EP 107: My Story: Part 14: When You Think That Moving Will Give You A Fresh Start

Diana WinklerPhysical Violence

We are coming back to finish My Story series. We left off leaving our church in the inner city, and taking advantage of a job transfer to move out West. I talk about the adjustments that had to be made, being near my parents, finding a church to serve in. I also discover that the same abuse followed me across the country. If you haven’t listened to the rest of my story so far, I recommend listening to the previous episodes numbered and labeled “My Story”. I also have my newest song recording at the end of the podcast, called O Divine Redeemer. So be sure to stay until the end!

O Divine Redeemer composed by Charles Gounod, arrangement and orchestration by Diana Winkler.

Available for download and purchase here: O Divine Redeemer MP3 | DSW Ministries

Transcript below

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Full Transcript:

[00:00:00] Brian Winkler: Welcome to the Wounds of the Faithful Podcast. Brought to you by DSW Ministries. Your host is singer songwriter, speaker and domestic violence advocate, Diana Winkler. She is passionate about helping survivors in the church heal from domestic violence and abuse and trauma. This podcast is not a substitute for professional counseling or qualified medical help.

[00:00:26] Now, here is Diana.

[00:00:28] Diana Winkler: Hello. Come on in. Come and sit for a spell. Did you know that you are greatly loved by God? I’ve been reading in Daniel recently, and a verse that I have never seen before was that, Twice. In fact, in the Book of Daniel, [00:01:00] God sends an angel with a message to tell Daniel that he is greatly loved. Wouldn’t you like to get a message like that? I know, I would! Go look that up yourself.

[00:01:18] Go read the book of Daniel.

[00:01:22] It’s a treasure trove of a book. So many things to learn about God. Now, I went to a memorial service this week. I did not know the deceased though. It was two ladies in my Bible study who were sisters. They lost their mom to a rare cancer and it was terrible. She was diagnosed and died within four [00:02:00] months, and so I went to the memorial to support the girls.

[00:02:08] I had never met the girls in person because our Bible study is on Zoom right now, and I had never met their mother on Zoom or in person. I did not know who she was, but I sure wish that I had. What a legacy of a wonderful Christian lady. I cried through most of the service. It’s so sad to see a woman’s life and

[00:02:45] in our perspective end too early. But what funerals do is make you examine your own life. Only [00:03:00] what’s done for Christ will last. I think there’s a verse in Ecclesiastes that says that funerals are better than weddings. And I’m paraphrasing, but that’s the general gist because it makes you examine yourself. Am I living a life that honors Christ?

[00:03:30] And I don’t mean a perfect life. None of us are perfect. Am I filling my time with activities that are worth my time instead of wasting it?

[00:03:43] I’m talking about Facebook.

[00:03:46] Am I sharing the love of Christ with others? Now, I had reflected on those things when my brother died. We don’t really talk [00:04:00] about eternity a lot on the podcast, but maybe you’re new to the podcast, someone invited you to listen. Maybe you don’t know if you’re going to spend eternity with Christ when you die.

[00:04:21] None of us have any guarantee of tomorrow. If you are unsure about salvation or eternity, please take care of that today.

[00:04:37] Salvation is a gift from God just in faith in Jesus alone, somebody who died on the cross for your sin. The gospel is very simple, although people like to make it complicated. You don’t have to earn [00:05:00] it, and nobody is too far gone for God to save.

[00:05:06] Though, if you have any questions, you’re welcome to reach out to me or maybe you already have a Christian friend that you can talk to. Get your questions answered today. Okay? Today we’re going to continue with my personal story.

[00:05:33] Hopefully a few more episodes. I want to get this finished. . I know it has been a while, but I had so many guests asked to come on the show, so it has been delayed. I recommend that you listen to my previous episodes about my story which [00:06:00] are clearly labeled “My Story”, and they are all numbered. So at minimum, if you don’t wanna listen to all of them, start, at least when we got married or in our engagement. If you’re listening from my website, all of the related episodes are linked at the bottom of the page for convenience.

[00:06:29] So I’ve already covered my childhood, my Bible college, getting married to my first husband, starting church planting and dealing with spiritual abuse and an abusive marriage in my home. The last episode that we were on, I was in the inner city of New Jersey and [00:07:00] I talked about my ex’s suicide attempt, and at that point we were planning on leaving the church we were serving because it was so controlling and oppressive.

