Rebecca West: Words & Music

an autobiography by Rebecca Lynn West

Chapter 4

Drifting Apart

Gary and I were both getting very tired physically from all of the traveling we had done for so many years. In order to slow down on our traveling, we agreed to "fill-in" at a church in Illinois for a pastor who was unable to continue preaching because of his health problems.

At this time we lived in Springfield, Missouri, which was at least 150 miles from that particular church. The pastor and his wife hired us to conduct all weekend services. It was a small church, but they had a fairly large day care center, which was a good financial support.

I truly believe that God had a plan for us and those people there. I had a dream that the church was filled to capacity. Even the balcony was filled with hundreds of people. But Satan had a plan as well, and he used Gary's disobedience and the powers of darkness to destroy that church and our marriage.

The pastor's adopted daughter, along with the pastor's wife and I, led the praise and worship. Just a few months later the church started to grow. My heart was in this work and I really enjoyed it. I thought Gary was enjoying it too, but it was difficult to drive back and forth so much.

Gary and I also cleaned the church building every Saturday when we arrived from Springfield. No one would ever offer to help us, even though they lived on the premises. We also painted a room or two inside the building while others watched. Gary made a new church sign plus a new day care sign, and did many other projects that improved the property. And I worked right beside him.

Thinking back on this now, there were signs along the way that Gary and I were drifting apart. For example, we had always sung together, but he started having another person sing with us and stand between us! (I think it was the young son of a close friend of Gary's that he had known for years.) It felt strange to me, but I did not suspect anything. I must have thought that Gary was just trying to be nice to his friend, but what a strange way to do it! This was the beginning of Gary pushing me away. I remember one time when I gave Gary a hug after church, and he just stood there. I was not aware of things going on behind the scenes at that time.

I was so naive! I had no reason for 30 years not to trust Gary, so I still trusted him even though I felt a slight distance between us. I just thought he was tired and not feeling well. He had lived with pain for many years, but it seemed to be increasing.

It was during this time that we found a doctor that would prescribe vicodin for Gary's constant pain. He started taking this medication and soon was taking many times the amount prescribed. This type of action was multiplied by taking other medications along with the vicodin. This increased on a daily basis.

One Sunday morning during the praise and worship, the Holy Spirit spoke to me and said, "You do not belong here!"

I sat on the front seat while Gary was preaching that morning and cried like I had never cried before in my life. The seat was shaking so hard. A close friend of mine came over and put her arm around me and asked me what was wrong.

I did not know. But I cried like my heart was broken.

The next day after we arrived back home in Springfield, I shared with Gary what the Holy Spirit had spoken to me. He ignored it. He insisted that we keep going to that church every weekend. So, I agreed to keep going with him. Eventually, Gary suggested that I stay home and he would go alone. I did not like this idea and I told him that I wanted to go with him. He became very insistent and demanding that this was the way it was going to be. I was shocked! This should have been a "red flag" to me that something was not right and that things were being hidden from me.

Months passed. I stayed home. Gary would leave either Friday evening or Saturday morning and come back home every Monday. Then he started waiting until Wednesday to come home! Next he announced that "they" had decided to have Wednesday night services at the church in Illinois. I immediately knew that was a plan of Satan to keep Gary in that area, away from me, and that there were manipulating people behind these ideas. However, Gary agreed to it. Or maybe it was his idea.

By this time I started noticing a hugh difference in Gary's personality. He had cut off all communication with me. When I tried to talk with him, he became very angry and that frightened me. He was pushing me away more and more. When he came home, which was not often now, he had on the same clothes that he had worn for a week or more. His hair was dirty and his clothes smelled like cigarette smoke. When he looked at me, which was not often, it was as if he was looking right through me. His eyes seemed "glazed over." It was heartbreaking to see. It was so sad to watch this happen to my husband. What had happened to the Gary I knew? Where was the man I fell in love with? I would soon find out, and it would become clear what was happening and being hidden from me.

My heart did not want to know. I was not prepared for what was ahead for me. My biggest heartache was yet to come.

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