Monday, October 10, 2011

Marriage Mondays: Julie's Story

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's Story

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!

11 COMMENTS ~ Click here to leave a COMMENT:

MaryG said...

Julie and Patrick are precious friends and true God-followers.   While they no longer live in NY,  I remember them fondly and praise God for what He has (and is doing) in their lives.   He is able!

Julie said...

The story of Patrick and Julie could have been ours. The Lord is working in our lives and making changes we never thought could be made. The only thing I personally lament is that I did not know of His incredible love for us until after all our children were adults. As much as we tried to do everything right , we were far from achieving our goal because we did not surrender to His Grace. But God is patient and He can change and use everything -- even our past mistakes -- for His Glory! Now we are blessed with four beautiful grandchildren. Because we did not teach our children about Him the way we should have, we pray that one day they will also discover God's goodness and guidance.  They  are wonderful parents who also love us and care for us. We are abundantly blessed and praise His Name for His amazing Grace!

Orosco99 said...

Their story is very encouraging. As for my marriage, I always desire the Lord to be working to make it better. Over the years the Lord has helped me leave my "concerns" about my husband more and more in HIS hands rather than me trying to make changes I think are needed (definitely ongoing process). I'm doing a study called " What's it like to be Married to Me" by Linda Dillow which I am really enjoying. Thanks for this series. Jenny C.

Mary@The Calm of His Presence said...

When Jeff & I said our wedding vows I would not allow the word "obey" in our vows. After 13 years of marriage I am proud to say that I now know what it means to "submit" to my husband. Through his Godly leadership in our family I happily submit to his leadership in our marriage & family.

Julie_Sanders said...

Jenny, can't wait to hear what you learn about what it's like to be married to you. ;)

Carianne said...

Thank you for sharing your beautiful testimony Julie. In many ways Chris and I have been on a similar journey, and although I wish we were farther down the path of being able to communicate and love each other in a God honoring way, I have to look back and see how far we've come and what God has and is bringing us through. To God be the glory! 

Tami Grandi said...

I am so honored and blessed to call Patrick and Julie friends.  Their story/journey is a testimony of God's grace and they share it daily with me. 

Pneel said...

I can relate to Julie's story in many ways. My marriage did not start off well. It wasn't until God showed my husband where MY place was in the marriage, did things start turning around. It took time, but now I know that I am the most important person, after God, in my husband's world. It's only been in the last ten years that I can say we are best friends! We've been married 27 years. It was worth the wait!

Rosann said...

What a beautiful testimony!  I love that Julie had so much courage and even though she was somewhat new in her faith, she boldly shared her love for God and her faith with her husband and asked him to be a part of it.  That's often so difficult to do with our loved ones because we don't want to end up pushing them away.  I struggle with that whenever I talk to my dad.  I know God is calling me to share the gospel with my dad and He gives me open opportunities to do so, yet even when I know God has just opened the door for me to share the gospel, I dance around it instead.  I'm so afraid of pushing my dad away.  So I think it's really inspiring that Julie had such a gentle persistence and that things worked out for the best.  Thanks for sharing this story.  :)


Becky Crenshaw said...

Beautiful!  I am so thankful for the Lord's redemptive work in the Hobb's family!!  Praise Jesus!

Julie_Sanders said...

That's a great testimony, Patti, and I can "see" it. ;)

Julie Sanders