[00:07:16] So today I will begin with that decision to leave the church in the. And we go and help a church an hour away. And it’s funny how we found it. My husband went to go buy a suit at the mall because when you go to this particular denomination, you wear a suit and tie every time you were in the church doors.

[00:07:47] So my husband was witnessing to the salesman, I can’t even remember the salesman’s name. That’s terrible. I remember that [00:08:00] he was a weightlifter and his wife was a pole dancer. They had a little girl and I remember that they accepted Christ when we attended the church. The husband also played harmonica really well.

[00:08:22] Then the salesman said that he goes to this one church and they need some help on their leadership. So we went to visit this small church, which had this historical building, three stories high. The pastor there was very young, There were only three people in leadership. They had a really good piano player.

[00:08:52] A choir, but no conductor or music minister. So [00:09:00] Danny, my ex, said that we could join the church and do the music. It was about an hour drive from New Jersey to this new church. So we had to be there very early. And then come back in the evening choir practice and the evening service. If that sounds exhausting to you,

[00:09:27] Yes it was. So the funny thing about this was that I was the musician and Danny was not, He’s a sound engineer, but women were not allowed to be upfront of a church leading men. So they put both of us up on the platform, leading the choir practice. [00:10:00] I was doing all the music instruction, and Danny would be just standing next to me, clueless saying, Good job.

[00:10:12] Be sure to sing out. He needed to be the center of attention and it’s as ridiculous as it sounds. And so I would sing special music, and the pastor always seemed to have an issue with what I was singing. For example, I sang the Easter song and I was practicing with the pianist. You probably know that song.

[00:10:45] And the pastor came up to me and said, I don’t want you singing that. That’s a Keith Green song. And I very calmly said to him, Well, actually it’s not a Keith Green [00:11:00] song. It’s written by Ann Herring of Second Chapter of Acts, and it’s a theologically correct song,

[00:11:11] but he still didn’t want me singing it. I didn’t argue with them. So I picked another classic hymn called Come Thou Fount of Many Blessings. You may know that song.

[00:11:31] I used an arrangement by my music teacher and I was allowed to use a track prerecorded track that was orchestra. The arrangement was in a high key and it was pretty intricate. It had like echoing and, quiet parts and really loud parts, and it’s a lot of fun to [00:12:00] sing. But the piano player, and the pastor’s wife didn’t like it and said it was because I was showing off or something to that effect.

[00:12:15] Oh, you should have sang it the simple original way it was written in the hymn book. Okay. So I don’t remember singing solos that much after that because of those two situations I just mentioned. But I kept busy. I cleaned the church and worked in the nursery. The few families that were there were very nice, and I remember that the preaching was good.

[00:12:49] I didn’t have any complaints there. Danny was still commuting to his job that he hated [00:13:00] in New Jersey. And while we went to church an hour away, we were still living in the city. And guess what? The previous pastor kept knocking on the door trying to get us to come back to their church, peeking in the windows, which is pretty creepy.

[00:13:26] Well, we learned to keep the lights out and put the blinds down so they wouldn’t know we were home.

[00:13:36] Well surely after that his work, his day job offered him a transfer to a choice of three different places. One of them was Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Yes, there is a Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. one other one I forget where it was, but [00:14:00] we didn’t want that. Or we could go to Phoenix. And we chose to go to Phoenix because I had family there and I lived there most of my life.

[00:14:17] Half of it actually. Now, I really thought that it was going to be a fresh start to move near my family and maybe the stress level would be lowered and things would be easier. so Danny flew out to Phoenix by himself to rent a house. This was before you could look for houses online. I know you guys are like what?

[00:14:52] He met in person with a realtor and put a down payment on a house to rent. [00:15:00] Who really didn’t want to buy a house without knowing what area we wanted to live in. We had to move in the middle of summer cuz he had to start right away. This new transfer. So our new church helped us pack up the truck and our old pastor came by when he saw the moving truck and said, Goodbye, We wish you well.

[00:15:32] My father-in-law also came to help us pack up the truck, and my father-in-law was so good at that sort of thing. He would shove things in that truck like a puzzle and you could fit a lot of stuff in that truck if you know what you’re doing. And my parents were very happy. We were coming out Arizona.

