Nothing is impossible with God! Our guests, Brad and Anne share how the slow drift apart fractured their marriage. Their powerful restoration story is a story of forgiveness, healing, and recommitment.
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Restored & redeemed:
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Thanks for joining us for the Fight for Your Marriage podcast with Charlene and Lori. This is a place where you can find hope for your marriage through Jesus Christ. Well, Merry Christmas. If you’re listening to this episode, when it releases, it’s just a few days before Christmas. And so from my mom, Charlene and myself, we just want to wish you a wonderful Merry Christmas. Today, we’ve got a special episode for you. I hope you enjoy what we do. The month of December. We always play our top podcasts from the year and sometimes they are very close. I know this year we had four that were literally neck and neck and so we had to look at those and really dissect the numbers. But this testimony that you’re going to hear today, I know will be an encouragement. And the reason we replay our top podcast in December is for two reasons. Number one, sometimes people just found the Fight for your Marriage podcast and they haven’t been listening all year and they might have missed this episode, and we don’t want that to happen. The second reason is if you are like me, I love to listen to a podcast or to reread a book and see what new things I hear or things I saw in the book that I missed before. And so even if you heard this testimony before, I hope that you’ll take time to listen to it, because I guarantee you God will expose something new that you might have missed before. Brad and Anne are going to share their testimony today, and they have got a powerful testimony of restoration. This is one interview that will stick out in my mind for many years to come because we have the privilege of doing our podcast interviews over Zoom.
And so we get to see the guests that we’re talking with and to really see the face of Brad and the brokenness that he had over his sin and the brokenness and that humility he had over the redemption of what God has done in his life. It was just so touching. And you’ll hear that emotion in his voice as he shares. But they have got a story that looked impossible. It looked like there was no hope for God to do something in this family. And you may feel like that person today. Your situation may be too hopeless. But I want to tell you that that hopelessness is not coming from God. Hopelessness comes from the enemy. God is the God of victory. And nothing is impossible for him. That Bible that you have on your shelf, that Bible that you read every day is not a Bible filled with historical things of a God that did things in the past, but that same God is alive today and moving in the lives of men and women around the world. And I want you to just cling to that as you listen to this episode and understand that whatever that situation is that you’re facing, that seems too difficult. That God is the God of the impossible. So don’t give up on what He can do for your family. Before we began the episode, I just want to share, as we’re wrapping up 2022 and looking towards the beginning of a new year, that there’s still time to get in and make a year end donation. That is the way we are supported. We are 100% supported by our donations and so that allows us to produce this podcast. It allows us to produce the material that we produce through Rejoice Marriage ministries, and it allows us to do it without having advertisers or charging for some of the things that we have to do.
And so your gift means the world to us. So you can go to our website at Rejoice Ministries dot org. And on the right hand side there’s a donate button. And if you click that, you can make a donation of any size. You can also sign up to give monthly or recurring donation through our Family Challenge program. And that’s a huge blessing because it allows us to be able to budget and know what gifts are going to be coming in each and every month. So look into that if you would like through that donate button. But thank you for your support. Thank you for supporting Rejoice Marriage Ministries and the Fight for Your Marriage podcast. And if this episode is an encouragement to you, which I know it will be, will you share it with somebody else? You can share it on your social media. You can share it with a friend. You can share it with somebody who is facing a hardship in their own life so they can be reminded that we serve a God who hears our prayers and acts on our behalf. So I pray that you will have a merry Christmas and thank you for your support in 2022. And we’re looking forward to what 2023 has to offer. God bless. Hi, it’s Lorie, and I’m here with Charlene. Hi there. I’m so excited to have you listen to this podcast. And we are sharing an episode today that I know is going to be a blessing to you. Today we are playing the interview that we did with Brad and Anne, and there are a couple that has a restored marriage after many years apart and. We really had a good time talking with them. And we we had an amazing conversation and listening to their story and tears were shed.
