Thursday, March 11, 2010

Broken


Many of you have noticed that something has been missing around here. You noticed my complete silence in November and most of December. You noticed my lack of posting about Autumn. And then you noticed that I did mention Autumn, but not Jon. You have emailed me, lifted our family in prayer, and been an encouragement. Thank you.

Many of you already know the story, because you took the time to email. No matter how many times the story is told, it is no easier to tell.

We had high hopes for our oldest daughter. Her courtship seemed so wonderful. Things aren't always what they seem. People aren't always what they seem.

Nearly 18 months ago now, Jon approached my husband about courting Autumn. Verne had a long list of questions for him. Questions that should have been answered truthfully, but weren't. The damage began. When a person habitually lies, they have to remember what they said, and continue to lie to cover up the first things. It's a vicious cycle, really. One that can't be escaped without consequence.

We have taught our children from the time they were very, very young the importance of entering into a marriage carefully. Divorce is not an easy option. Ever. It's not to be used to fix an argument, or difference of opinion. Marriage is hard... always. No matter how much you love the other person, it's still going to take work. There will be days when you don't like the person you are married to at all. Still, that doesn't mean that you just walk away.

That being said, I do believe that although it's never mandated, sometimes, divorce is biblical. Annulment was suggested (even by people in the church) but the state doesn't allow for it in this situation.
Jon and Autumn are no longer married. She has been back home with us for as long as they lived together. I won't elaborate here, but you can read more at Autumn's blog. She told enough to help you understand why they are divorced, but by no means has she given every little detail of what she has been through, nor will she. 1 Peter 4: 7-8 says, "The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins."

Our family is changed... every one of us. There are no words to describe what we've been through. Anger, grief, sadness. Yes, but it's so much more than even that. It's hard to trust. We let Jon into our lives and our hearts. We treated him like our own, and he had no regard for that love. We gave him the most precious thing we have: our daughter, and he did love her nor cherish her as Christ loves the church.
Several of us have drawn inward, afraid of being hurt. Afraid of getting close. It's made me very cynical since several people whom we thought were friends have shown that they aren't. It's been a rough season of life.

We're taking each day as it comes, looking for the good around us, and trying to start anew. That doesn't mean that Jon never existed. We, in no way, pretend that for a minute. Rather, we turn to God, and try to find the bright spots as they come.
I ask that as you leave comments that you remember to be kind with your words. We are real people with hurting hearts.

66 comments:

Melissa said...

This is my first time commenting here but I've followed your blog for a long time! I could tell something went "wrong" when it became apparent that Autumn was living back home.I just wanted to let you know that I have prayed for your family since then and will continue to do so!

Autumn seems like such a strong woman and I just know one day she will look back at this time as just a season in her life.

Things WILL get better! (HUGS)

Melissa

Nic (NotPerfect) said...

I'm so sorry to read of all your family has been through. You're such a good, loving family and I'm glad Autumn had the support and resources to leave the situation and begin a path to healing.

Nanci said...

I just wanted to let you know that my heart is breaking for your family. I pray for God's precious grace to sustain each and everyone of you.

LA said...

Dear Tracy and Autumn,

I have read your blogs for awhile now and although I am not a Christian I have been drawn to your genuine-ness and heart. You are warm, loving people and I am hurting for you in this time of pain. Please know that there are many people in the cyber-world who are praying for you in their own religions, in their own languages and in their own hearts.

I am one of them.

I wish you both nothing but the best!! {{Warmest hugs}}

Lindy said...

You guys are in my prayers. I am so sorry for what your family has been through.

Nel said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you. I have read about your precious daughter, and visited her site and left her a comment. I too am divorced, and it pulled the rug out from under me, I had been married for 18 years, and he decided he did not want to be married anymore. I am so thankful the Lord was carrying me through those few years that were so hard. But I do remember how much it hurt my mom, she loved him like a son, but more than that I know how much it hurt my daughter. It took along time for her to forgive him. She lost a lot of respect for him. Life is good now. All I can say is This too shall pass! It will take awhile but it will get better!

until next time... nel

Anna said...

I am so sorry. I have been reading your blog for some time now and wondered about Jon's absence. I though maybe he was out of town. Please know that we care about you and wish the best for Autumn and your family. As I'm sure you've told her, this isn't the end by any means! Someday she will find someone who loves her like your husband loves you. <3

Becky K. said...