[00:15:59] We were going [00:16:00] to stay with my dads for two weeks until the rental house was ready to move in. And bonus Penske gave us free storage. That’s who we rented the truck from. Oh, the drive out west was nice. We spent the day in Memphis, Tennessee sightseeing, which was really fun. It’s a great town. We had barbecue and we did, I think a little tour around saw Elvis’s house and stuff and walked along Beal Street.

[00:16:40] Nice place. Now, the truck did break down in New Mexico. Penske had to come out and fix the truck. We were towing one car behind us and our second car [00:17:00] was being shipped by a car carrier. We thought of having me drive behind the moving truck, but decided against that. I’m really not wanting to drive across country, even though the car was in very good shape.

[00:17:22] Danny’s the kind of person that does not like to stop. He likes to drive a long ways. It doesn’t like to stop very much. So we stopped at Meteor Crater on I 40. It’s in the northern part of the state and Flagstaff. if you’ve ever seen the movie Star Man, you can see Meteor Crater. That movie was filmed there, the beginning.

[00:17:54] Anyway, so then we came down into Phoenix. [00:18:00] Where we were hit with a wall of heat and yeah. Phoenix in July. Yippy it was, yeah, 110 kinda like it is now. And we arrived at my dad’s and I remember being really glad to see everyone, but Danny kept making comments about, now that my parents are nearby, that I’m gonna go run to daddy whenever we have a fight.

[00:18:37] He always thought that I was going to leave him, and I have a lot to say about that. I was never that kind of a person. In fact, Danny was the kind of person that when we would have a fight, he would leave the house, get into his car, and he would go zooming around the block [00:19:00] for an hour or two. If you’ve listened to the podcast and you’ve heard my story up to this point, he has done that at least a couple times,

[00:19:14] So I don’t understand why he would think that I would do that.

[00:19:19] I fixed my own problems. I don’t necessarily go running to mommy or daddy crying that, Oh, look what my husband did.

[00:19:29] So anyway, it was really hard to wait two weeks to move into our rental. As wonderful as my parents. , you’re living in somebody else’s house.

[00:19:42] That’s just how it is, right? There’s certain rules you have to follow because it’s somebody else’s house, and, you’re not the queen of your own castle. As wonderful as the hospitality is, you’re always glad to be in your [00:20:00] own home, like after vacation or whatever. And all of our stuff was in the moving van.

[00:20:08] It was in storage. If you’ve ever moved, you understand that the thing that you’re looking for is never in your emergency box or your stuff in your car that you set aside to get started in your new home. And it’s always in the back of the truck. Well finally came today that we could move in. And I remember getting internet for the first time, we didn’t have it in New Jersey and we bought a cell phone instead of a landline.

[00:20:53] Whew. I’m dating myself here, so why should we have a land line when we [00:21:00] have a cell phone? Well, that’s gonna bite us later because the cell service was so terrible in those days. I think this was 99, the cell service was really bad in our house. We had to go outside to make calls cuz otherwise our calls would drop.

[00:21:23] So that was not fun. but the other thing being there in the middle of the summer, it was so hot outside when we had a dryer and a washer, we decided to dry the clothes outside on the line. We had a clothes line and it was so hot that the clothes were dry by the time I put them all up on the line, went back to the beginning of the line and just took them down.

[00:21:58] but we stopped doing that [00:22:00] because we did not realize that Arizona is really bad for allergies. So bring our allergy laden clothes into the house. And then it took me a while to figure out why I had allergy issues when I never had them before. And then we realized, okay, we’re gonna have to use the dryer.

[00:22:26] We can’t put our clothes out on the line. It’s not gonna work. So I think I mentioned, I worked for a package delivery company back east and I had asked for a transfer. I was not there long enough to get a transfer to Phoenix, so they made me quit and we reapply. By the way, we tried to visit their hub in Memphis when we were there.[00:23:00] [00:23:00] , I was taking pictures of the planes when we were at the gate, and I almost got arrested because of that. I thought they were gonna take the camera, and in those days it was not a digital camera where they can just push the button and hit delete. They would take your camera and open the back of your camera where the role of film is, and they would rip it out.

[00:23:26] So your film was exposed and useless, but they didn’t do that. Got away, got away from there without getting in trouble.

