Chris & Debra Hedgcorth: A Meth Marriage
By Gorman Woodfin
The 700 Club
CBN.com -When Chris and Debra Hedgcorth married, they loved to party. But when they were introduced to methamphetamines —their party life carried over into their everyday life.
Debra, a waitress and busy housewife, loved the energy it gave her. “I thought, ‘I can organize everything in the house and I can be everywhere all at once,’ it seemed.”
Chris describes his life on meth. “I felt like I could conquer the world. I could do meth and I could work for, a couple days nonstop and get a lot done at the very first.”
But when the meth wore off, it started affecting their marriage. Chris recalls, “It was a disaster. When we had the dope, things were pretty mellow. But when it ran out, it was bad.”
Debra recognized a pattern in her behavior. “You see kids, who have tantrums, and they cry and they huddle in the corner. That’s how I expressed myself. I was a screamer. I would build Chris up, because I loved him. Then within maybe two minutes, I could tear him down to nothing. And that was the cycle that I took all the time.”
Chris remembers the instability in their relationship. “It was like a rollercoaster up and down. On very highs and very lows. There’d be moments when we were getting along really well and, it’d be really low and we’d be cussing each other. I’d be out the door or she’d be out the door, whatever it was. She’d be calling the cops on me.”
Debra felt like she couldn’t take it anymore. Then memories of her childhood and going to church made her feel better. “When I was 9 years old, I would go to church, I was bused in. The bus would come by and pick me up. So I took off to First Christian Church and in children’s church, we sang songs that were pretty, and people smelled good. And, you know, it was just a good place to be. It felt safe.”
During a separation from Chris, Debra cried out to God for help. “I poured out my heart to Him and I accepted the fact that it was me that was making this hard. I was rejecting Him. I was rejecting His ways. I was trying to make life about me. I didn’t say that perfect prayer of salvation, but I meant every piece of that prayer of salvation. Because it was all about me saying, ‘I’m done being who I am, and I’m ready to be everything You tell me I am. And I’ll believe You.’”
The first thing she did was call Chris. “I thought she was nuts. I didn’t want anything to do with the Lord. I was so dead to that. ‘If you’re going to do that, I’m done with it.’”
Debra did not give up when she heard Chris’ responsel. “Right off the bat I found that the person I wanted to love and trust the most was saying, ‘I don’t want anything to do with this new you.’ But it didn’t shake me, because I thought, ‘He just needs to know Jesus.’ I just kept trying to tell him in a different way.”
Debra was persistent and about a year later Chris visited her church. At the end of the service, he went down the aisle to pray. “The day that he went forward, I mean, I knew that it was real. He was giving up. He was giving up everything and he was going to surrender. And I knew it.
“I just told him whatever You want Lord, I’ll do it.” Chris’ surrender was absolute. “I just gave up and I made him Lord at that moment. And man, if there’s anything He did that day, He changed me, I mean, He forgave me. I knew at that moment that I was forgiven and I hadn’t crossed that line. That it was going to be okay.”
While Debra got off meth within 2 weeks of coming to the Lord, it took Chris about 9 months to break free. They soon started rebuilding their marriage.
Their lives were distinctly different after becoming Christians. Debra explains. “For awhile, Chris and I called each other ‘my ex-husband’ and ‘my ex-wife’ when we would talk about our past. Because that’s what it seemed like. It was a completely different person. Me before Christ, the old Debra, was self-seeking, self-serving. I every day that I woke up, I thought immediately of the things that I needed to do to get what I wanted.”
Chris describes his pre-Jesus life. “I think about the old Chris, I was depressed. Wow, I was—I was so down and so—I’d reached the point where I thought, ‘Man, I’m going to be like this my whole life. And this is bad.’ And I was full of hatred towards my wife. The new Chris understands the Lord’s forgiveness.”
It’s been over 10 years since Chris and Debra got off meth and today they live a life they never dreamed of with their two daughters.
Debra recognizes the work of God in their lives. “We have a union in Christ first and a union together. There’s nothing better than that, and we’re raising our kids to know Christ, a relationship. That’s the biggest blessing in my life.”
She concludes, “It is never too late. You have not done the worst thing in the world. If you’ve done the worst thing that anybody on the face of this earth has done, it’s still not too much for Jesus’ s blood to wash over you and forgive you. It’s never too late.”
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