Katie Vogel-Husband Delivered from Addiction
In February of 2023, it felt like my world came crashing down. I was 39 weeks pregnant and my husband had relapsed on Heroin (nowadays fentanyl) and crack cocaine.
I was so stressed and scared about becoming a mom already and then this happened and I just broke.
It wasn't a one time relapse like I had hoped, it continued for months. I was furious and beyond hurt. We just had a baby and he was using drugs. Why!? How!? I was not doing well at all. I can't tell you what was "postpartum" and what was stress, I just know I wasn't doing well at all, I felt so "off," I felt so weak and unwell physically, I also felt extremely disoriented, as if I was on drugs myself. I just was so weak from it all and I felt like I was about to collapse day in and day out. It was the strangest thing, I knew it was spiritual, but it was so hard.. There was so much going on, so much chaos, so many attacks.
I knew I had to be strong for my newborn baby girl and praise God for her, she really kept me going when I felt I couldn't. I wanted to just give up but I knew that I couldn't do that, I knew that's what the enemy wanted me to do, and I was not about to let him win our family! So I went to the Lord and I just broke down and I said Lord what do I do!? All He said was, "love your husband and serve him." Which is exactly what He had told me about a month prior to my husband's relapse; I was praying about a recurring headache I was having and asked the Lord about it, and I heard, "love your husband and serve him. He needs you now more than ever." Little did I know just how badly he did truly need me at that time.. I didn't know he was struggling and suffering internally, but the Lord did. At that time, I was really weak due to physical attacks and wasn't serving him in the way I should because of it.. God started showing me to put myself aside and serve and love regardless of how I'm feeling, even if I'm in pain. He only deepened that teaching as this trial began and went on-
After He told me to serve my husband and love him, I was like Lord, how!? I'm so weak right now, there is so much going on, I can hardly even function, how can I do that? And how do I serve and love someone when they are using drugs? It makes him a totally different person, it's not easy to love him because I feel like I don't know him. But the Lord didn't give me any excuses, He again told me, "love your husband and serve him." I was also so full of fear and anxiety at the time as well, because overdoses are extremely common nowadays, but the Lord eased my heart and said to me, "he will not die" and reminded me we can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens us, so that I could indeed still love and serve.
I'll admit, at first I wasn't the best at this and let emotions get the best of me. I was so weak at that time that mental breakdowns were very common. I was extremely anxious all the time because I never knew what the day was going to bring. It was hard to do anything but cry and yell. However, the more I acted in emotions, and the more I told my husband what he was doing wrong and what it was doing to me (something that the world says we should do), the worse it got. Fighting, anger, hurt, tears, just plain chaos. That is all that emotions bring… The Lord showed me that my husband already knew what he was doing was wrong and he knew how it made me feel. He didn't need me to tell him 20 times a day. He didn't need me to name-call or bring accusations. The enemy was already doing that. My husband needed me to love him, but I really struggled to do this. I began to get bitter and resent him for what he was doing. "How could he do this!?" I angrily thought, somehow forgetting all of my past transgressions and even my current faults and how I need grace just as much as he does…
He admitted to me during all this that he had been on methadone, a maintenance opiate given to people who are in recovery. It still gets you high and is ultimately just another chain from the enemy. He was on a super high dose and it did not prevent relapse. He was just abusing the methadone, and now he was abusing street drugs again as well… He kept saying that he felt the methadone was a block between him and the Lord and that he kept hearing for months, "get off the methadone." He wanted to get sober from all drugs including methadone, so he would try to give it up, but he just couldn't do it. Eventually he did stop using the hard drugs and lowered his dose of methadone, in hopes to wean off of it. But he would just replace it with something else. He took up drinking daily and smoking weed. Both of which he didn't even really enjoy. To me, it seemed like the enemy was frantic. I could almost see into the spirit how the enemy was scared of something and trying to prevent it, and frantically trying to take down my husband and I. He had him using drugs he didn't even care for and my husband was even perplexed by this and didn't know what in the world was going on. Eventually this just cycled back to him relapsing terribly on the hard drugs and now drinking daily alongside the hard drugs as well.