Oh Dear One,

I could just weep for you and your family. I know that you all thought you had done all you could to know all and be prepared. This is just too sad.

I am thankful that Autumn has loving and understanding parents.

Becky K.

amulbunny said...

Tracy, As I said to Autumn, there is never a justification for a man to lay a hand in anger on his wife.

As you said, there are some days you roll over in bed and look at your spouse and wonder why you are still there. Then there are days where you rejoice for the love and blessing that you have received through the marriage.

Autumn will come through this. Because you taught her to be strong, she trusted you and you and Verne loved her and brought her out of danger. It may not be soon, but she will meet someone and open her heart again

I admire you for your strength in dealing with Jon and hope that one day he will admit his wrongdoing and ask forgiveness.

Susan said...

I am soooo sorry. As one who married early and young and was totally devasted by a "truth" about the other party I had to face I know first hand the truth. Let me just say, God has a plan and I think my 51 wonderful years of marriage to my Mickey and his becoming the father of my 2 little girls is proof of that. If I can help in any small way please feel free to e-mail me. I will be holding you all up in prayer. Thanks for sharing so I know and can.

Beckye said...

You rock. I so admired you and your husband for doing what you did for your daughter. I am praying for all of you.

Susan said...

I linked to Autumn's blog and read it. You both have handled this was the grace and beauty you always do. I left her a comment to come and read my comment to her. I love the way God uses us and leads us to say the right things at the right time.
(((hugs)) to all of you, Tracy.

Kelly said...

I said this to Autumn on her blog and I will say it to you. I think you and your family are amazing.

Sunny said...

What grace and dignity you and your family have shown. I'm sorry you have all be left so hurt and broken.

Tracy, you and your family are a classy bunch :-) You are an example to the internet community on how to handle difficult situations with class.

Wishing you all the best in the future,

Sunny in WI

jAne said...

My dear precious friend and her family ~

Know that you're loved with an everlasting love. Know that you are lifted up in prayer to the Lord of Lords, King of Kings. Know that with every breath, I will defend you. This season is/will be so very challenging. You aren't alone.

I love you,

jAne * tickleberry farm

Deanna said...

Tracy,
I am so sorry this has happened to Autumn and to your entire family. My prayers are with all of you that God will continue to mend and heal your broken hearts.
With love ~ Deanna

Gizmola said...

My heart goes out to you and your family. There's obviously so much love in your family - your gorgeous pictures show that. I hope only the best for you all.

Jen said...

Hi Tracy,

I'm a long-term lurker who is 'coming out' to say that I am so sorry for what Autumn and your family has been through. I will pray for healing for all of you.

Jen in Canada

Ways of Zion said...

Oh Travy, I'm crying for you and Autume. I had wondered and not wanted to ask.

You are in our prayers, as is she. Please pass on our love

Hannah said...

Tracy,
I've been reading your blog for over a year, but have never been moved to create an account in order to leave comments until now.
My thoughts are with you and your family during this difficult time. Autumn has shown herself to be a very tough and courageous young woman in having the courage to leave an abusive relationship - many adult women do not. And she's lucky to have such a close, wonderful family to support her. Best of luck in everything.

ashleyb1182 said...

I don't think I've ever commented on your blog or Autumn's, though I've been reading both for some time now. I did notice that something seemed amiss when neither of you mentioned Jon and it seemed Autumn was living back at home with you, but I didn't want to pry by asking. Thank you both for trusting your readers enough to share this story, and I'm so very sorry that you all have had to endure it. I will keep your family in my thoughts and prayers.

Kelli said...

Tracy,
What a heartbreaking situation for Autumn, you and your family. I will pray the Lord heals your hearts. I will be praying. Sending lots of (((hugs)))
~Kelli

Joie said...

I just thought maybe they didn't live very close and that you were allowing them space to be married. I am so, so sorry.

Joie said...

I just thought maybe they didn't live very close and that you were allowing them space to be married. I am so, so sorry.

Joie said...

