The line that separates the heights of success from the depths of despair is often razor thin.
Take our guests on today’s and tomorrow’s programs, for example.
Darryl Strawberry was a power hitting, eight-time All-Star outfielder who earned four World Series rings. In 17 seasons, he played for a number of Major League baseball teams, including the New York Mets and the New York Yankees.
But his career, and his life, were derailed by substance abuse, prison time, and dysfunctional family relationships that cost him two marriages and estranged him from his children.
Much of those problems stem back to his childhood with his father. His dad and grandfather were raging alcoholics who physically abused their families. Darryl’s father repeatedly told Darryl that he’d never amount to anything. His family came unraveled the night his dad pulled out a shotgun and threatened to kill everyone in the house.
Years later, Darryl’s bad boy behavior led to mockery among baseball fans and the media. Darryl says the public worships the uniform, but they don’t see the scars underneath.
His wife Tracy had an entirely different upbringing. As she puts it, her parents were “beautiful people” who loved her. They were a middle-class family who went on vacations, placed her in Christian schools, and offered her plenty of opportunity.
But at an early age, she suffered sexual abuse that contributed to her long slide away from her parents’ faith and her decision to embrace the world and all it offered. She ended up losing her children and suffered two broken marriages.
Both Darryl and Tracy’s lives demonstrate the reality of that razor-thin line. On one side is Satan, who has a plan for our lives. On the other is God, who also has a plan.
We have to choose which one we’ll follow.
For Darryl and Tracy that was a long journey. They met each other in a recovery convention. They were both broken and neither one was living for the Lord. He was $3 million in debt. They both had multiple divorces and nine children between them, none of whom they had any connection with. They fought dirty. They called each other names and threw things at one another. They were hurting people.
It was a nightmare situation that seemed impossible to resolve. Everyone around them wondered how they could ever come out of their problems and make it work?
But by God’s grace they chose to follow the Lord’s path and allow Him to re-direct their lives. In the years that followed, they found spiritual, emotional, and relational healing.
We may not be able to identify with the heights that Darryl Strawberry achieved, but I think we can all connect at some level with the depths he suffered. When you peel back the layers, we’re all just human beings who struggle.
Darryl and Tracy’s story reminds us that no matter how hopeless we feel, it’s rarely too late to save a marriage. With that in mind, if your marriage looks hopeless, I encourage you to seriously consider contacting Focus on the Family’s National Institute of Marriage (NIM).
Most of the couples who contact NIM are at the end of their rope. In fact, a majority of the couples who attend one of NIM’s intensives have decided their marriage is over, and many have already filed for divorce.
But the percentage of couples who remain married after an intensive is around 85 percent.
So if you’re feeling hopeless and are contemplating divorce – or maybe you’ve even filed the paperwork – I encourage you to reconsider for a moment. With a little guidance from our team of experts, God can intervene and transform your marriage in ways that may seem impossible to you right now. Give our National Institute of Marriage a call at 1-866-875-2915 or visit online at nationalmarriage.com.