Ann and Mike’s counselor told them: “I’ve never seen a marriage in as big a mess as yours that’s ever made it.”
How had things gotten so bad? They had ignored the impact that stress, unforeseen hardships, and frustration with each other had made on their relationship. Over time, the cracks between them had grown wider and wider, to the point that even their counselor held out little hope for reconciliation.
Truth be told, no one knew their marriage was so far gone. Each day, they put on a mask for the world and projected a good marriage, a strong marriage, a Christian marriage. Underneath it, though, there was turmoil, resentment, and emptiness.
What does it take for a couple in such dire circumstances to find help?
It takes courage.
Ann and Mike needed courage to step forward into their pain and to address their problems head-on. For Ann, the long, slow turn toward recovery began with her first courageous step: commitment. She decided, “I will get help. I will do what God is calling me to do.”
On a trip to Israel, Ann wrote down the awful realities of her broken marriage on a piece of hotel letterhead, and took it to her pastor and his wife. She was trembling at the thought of opening herself up to anyone, including trusted friends. Still, she pressed ahead. She handed them the note and simply said, “Just pray for us. We’re on life support, and we need your prayers.”
When she later called Mike to tell him that she was reaching out for help, she feared that he would refuse to participate. To Ann’s surprise, he said, “You know what? Let’s get help together.”
Even though their counselor had never seen a marriage survive that had been in as deep a crisis as theirs, Ann and Mike’s relationship did survive!
Ann is with us on the Focus on the Family Broadcast to share their story of reconciliation. As you’ll hear, their commitment to change was just the first courageous step. Ann and Mike say there are seven steps to COURAGE:
C – Commit to change
O – Overcome obstacles
U – Uncover your true self
R – Replace worldly lies with scriptural truth
A – Accept the things you cannot change
G – Grasp God’s love for you
E – Embrace a life of grace
I loved our conversation with Ann in the studio, because she was refreshingly honest about their struggles. She and Mike discovered what many couples struggle to understand for themselves: if both spouses are willing to get help and to surrender their marriage to God, their relationship can not only survive, but thrive.
Join us for “Taking Courageous Steps to Save Your Marriage” on your local radio station, online, or on our free phone app. Ann will talk about how God helped her and Mike break through their dysfunctional patterns and restore their marriage.
Ann White is a speaker, teacher, and author. Check our online store for her book Courage for Life: Discover a Life Full of Confidence, Hope, and Opportunity!, which offers steps to finding courage to face your fears and to be vulnerable and real with others.
If you’re facing obstacles in your own marriage, please remember that we have caring Christian counselors on staff here at Focus who would consider it a privilege to speak with you for an initial consultation, and to offer referrals for ongoing counseling if needed. Just call us, leave your name and number, and a member of the team will get back with you just as soon as possible. The number during business hours is 1-800-A-FAMILY (232-6459).
Finally, I want to remind you about Hope Restored. If you’re on the brink of divorce, these marriage intensives can go a long way toward facilitating healing between you and your spouse and bringing restoration to your relationship. The number for Hope Restored is 1-866-875-2915.