Gayle Haggard’s book explaining why she decided to stay with her husband, former evangelical leader Ted Haggard, after his drug and sex scandal has made the New York Times’ Bestseller List.
Why I Stayed: The Choices I Made in My Darkest Hour, written by Haggard and Angela Hunt, is No. 35 in the hardcover nonfiction category, said Haggard’s publicist Beverly Rykerd, according to Colorado Springs-based newspaper The Gazette.
The book will officially appear on the Feb. 21 list.
In the newly released memoir, Gayle chronicles the difficult choices she made following the revelation that her husband of 30 years was involved in a gay sexual relationship that included drugs.
At the time when the scandal broke out, Ted Haggard was considered one of the most influential evangelical leaders in the country. He was president of the National Association of Evangelicals and senior pastor of Colorado Springs-based New Life Church, one of the largest churches in the nation.
Yet despite the pain and confusion from the truth about Ted Haggard, Gayle decided to forgive her husband and try to heal together.
“This is my story of choosing to love my husband through some of the most difficult challenges any marriage could face,” she said.
Co-founder of the 14,000-member New Life Church, Gayle said the difficult experience has given her a deeper understanding of the biblical teachings of forgiveness and grace.
She said that Ted had suggested she divorce him, but that she never really considered that option.
“I knew my husband, and I knew what I believed. I felt we could fight through this,” Gayle told Christianity Today in an interview. “I believe in the power of confession. This brought my husband to the place where he had to face his sin and confess it. Once he did, it undid the power of secrecy. Secrecy is what empowers sin.”
She added, “We were able to heal together.”
The former pastor’s wife also revealed that during their nearly 30 years of marriage prior to the outbreak of the scandal, she felt there was a part of her husband that was blocked off from her. When she found out about his same-sex attraction, she said in the book that a part of her was happy to finally be allowed access into this part of Ted’s world.
She describes her marriage now as better than ever.
“Going over this mountain together has given me the marriage that I’ve always longed for,” Gayle told NBC Today host Meredith Vieira last month.
Why I Stayed: The Choices I Made in My Darkest Hour was released on Jan. 26 through Tyndale House Publishers.