I married my high school sweetheart at the age of 19 and no one told us how much work marriage would take. I assumed since we both went to church, attended youth, seemed like he loved God, that this was what I wanted. We were perfect for each other! I felt I was not unequally yoked. But in my first year of marriage, I discovered my husband had an addiction to drugs. I found myself trying to adjust to being a wife, and pregnant with my first daughter. This was the beginning of my twenty year struggle with my marriage. Many times I questioned God as to why I was going through this mess. I had so much anger towards Him for the countless prayers I never saw an answer to. I did not believe I deserved this, nor my children. I literally gave up on God and decided to fix my own marriage.

I would try to get even with my husband and commit my own sins to satisfy all the hurt I was being put through. Trust me, it would only satisfy for a moment then it was back to reality. One day, as my youngest daughter was at worship practice for church, I literally heard God speak to me. He told me to stop trying to fix my husband and my marriage. He told me to surrender my life to Him and He would take care of the rest. I finally gave my life wholeheartedly, and that  was the beginning of my relationship with Christ. I had always known Him, but never committed my life to Him. It was different this time. God gave me a scripture to stand on, “Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives.” (1 Peter 3:1) God began to change my heart so I was able to love and forgive my husband for everything. God began to work in his life and set him free from his bondages as he surrendered his life to Christ. When Jesus is at the center, there is love, peace, sacrifice, forgiveness in the relationship. Our marriage was restored and so was my family.

Bri: What does keeping the faith mean to you?

Mom: Keeping the faith is believing that things will get better even when the situation in front of you seems impossible. It’s taking the next step even when you can’t see in front of you.  I have seen Jesus move mountains for people because of their faith!

B: You were in a situation for over 20+ years that seemed like there was never going to be any type of hope. Did you ever have a moment where you thought, this is just going to be my life  forever or did something inside you say to keep trying?

M: I had tried everything on my own power and strength to fix my marriage and it all failed. I did think, this is going to be my life. I had moments when I wanted to file for divorce, but every time I wanted to do it, I couldn’t. Something inside me would tell me not to. When I had that encounter with God, I was at the end of my rope. I wanted to give up, but I decided to try one last time. When God told me He would take care of it, I felt a sense of peace, but I knew there was a long road ahead because of all the hurt, pain, and rejection I felt from my husband.

B: For someone who’s in a hopeless situation right now, doesn’t necessarily have to be marriage or a relationship… What steps could they take to refuel their faith? 

M: One thing I learned was that you can’t do it alone. You have to get connected to people who are going to help and encourage you in that situation. Also, change your thought process. Our mind can tend to be negative, but negativity will destroy us. Trust Jesus (heart, soul, and mind) that He’ll work everything out for your good.

B: What if someone is out there and is saying, “I do trust God, but my prayers are still not being answered”?

M: You can’t let your faith waiver in your circumstances. No matter what you see or feel, you have to trust God. Sometimes He will answer prayers immediately, and sometimes He doesn’t. Either way, they are all in His timing and to make you stronger. You should never give up on prayer. Continue to pray and thank Him for answering your prayer. Speak it as though it is already answered.

B: What words of encouragement could you give to people in keeping the faith?

M: Never feel as though God has abandoned you in times of despair. He is always there. True faith is developed when you feel alone.  Surround yourself with people who will encourage you through the tough times and support you. Most of all, have an every day relationship with Jesus.

Note from Bri: God as truly blessed me with an incredible mom. I’m so thankful for her life and for never giving up on my dad and our family. I hope you enjoyed this post! I would love to do more of these in the future with the people who bring such value to my life!