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When War Follows You Home

Darren Turner and his wife Heather had no idea how the war in Iraq qould shake their rock-solid marriage to its core. Read Transcript


- [Announcer] DarrenTurner and his wife Heather

had no idea how thewar in Iraq would shake

their rock-solid marriage to its core.

In 2007, Darren, a Regent University grad

spent 15 months as an Army chaplain

encouraging service menand women in their faith.

But when he came homethings quickly fell apart.

- I began to snap at little things.

And it didn't matter ifshe was right or wrong.

That wasn't the point, itwas an opportunity for me

to let some of my angerand frustration out.

- I knew something deeper, supernatural

that we could notmanufacture had to happen.

Or else this was gonna go nowhere.

It was gonna get worse.

- [Announcer] Darren and Heather's story

hits the big screen inthe movie Indivisible

playing in theatersstarting on October 26th.

- Well Darren and Heather are with us now.

It's an honor to have you with us.

Thanks for coming.

- Thanks.

Thanks for having us.- It's great to be here thanks.

- Darren, you went to Regent University?

You got a degree from the seminary and

everything's supposed to be perfect.

Right?

- I thought I had allthe answers. (laughing)

- You were ready to go.

- Yeah.

- You did all of that so you could be

an Army chaplain.

- That's right.

- And then you get into a war zone.

- Yeah, three monthsafter, about four months

after graduating seminary, I was

on a 15 month deployment in Iraq

right in the middle of a combat zone.

- [Gordon] Can anythingprepare you for a combat zone?

- I don't think so.

I thought that I was preparedand the Army training did

the best that it could andseminary did the best it could.

But there's a lot of confusion, a lot of

chaos that you can't reallyprepare for I don't think.

- [Gordon] A lot of death.

- [Darren} Yeah, there is that.

- So you come back home from that

and that's when the trouble starts.

What was he like when he came home?

- I would say he was justdistant and disconnected.

Not really even wanting to be involved

in family activities, which was really

strange for Darren.

He's a great dad andjust not really wanting

to be enmeshed in our lives.

- [Gordon] How did that make you feel?

- I felt rejected and Ifelt that the kids and I

were doing somethingwrong, that we were not

meeting his expectations.

- [Gordon] Okay.

What did you do with that feeling?

- [Heather] I got defensive and withdrew

and started to self-protect

and really just startedgrappling after him

for his attention.

And really badgering himand asking more from him.

And trying to push him todeal with whatever it is

he needed to deal with.

- [Gordon] How did that work?

- It didn't go very well.

(laughing)

- I bought a motorcycle,that's how it worked.

(laughing)

- Oh, boy, you're reallygetting out there.

Darren, a lot of your symptoms

sound like PTSD but you didn't have that.

- Yeah, that's a huge topic.

There's a lot of gray areawithin that topic of PTSD.

I would say I had Post Traumatic Stress

but I don't think I had the disorder

with the intrusivethoughts, the nightmares.

I had a lot of anger.

I wanted to be alone, Iwanted to be with the buddies

who I had gone throughthose experiences with

more than I wanted to be withthis beautiful woman here,

which is, I'm ashamed to say that,

but that's what I was drawn to.

- [Gordon] Don't be ashamed,that's what it's about.

I will ask the question, whydid you want to be alone?

Or why did you want tobe back in your unit?

- It's weird.

Coming back, the one thing I wanted

when I was deployed was to be home.

Then I get home, and theone thing I wanted to do

was almost go back.

And I couldn't go back butI could be with my buddies.

Because they got it.

I didn't think that Heather got it.

But what I was missingwas, she had her own

15 month battle, with kids, sicknesses,

she's holding spouses'babies who just heard

their husbands were killed.

And I didn't fully appreciatewhat she had gone through.

So once we startedunderstanding one another

and we're like, oh wow, you've had

quite the year as well as I have.

I began to respect

her journey as well.

'Cause we were competitive.

I thought my year was moresignificant than hers.

And she thought her year was more--

- Your pain is bigger?

- Correct.

- Why did you think thatshe wouldn't understand

what you went through?

