The Pittman’s ~ a couple from North Carolina
Tim – God has changed me in so many ways. He reached down and literally smacked me in the back of the head and said, “Open your eyes.” I came from a divorced family and I carried that bitterness of where I felt my father had failed me all the way down to my family. And I began to see it. When an unsaved man can look at his family and see it falling apart, it’s bad!
I married Judy because God put it in my heart that she was the one. But what did I do? I took an innocent woman and turned her into a block of ice. I destroyed her. I still can’t bear the pain that I’ve inflicted on her and my children. It’s unbearable.
But I can tell you what God has done. I’ve seen the bad side and now I’m experiencing the good side. It’s a blessing now to come home with my wife meeting me at the door and my kids screaming, “Dad…Dad”! When I first met Paul and Jenny, my daughter wouldn’t talk to me or even let me touch her. She never would. My son had an anger problem and would just explode like a time bomb. My wife was looking for the quickest way to get rid of me.
I wanted to change. What brought all of this on was my wife meeting Jenny about six months prior to myself meeting them. I quit a job where I had traveled for 15 years and not been with my family. I was seeing my family fall apart. I was gone all the time, and now I was going to do the right thing. But I was going to do it my way, not God’s way. I was going to quit my job and come home and be the perfect dad. But it didn’t turn out that way. I didn’t change until God got a hold of me.
Judy – Well, I remember the first time I went to Jenny’s Bible study. I had grown up in Christian schools and was in church my whole life, and I thought this was just another good thing I was going to do. When Jenny began to talk and she told her story, it touched me so much. I thought, “Wow!” I’ve never heard anyone say stuff like this, because she was being very honest. You don’t talk about stuff like that and now I had found someone as rotten as me! And they were actually talking about it. I’d discovered I found someone to relate to.
Every conference I’ve been to you have the perfect women with the perfect husbands and you’re not perfect, your life is falling apart. I was a mean woman, very mean. I would tell my husband, “You better sleep with one eye open Buddy, because one of these days…” I did it because he was so mean. Our kids were following our example and were mean to one another and truly hateful at times.
So I sat and listened to the other ladies in the Bible study talk and say things like, “My husband is so sweet, he so darling…” But I told them, “Let me tell you about my husband. I hate him! I really hate him!” I had friends that I would call and tell them to please pray that my husband would find another woman. That way he’s gone. I had the kids and I’m in the clear. Jenny’s words when she looked at me were, “What about you?” And I thought, “Wait a minute now!” Most people when they talk to me would say, “You poor thing. You’re so pitiful. We know you have such a horrible life.” And I listen to them and agree and say to myself, “Yes that’s right. I’m so innocent and I’m so sweet.”
But when Jenny told me that, I went on a quest, and I do believe with all my heart, that’s when I truly got saved. I had been raised in a Christian home, never been to public school or had negative influences. Three times a week I was in church and I had the pattern down pat. But it wasn’t in the heart. I truly asked God to save me because I wanted Him in my heart and I wanted Him to be real. At this point, all I had for my lifeline was God. I had always had Tim to blame for my situation. But when I took him out of the picture, I asked God to show me myself and my sin. Little Miss Goody-two-shoes, who had the pattern down pat, was now seeing this horrible self. I was bitter. I was angry. I was immodest and so much more. But it is unbelievable what God did. He had so much grace and mercy on me.
Then one night, Tim was drinking out on the porch swing. Tim used to drink a lot and that was his lifeline, Budweiser. He always called me “woman”. When he called me out to sit with him that night he said, “Woman, I don’t know what you got into over at that Speed house, but I can’t eat and I can’t sleep.” And for two hours we sat on the porch swing as he laid his head on my lap and poured out his heart to me. He told me how he had cursed our children through his alcohol and issues. I listened and I didn’t interrupt him at all. And that right there was a miracle because I talk all the time. I just listened to his heart, because everything had always been about me. I loved the sympathy and the attention. So as I listened to his heart, I began to see how I had hurt him and all he needed was God. Shortly after that time he got saved and things really began to change.
Do I feel lovely? Do I feel wanted by my husband? You bet I do! My husband tells me all the time how lovely I am. But where does my beauty really come from? There’s a light that God put inside of me that is burned away all the filth and you will never understand until He does the same for you. I’ve been down to the bottom and now I feel like I’m on the top. If any of you think that you can do this on your own, you’re wrong. Your lifeline has got to be Christ and He is the support that will never leave you.