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IT’S NEVER TOO LATE

IT’S NEVER TOO LATE

By Lexy Merrifield

I could feel that I was slipping, losing my spunk, losing myself and starting to feel mentally unstable.  I felt abandoned by God and I started to lose touch with reality myself. I knew something had to change. 

Before we even got married, Jay and I were really good friends. I knew he had a colorful past and was a convert to my church, but hey, I had some demons of my own that I had to overcome and felt I could relate. I had some pretty powerful, spiritual experiences that led me to know he was the right one for me. 

We got married and were so excited to start our life! We didn’t have any money and my husband was excited to get started in school. Life quickly came to a reality when I got pregnant two months later. 

Starting a family was exciting news for us. However, school became harder and money was tight. We were both getting anxious and stressed and began to fight a lot. Jay started taking Adderall to help with his concentration in classes and using muscle relaxers and Xanax at night for the stress. When he started getting headaches again a friend from work gave him a contact for prescription painkillers, and so it began. 

I knew he had issues with pain killers before.  The first time I found a bottle of about 120 pills, I called him and asked him why he had so many? He freaked out and told me not to touch them. I remember thinking that I should flush them down the toilet. I didn’t. I was scared and knew he would get so mad at me so I ignored the issues and it just went downhill from there.

He continued to find different doctors and would often visit the E.R. to get more. Our fights were at an all time high and he was verbally abusive, but wouldn’t remember much of our arguments due to pills. We became distant and I began to fall out of love with him. 

At this point, our son was about 6 months old. Jay was a great dad but this dark cloud loomed over us; always. I was unsure but I just kept thinking, I don’t think life and marriage should be this unhappy. He would try to quit cold turkey, but it never lasted. At the time, we didn’t think he was an addict because the medications were prescribed by doctors, and he did have real pain. Looking back, I can see that my husband wasn’t really himself. He was a version of himself, but he had turned into a monster person by mind altering substances.

I’ll never forget a fight that we had — he stormed out of the house. I came back to our son rolling around the kitchen in his play chair with food all on his face and hair from being unattended while we fought in the other room. I lost it and couldn’t stop crying. I would have nightmares that I would wake up and Jay would be lying dead next to me. A fear, but I remember thinking that maybe it would be better if he just died because at least the chaos of our life would be gone. 

I could feel that I was slipping, losing my spunk, losing myself and starting to feel mentally unstable.  I felt abandoned by God and I started to lose touch with reality myself. I knew something had to change. 

I prayed to Heavenly Father to show me the truth.

I found doctors’ cards and a Tylenol bottle filled with Percocet. I was crushed but relieved to know I wasn’t going crazy.  He was acting so weird but telling me he was clean. We went to church leaders and counselors for help, but nothing was working and he wasn’t ready to stop. I would call my mom begging her to come get me but Jay would threaten to call the cops on me if I took our son anywhere– I felt like a prisoner and I was scared.  

I prayed and prayed to Heavenly Father to help me . 

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”. (Hebrews 11:1, KJV)

One night after Jay put our son to bed he rolled over to give me a kiss. I told him I hated him and that I wanted a divorce.. That stark reality hit him and he promised to move home to California with me as long as I didn’t leave him. I agreed, but  just to get myself home. As soon as we got to my parents house, I told him that he needed to leave. He would only agree if we split the time with our son 50/50. I agreed and I cried the entire Christmas–I didn’t have my son. 

After that, It was a relief to not be around him, but we fought every phone call and when dropping off or picking up our son. I was pregnant with our 2nd child and I was now dealing with my own broken self, trying to be a mom and picking up the  pieces of our broken marriage.

I lost faith. Something that naturally came easy to me was now making me question everything–Was God there? What was my future going to be with my 18 month old son and unborn baby girl? The future seemed dark and I was lost. 

Luckily God knows us oh-so-much more than we know ourselves. He gave me the reflection time to journal, read scriptures and read some religious books on divorce. I prayed a lot and piece by piece, I started to find myself again. Counseling helped me find answers for myself and I kept close to the spirit– something I could finally feel now that I was not in the same house as my husband.

I finally felt strong enough and was ready to get divorce papers started when one night Jay called to tell me something. His voice was different and there was a calmness I hadn’t heard from him in years.  He found a 12 Step addiction recovery meeting and met people who were putting their lives back together. I was glad he found something but still determined to get a divorce. 

One day my lawyer called to finalize things. 

While I was on  the call, I heard a very small but very clear sentence. “JUST WAIT!” I immediately told my lawyer that I would need to call her back. “I don’t understand Lord, I’m not in love with him anymore.” I told him. “I’m not sure I’ll ever feel that love– too much has happened.”

“Oh child,” he said, “it’s never too late to be who you might have been”. 

After 4 months of separation we found ourselves sitting together both changed through Christ! That night, Jay and I talked for hours and Heavenly Father gave me my miracle! He showed me Jay’s true potential– our potential as a couple. God gave me His eyes that night. I felt more love for Jay that night than I did our whole marriage! It burned into my soul something I’ll never ever forget !

I knew what I had to do. Four months clean wasn’t long, but I put my trust in God– he knew better than I did! I put my faith centerfold. He had given me what I asked for–a love I thought could not be restored was returned to me in one night. 

Our miracle doesn’t stop there! We attended 12 step meetings through our church, attended marriage counseling and little pieces at a time God restored our lives, our  marriage, and blessed us with a healthy baby girl who was born with both parents present! 

I’m thankful I can look back and remember the night I cried in the closet pleading to Heavenly Father for help. Telling him if we were able to help just one person or just one couple,  that somehow it would have all been worth it! It was and is!!! 

My Jay was able to get his 6 year chip this past December, and we now facilitate our own 12 step meeting. I also encourage and facilitate a special meeting for spouses who are the loved ones of addicts. 

The same 12 steps that got my husband sober are the same 12 steps I used to restore my own recovery! 

I found that through the power of the atonement, Christ can heal any broken heart … fix any broken marriage and that truly, “it is never too late to be who you might have been!” 

“If ye have faith as a grain of a mustard seed…nothing shall be impossible unto you.” (Matt 17:20)

 

 

“The Lord works from the inside out. The world works from the outside in. The world would take people out of the slums. Christ takes the slums out of people, and then they take themselves out of the slums. The world would mold men by changing their environment. Christ changes men, who then change their environment. The world would shape human behavior, but Christ can change human nature. . . . (Ezra Taft Benson, A Guide to Addiction Recovery and Healing)

6 Comments

  1. Lexy ROCKS!! I am truly grateful everyday for her strength and her faith!! (and my grandkids!!) LOVE YOU!!

  2. This is such a beautiful story of so many things, love, faith, forgiveness, growth, endurance…..I just love it so much. I have read so many times but still tears come to my eyes when I see how brave and amazing Lexy is. Such a beautiful example of faith and listening to what God wants and knows. Wow, I just love this gal.

  3. This is truly a miracle from a faith based source. With God, nothing is impossible. Lexi and Jay are living proof.

  4. Absolutely incredible story! Thank you for taking the time to share her faith filled story. I’ve been a beneficiary of Lexi and Jay’s faith and have been fortunate enough to attend their same meetings with them. Their power is palpable.

  5. What a story of faith and hope. Surely our God is a God of miracles. As taught, faith precedes the miracle, and comes only after the trial of our faith. Thank you for being willing to share your story with honesty and conviction.

  6. Lexy there really is no one better or more real than you! Thank you for being vulnerable and raw in the midst of so much social media perfection.

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