[00:23:39] We were asked to leave anyway, so I applied for the position that I had back east with references in Arizona. Now I had an interview, but they wouldn’t hire me [00:24:00] because I wouldn’t work Sundays. Apparently this particular location worked Sundays and that was required. No missionary wife would ever work on Sundays, so I didn’t get the job.

[00:24:23] And boy, I was devastated because I loved working there. Took me a long time to get into the company. I had three family members that worked for that company. And at the same time frame, I found out that my college music teacher, Becky, had been in a severe car accident, which broke her pelvis and a bunch of other stuff.

[00:24:53] My dean’s wife from college sent out this newsletter at that time [00:25:00] with all the goings on, and that’s how I found out about the accident. This was before Facebook where you could just post that sort of thing on Facebook. She was not expected to live, so I was crying and expecting to hear about her funeral arrangements.

[00:25:26] Well, miraculously she did survive and had to go through a huge amount of physical therapy. Now I’ve been trying to get her on the podcast. She has an incredible domestic violence story of survival. She’s very busy, but I’ll see if I can try and get her on the show soon. So, my parents in Arizona and my in-laws came out for Christmas or first Christmas in Arizona.[00:26:00] [00:26:00] And so it was my mother-in-law, my father-in-law, my sister-in-law, and my brother-in-law. They all came out from different parts of the country. And on top of that, we had a friend of ours staying with us while her house was being built. She slept on the floor in the music room where our studio was and things never changed.

[00:26:33] This is how Danny was, and this is a grown woman he’s talking to. Danny kept telling her, Don’t touch anything, gonna mess everything up. Like she was a two year old and it was so embarrassing. She was a really nice friend and she spent Christmas with us and. I [00:27:00] don’t remember where my brother and sister-in-law stayed, because we only had, we had two guest rooms and Kathy was in one, and my mother and father-in-law were in the other.

[00:27:15] I think maybe they slept on the pullout couch.

[00:27:18] I remember my brother-in-law bought towels for the house because he wanted a fresh new towel every day. Have a fresh towel every day for my shower. There’s a lot of, wasted water, wasted electricity, whatever. So instead of reusing one towel for three or four days or a week, he went out and bought

[00:27:51] a set of towels. Okay. It’s a housewarming gift. That’s fine. Great. But he [00:28:00] was kind of a primo, if you’re familiar with the show, Frazier. He was Frazier. Okay? Very clean, eat and tidy and , his apartment was actually the same kind of style that Frazier’s was. So we had Turkey and all the ladies help to cook the dinner cause we had a pretty big size kitchen.

[00:28:29] And I remember we had a good time.

[00:28:31] I got a job at a home improvement place, which was a call center doing technical support for washers and dryers and dishwashers. It was a pretty cool job. They trained us how to take apart appliances and put them back together. Now I probably wouldn’t be able to do it today. I have a Maytag [00:29:00] washer and that was one of the items that we took apart and put back together.

[00:29:06] But, I know a lot more about these appliances than I did before, but it was a good job. I liked it. And I remember the lead technician was a player and he got a lot of trouble with HR for sexual harassment, and he kept inviting this lady to go to Vegas with him and she wasn’t interested. But he made it pretty clear that, know, wanna go Vegas with me?

[00:29:44] So let’s talk about the church, because

[00:29:50] that’s very important. Now, when we visited my parents on vacation [00:30:00] in Phoenix, we always had a church to attend. So that’s where we went when we arrived in Phoenix. And it was like a fundamentalist Baptist church, but it was a light version, I would say. Very nice people. They had a great organist who would play pop crossover music for solos, like Chariots of Fire and stuff like that.

[00:30:30] It was really cool. I think he did a bunch of different classical pieces that were very enjoyable. Pastor Adrian was a very warm person, great sermons that I can recall. I could never forget he had the softest hands. He must have used a lot of hand lotion or something. He always loved to shake his hand and [00:31:00] as usual, Danny would volunteer that I could sing well.

[00:31:06] I joined the choir. And they had me doing solos right away, which was pretty typical for me. They had a couple of great piano players, so I enjoyed that. I got involved with, soul winning and training people how to knock on doors. Now, it was really interesting that they didn’t like using a bible to talk to people or quote scripture.

