My husband and I both moved here in the same month, January of 2004. Although neither one of us grew up here, both our parents had moved here and we were coming home. He from a life of partying too much at college, me from a life of addiction on the street. Neither of us knew it yet, but there was hope at the end of our broken road. That move would eventually change our lives forever.
He began working full time at his parent’s pizza shop. I got a job at the Long John Silver’s just a few blocks away. Thankfully that didn’t last long. One of the managers made highly inappropriate passes at me, and when I refused, he found a reason to fire me. I was glad to be away from that, but worried about being out of a job.
For the next few weeks, I walked all over town putting in applications and going to interviews, but didn’t get hired anywhere. Finally, as a last resort, I walked into the shopping center a few blocks from where I was living at my mom’s house. The very last stop was a little family owned pizza place. My husband’s brother ended up hiring me on the spot, and I came back the next day to start my new job.
Turns out that the brother that hired me was hardly there, so that left my training to the younger brother that had just come home from college. I would like to say that it was love at first sight–but really, he liked to tease me because of the outfit I wore on my first day of work. I wore black slacks, like I had at every other job I had ever had. Apparently that was hilarious, as everyone else was wearing jeans. (I still haven’t lived that one down!)
The pizza place was connected to a sandwich shop, which they also owned. I ended up working mainly in the sandwich shop, but that didn’t stop my future husband and I from getting to know each other. He would come next door a few times a day to get soda and we would often eat together during the slow times. On my days off I would put my 3-year-old daughter in her stroller and we would walk over for bread sticks and wings.
After about a month and a half, we hung out for the first time. We ended up playing cards all night in his garage with his cousin. A couple weeks later he asked me to go to Oakland with him to drop his uncle off at the airport, and after that we were pretty much inseparable.
I’d like to say that from there we lived happily ever after-but it didn’t quite go like that. Our broken road wasn’t quite repaired yet.
Remember where we just were a few months before-he the life of the party and me an addict. We just kind of joined forces and the next few years were a blur. I’m not going to get into too many details, but needless to say we didn’t sleep much on the weekends. Somehow in all this he got me to enroll in the junior college in town where I would later graduate from and transfer to university.
We ended up breaking up a couple times-once for as long as 6 months. We got back together, and I ended up pregnant with our first son a few months later. In 2008 we became parents, and our paths were woven together for life. A year and a half later we had our second baby-a little girl. Now with my oldest daughter we were a family of 5.
Even though we had kids and were living together, we weren’t married. We fought often. My oldest asked about church and God frequently, and we always said we would go to church, but could never agree on which one to go to, so we never did.
When our youngest was about 4 months old, one of my husband’s co-workers invited us to their church. Since we had been talking about going somewhere for a while, he accepted and that next Sunday we showed up. I don’t remember any of the message except the last part where the preacher asked if we died today, do we know if we would go to Heaven? We both ended up going to the back room, where we prayed and accepted Jesus into our hearts.
I remember thinking that if only the man showing us the Bible knew all I had done in my life, he wouldn’t have let me pray. There is no way that Jesus would want to come into my heart after all I had done. But the Bible was clear. Jesus died to pay for all our sins-He already knew everything I was ever going to do and He still died for me. Our oldest daughter also ended up accepting Jesus that day in her Sunday School class.
Later that year, in November of 2010, my husband and I finally got married and made our relationship official. We now have 5 kids and are doing our best to raise them for Jesus. Are we perfect? Absolutely not! We fail daily. But we now have God to help us through our rough times.
Every time I tell people how we met, I can’t help but see God’s hand in it. We both were running from lives of destruction, and ended up moving to the same town in the same month, and meeting a couple months later and getting together very soon after. If we hadn’t messed our lives up so bad, we wouldn’t have needed God to fix it, and may have turned away His help unknowingly. But He uses broken people and broken lives all the time. I’m so thankful He chose to fix our broken road.
Do you have a story of how God has worked in your life? Or have you overcome any difficulties? I would love to hear about them in the comments.