As the days went on, I just sulked and spent most of my days in tears. I was utterly shattered. I felt like my world fell apart and that there was no way out, every day it was just getting worse and I was so heartbroken. I was grieving my husband and our marriage. Resentment and bitterness grew in my heart, I felt so weak and broken and I needed comfort so badly and I wasn't getting it from my husband. I felt like I was the one who should be being loved and helped/comforted right now and not vice versa. I just had a baby and I couldn't even relax or rest. I felt like he didn't care about me and as the bitterness grew, I started to feel the love for my husband dwindle away. I no longer felt "in love" with him. But the Lord rebuked me for all of that and called those thoughts selfish and told me that love isn't just a feeling. At first I was shocked. How is that selfish? I'm going through a really hard time, here! The Lord asked me who am I thinking about in that? …Self. I'm not thinking about my husband and his pain, but rather me and my pain. And that it was a wrong attitude of self pity, self entitlement, and complaining. And He showed me the more I focused on self and the more I complained, the worse I felt! The Lord reminded me to serve and love DESPITE how I feel and how I'm being treated in return. And that there really wasn't any excuse to act in anything other than love towards my husband. God then showed me my warfare was ineffective because it was directed the wrong way; I was directing my warfare against my husband by arguing and quarreling, name calling, being cold and bitter, and just taking everything out on him. When I should've been directing it towards the demons relentlessly attacking my husband! That's who my war was truly against! Not flesh and blood.
God reminded me that as a wife I am my husband's intercessor and I was not acting in that role at all! So I began being in prayer more and more, and going to war for my husband and our marriage in the prayer closet. Pretty much all my free time was spent in prayer. I knew that the enemy was trying to divide us and get us to separate or divorce, so I knew I had to go to war in the spirit. Every time I had a wrong thought, instead of festering on it, I'd now instantly turn that thought into a prayer and turn the attacking thoughts around on the enemy's head. I prayed against the bitterness and prayed for the Lord to restore the love between my husband and I and to give me the love of Christ for him. And slowly but surely, the Lord took away that bitterness and gave me that love back, and I began to get stronger and stronger. It was still very hard, but now I had the ability to stay calm and be strong without breaking down every day. I realized my husband needed to see me walking in the strength of the Lord and that that really helped him.
I still failed at times and would get in my emotions, but every time the Lord would gently remind me of what He spoke to me, "love your husband and serve him." It was a process, but once I began doing this, things changed. No, he didn't instantly stop using the drugs, but God was really working in us both. He stopped leaving our apartment (he had left often due to me yelling at him and being cold towards him and wanting to avoid the quarreling) and we began spending quality time together again. Before we argued day in and day out, but now he would come home to a different atmosphere, because instead of spending my day complaining and self pitying, I was praying and praising! There were now beautiful moments of love that we shared, precious moments. I don't think anyone in the world could possibly understand this, I barely can honestly, because he was still using drugs, it was still chaotic, and I still didn't feel great, but there were times where we just sat together and I would rub his back or just hold him and the love I felt for him was so strong and there was such a peace in and around me. We talked and laughed again, he started opening up more and more and being more honest and vulnerable with me. He went from wanting to seperate and talking about divorce to begging me to never leave him and to stay and wanting me with him pretty much all the time. It was beautiful! I really had thought our marriage was dying, but the Lord was reviving it, EVEN in the midst of chaos!
The Lord was really strengthening me and teaching me a lot through this time. He was revealing to me how much selfishness was still in me and how it needed to die. I needed to stop focusing on me and how I felt and focus on my husband and our baby girl. I needed to stop with the woe-is-me. Which at the time seemed "valid," because it was a really really rough time, and people were sympathizing with me left and right and saying how they couldn't/wouldn't put up with what my husband was doing, and that "I have a right to feel this way," and a right to complain, but I knew that wasn't true. That comes from self entitlement and that is selfishness and it's wrong. It also felt like a lack of faith and agreeing with the enemy. I believed my husband would be set free from this and that he would totally surrender to the Lord, and I needed to speak that way and act in that faith. The Lord kept telling me to put self aside, stop with the self pity, and just stop focusing on it and instead focus on loving my husband. He reminded me how much my husband needed me and showed me his brokenness and his hurt and this started to really soften my heart. I then just wanted to hold him, help him, and love him. I started rebuking wrong emotions and selfishness and prayed for God to continue to change and work in my heart and for me to see my husband the way that He sees him.