[00:31:39] They would always have it in their back pocket, but they didn’t,

[00:31:42] They did not open the Bible in front of them and read out of the Bible. And I actually called them out on it. I said, Where’s your sword? Well, we kind of wanna keep our sword hidden. We don’t wanna beat ’em over the head with it, [00:32:00] so, Okay. A different approach. They treated us like rock stars because we were trained missionaries.

[00:32:09] It was not long after we became members that we would wind up leaving. And I was really sorry about that because I liked the church a lot. Well, we found out that the youth group leaders were taking the teens to a Christian rock concert. Now, the environment that I had been into up to this point, if you’ve been listening, is that you don’t do Christian rock.

[00:32:41] That just wasn’t something you would do. You would never take teenagers to a Christian rock concert. They considered Christian rock to be evil. I don’t remember the name of the band that they took these kids to. It was not [00:33:00] contemporary Christian music. Kinda like Sandy Patty or Steven Curtis Chapman or Michael W.

[00:33:07] Smith. It was harder rock sound than that, maybe something along the lines of Skillet or Smashing Pumpkins or some other alternative rock group. I forget. So Danny told the pastor that he thought that it was unacceptable and a deal breaker. The pastor tried to talk us out of leaving. I felt really bad.

[00:33:38] I really liked them, but Danny had already decided that we were not going to stay there,

[00:33:47] so we looked for another church and happened to find one within walking distance of our rental. So Pastor [00:34:00] Dave was a radio DJ. He had a great speaking voice, very funny and personable. I liked his wife Pam a lot. And again, this was like Baptist lite. Of course I got involved in a music right away.

[00:34:20] They had a small choir. We had a cantata for Christmas, and I offered to lead the music. We had three people, two of which we were women, took turns leading the different songs in the Christmas program, which was weird, but the church didn’t seem to have a problem with ladies leading a choir. So we had that going for me.

[00:34:56] But there’s this one guy in the choir who [00:35:00] didn’t seem to like me. At least that was my thinking or the vibe I was getting from him, right? I know that he didn’t read music and didn’t seem to catch on the choir parts, but he did a lot of contemporary Christian music solos. He had a really good voice. He was kind of argumentative about something during choir practice one day, and so I pulled him aside privately afterwards and I asked point blank if he had a problem with me leading the choir as a woman, and he said no.

[00:35:47] He just said that he wasn’t comfortable with admitting when he wasn’t catching on with the parts. So I said that I would repeat the guy [00:36:00] parts and extra time without singling him out, and he seemed okay with that. He didn’t remember us having any problems after that. So as usual, we were on the soul winning team.

[00:36:17] With Pastor Dave and started doing services at nursing homes, singing and preaching there. We went to Tucson to hand out tracks in July to help missionaries down there. Really nice missionaries by the way.

[00:36:36] Actually, the missionary wife wound up getting cancer a few years later and I wound up singing at her funeral, which was really sad.

[00:36:50] We did have a singing group that was visiting that came through town while Pastor Dave was out of [00:37:00] town. They had good music. They normally do school assemblies. They do what you call positive music, not necessarily Christian music for the schools, but they came to our church to perform for us and we were kind of surprised They actually had dance steps to their songs.

[00:37:30] They were using their hips, they were doing this and they I sound like an old lady watching Ed Sullivan, right When Elvis came on. But if you know anything about Baptists, you know that the joke is Baptists, don’t dance. They believe it’s sinful and carnal and yeah, it can be. I wouldn’t say all dancing would be sin.

[00:37:59] [00:38:00] So some people in the church were kind of surprised that they were doing it in the church. A school assembly? Okay. So when the cat, so when the pastor came back, he asked, how did you like the singing group that came through? And me and my husband said that they were nice and they were talented, but they had some serious dance routines in the church.

[00:38:35] Now, Pastor Dave says he wasn’t gonna have them back, but I was really surprised that Danny didn’t wanna leave the church. I think it was because that they were just visitors. They weren’t, members of the church and they weren’t. Start incorporating dancing in our church services.

