It was while she sat on the beach that Vicki realized her life was crashing down around her.
She watched up and down the coastline as families played together, building sand castles, splashing in the waves, creating memories.
But Vicki sat there alone, sobbing. Her kids were hundreds of miles away with a babysitter. Her husband, Bill, was back in their hotel room, sick, trying to survive withdrawals from his drug addiction.
The weight of her emptiness and loneliness was crushing. All of the self-medicating she had resorted to in the past – shopping, extramarital affairs, and her own drug use – no longer eased the pain she had felt for so long.
She had grown up in a very strict environment. Her mother, a perfectionist, had directed her anger and control issues at Vicki throughout her life. Then, just a week before Vicki’s high school graduation, her mother died.
She searched for stability in relationships and thought she found it in Bob, a former baseball player turned owner of a swanky New York City restaurant whose clientele was a who’s who of celebrities.
Vicki believed marriage would not only provide her the love and care she had always wanted, but that it would heal all of her childhood hurts and fill up the emptiness within her.
Bill spent the majority of his time at the restaurant – sometimes 18 hours a day – caught up in the glamor of the celebrities, the women, and the drugs that flowed through the doors. All of it came before Vicki and their marriage. He thought his achievements would fill up the empty places inside of him and make him happier. But as the years passed, he realized it didn’t.
A lot of guys can relate to Bill’s story. They fill their lives with things that crowd out their marriage. They don’t come home at night because it’s easier to spend long hours at work where they feel respected and in charge.
For many women, Vicki’s story sounds familiar. They’re looking for life’s answers in their relationships and wind up unhappy when their husbands don’t meet all of their needs or satisfy their every longing.
That was the dark, empty place Vicki had reached there on the beach. She was sad, lost, and out of answers.
But God had been working in her life. She’d received an invitation from a friend to attend a speaking engagement about Christianity by then Secretary of the Interior Don Hodel and his wife, Barbara.
It seemed an odd topic, and Vicki had never heard of the Hodels, but she decided to attend anyway. (I’m proud to say Don served on the board here at Focus on the Family and later served as the interim president before I was appointed to that role.)
That night at the dinner party surrounded by 900 people in the grand ballroom of the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York City, Vicki asked Jesus Christ into her life.
The healing of Bill and Vicki’s marriage had begun.
Over the ensuing months Bill also came to Christ. He was rescued miraculously from his drug addiction and began reprioritizing his marriage and his kids back into his life.
Bill and Vicki Rose’s story is a remarkable journey of restoration between a couple headed for certain divorce. We’ve invited them to join us in our studios for the next couple of programs to share their experiences.
Their story reveals how very wrong a relationship can go when a husband and wife don’t root their marriage in the Lord. But it also demonstrates that Jesus can reach into the darkest of circumstances and bring restoration.
Marriage finds its ultimate fulfillment in Christ because it conforms us to His image. There’s no other relationship quite like marriage to do that because you have to give of yourself daily and become more selfless. Of course, that’s what makes marriage so difficult. Our human nature wants to focus on ourselves.
Our desire is to offer hope and to inspire people who are living in a similar place as Bill and Vicki were. That’s what we live and breathe to do here at Focus on the Family, so if you need help, call us. We want to be there for you. Our counseling line here is 1-800-A-FAMILY (232-6459).
If your marriage difficulties are anything like Bill and Vicki’s, and you’re on the brink of divorce, our Focus on the Family Marriage Institute can go a long way toward restoring your hope, facilitating healing between you and your spouse, and bringing restoration to your relationship. They create the right environment for the Lord to do wonderful things. The number for the Focus on the Family Marriage Institute is 1-866-875-2915 or visit online at nationalmarriage.com.
In the meantime, be sure to tune in for Bill and Vicki’s story, “Staying Together When You Feel Like Leaving.” I am positive that what you’re about to hear will capture your attention and your heart today. Their marriage seemed impossibly broken and suffered a long separation. But God brought this couple back together to thrive.
I hope you’ll join us on your local radio station. Or tune in anytime online or via our free, downloadable mobile phone app.
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