- She wasn't there and I just didn't,

part of me didn't wantto relive some of that,

quite honestly.

And I didn't have to dothat with the buddies

who I was deployed with.

They got it and so we could just be.

We could go ride motorcycles, we could go

play football, we could go play golf

and not have to download everything.

Heather wanted to know all this stuff.

She did not, she didn't deploy with me,

obviously so she didn'thave that framework.

She wanted to hear itall and I just didn't

frankly, want to tell it all over again.

- Okay, so here you are Christians,

chaplain, seminary, and your marriage is--

- A mess.

- Yeah, just really in bad shape.

- Yeah.

- What led to the separation?

- For me it was, and looking back,

providentially, separationis what the Lord

used in spite of ourselves.

We don't ever recommendthat for a marriage.

But--

- Yeah, it's usually a bad sign.

- Yeah it is a very bad sign.

And the separation was really caused from

my self-protecting and mywanting the pain to go away.

And so really I forced the separation

in an attempt tomanipulate the Holy Spirit

to work in him.

And thankfully the Lord did use that.

But--

- [Gordon] That's a prettybig self confession.

- It is.

Yeah, I think so many women,

especially Christian women

want to manipulate the Holy Sprit

to try to do--

- Fix him.

- To fix him.

Right.- To wake up a passive

husband who will not engage.

- Right.

- Which we were Adam and Eve.

Where was Adam when Eve took the fruit?

He was right there.

- [Gordon] I don't think shewanted you to be passive.

(laughing)

- No I was being passive and not engaging.

- Okay.

- I wanted him to--

- Her heart, she needed, I was just

riding motorcycles- She needed,

she wanted to hear your heart.

- [Darren] Correct- [Heather] Yes, right.

And so for me--

- But you also wanted toprotect the kids, too.

- Yes, protecting the kids and protecting

my own heart from being,continually hoping

in the Lord to do something and then being

disappointed and notreally sure where to put

that disappointment.

Should I be disappointed in the Lord?

Or am I just disappointed in him?

But either way, I'm disappointed.

And what really rattled my faith,

did I hear from the Lordin who I should marry?

Did I hear from the Lord of how,

what marriage should look like?

It was really a toughcrisis of faith for me.

- Okay, the Holy Spiritdid start working on him.

He started changing,but then you held back.

- Yes.

- Why?

- Well, all of thosereasons, just doubtful

that God was who he said he was,

that the Holy Spirit could work in us

to heal and restore and over time,

so for us reconciliation was,

for me reconciliation wasjust an obedience choice,

to follow what the Lordhad said in marriage

and committing to those vows.

- But you went further than that

'cause your heart changed.

- Yes.

- I can tell today, your heart changed.

- Yes.

- You're not protecting--

- No.- You're saying.

- But that took some time.

It took us, for me it took probably a year

for my emotions to catch up with

the obedience of just walkingin the design of marriage

that God had.

- When did you fall back in love?

- During that year, I would say.

We went back home and hejust worked at a local

home improvement store.

And we weren't in ministry any more.

And I think I just, for the first time,

we really had to relearn how to be married

under different terms.

Where no were we supposed to supply

life giving acceptanceand worth to each other.

Which was really freeingfor the first time.

Even though we knew allthose things before,

we just hadn't learned howto walk through that yet.

- And when you find it in him

then you can actuallyfind it in each other.

- We're full and then we have something

to offer one another instead of empty

trying to take, take, take.

- [Gordon] And needy, needy, easily hurt.

- Right.

- Or in your case, not so easily hurt.

But hurt, nonetheless.

What's it like now?

- Marriage, military life?

- [Gordon] Yeah.

- It's still hard work.

We're still difficult people and--

- We're still competitive.

- Still competitive- But we have a lot

for one another.

- They don't tell youthat in marriage class.

(laughing)

Marriage is really a lot of hard work

and then you get toraise kids on top of it.

- [Heather] That's right.

- Well, the movie Indivisible

opens in theaters later this month.

And for more information,just go to CBN.com

And Darren and Heather,thank you for being with us.

- Thank you for having us

- God bless you that'sall the time we have.

We'll see you again.

(upbeat music)

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