The Ballein Family | A Steadfast Story
|Meg and Ben Ballein | Redeemed
Communication is a funny thing. You desire it. You need it. You think you’re doing it. Sometimes it’s so freeing. Sometimes it’s paralyzing. Somewhere along the way my husband and I failed majorly at this. But God…
Ben and I dated for 4 years, all throughout college. We got married the summer after we graduated on July 31, 2011. Everything was great! We loved being married and it wasn’t nearly as hard as everyone had said it would be.
We decided to start a family around 2014 and after trying naturally for about a year we started fertility treatments. Let me tell you folks, this is not for the faint of heart. Those months were seriously nothing but a rollercoaster of emotions that led to a broken heart around the third week of every month. Devastation, renewed hope, wonder, devastation, repeat. I was on the maximum amount of fertility drugs one girl can take and while I felt “fine” in the moment, now looking back, I know I was not. I lost communication with God, I lost communication with my husband, I even lost communication with myself. It’s all a big blur. In the midst of that hot mess I did something I thought I would NEVER do. It’s still hard to believe I did that, but when we aren’t walking closely with God we are capable of ugly things. I had an affair. Now I always feel the need to put a disclaimer in here; I didn’t have sex with this guy. But you know what, emotionally I was definitely having an affair. Physically things crossed the lines, emotionally I found new fresh attention that was flattering and felt good. I strayed off path. I wondered right off the trail like a little girl following a butterfly she just spotted. I looked up and had no idea where I had landed. I “looked up” to the sound of my husband saying- who are you texting. After pure panic I confessed everything to him. It felt so surreal. I couldn’t believe the words coming out of my mouth. He was devastated. So was I. I had literally ruined my marriage.
After a few days Ben said he forgave me. He said he didn’t want to talk about it again. So we didn’t.
The next two years were full of guilt for me. I couldn’t forgive myself for what I had done. Ben would tell me to let it go, that it was over and done with. But it hung on to me like a leech. I couldn’t shake it off.
February 12, 2015
Ben had a new job at this point that involved a lot of travel. He was home for a weekend and everything felt “off”. Sunday rolled around and he had to leave in about an hour for the airport. I kept asking him what was wrong, and after me asking a few times he replied “I want a divorce”. I seriously thought I had heard him wrong. It felt like an out of body experience. He went on to tell me that the past two ears had been full of pain for him. That he was trying to get over it and forgive me but he just couldn’t and that he needed to move on. He said the ONLY way this could be resolved was for him to leave me. But God…
The next six months were SO hard. Some of the hardest of my life. I moved out, found some independence, and clung to God like never before. I wouldn’t settle for a divorce. I knew God could move in this situation and redeem what we had destroyed. Some days felt so dark, like Ben would never come back to the man I knew he could be, like I had ruined everything and nothing would ever be good again, like I was always destined to end up alone. But God…
Ben and I spent that spring and summer apart, we would talk every now and then but it was always full of tears for me. Always heart wrenching. Always ended up with me bawling on the phone to one of the many women who surrounded me like angels on Earth during that long season. Ben had turned into a different person. He didn’t feel like “Ben” anymore to me. I held on to hope and Hope held on to me.
Summer was winding down. Ben and I started spending a bit more time together and he was finally starting to be a bit more open to receiving counseling from others. He listened to some hard truths about our situation and himself. Our time together increased. We ended up moving back in together but something still didn’t feel quite right. But God was still working…
October 15th, 2017
Our Pastor called a random evening service on this day and we decided to go. There was no children’s church that night so I was trying to entertain our 1 year old daughter in the back (we were fostering her at this point and had been since before Ben told me he wanted a divorce- spoiler alert- we’ve since adopted her!). I looked up from the back of the sanctuary and saw everyone standing and praising God, except Ben. My heart sank. His heart wasn’t in this. Why were we even there? So I could desperately try and entertain a one year old who had the strength of an ox and a scream that would make your ears bleed? I felt so frustrated. In that moment God spoke to me and said “just go sit with him, meet him where he is.” So I did. I walked up and sat beside him. I looked over and saw tears streaming down his face. He was finally breaking. My heart sank. This was it. God was calling him and he was finally responding. I handed baby B over to a friend and ran back to Ben’s side. He stood up and stumbled to the altar and I followed closely behind. I can’t explain what I felt that night because words just wouldn’t do it justice. The Holy Spirit fell and brought true healing. Healing I couldn’t find through months of therapy, bottles of wine, phone calls to my girlfriends or sister, or even through ice cream and Netflix (that does help though). God can do more in a few seconds than all of the therapy in the world. We prayed together, people prayed with and over us, and Ben hugged me tighter than I have ever felt before. After service I asked Ben what was going through his mind when he was just sitting during service. He said God was telling him to head to the altar but he was being stubborn. He said he told God “if you want me to go to the altar send Megan to me” and then I sat down beside him.
Praise the Lord.
Since then God has been the center of our marriage, restoration has occurred and we are so in love. Things haven’t been super easy, there’s still work to put in and sometimes healing occurs in stages. But now we have hope. We have the Healer in the middle of our marriage and we know the importance of constant, open, communication with ourselves and most importantly with God.
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21