Things continued for several more months and actually got worse in terms of drug use. I was a bit disheartened, honestly. One day I was sitting there feeling extremely angry, and the Lord spoke, "gentleness, compassion, mercy, long suffering, tenderheartedness, loving kindness" and instantly all of the anger went away and was replaced with so much love. The Lord kept telling me to hang on and to stay with my husband. People were constantly telling me I needed to leave and think about myself and the baby and let my husband "suffer the consequences of his actions," essentially. They would tell me I'm enabling him, that all I'm doing is showing him he can behave this way and have me, too; that there were no consequences and that there needed to be in order for him to "learn." I pondered on this several times and although it sounded right, and it's what the world teaches, I knew it was wrong. The Lord kept telling me to love my husband and serve him and to STAY. I tried telling people this, but they didn't understand and some of them even said, "God wouldn't want you to go through this." I just kept thinking on 1 Peter 3 where it tells wives how to act, even when their husband isn't obeying the Word. It doesn't say to leave, to yell, to push. Rather it says to be obedient and submissive towards him so that he may be won over without a word*, by the Godly behavior of the wife. 1 Peter 3:1-5 " Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives,  when they see your respectful and pure conduct.  Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear—  but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.  For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands," God reminded me that we wives are to submit to our husbands, even if they are not obeying the word. It does not give us a pass to act however we wish. No, we are still called to serve, love, and submit to them and there is no excuse or reason not to! And there is power in it! God also really highlighted "gentle and quiet spirit" and "won without a word" to me. I felt like I had to tell my husband what to do and explain everything to him; I kept telling him the Lord was his way out of this and I kept trying to tell him what exactly he needed to do and how to do it, as the Lord had set me free from addiction in the past as well, so I knew the way out, but the Lord told me to stop and be quiet. All that it did was cause arguments. I also felt that I needed to stop him, or try to, from doing the drugs. There were times where I would jump in front of the door to try to stop him from going and beg him not to, but it never worked. All it did was cause discord and fights. The Lord told me to stop doing that also and to surrender it to Him completely and put it in His hands, that I didn't need to do or say anything, but that the Lord Himself would do it all. All I needed to do was love my husband, serve him, and intercede on his behalf in prayer. God reminded me again, "He shall not die" and this gave me peace. I went from staying up all night worrying about my husband, to saying a prayer of protection over him and going to bed and sleeping through the entire night without worry or fear. God showed me the power of surrender and also the power of being quiet- The nights where I acted in gentleness and quietness, we had a beautiful night even in the midst of a storm! The nights where I didn't act in that, but in emotion, we had horrible nights full of anger and tears. There is power in being quiet, gentle, and loving!
I really really had to put my own thoughts aside and any earthly logic I had learned about addiction and how to handle it over the years. I learned a lot about not enabling and how "putting your foot down" is necessary, and thats what everyone was telling me I needed to do. What people were saying to me made sense from a logical standpoint. At times I really worried that I was indeed just enabling my husband and making it worse. Because in terms of drug use, it did get worse. It was really a test of faith and obedience here. I knew that it wasn't for me to bring any consequences to him, that was up to the Lord. Me acting in any way other than in love would be an act of disobedience on my part and surely that would not bring the blessing of the Lord. I knew I had to go by what the Word said only, not any "logic" or emotion.
God lined things up so perfectly. At the very beginning of all of this, I prayed for a fellowship that we could start going to in our area and just hours later a brother I hadn't talked to in years sent me an invite to a Christ based recovery group. My husband and I eagerly went. It was great! We got really involved and really enjoyed it, but then as he got deeper into the addictions, he shied away from the group. I had told some people what was going on and asked for prayer and a few of them told us about this 9 month Rehab-Alternative program in the area. They're 100% centered on Christ and they don't do any of the worldly stuff. They are essentially a discipleship school and they have classes, bible studies, daily worship, church services, and all sorts of other amazing stuff! They believe in all the gifts and power of the Spirit and believe the issue is demonic and that there are roots behind the chains of addiction and that addicts need deliverance, so they take them through deliverance as well! Hallelujah!!! At first my husband was totally opposed to going anywhere as he had been to many rehabs over the years. He has been an addict for 15 years and he was labeled as the worst of the worst, always given a bad report.