But you were going to be blessed and you’re going to want to share it with other people that give hope and encouragement that God can do anything. I think one of the things that was such an encouragement during this episode was Brad was the prodigal and his tenderness and his tears. Even today, many years after their marriage has been restored, is such evidence of God’s work in his life. And he really came from the edge of despair when he was walking away from the Lord and had given up on his relationship with God. And we don’t want to give it away. But boy, this episode I know is going to be one of your favorite. So I believe this is going to go closer to the top because there are so many different things and the miracles of God that happened in the many years of their marriage restoration. And we are just so blessed that they’re willing to share it with us and and we get to share it with you. I pray you will be blessed abundantly with this. And we can’t wait to hear your comments. Yes. When you’re done listening to this, please let us know what you think of it. You can leave a review and let us know or reach out to us that Rejoice Ministries, dawg, and let us know how this spoke to you today. But for now, enjoy this episode with Brad and Anne. And and Brad, we’re so excited that you’re with us. And we thank you for taking the time to share your story and what God has done in your marriage. And I know you guys had a phone call with my mom last night and she was very excited after talking with you, just to hear for others to hear what God has done in your marriage.
So to start us off, take us back a little bit to the beginning. And one of you tell me about when you first got married and what that was like in the early days. Well, we got married in 1979 and so many moments ago, and it was really interesting. And we actually rejoiced at the time, which meant a lot to me later, that there were two people that actually I mean, ours was just a simple regular wedding. Got a couple of people turned to the word afterwards. Wow. Which we felt it was just that was just the Lord intervening because it wasn’t you know, it’s just a simple, you know, simple church ceremony. So that was really a joy. And then we we had two sons and we went on in life and. Well, were you both walking with the Lord when you first got married? Yes. Okay. So you get married and you think we’re going to move and go on and live happily ever after? And when did when did that happily ever after start to fall apart? At the time that our married so far apart. I would say my relationship with God was. Pretty nominal. I felt like I has gone through through motions more than I was really sincere. And so that. Put me in a position where I was. What’s the right word, anyway? Most susceptible. Susceptible. Remarkable. I had a job where I was gone a lot time every other week, and I met people and that led to anyway. And still some of those. And then I finally got to the point where I just. But I would be. Happier if I laughed. And so, you know, it was all about me, you know? And so. So 10,000.
Yeah, I’m just that classic midlife crisis. He was so depressed, so deeply delusional and depressed, and he had drifted from before. And, you know, there are other factors going on. And I was just praying and prayed and prayed because I knew he wasn’t a good place. Yeah. And then this. This. Situation came up. Well, he met this other person and he thought, maybe if I start this new, I can find myself again, Find happiness. How many years have you been married when that happened? It was 25. We celebrated our 25th anniversary. I remember we went to a nice restaurant, but even then, things were not. Completely sweet and close. The drift had already begun. Yeah, we weren’t, you know, we weren’t fighting and arguing and stuff. We just were driving. And I knew he was drifting and I didn’t know what to do. Did you, at the time, Brad, feel like you were bitter towards the Lord and you didn’t care about the things of the Lord? Or did you? Were you trying to battle kind of between the Lord and the world, like feeling like, well, I’m depressed and I’m going through this, but maybe the world can offer me better things? Or what did you feel like that? It wasn’t I wouldn’t describe it as a battle because I was so distant from him. Yeah, it’s amazing how that drift can happen in our relationships with the Lord and with each other, even with children, that it just takes such a small little crack for that divide to grow so great. And like you said, you weren’t having what some would call, you know, obvious marriage problems where there was fighting in the home or things like that. It was just that slow drift away.
So Brad gets involved with another woman and you are at what? Where are you with your marriage? Where how do you feel? And about this? Do you feel like he’s, you know, sinned against our marriage and this is it and let’s move on? Or what was your thought life like at that time? Well, you know, we had weathered some other things. Yeah. And so when this came out, you know, I was really devastated. But and I didn’t know what to do, but I felt that I should just replace him. That was the word that came to mind. And to my brother in law who really walked with this say yes. And so I. I told him, you know, you know, you have to make a decision. And I want even now for our marriage to work. But you have to decide. And later, when I felt such a conviction to stand for our marriage, I wondered if that was right. And I do think that was from the word of the time. And so he made a decision and he left. And in moving to a different state on an initially myself, like, okay, I have really tried, I prayed, I, I really made an effort here. And now, you know, I’ll move on. I thought, you know, that’s kind of what I was thinking. I’ll move on. And it even went through my mind that marriage to someone else would be in my future. I mean, I felt like I really did with it all. And so, you know, that’s what I need to do soon after that. It’s it’s such a picturesque moment when I was back on my couches and I just remember it so vividly. And I felt like the word just out through this question.