Read Autumn's post. Thanks be to God she has you for parents. I have to admit sometimes I read this blog and think it's crazy for someone so young to have married and I wonder what parents would allow such a thing and now seeing how you all have handled this I know you are wonderful parents and not like so many biblical fundamentalists -- or maybe not fundamentalists at all. Whatever the case, abuse is always wrong and Autumn has certainly done the right thing. God knows that and God's mind is the only one that matters here.

Mrs.Rabe said...

Tracy,

Praying still. My heart breaks for the grief and sorrow you all have experienced. May God in time allow your hearts to be open again. To friendship, to trust, to love.

We are still your friends!

Deanna

Chrissy said...

How very sad...I followed all of the wedding plans and felt that it was such a blessed event. You are all in my prayers.

Crystal in Pahrump

Chrissy said...

Your family is in my prayers.

Crystal in Pahrump

Jacob said...

Dear Tracy, I am so very, very sorry for all ya'lls pain. We are grieved for you all. Our family has prayed for ya'll since the beginning of the courtship and will for sure continue. Lord bless you all as you walk through this hard and awful thing. I am so sorry. I have a 17yo daughter and can only imagine your heart right now and in these past months. You are cared for and thought of. It was VERY brave of you and Autumn to share. Thank you i know it had to have been so very hard. May the Lord Jesus bless you with healing, joy, and peace. HE IS ,faithful, merciful, full of compassion. I know i tell you things you already know, i just want to somehow encourage you. Consider your self hugged warmly. tammyp

Dede said...

God has laid you and your precious family upon my heart many, many times over the past few weeks. All have been at very random times . . doing dishes . . upon waking . . getting ready for bed. My heart aches for you guys. . . there is nothing easy about grief. I've prayed for Jon as well, knowing that our God is big enough to handle all of us. Will continue to pray without ceasing because that's what friends do . . and that's what love does.

Momma Roar said...

Oh, Tracy, my mother's heart is hurting with you. You don't know how many times I've wanted to email to ask, but didn't want to invade your privacy. I believed you had your reasons and felt that you would share when you were ready.

As I told Autumn, I'm so glad you shared because now I can pray more effective and relevant prayers.

I'm sending you a big hug!!! (and something will soon come in the mail but the 3 kids haven't been cooperating with my shopping needs!)

My oldest is sad right now because he can't understand why he has an ear infection - since it hurts so much. I trust I can parent him through this so when the bigger things happen, I can be a supportive mom, just like you - having built a solid foundation in our Lord Jesus Christ to stand firm upon.

{{{hugs}}}

PS - I asked Autumn if she can come hang out with my kids for the summer now!?! ;-)

Kelly said...

Thank you for sharing this. Autumn is so fortunate to have wonderful, understanding parents. I can't imagine what might have happened if she didn't have your support.

I will pray for healing for your family.

Momma Roar said...

I certainly hope that wasn't inappropriate that I added that PS - just wanted to make you both smile and giggle! :)

Tan said...

Hi
Big hugs to you all, you are an awsome family.
much love,
Tania in Australia

I am Barking Mad said...

I left a comment over at Autumn's blog and I think it says pretty much everything I wanted to say.

Well, except maybe not. I just want to say Thank you, Tracy. From a woman who is genuinely struggling in her walk with Christ, thank you. I've been reading you for a while now and I don't know that I can articulate the sense of peace I come away with after reading your blog.

Audrey

Tracy said...

I feel awful that I totally missed this. I truly had no idea and I'm so sorry to hear of all that has happened. What a terribly difficult road for all of you, but especially for Autumn.

I know that you will love each other through this, and I will certainly be praying for God's healing in every little way that each of you needs it.

Amanda said...

Hugs to you Tracy. And much love... to you and your family.

You are a wonderful family.

Bonnie said...

I almost didn't check your blog this AM, figuring I would stop by later for Photo Friday, but I am so glad I did. I have had the feeling something was not quite right, which seemed strange, as I don't "know" you, and haven't been reading your blog very long. Now I know why I thought that. Autumns story absolutely breaks my heart. I am glad it happened early on, only because it seems the later abuse begins to happen, the harder it is to get away, and not feel responsible in some way. I am also thank-full there were no children to further complicate things
Praise God for your intuition, and you and Verne's quick action, and that the Bible does provide an "out" in extreme situations. Praying for increased wisdom and overwhelming joy for all of you, and especially Autumn.
Love,
Bonnie

Terri said...

