Last week I had the privilege of sharing my beautiful friend Antoinette's story as the first of the October Marriage Survivor stories. I heard from so many who shared what an inspiration it was. That's what I was praying for you! Today I want to share another Marriage Survivor story. You'll hear a similar thread as the one woven through Antoinette's story. For two to become one, it truly takes a miracle. Read on and be encouraged that God can make miracles happen!
Be sure to read how to enter this week's jewelry giveaway, donated by Antoinette. See the picture below. I'll reveal the winner on Wednesday!
Julie and Patrick met at a graduation party when they were 18, and Patrick knew right away he would one day marry Julie. They became best friends who spent hours on the phone and hanging out. After 4 years as best friends, their relationship changed into more than friends as they were beginning college. It wasn’t long before they decided to pool their funds and move in together, with their parents’ blessing.
It wasn’t long before the arguing began. As their careers grew, so did their conflict. Julie struggled with anxiety and confided in a co-worker. Her best friend Darci was patient to answer questions about her faith and how it was different than religious rituals Julie grew up with. Darci and her husband invited them to church, where Julie bought a Bible the first Sunday they attended. God was working on them to slowly transform them individually and as a couple.
Living outside of God’s plans, Julie describes their relationship as filled with “living in sin, drinking parties, and bad language.” Financially, they were spending recklessly. In their relationships, they were in conflict with their families and living with insecurity about infidelity.
In 1999 Patrick and Julie moved back to their hometown, bought a house together, and were engaged; they joined the church of Julie’s childhood and married a year later. Julie devoted herself to being a stay-at-home mom who went to things like Library Lapsit and Playdates. God sent 2 new “mommy friends,” Candace and Clarissa, who befriended Julie and shared the gospel with her. As Julie kept asking questions and seeking answers for a peaceful way of life, God drew her closer to Himself. Each year Julie went with her friend, Darci, to the Women’s Retreat at her church; at a retreat in 2003 Julie gave her life to Jesus.
After embracing her new faith, Julie was anxious for Patrick to join her, so she tried to “argue him” to Christ. He became frustrated and confided to a co-worker that he thought his wife was in a cult. On her first Mother’s Day as a believer in Jesus, Patrick asked Julie how she wanted to spend her day; she wanted him to go with her to church. Patrick cooperated … and said he would never be back. But they did go back, and Julie took the opportunity to sign up her husband for a Men’s Bible Study! A few months later, Patrick yielded his life and his family to the grace and leadership of Jesus Christ.
Patrick and Julie have been drawn closer together through adversity. As they welcomed their daughter Natalie to the world amidst uncertainty, the two young believers asked for God’s help. Julie shares that it, “brought us to our knees and drew Patrick close to God. He clung to God’s word!”
Since God began to transform their lives, the Hobbs have changed their spending and gotten out of debt. They’ve learned to pray and study the Bible together and have made it a priority to attend marriage conferences together. Julie says that now, “We can now have conversations about our disagreements and not spout anger at each other.” Where once there was conflict and uncertainty, today there is confidence and peace. “God dramatically changed our lives!”
The Hobbs came to my hometown in 2007; they have four children born to them biologically and are in the adoption process. Though he works full-time in Telecommunications, Patrick is attending seminary, with the goal of serving as a pastor. Julie serves on my Women’s Ministry Team and is a light to all who know her. Having left behind the anxiety and trouble of life without Christ, today Patrick and Julie face life’s challenges and hardships by trusting in their personal Savior, the One who changed them individually and radically re-made their marriage. She reflects that, “Life has been full and beautiful since we found Jesus.”
To enter today's giveaway for this beautiful set of earth toned beads, (Don't they just say "harvest time" to you?) leave a comment here or on the CHP Facebook page, telling me one way God has changed your marriage. It's a journey, isn't it? So let's give Him credit and praise for helping us to "become" one. How have you changed? I'll post the winner on Wednesday!