And it’s just is there you know, is his arm too short? And it just was like he was through those questions saying to me, Can I do anything? Am I gonna die? Am I able to do anything? And I just began to think, you know, quite I’m not sure this is over. I’m not sure that I am released from my vows. And so it’s a few months after that as we continue to pray and seek that rejoiced. Marriage ministries came in in such a meaningful way. Because, you know, I felt like, okay, I think the Lord is asking me to to wait for my husband. And I prayed this so specifically. I said, Lord, I need instruction. I need instruction. And within 24 hours, I had gone to the computer and I had typed in a completely different ministry. The only word in common with rejoiced marriage ministries was ministry. That was it. And you know how many ministries there are on the web? And when I entered that, what came up was rejoice, marriage ministry. And I was just like, Well, I did that come up. I didn’t have anything except ministry in common. And so I clicked on it. And this kind of manifesto at that time was the first thing on your Web site. And I’m just reading that and thinking, I will not back down, sit down. You know, and there’s affirmation that we’ve done. Yes. Yes, that’ll be. If you’re wondering what to do right now. And so I just felt like, oh, Lord, yes, this seems like a powerful answer, prayer. But I didn’t want to jump too quickly because I’ve seen people think they’ve received this sign and they’ve used it to go against the war, really, because the enemy can manufacture those, too.
But it seemed really from the war. But I, I thought these guys are radical, but they’re fanatical. But I don’t mind being a fanatic if it’s true, you know, that’s okay. So I called my pastor and said, This is what I think is my feeling from the audience. Bless his heart. He really supported me and said, you know, Yes. Yeah. Yeah, I was. And he he encouraged me and he turned me to wholesale, physical, wholesale. You know, where where Hozier keeps praying for his wife who goes astray. Yes. And, you know, so that that’s kind of the beginning part. And how how long had you all been apart at this point? Well, he left in the in October of 2000 or and it was soon after, after all this happened. Yeah. You know, in just the next few months. And then, of course, as we’ll talk about, I’m sure there. There was continual need to review that and pray through things with John as his life continued to go down a difficult path. But that initial feeling that I stand for my marriage happened pretty early. At this point we were just separated. Like, I know we’re just, you know, and and Brad, when you share that story, it’s what we try to say, that God does speak. And when we fly out and we’re in desperation or in a crisis of any sort, it doesn’t matter. Even if after we have restoration, regardless if it’s with our children, grandchildren or whatever, if financial, you know, God hears us and it has a way of speaking to us that is so powerful that you get so excited when it happens that we just get we just want to praise the Lord and we get, you know, it’s like an electric charge in our bodies from the Holy Spirit saying, is anything too hard for me? Which is what he was asking you.
And there is nothing, you know, Isn’t it funny how you felt like, Oh, they’re fanatics about this. And we hear that often. It’s so funny, but how sad that we’ve arrived at that point and in our marriages, where to pray and to and to fight for the marriage that we made a vow to and a covenant with is something fanatic like I compare it often to if if while we’ve we’ve gone through in our family with different family members in the past few months that have had health issues and it’s like we’re moving heaven and earth to get answers and to get doctors appointments and to get tests and to pray that the Lord would intervene and show us what to do. But when a person walks away from a marriage or a person walks away from the Lord or a person struggles with addictions in a marriage, it’s so accepted by the world to say, okay, we’re done, we’re moving on. And that’s what our desire is, is to change that thought process so people understand, like the Lord showed you that day, that there is always hope, always hope. Brian Yeah. So okay, you called Brad or what did you, did you share with Brad your revelation after you decided that you were going to start praying intently for this marriage to be healed, or what did you do in that aspect? Well, I think over the next one, hearing that I did communicate gives him that where I started. I don’t know how much he even hear it at all, you know, But but I certainly tried to make that now and then. Try to. Try to just be obedient in talking to him when I should, but also just backing on because the passage in second to be about.
Yeah. The Lord’s servant should not quarrel but be kind to everyone. And if anyone opposes us, gently, gently instruct them, which I wasn’t in the position of instructed, but so that then so that they will escape from the captivity that Satan has put them in. So that was really a good and good passage that God was going to have to learn. And I just have to give all my all my very life I had prayed to be better about not trusting my own words. And I know that that was a sinfulness in need of trying to use my power of words. And boy, during the stand for my marriage, God really finally helped me so much with that too, to just say, I can’t do this. This is this will be the Lord’s work. This has to go. What was going on in your life at that time, Brad, And then your relationship with the Lord? Was there a relationship with the Lord left at this point? And what did you think of what and was telling you? Did you think she had lost her mind? I thought she was being stubborn. Yeah, I bet you did. No, no. I think I’m gone. I think that there there probably wouldn’t have been any words she could have said that were right. So I always hoped we and we didn’t talk a lot, but I knew where she stood. And it kind of I mean, I felt bad for her. I felt like we should just move on. And but as far as my relationship with God, it was it was pretty nonexistent. So. So you were still living your life and saying, move on and let’s separate this marriage and and go our separate ways.
