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Paperback Why I Stayed: The Choices I Made in My Darkest Hour Book

ISBN: 1414335873

ISBN13: 9781414335872

Why I Stayed: The Choices I Made in My Darkest Hour

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Book Overview

On November 2, 2006, Gayle Haggard's life changed forever. That was the day that her husband, Ted Haggard, founder of the 14,000-member New Life Church in Colorado Springs and the President of the NAE, confessed to her the truth. In Why I Stayed, Gayle walks us through the choices she made in her darkest hours. On the day and in the months ahead, everything in her life was at stake--what she believed, the husband she thought she knew, and the church...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Why I Stayed

I was captured by the content and the flow of the book. It is refreshing to hear this painful and tragic story with the redemptive outcome. Gayle is vulnerable to the extreme and because the book is written from her perspective - as the wounded spouse and the outcast Christian - it carries great credibility. Her ability to make such gracious choices in the face of her pain and probable "public" pressure to reject her husband - speaks volumes about her faith as well as the foundations upon which her life,Ted's life and their marriage have been built. It is her story and others may not understand or like her choices but they are hers and they were forged in the fires of unbelievable rejection and heartache. People may not like some of her conclusions or observations about their treatment but they are genuinely hers. She has earned the right to be heard and I find it hard to pass judgment on her decisions. WOW!

A call to improving church discipline

I found the book fascinating for two reasons--(1) because of Gayle's counterintuitive decision to stay committed to Ted, and (2) because of the light she sheds on the church discipline and restoration process she and Ted went through. As an elder in my church, I came away with a renewed commitment to make sure that our church does church discipline well and biblically. Granted, we're reading the Haggards' story only from Gayle's perspective, and the New Life Church leaders would probably tell a different story. But I was appalled by the lack of true restoration and care for Gayle and Ted by the church leadership. May all Christian churches learn a lesson here and do it better in the future.

A Story For Our Time--Much To Think About (Kindle Edition)

***** (Note: A nice advantage of buying the Kindle edition of this book is that it has the footnotes linked to the references, which I found especially convenient. I'm not sure if all Kindle books have this feature, because it is the first time I've encountered it, but I really like it. It makes it easy to jump to the reference and then right back to where you were reading. ) I watched Gayle and Ted Haggard on Oprah yesterday and immediately bought this book, because I was so impressed with what appeared to be Gayle's strength and authenticity as she shared about her choice to stay in her marriage. I was intrigued by Oprah's reaction to her as well; she seemed incredulous that anyone could make this choice under the circumstances. I had to know more. I am so very glad now that I read this book because it is an important one. No matter how you might feel about the Haggard scandal, your opinion is formed based upon media reports and second-hand information. Reading this book allows you to have firsthand information, but more importantly, to think critically about issues such as the role of the church in restoration, how we judge each other, marriage commitment, denial, forgiveness, grace, punishment, the nature of repentance, and more. No matter what your feelings about the scandal, this book will give you much to think about. The book is written with Angela Hunt, a seasoned Christian writer. This was a great choice, as the book is well-written and riveting, hard to put down. I began the book intrigued about how Gayle Haggard recovered from seemingly insurmountable betrayal. And I thought that perhaps I could learn something about love and forgiveness that could help me in my own marriage. Gayle's choice to stay could indeed have been written off to denial and weakness, but I suspected something different. And I found it. Gayle describes the scandal from her point of view in detail. She then walks the reader through the steps she took to choose love and forgiveness for Ted, and why she made this choice; of course, the decision itself was a process, not a one time event. She describes how they submitted themselves to God to both suffer the consequences of Ted's sin, which were many. (By choosing to stay with Ted, Gayle suffered, unfairly, as well.) She writes candidly of their painful isolation from their church family and the reasons behind it. Through it all, she writes how she wanted to be an example of Christ's love and forgiveness. She asked herself, "Who are you going to be in this story? How are you going to be honorable?" She writes that "love isn't a feeling, it's a choice--a choice we make ever day, sometimes every hour" and she shares how she did this. This is the true beauty and value of the book, not the details of a scandal, but the unusual choice that Gayle made, how she took control and made a counter-cultural choice that empowered both her and her family. She discusses the many problems with the restoration process--what

