why couldn't You
35:09 protect me on all that anger, so even the forgiveness to
35:13 God Himself as forgiving to our spouses so that doesn't
35:17 get a generational thing going where I give that
35:20 unforgiving spirit to my child.
35:22 And - letting our children know that we are not pro-
35:25 divorce, and we have let them know there are things we
35:28 could have done differently in our marriages that would
35:31 have been better if we had.
35:35 It shouldn't of been this by the way, because it happened
35:37 to us, this should not happen to you.
35:40 You should know to look for in a mate. - like?
35:45 Relationship first of all with the God of heaven, Lord this
35:49 is not about religion.
35:51 - are they spiritually in the right place themselves?
35:54 This thing is not about being in the same church or
35:57 what ever, is about first knowing Jesus Christ.
36:00 Second of all walking in the spirit and those other
36:04 things, look for the person growing, also that they come
36:08 to a clear point.
36:11 - someone you would enjoy spending the rest of your
36:13 life with too, that you share common interests with.
36:15 - that's huge. - that is huge Hollywood says that
36:18 opposites attract and there is a lot of things that can
36:21 come between you when you don't have a common interest.
36:25 When opposites attract, I love it because
36:27 she is different than I am, she is more detailed,
36:28 - I'm a little off the wall and creative.
36:30 - and we are a lot alike in other ways too.
36:32 We have those things that we hold together, and that
36:35 was from the beginning.
36:36 Okay are there any other questions?
36:38 By the way Patrice that was a great question.
36:40 How bout you Donna? - yes I have a question.
36:42 This usually takes a time to go through a process like
36:47 this and I am curious from the time, Tom your wife left
36:53 you, the time that you decided in your heart to forgive
36:57 her, and then Vicki from the time you left your husband
37:02 to the time where you had forgiveness in your heart.
37:06 How long was that for both of you?
37:09 I think was different for both of us.
37:12 For me it was probably three or four years were
37:15 I got to get to that point.
37:19 It's a continual process because I have to be honest
37:23 with you, this is one I think until probably the past
37:27 year or two that I have really totally resigned to it.
37:31 I don't think there is a magic number.
37:34 For me it was just a few months because two things.
37:37 One thing was that I have more difficulty forgiving
37:40 myself that I did forgiving my ex-spouse.
37:44 The other thing was that it turned out to be a blessing
37:49 because I wasn't able to find work right away.
37:51 I had moved back up here and was actually able to spend
37:55 about three months where the majority of my days were
38:00 spent in Bible study and prayer and going to my counseling
38:03 sessions so I got to work through, I had some really
38:06 intense time to work through issues.
38:09 I think that really made difference.
38:11 - Amen, Amen that is another good question.
38:15 I know Brad you had a question.
38:16 The question I have actually relates to Cheri and I in
38:19 that we came from different spiritual backgrounds.
38:22 She had an Adventist upbringing and I came from a Methodist
38:26 background, you spoke the fact that you came from two
38:29 different spiritual backgrounds.
38:31 Where are you guys now it how can you address that?
38:35 - that is a good question, and I have to say upbringing
38:38 I had no spiritual upbringing but came in to Adventism
38:41 after I came off the streets, because somebody is going to
38:44 say I just did know she had a spiritual background.
38:46 You each had spiritual backgrounds and I know that you
38:48 said you were studying together so part of that had
38:51 to be from that, and so talk about
38:54 how you came onto one page.
38:57 Not on everything, my prayer was that if it was God's
39:03 will for me to marry again, I would meet a man
39:06 who had a heart for Him and he was kind.
39:09 Tom met both those things are plus there were so much
39:14 more, but his background was different from mine.
39:18 You were at that time attending a
39:21 nondenominational church.
39:23 - I have been Baptist, I had been with
39:25 Church of God, a chameleon.
39:26 He had found a relationship with the Lord though and
39:31 we did agree on some issues like Sabbath.
39:34 - yeah that was something that was different, but
39:37 those things I had to work through more than she did.
39:40 My attitude was I was right and she was wrong.
39:44 - I love that! - I know but it's true, but the thing
39:47 was God brought a lot of things with her to me that
39:50 I had never heard and we began studying the Scriptures.
39:54 The first that we have to say was our relationship
39:57 with Christ was the focus.
39:59 How we had, I didn't even know that she went to a different
40:05 church, this did not come up at first.
40:07 She had said something about it, and I said wait just a
40:12 minute, my thing was the Holy Spirit is clearly working
40:17 in her life and I had prayed for a woman that would also
40:21 follow God and that I could pray with.
40:24 It was these things that were very uniting and then a little
40:28 period of time and we worked through that and I was the one
40:31 that actually ended up being an Adventist later.
40:35 I study in which she basically left that part to God.
40:39 But she was in a relationship.
40:41 - she is not afraid of that?
40:44 No! - what is interesting is that I could tell you are
40:46 from different places spiritually when you said people
40:48 were prophesying over you and that doesn't necessarily
40:51 happen in our churches much.
40:52 So I could tell you were from different places.
40:56 God is not really afraid of that stuff, He just says
40:59 at one time when I asked God it was funny.
41:02 God who are you working with and who is right and that
41:06 type of stuff, He said I'd make it really simple.
41:08 I just got this image from God, He said to get a mirror
41:12 and put it under their nose and of its steams up,
41:14 that is my child.
41:15 I thought, how fun is that!
41:18 He says I'm trying to bring everybody to a healing place,
41:21 I'm trying to bring everybody to the truth, especially after
41:24 divorce and major things like that is that you guys went
41:27 through, and we're going to take a break right now and
41:30 come back, but you went through some major hurts in
41:32 your life and the betrayals and having to adjust and then
41:36 lose everything, your jobs and it sounds like not just the
41:40 relationships but you got hit in a number
41:42 of areas and God had to reestablish who you are as a
41:45 person and then who you are as far as Him and His child
41:49 and then definitely who you are in a relationship again.
41:53 We are going ahead to take a break but I want you guys
41:57 to stay with me and we're going to talk
42:00 a little bit as the close this out on ultimately the
42:03 forgiveness, not only for yourself or for God, but for
42:07 your spouse and how did that look.
42:09 I know that you guys have a wonderful story there.
42:12 So stay with us we will be right back.
42:13 If you are hurting in a relationship in a divorce
42:18 setting like this, just know that God is not afraid
42:22 and will come right alongside of you.
42:24 Just be encouraged, we will be right back!