THE POTSC GAYLE HAGGARD INTERVIEW: PART 1

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It was my honor to interview Gayle Haggard about her journey through forgiveness and to talk about her New York Times best selling book, "WHY I STAYED." I love Gayle and I am inspired by her courage and her story.

BUY "WHY I STAYED" FROM AMAZON.

This is Part 1 of my recent interview with Gayle Haggard.

GAYLE WHY DID YOU FEEL THE NEED TO WRITE THE BOOK, "WHY I STAYED: THE CHOICES I MADE IN MY DARKEST HOUR?"

Well, I really wrote the book for two reasons, I felt the first reason that I needed to write the book was because there was so much misinformation that had been spread in the two years that Ted and I were silent after the scandal broke. We couldn’t represent ourselves or tell our story and I felt as though I needed to correct a lot of the misinformation that was out there. I wanted to at least give them the true story from my vantage point.

And secondly, I wrote the book because I feel as though it’s an amazing story about faith and family and forgiveness and love. I wanted to communicate that this story is about overcoming incredible difficulties and doing so according to the teachings of our faith. It is about learning how to forgive and love each other so that we can all be better for it.

I'M SURE MANY WOULD LOOK AT YOUR STORY AND WHAT YOU WENT THROUGH AND ASK WHY DID YOU STAY? YOU WOULD BE JUSTIFIED IN LEAVING. WHY DID YOU ENDURE?

Well, I think first of all I felt as though I really do love my husband, and commitment means something to me. So I wasn’t going to just throw away at that time 28 years of marriage and all that we’ve devoted our lives to because of the knowledge of this battle that had been going on inside of my husband.

I wanted to try and understand that and I wanted to respond to him the way I felt Jesus teaches us to respond to people when they are in trouble. I wanted to offer him forgiveness and to learn how to love him through it because I felt as though he was worth it, our family was worth it and the church that we devoted 22 years of our lives to was worth it. I wanted to fight for these things that I valued.

NOW OFFERING FORGIVENESS IS NOT AN EASY THING. EVEN YOUR TAGLINE SAYS "CHOICES I MADE IN MY DARKEST HOUR." THIS WASN'T EASY WAS IT?

No, it was excruciatingly painful. More painful than I even anticipated that it would be from the onset because I learned about this scandal as everyone else did. I was in shock as Ted confessed to me that some of the allegations were true, not all of them, but enough of them, was how he worded it.

So I was heartbroken, I felt the gravity of our situation and the tremendous loss that we were going to experience, but it was walking through all of that, that it took me to levels of pain that I hadn’t anticipated. What I learned in the process though, was that the way I healed, the way that I healed my own heart and the way our marriage healed was when I chose to forgive.

I learned how to forgive and work that out in the process, but it was a process. It wasn’t as simple as a decision because I was experiencing the loss of everything that I really treasured and valued and that’s a tough thing to walk through.

HOW LONG WAS IT BEFORE YOU FELT YOUR LIFE, YOUR MARRIAGE, AND YOUR RELATIONSHIPS WERE "BACK TO NORMAL?" OR IS IT?

Well, I describe the fact that I felt as though I had 730 days of darkness because certainly we went to counseling in the beginning and that was extremely helpful to me because what I wanted was understanding.

I wanted to know how my husband developed this difficulty in his life, where it came from and how it worked in him. It was so incongruent with the man that I knew, it did not fit with the man that I love. I was the recipient of so much good that he taught and done, so I wanted to understand how his battle fit together with the man that I knew.

In doing that, I feel as though I received tremendous healing that was a big part of my process and that happened in the initial few months after the crisis. But then I experienced the loss of the church which was something I didn’t see coming.

I knew that Ted needed to step down in order to get healthy and I didn’t know what his restoration would look like altogether, although I do believe restoration means to restore a person to health so they can go on and fulfill their gifts and callings in God.

So my hope was that we would do that but I didn’t anticipate that we would be told that we would have to permanently leave the church and the state of Colorado. That was as painful to me as the process I was going through with my husband because these were the two friends I valued the most. My family and my church.

PART 2 WILL BE POSTED TOMORROW WHICH INCLUDES USER SUBMITTED QUESTIONS.

WHAT IS PEOPLE OF THE SECOND CHANCE?

Btw, you can watch the exclusive video interview I did with Gayle and Ted Haggard at the Q conference called "PEOPLE OF THE SECOND CHANCE."

Mike Foster