[00:38:55] But we did wind up leaving the church [00:39:00] when Pastor Dave decided to go back into radio and they were gonna have to find another pastor. So they had that guy I mentioned from the choir step up until they found somebody. But honestly, I don’t remember why we didn’t stick around. I’m gonna say that it’s probably because Danny wasn’t picked to take his place,

[00:39:30] so off to another church at this point. We were just lay people serving. We didn’t really have any leadership positions yet. We were still at the rental house, but we wanted to buy our first house, so we started looking and Danny did not like his new location at work. It was just [00:40:00] as bad or worse than the job back east,

[00:40:04] so he was fixing electronics back in the day when you could take your VCR to get fixed. Now you can’t even find parts for electronics in order to fix a VCR or even a DVD player. It’s cheaper just to buy a new one.

[00:40:27] And even then, some electronics cannot be fixed, so you are wasting your time trying to fix them because you don’t get paid until it’s fixed. Danny worked on commission and he wasn’t able to pay the bills. That is why I had to work.

[00:40:55] He decided that he was going to start a [00:41:00] small business similar to what he did back east, which was commercial, sound and video. He did not want to go and find another job. He did not like working for someone else. Then it would be a recurring thing throughout our marriage. So keep that in mind.

[00:41:25] So he printed up brochures on our printer and sent mailers to the different venues in town. So he started doing that part-time, which was smart. No social media advertising folks. You know what value pack mailers are? I don’t even know if they have them anymore. And phone book ads. That’s old school.

[00:41:54] I know that some of you probably don’t even have a [00:42:00] phone book in your house. We just Google it. We also got another car for him to drive for the business. It was a Brady Bunch Station wagon. Woo-hoo. Hand in your Man card, right? You could haul a lot of equipment in that thing. We got this tacky white magnetic business sign made to put on the side of the car, I kid you not. I’m sure it wasn’t very professional looking, but that’s all that we had.

[00:42:36] So I’ll tell you about our first house that we purchased. The realtor showed us this three bedroom, one story house with this big yard. It had a jacuzzi in the back and a beautiful flower garden out front. The owner was a master gardener for the city of Tempe. Let me [00:43:00] tell you, that garden did not look ever that beautiful after we moved in..

[00:43:07] She hand watered all of those flowers. She did not have any irrigation set up at all. Everything died after we moved in , but it was a nice starter house. I was very nervous about having a mortgage because Danny’s income was not stable. I’m not sure how we even got approved for that loan. I think my father-in-law loaned us some money for a down payment.

[00:43:44] Maybe that was it. But our neighbors helped us pack the truck because no one offered to help at the church and we had way too much stuff. [00:44:00] That’s what we always say, right? My in-laws flew out to help us get settled. I don’t remember why my parents didn’t help us at that time. I think they were either on a cruise or they had to work.

[00:44:17] My parents are both retired now.

[00:44:21] My father-in-law was really handy with fixing stuff. That’s what he loved to do. Hanging pictures and all kinds of stuff. My mother-in-law was very good, expecting the house to be spotless and for me to wait on my husband hand and foot.

[00:44:48] She would say things like, Why is there laundry in the laundry basket? Why didn’t you wake up and cook him breakfast before he went to work? [00:45:00] Well, mom, because he cooks better than I do, and two, he can also make his own bowl of cereal. Now, I’m, I am not an early riser by choice. Danny is an early riser, always up way before me.

[00:45:25] So yeah, typical mother-in-law stuff. She wanted to cook all the time. I let her do it. She wanted to go grocery shopping with me. She insisted on paying for our groceries. I remember balking at that. We weren’t poor at that point, but Danny would sponge off his parents any chance that he got instead of standing on our own two feet.

[00:45:58] And that would be a [00:46:00] recurring theme in our marriage too.

[00:46:01] Oh, we hosted Thanksgiving dinner at our new house for the first time, and my aunt and uncle were there with both sets of our parents. It was kind of hard to coordinate with so many cooks in the house. I was not the greatest cook among them for sure. We had a pretty good time. I remember.

[00:46:32] And we finally found a church that was a half an hour away. See, we had to go to a fundamental Baptist church, not just any church that was nearby, which was always hard. Now we will call this church Cactus, Flower Baptist Church, [00:47:00] and this would be Pastor John. We would stay there for five years and a lot of stuff happened there,

[00:47:13] and

[00:47:16] I forgot to mention that in my story, names and places have been changed to protect the innocent as well as the guilty. So no, that’s not the real name of the church, but I’m still friends with some people there. So we are going to change some names and I remember the first day we visited, it was January of 2000.