An Astonishing Memoir

Regardless of whether or not you agree with Gayle or how you feel about Ted Haggard, this is an astonishing book and one of the most interesting memoirs I have read in a long time. There are many different angles to the story that I think will appeal to a wide variety of people--marriage and family, infidelity, sexual identity, healing, being judgmental, love and forgiveness, inner strength, betrayal, commitment, and the list goes on. But what was most fascinating to me, and I think will be for many people, is what happened with the Haggards and the church they started--their forced separation and exile and the other half of the story about Ted's so-called "restoration" as a Christian. How the Haggards were treated by their church and other "Christians" is absolutely appalling. This will be a fascinating book for people who are at all interested in, baffled by, or irritated by religion and/or evangelical Christians, who are the ones that need to read this book more than anyone else. Why I Stayed is a mirror evangelicals need to look into if they want to get a glimpse of how others view them. If they want to be taken seriously and not seen as self-righteous, they need to actually practice the love, forgiveness, and grace that they preach. Reading this book with an open mind would be a convicting way to start. At the beginning of the book, Gayle details how she met Ted and gives an overview of their thirty year marriage and ministry together--crucial information to know in order to understand the scandal that erupted in November of 2006. She details the events from the first horrible days of the scandal through the three years that followed--everything from Ted's confession to her and their children to therapy, from the ridiculous contracts New Life Church had them sign to their move back to Colorado Springs from their exile in Arizona. There are many poignant moments in the book, but the one that moved me to tears was when Gayle described the night she got into the same bed with Ted on the day he told her that some of the allegations were true. Not only does Gayle write about conversations she and Ted had, she gives readers an intimate glimpse into her thoughts and feelings--that takes tremendous courage to write about. A lot of people will resonate with her experience and draw strength from it. It is baffling to me how and why she chose to love and forgive. At the root of a myriad of reasons, Gayle draws her strength from her faith. She writes, "I want others to inspire others to choose the risk of love, even in the midst of the worst devastation. This is what Jesus taught us to do." Gayle does not say that all husbands or wives should stay with their unfaithful and/or abusive spouses--she fully acknowledges that sometimes divorce is better than staying, but she thinks that marriages are worth fighting for if it is possible to save them. This also isn't a shallow exposé or gossip--she gives people the benefit of the

A Story For Our Time--Much To Think About

I watched Gayle and Ted Haggard on Oprah yesterday and immediately bought this book, because I was so impressed with what appeared to be Gayle's strength and authenticity as she shared about her choice to stay in her marriage. I was intrigued by Oprah's reaction to her as well; she seemed incredulous that anyone could make this choice under the circumstances. I had to know more. I am so very glad now that I read this book because it is an important one. No matter how you might feel about the Haggard scandal, your opinion is formed based upon media reports and second-hand information. Reading this book allows you to have firsthand information, but more importantly, to think critically about issues such as the role of the church in restoration, how we judge each other, marriage commitment, denial, forgiveness, grace, punishment, the nature of repentance, and more. No matter what your feelings about the scandal, this book will give you much to think about. The book is written with Angela Hunt, a seasoned Christian writer. This was a great choice, as the book is well-written and riveting, hard to put down. I began the book intrigued about how Gayle Haggard recovered from seemingly insurmountable betrayal. And I thought that perhaps I could learn something about love and forgiveness that could help me in my own marriage. Gayle's choice to stay could indeed have been written off to denial and weakness, but I suspected something different. And I found it. Gayle describes the scandal from her point of view in detail. She then walks the reader through the steps she took to choose love and forgiveness for Ted, and why she made this choice; of course, the decision itself was a process, not a one time event. She describes how they submitted themselves to God to both suffer the consequences of Ted's sin, which were many. (By choosing to stay with Ted, Gayle suffered, unfairly, as well.) She writes candidly of their painful isolation from their church family and the reasons behind it. Through it all, she writes how she wanted to be an example of Christ's love and forgiveness. She asked herself, "Who are you going to be in this story? How are you going to be honorable?" She writes that "love isn't a feeling, it's a choice--a choice we make ever day, sometimes every hour" and she shares how she did this. This is the true beauty and value of the book, not the details of a scandal, but the unusual choice that Gayle made, how she took control and made a counter-cultural choice that empowered both her and her family. She discusses the many problems with the restoration process--what worked and what didn't--and how changes can be made in the Christian church so that restoration can be more healing rather than strictly punitive. The book will be of greatest interest to those who are Christians or who are interested in Christianity. It may offend some who see the church as only for the righteous and perhaps self-righteous rather than as welcoming place for a
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