The Lord led me to stop bringing up him needing to go in and just be quiet.
It was again a test of faith. He got worse. I eventually went to stay with my parents just because the conditions at our apartment were no longer safe, but I didn't leave in an angry or upset way. I still saw him and would answer every call and text of his and told him I love him so much and that I am 100% there for him in any way shape or form.
One day he came over to my parents house to visit with the baby and I and he was unfortunately high, but as we were talking he randomly said, "you know that place Mike went to? Yeah, I've been thinking about going there." Mike is a brother we knew who went to that Rehab-alternative program. Praise God! He was not in a sound mind but the Lord was STILL breaking through! This shocked me because it came out of left field totally. I just praised God for it as I knew He was at work!
It again kept getting worse from there, but I'd go visit him and spend time with him, even though everyone was telling me not to do that and to ignore him and again "let him suffer the consequences." But I strongly felt that was not what I should be doing, so I kept seeing him and we had some beautiful moments again!
A couple weeks later, we ended up filling out an intake form for him to the program together. Hallelujah! The next day they called and he answered! He set up a time to go in in a few days and the day before he went in he finally admitted that he can't do this on his own, something he was saying the entire time was, "I can do it" and he was doing so much striving in the flesh trying to help himself and of course failing every time. He finally admitted that this is bigger than him and he needs help, God's help. I didn't have to say a word, he came to this conclusion on his own, the Lord was speaking it to him and guiding him, as He now could since I had backed off and started being quiet and taking my own hands out of the situation and just choosing to love my husband like the Lord told me to.
On August 25th, he went in. He did it cold turkey. He did not want to go through a medical detox, which is what is recommended, but rather he just wanted to trust the Lord. (My husband is/was a believer. He just really struggled with some strongholds and needed freedom). He went through withdrawl for 3 days, but was encouraged by other brothers in the program singing worship and praising the Lord. He said it did something in his spirit and then on the third day he heard, "get up Lazarus," and he got up and the withdrawl was taken from him! He should have been going through severe and painful withdrawal for weeks, with residual effects lasting months! Methadone withdrawl is brutal, often times worse than street drugs. But the Lord took it all! He also was instantly set free from nicotine addiction as well.
He has now been seeking the Lord every single day diligently and is surrounded by other believers in constant fellowship and is thriving! He is really learning and growing a ton. He had a lot of prior knowledge as well as we did study, read, and listen to teachings together, and he is now able to finally apply it all as those strongholds and chains holding him back are finally broken! Hallelujah!
He also got re-baptized on October 2nd, which was something I knew he needed to do, but it was something the Lord told me to again be quiet on and not push, and let HIM tell my husband about it. That's exactly what happened! He came up to me one day when I was visiting him in the program and he said that the Lord told him he needs to get baptized. Praise the Lord!
In his first baptism he was holding things back and holding on to things like the methadone, but in this baptism he truly gave himself totally to the Lord! It was beautiful.
This program is amazing because I get to join in their fellowship as well and I get to visit with him every Sunday for the entire day. We still get to see each other and he still gets to see our daughter, which is something I was afraid of because in any other program they wait awhile before you can visit and the visits are short, but that is not the case at all here which is such a blessing.
Every time I have seen my husband it has been nothing short of amazing. He is glowing. He looks so different, he speaks so different. He has such a boldness for Christ now, and the Lord is already using him to help other brothers. All of our conversations now are 100% centered on Christ and we have been sitting down studying the word together and it's been so amazing. He is so in love with Jesus. It's everything I had ever prayed for… The Lord has brought me to tears several times because it's just so beautiful. Every single prayer I ever prayed about my future husband before I even knew who he was, has been/is being answered, down to specifics. I always prayed for a man who is radical for Jesus and has that "crazy" type of faith and follows Jesus without compromise and that's exactly who my husband is. The Lord spoke to me that I did indeed hear His voice when He showed me who my future husband was long ago. Even though there were so many confirmations, dreams, visions, etc., I really began to doubt it all during the storm. The enemy would tell me I ruined my life by marrying my husband… but that was a LIE! God spoke to me recently that He hand picked my husband for me before we were even born, and that He has orchestrated everything perfectly for GOOD, and He showed me how my husband is everything I had ever prayed for and more.. it just had me weeping. I have actually known him my whole life, he was my first crush and it never went away. Haha. I had actually prayed when I was a young girl that I would get to marry him when I was older... How faithful is God!? I now truly believe my love for him was from the Lord! He knew the plans He had for us! Throughout the chaos, people had told me I was blinded because of my love for him and because of how I saw him when we were younger, and that that's not who he really is and I was "fooled," but now I know they were wrong. I simply believed in what God spoke to me and showed me, which were dreams and visions of us serving the Lord together! We really have to hold on to the promises of God and things He has shown to us during the hard times and walk by FAITH and not by sight.