((((HUGS)))) to you Tracy. Praying for you all. I'm so sorry.

Otter Mom said...

You don't know me, I found your blog through Mrs. Anna T's (in Israel) shortly before Autumn's wedding. I am so sorry that she (& your family) has had to go through this. She sounds like a very strong young woman and you are justifiably proud of her. I'm so glad that she has a loving family to thelp her through this. God Bless you all.

~Ginger said...

Believing the Lord for total healing for your precious daughter. My mother's heart breaks for you and your family.

We know our God is loving and cares about every hair on our heads. I know He will bring your daughter through and with a testimony of His faithfulness and constant love.

Blessings Tracy!

Sheri said...

Tracy, your family is such a blessing. An encouragement! A light! I have prayed for you all many times and will continue too. May our Father bring healing and peace. Sending love, hugs, and prayer your way... And give Autumn an extra hug and tell her what a treasure she is, from a blogging sister!

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives..." John 14:27

Jodi said...

Tracy ~ My heart aches for Autumn ... and your whole family. I can only think to say how very sorry I am that you all are going through this. And it hurts to hear that some of your friends have not stood with you. We continue to hold your family in our prayers. God is able to restore the broken. Much love sent your way!

AmandaL said...

Tracy,
Still praying for you and your family.

Dana said...

Tracy - I haven't ever commented before, but wanted to let you know I am praying for you and for Autumn and your family. It's so wonderful she has you and the rest of the family to come "home" to. That is her home. A place where the people in it love her. Will be praying for all of you as you are figuring out where to go from here. Your faith in our Lord is inspiring as is your daughter's as well.
Will be praying for you.

Emily said...

Lifting your family up in prayer this morning. So sorry about what you've endured.

Sylvia said...

Dear Tracy,
I am one of those who already knew because I emailed you. Thank you then and now for trusting me with your story. You paint life in all its colors. The beautiful and the not so beautiful. Through it all, your dependence on God's will comes shining through.
Please know for every friend who has let you down there is one in cyber space who does not 'know' you but has prayed for you. You are not alone in this. The courage, strength and dignity which you, Verne, Autumn have handled this amazes me. I love your blog because you are such an inspiration. God bless you Tracy and your wonderful family especially Autumn. And I will be looking and praying for the post that shows God's mighty hand at work in Autumn's life.
God bless you,
((Hugs))
Sylvia

grace said...

Tracy, thank you for looking after your daughter. A real example of love.

PearlinJ said...

I am so sorry to read about this trial.Hugs and Prayers for your family.

Rebecca said...

Tracy, just now read this post. I'm so sorry about your daughter's marriage. It's so apparent she desires God's will for her life and this time of suffering will allow her to fully see who God is and how faithful He is to His promises! She will also have such a heart to minister to others one day who find themselves in this painful situation. Praise God she has Godly parents who love her and the Lord so much. My prayers are with your family.

Jessica said...

Tracy and Autum, you don't know me but I have read your blog for months now - I'm a lurker. :)
I'm SO sorry for the pain this is causing you, I really can't even begin to imagine! I do know that God has a plan for you both - just like Joseph, everything he had known and trusted was pulled out from under his feet when he was sold into slavery by his brothers - he said, what the devil has intended for evil, God intends for good. I just want to encourage you - God is good! He loves you SO much and has such a good plan!
Again, I am so sorry that this happened, you are strong women. :)

Lindsey said...

Tracy,

I am so sorry to hear about this heartbreaking turn of events for Autumn and your entire family! What a strong, gracious young woman she must be! Praise the Lord that He brought her home safely to her family! Praying for you all, dear friend...

Mimi said...

Tracy,
I have been praying for your family as Autumn was coming to terms with what was happening in her life..
I pray for her heartbreak, and for Jon as I wonder what could have happened in his life to make him take this attitude toward one who loved him so much.
Divorce in never easy and I pray that Autumn and your family will heal from this loss of confidence in one you all loved.
{{a big Hug of comfort}}

Amanda A said...

I'm praying for you and your family. I can't think of anything to say that's not trite except God is with you.
Blessings,
Amanda

dcB said...

How wonderful that Autumn had a family who loved her and believed her and that she had a home to go home to. Sadly, from the comments she heard at her church, there are probably a lot of women who don't have the sort of sort she does.

