My wife and I moved to southern Michigan to both teach in a Christian school. We were beyond thrilled to be moving into our OWN PLACE. Where we could live on love and have all the freedom we could ask for. The first couple months are a blur but one month after we were married, Heidi became pregnant. (As she is again right now with number 4).
She was pretty sick the whole time and getting up in the morning and heading off to school was a pretty miserable experience. Heidi contracted a pregnancy rash called PUPP. Which made her break out in hives all over her body and itch uncontrollably all night long. Add this to the fact that our marriage wasn't exactly 'peachy' and life got pretty miserable.
I remember candidly speaking with Heidi about what were we going to do, we hated each other and neither of us believed in divorce and we were about to bring a child into the world. I comforted myself with all the cards written to us from our wedding that said things like, "The first couple years will be a train wreck, so hang in there, it will get better."
To compound things even more, when I would hear preaching, I was brought under conviction that I was lost. This was a constant battle and I wrestled with my testimony as I matched it up with what the scriptures taught about conversion. At this time I was exposed to two individuals that were reading after a guy named John Piper and the Puritans who were talking about Calvinism. This was not a popular view in the church we were at, at one point the pastor said, "If you believe Christ died for the elect only, theirs the door!" to a thundering of Amens, even louder than if he had said, 'and that's why we use the King James Bible!!" Which was always a sure Amen getter.
So I would bring my troubled soul to my wife who would show me how much more I was doing than most Christians who were saved and that I must just have sin in my life. She was sure right about having sin in my life. I now understand Paul when he says, the commandment came, sin revived and I died. Sin was flooding over me. All the wickedness that had characterized my life up to this point was wafting over me and weighing me down.
The church wanted me to take the test to get my CDL license so that I could drive a bus route. being more zealous than most, I was eager at the chance. I failed the road test 3 times. I was so distraught over it coming home on the bus the third time and I kept praying Romans 8:28 and found ZERO comfort. I didn't understand why if I was a Christian and believed the Bible why that verse brought no peace to my soul. (Now I understand that God was using that verse to show me that I was indeed lost).
A second event was that I began sending money away to stores that I had stolen from as a kid. (I had not known covetousness lest the law had said, you shall not covet.) Covetousness leads to stealing. My difficulty was in explaining to the stores why I was sending the money in. Was I to tell them that I had always been a Christian but I was stealing things from their store for years? I would discuss this with my wife only to find out later that she was lost as well. During this time, I was exposed to many different teachings, Landmarkism, Calvinism, election, etc. I was ever learning and gradually coming to the place where I had to make up my mind if I was saved or not because the doubt was tearing me up inside.