The Lord restored everything that the enemy so desperately tried to break. I thought I was falling out of love with my husband before and now, I've never been so in love in my life! This love is so strong and so different. It's beyond words. It's the love of Jesus! Before I felt so disconnected and distant from my husband, but now I feel so connected, close, and unified with my husband. I truly feel like we are one now and it's such a beautiful thing. God remade and restored every single aspect of our marriage. Every attempt that the enemy made to destroy us has been canceled in Jesus name! And those in his family that told me to leave, are now thanking me for staying. My husband said himself that if I would've left him he would not have gone in. Which makes sense, it would have just fueled rejection and hurt in him and the enemy would've just used that to further torment him. But praise God, God taught me to love and there is power in the love of Christ and when we choose to walk in it, rather than walking in self and emotions.
I am also doing the curriculum that the program he is in has along with my husband, as he wanted me to be involved too and learn alongside him; They said they've never seen anything like that, that usually spouses are not on the same page like that, and that it's a blessing for them to see… so we went from total disunity and chaos, to unity and peace, and others can see it and feel it and it's a blessing to them… it's still crazy to me! God did it and He really is doing such a quick work. It was 7 months, but in just less than 2 months, he has grown exponentially and so quick. A total 180, he is a brand new man. So don't think that it will take a long time for someone to learn and for the Lord to equip them. No, the Lord is raising up His remnant and He is able to do it QUICKLY! I believe it's needed in the times we are in and we will see it more and more.
It is still hard being away from my husband for 9 months, but we are both preparing ourselves for our reunification. I have a lot that I'm working on with the Lord right now and same with him. I view this as a season of preparation, and I know that when we are reunited, that we will both be way stronger and will have grown a ton. That we will be able to walk in true harmony and unity as the Lord intended. It's been a beautiful parallel of how we prepare ourselves for the Lord's return and eagerly await Him; How the bride prepares herself for and awaits her bridegroom. :)
Also, days after my husband went to the program, Michael Hare sent out an email titled, "LOVE is the answer" with a booklet attached called "a new kind of love." It's all about the love of Christ and how powerful walking in that love is. How it saves marriages, families, etc. How selfishness is the blighting curse on humanity and that it prevents the love of Christ and how we need to act in that love and NOT in selfishness… essentially everything God had been speaking to me over the past 7 months! It was perfect timing and just further confirmation of everything that God had been teaching me. Really made me smile. Love IS the answer, folks!
I pray my story encourages people out there. And to the wives, the most powerful thing you can do is to love your husband and serve him. Yes, even if he isn't following the Word. Yes, even if he is annoying you, upsetting you, and doing things you just don't agree with. None of that is an excuse for us to be disobedient to the word. One man's disobedience should never lead to or justify another's! Continue to obey the Word. Love your husband, serve him, intercede for him, go to war in the spirit for him. He needs your prayers, he needs your love! Don't war against him, war against the spirits attacking him. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood! Your warfare will only be effective if it's aimed correctly. Remember your authority in Christ and also remember the power of LOVE!
Always push through and endure, even when it's very hard. You CAN do it, the Lord is with you, remember all of His promises and cling to them. God is so faithful and the quicker we cooperate with Him and allow Him to purge us of the things He is trying to purge, the quicker we get to the other side of the trial. Keep clinging to God and His promises. Remember there is a beautiful rainbow after the storm. :)
Restoration IS possible when Jesus is involved. No marriage is ever too broken, and no person is ever too far from the Lord's reach. He can do it all.