Story by Dottie Duke
Profile on: Dottie Duke, wife of Charlie Duke,
grew up wanting to get married and live happily ever after, just like
Cinderella. When Charlie proposed to me, I carefully laid the groundwork for my
dream. ďIím going to put you first in my life,Ē I said. ďWill you put me
first in your life?Ē He said he would. But, literally, as soon as the
honeymoon was over, all Charlieís courting stopped. He felt now he could focus
on his career, and he did. I felt disappointed and left out. For the next 12
years, I courted him, trying to get him to love me the way I wanted to be loved.
But the harder I tried, the more he pulled away.
|Depression Set In
I grew depressed, even as Charlieís career skyrocketed. I was excited
for him when he began training to go to the moon, and I involved myself with the
flight as much as possible. But I was really looking forward to it being over.
Inside I was thinking, When he gets this goal behind him, heíll put me first.
But he didnít. He still had that workaholic impulse. He still pursued a
list of goals and I was still way down on his list. I considered divorce but I
wondered if any man could love me the way I wanted to be loved. Was there even
such a thing as the perfect marriage? It didnít look like it anymore.
So I began to look for other things to fulfill me. I tried a career. I tried
church work. I volunteered with the Head Start program and helped the
needy. Nothing worked.
Iíll admit it - I even tried drugs. When the marijuana didnít work
either, I thought, Maybe there IS no purpose in life. You just live and die and
thatís all there is. Thatís when I began to think about suicide. I lost all
hope. Doesnít that seem strange? I was married to a famous man, had a nice
home and healthy children, plenty of money, yet I had no hope.
|I'll Try God, Then
And to think that I was a church-goer! Always had been. But I had no
faith. I thought all religions were the same and that Jesus was no different
than Mohammed or Buddha. They all existed just to teach us to love one another,
I reasoned. Now I wondered if even God existed. I was attending church and
teaching Sunday School but I didnít believe a word of it.
Then our church hosted a ďspiritual renewal weekend.Ē Charlie and I
listened as guests told first-hand stories of how Jesus makes a difference in
their lives. Iíd never heard such testimonies before. They claimed that Jesus
answered prayer - something Iíd never seen happen in my life. I saw a love and
joy in these folks that I surely didnít have.
Since Iíd tried everything else, I decided to try God. I told Him I
didnít know if He was real and I didnít know if Jesus was the Son of God.
But I didnít want to be in charge of my life any more.
I woke up the next morning with a commitment: I wouldnít look to anyone but
God for fulfillment. Not even to Charlie. I began praying for things and I got
answers! ďThatís just lucky,Ē Iíd think. Then it would happen again.
Pretty soon I was convinced God existed and He answered prayer! I had been in
church all my life and now I was finding it was all true!