I'm so happy that you and Autumn chose to share this story. I hope it will be cathartic for both of you and I especially hope that perhaps it may help another woman out there in a similar situation.

Certainly God does not intend for a woman to be abused by her husband- for God loves her too much for that! No?

As for any comments or concerns about "damaged goods"- Autumn is not tainted- her ex husband is. He the liar and he must live with his sins, not Autumn.

Sharon said...

Oh Tracy! I'm so sorry for the hurt your hearts have had to endure! I kept thinking that something might be wrong, but didn't want to ask, so I prayed. Yes, there are Biblical reasons for divorce. I pray for God's Healing upon Autumn and all of you!!!
((HUGS))
Sharon

~Emily~ said...

Praying for your precious family. I hope you can take comfort in Psalm 34 right now.

Kate said...

My thoughts and prayers are with Autumn and the rest of your family. I admire Autumn for having the courage to leave a bad marriage, and you and Verne for providing her with so much support.

Mrs. Anna T said...

Tracy, I already commented on Autumn's blog, but just wanted to say how amazing I think you all are, always trying to do what is the best and right at the moment. Autumn is so, so lucky to have you for parents. When things got tough, she knew she could rely on you. I'm so glad she's safe.

Kimberly said...

Oh, Tracy, my heart aches for Autumn and your family!! I am so sorry that things did not go as planned. I am so thankful that she had the courage to confide in you and that she has a family who loves her dearly and will support her thru this time. I will be praying for her and for all of you as you heal from this.

Shelly said...

Words cannot express the admiration I have for your family. Praise God that Autumn has such a wonderful family she knew she could count on to keep her safe.
I'm so sorry you were all deceived and hurt. You and Autumn both seem to be handling this terrible situation with such grace.
As a formerly abused woman, I know how hard it is to turn away from your abuser and to move on. I admire Autumn for being forthcoming with you when so many women hide abuse out of shame. It shows a strength and wisdom far beyond her years.
In my experience, abundant blessings often follow terrible battles. I pray that this holds true with your precious family and that you are overwhelmed with God's blessings in the very near future.

helenpeters said...

Tracy, I have been reading your blog for many months now. I followed Autumn's courtship to Jon and rejoiced with you all when they married. I am sorry to hear that he deceived you, and most of all, hurt Autumn. No woman, anywhere, in any circumstance, deserves to be treated the way Jon treated her. I am lifting you all up in my prayers.

This quote has brought me much comfort. Perhaps it will help you too.

Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of - throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself. - C S Lewis

Miriel said...

So, so very sorry. Praying for all of you. With love,

Miriel

Wendy said...

Tracy, I know I'm late in reading this post, and I don't comment often, but I had to tell you how sorry I am to hear about all of this. I read Autumn's post as well, and found her experience just heartbreaking. As a mother, I can just imagine the emotions that you and Verne must be struggling through toward this boy who turned out to be so unworthy of your family's trust. God bless you both for being Autumn's safe haven from that terrible situation. She is a strong young woman who obviously wants to honor God with her life, and I hope she will always keep in mind that it took a lot of courage to not only get herself to safety, but to share her story. Take care, and may God bring healing and peace to your family. You'll be in my prayers.

CappuccinoLife said...

Wow. I'm mostly a lurker on your blog.

I'm so sorry to hear about this. So sad. :(

Autumn is a very blessed young woman to have parents like you, who she can rely on for protection, love and care. That you chose to bear this with her and help her is a testament to the healthyness of your family. Too many would have told a girl to just put up with it, or "try harder".

Persuaded said...

Oh gracious... I haven't been visiting at all lately and I came over here to catch up. What a sad sad surprise....

As someone who has been through a very similar heartache I'd like to offer my prayers and warmest thoughts to both you and Autumn. I can remember on one of my very worst days, I came walking out of the grocery store and into a beautifully bright sunshiny day and I felt the Lord ask me, "Do you trust Me?"
There were more difficult days to come, and there were times when I wondered if the Lord really knew what He was doing;-) But now He has brought me out into a very bright beautiful sunshiny period of my life, and I know my trust was not misplaced. He is so good, and He is worthy of our trust.

He makes everything beautiful in its time♥