[00:47:55] You know the Y2K, You remember that?[00:48:00] [00:48:00] I knew people that used to stock up tons of oatmeal and water. And I saw the piano player first. Of course, he was an elderly man and played beautifully. I went up to him to talk after church and I told him that I took piano lessons in college and I was looking for a new teacher.

[00:48:29] And his name is Paul, by the way.

[00:48:34] He had me sit down and play for him some pieces that I knew, it was Greig, Mazurka, Stanchen, and these were in my little Schirmer books, which I didn’t really enjoy. But there were a couple pieces that I liked.

[00:48:56] I was not [00:49:00] very impressive in my playing my pieces, but I liked Paul. I wasn’t nervous or scared to play in front of him. And we became fast friends. We liked the same music, and so he became my accompanist and piano teacher for many years. He is now 96 years old and he is the piano player in my album recordings. So

[00:49:34] He does not do in-person piano lessons anymore. He does them on Zoom with his granddaughter, setting up the technical stuff for him.

[00:49:48] But still to this day, a very dear friend.

[00:49:53] Now, I will save the details of [00:50:00] that church for the next episode because there’s a lot of stuff to cover.

[00:50:06] Five years at that church. But the first year of living back in Arizona, I thought it would be a new start, but is it really? It was a different location, but I was with the same man. Had the same marriage, with the same unresolved chronic issues and abuse, but I can pretend for a long time and drink the sour lemonade that I had to make out of a whole lot of lemons as the dust settles in a new home.

[00:50:51] I find out nothing has changed. Nothing has changed. [00:51:00] This is a good place to stick a bookmark for next week.

[00:51:08] But I would like to say this, that I see this a lot with survivors or people that are going through abuse. A common thing is, Oh, well, if I have a baby, things would be better.

[00:51:29] How many people found out the hard way that having a baby did not fix your marriage problems? It did not fix your abuse problem.

[00:51:40] It just made it a lot harder.

[00:51:44] And I want you to keep that in mind.

[00:51:51] If you are in a abusive situation that [00:52:00] moving to a new place, or getting a baby, or getting that promotion or any other kind of life event, there may be some temporary benefits. You may enjoy your children, may enjoy your new home, or you may enjoy a different job.

[00:52:26] But keep this in mind that does not deal with the problem in your marriage. Whether it’s drug abuse, alcoholism, pornography. We’ve had a lot of podcast episodes on those topics .Or your issue in your abusive dating relationship. We’ve talked about [00:53:00] dating a lot on this podcast. Oh, well, he’ll be different once we’re married. No, he won’t. If he’s exhibiting certain character traits when you are dating, kinda like when I was dating my ex and you ignore those, they are going to be coming into the marriage.

[00:53:30] In fact, they will probably get worse. Those character traits that are not very good, they are going to be amplified.

[00:53:41] I will always say, get a job, especially if you’re a woman. I would always say, get a job. Have some sort of income coming in so you can support yourself, not only on a rainy day, but if you had to make a choice to [00:54:00] leave, things got really bad. You have a way to support your children or yourself.

[00:54:07] So that is my advice to you today. In whatever situation you’re in today. So I appreciate you listening to this part of my story. It’s not very glamorous or sexy, but it is my story and you have a story. Don’t minimize your story cuz God can still use your story to help somebody and God can glorify himself with your story even though you went through some terrible things.

[00:54:50] Now, I’ve been recording some music these past few weeks and I thought I would play it for you today. I [00:55:00] finished a song, it is a sacred classical piece. It’s from Charles Gounod and it’s called O Divine Redeemer. It is a French song originally titled Repentir, O Divin Redempteur.

[00:55:24] I sing it in French and put that on the website, but this one’s in English. It’s a sort of a lamentation of a song talking about mercy and forgiveness and hearing my prayers. It’s one of my favorite songs. I’ve been wanting to record it for a long time, and finally decided to do it while I was off of work.

[00:55:56] Oh, I hope that you enjoy the song as well. [00:56:00] Oh Divine Redeemer. Until next week, God bless. Have a wonderful week.

[00:56:10] Brian Winkler: Thank you for listening to the Wounds of the Faithful Podcast. If this episode has been helpful to you, please hit the subscribe button and tell a friend. You could connect with us at DSW Ministries dot org where you’ll find our blog, along with our Facebook, Twitter, and our YouTube channel Lakes. Hope to see you next week.