Alan and Milette: Healing and Forgiveness
Alan: As a teenager during the chaotic era of the hippies and Woodstock, I was part of rock band where we experimented with drugs and alcohol. Bingeing on alcohol during weekends was common.
After graduation I was hired by a company that was into shipping, airlines and stevedoring. My job called for a lot of entertaining, so I started drinking every night.
Then my father suggested that I take over the family business. But I soon sensed that my parents had no plans at all of relinquishing control of the company to me. So began my feelings of betrayal, anger, bitterness and frustration that I no longer cared about going to the office.
Milette: I was 23 when I met Alan. I noticed that he drank quite a lot but I wasn’t worried because I considered his drinking as part of his job. Two years later, we got married and two years after, I gave birth to our first child, Patrick.
Our first major trial came when we tried to have another child but failed. It did not help that my job required me to stay late in the office and sacrifice my week-ends. Our marriage started to suffer.
On weekends I suffered pangs of loneliness because Alan would be out playing golf and drinking with his buddies the whole day. I had no peace in my marriage and our family life was in shambles. Realizing the delicate situation of our marriage, I decided to resign from my job to focus on my family.
In 1998 we adopted a beautiful baby girl.. Thea's presence in our life helped to heal our indifference toward each other.
Alan: By 2005 my drinking was totally out of control. I was hospitalized several times for drinking-related problems. To make matters worse, Milette discovered that I had been carrying on an affair with a much younger woman for sometime and she was ready to give up on me Instead of asking for her forgiveness, I abandoned my family and lived with the other woman for several months.
Milette: In 2005 my husband's family business which thrived heavily on foreign exchange was adversely affected by the 9/11 tragedy in the US. It was during this difficult time, right before his father died in 2007, that Alan would often have misunderstandings with his parents.
It was also then that I learned about his affair with a younger woman. My heart was torn to pieces, but I had to be strong for the sake of our children. Then It got even scarier when his liver became cirrhotic.
Alan: My doctors advised my wife that if I didn’t seek help very soon, I wouldn’t be around by 2009. But God had other plans for me. A close friend convinced my wife to bring me to Penuel House ( now Penuel U), a truly one-of-a-kind spiritual recovery sanctuary.
My first month in Penuel was a difficult time of adjustment but I was introduced to the Bible. I learned that all my sins had been paid for by the death of Jesus on the Cross. All I needed to do was to repent of my sins and receive the free gift of eternal life. I felt an extreme sense of joy because all along I thought that I had been condemned to hell because of all my sins.
Milette: Amazed at my husband’s transformation while in Penuel, I readily agreed when he invited me to the worship service in Christ's Commission Fellowship (CCF). That first service was unforgettable. I always thought that I was an A-one Christian, but I realized I was a "lukewarm" Christian and I was humbled.
During his stay in Penuel we got to attend a couples’ retreat. Then we started attending midweek Bible Studies. An irresistible thirst to know God more came over me.
I used to be so full of pride, unforgiving, and uncaring. All that mattered was the big "I" I was so judgmental that when people didn't measure up to my standards I would be upset and berate them. I had a bad temper and I was a materialistic person.
After I accepted Jesus Christ, I felt the Lord gradually healing me of strongholds. I began to bear the fruits of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness and self-control.
Alan: When I surrendered myself completely to the Lord, miracles began happening in my life. Whereas I thought my family’s healing would take a long time, I was shocked when God started healing them almost immediately. It began with my 10-year-old daughter who, only months before, commented that “I don’t have a daddy anymore, he’s dead.” During her visits to Penuel she became Daddy’s little girl again. Now she’s part of NxtGen.
My son, on the other hand, gave me the best Christmas gift when he came to the Penuel Christmas Party after I wrote him a letter asking for forgiveness. We started bonding again and it felt good to have him back.
Though I lost my mother while I was in Penuel, before she died I was able to ask for her forgiveness and to tell her how grateful I was to her for not giving up on me. Her passing away at dawn on New Year’s Day of this year was like God telling me, “for you, a new dawn, a new year and a new life”.
In order to know God more my wife and I now regularly attend Sunday worship, Bible Studies and D-group meetings. And in thanksgiving for all His blessings, we intend to join NxtGen as volunteers.
Milette: My marriage and family life has become a blessing. After learning about how God had forgiven me for all my sins, it became easier for me to forgive Alan and build again from the brokenness and bitterness that consumed me.
Like water to a deer, I cannot picture myself surviving in this world without my new-found relationship with God. Ironically, it took my erstwhile alcoholic husband to bring me to the CCF family where the seed of faith and love for Jesus was planted in my heart. As 2 COR 5:17 says, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!"
Alan: I close this testimony with a verse from Philippians 3: 13-14 which I quote:
“But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
TO GOD BE THE GLORY...
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