Right. So and what was the Lord doing in your life as you began this journey? So you know it was used early works and how we then we have both talked about how. We felt the Lord really intervening in miraculous ways. We during this period and Him later when the word led to repentance. You know, enough for a whole lifetime and just speaking so much. But one time I remember really speaking to me and she’s crying out to me in the night. I was like, What? I need to hear your voice, even if it’s a fluke. But I thought, you know, I really need to hear from the Lord. And I was in a Wal-Mart parking lot. Again, one of these vivid moments. And I just felt like the words spoke to me kind of sternly, firmly and said, I have a work to do in you to do this. And then he added this, which was something he said, Don’t wish for this to be over soon or that it needs to be. And and so it wasn’t easy words. Those were not easy words, but I was so grateful to hear was like, Thank you. And so that was one of the times he really spoke to me. And then as things went on. There were those different. You know, hard moments of life. Finally, she says, I think we should file for divorce. And this is mostly through the mail at the time. And I remember getting that e mail and just thinking. You know, and this was so different for me because, you know, we tend to want to analyze and figure everything out. But I felt like the Lord just said, you are not to blame or analyze. You are to worship.
And that was such a you know, you just worship. And so for several days, I mean, it was there in the back of my mind, but I really didn’t I didn’t think it steady, you know. And at the end of those few days and I think I was doing some casting or at that time to the because I remember again this really vividly came to me the story of Chandra shock of a baby girl who and I hadn’t been reading it or her teaching on it. So I really felt like the word just brought it to mind. And then I went to Scripture to read it. But we’re they’re asked to build out of this idol and they refuse, and they’re going to be cast into the furnace if they don’t. And when they say, and this just gives shivers, but they say, you know, our God can deliver us from the fiery furnace. And this this was the key part. But even if it doesn’t. Right. You know, we are not going to back down to this idol. And so for me, it was I thought that’s that’s it. That’s from the word. At that point, I wasn’t sure what would happen in our marriage, but I thought, you know, I went back, you know, my God can deliver us. But even if he doesn’t, I am not going to count down to the idol of the world. And of course, I’m just I just, you know, it’s like a steel entered my soul and I’m just not going to do that. And so, you know, it’s just a really exciting moment. And then, I mean, maybe exciting isn’t the right word, but very meaningful. Very. Well, God bless you. God bless you so strongly.
So clearly. Yes. And the funny part is, when you first said a few moments ago, just a couple of minutes ago, the Lord said, we’ve got to change you first. Well, that’s exactly what happened to you. And that’s what the Lord said to me. For that, Bob, I want you to change first. And that was an awakening that it wasn’t about him. Then. It was about me and the Lord. And that’s opposite of our inclination, because we’re inclined to say, Well, he’s involved with another person. He’s doing this, he’s doing that. Look how bad she is. And instead it’s about God saying, I’m going to fix you and our relationship. So that then as husband and wife, you can come together in life. You’re a story. Is that the point? When Bob was going on and doing all the bad things? I went and told his parents why I was divorcing him and because of my lack of knowledge, why she was looking for allies, what I was trying to tell them that he’s not perfect, you know, and that and when I did that, I bird I hurt them and wounded them horribly, telling them everything. That was not a thing to do, but it made me feel good at the moment. But then I realized God said to me, Why did you have to expose him to his peril? And so the Lord convicted me that, you know, let me have you look at yourself and let’s that change you. And and then I repented to them and said, All I can tell you is we live very close to each other. They can look at my front door if I out their back window. And I said, I can tell you there will never be another man walking to my front door.
And, you know, I want you to have the relationship with my grandchildren and with your grandchildren. I want I want you to have a relationship with the grandchildren, that it’s going to be strong and healthy. But I will tell you, I am turning to the Lord. I made a terrible mistake with the words and him. I. I got so angry for what he was doing. But now the Lord has said, I want to change you and I want you to fight for your marriage. And and that’s what God was speaking to you is don’t give up. You were getting on the fanatic train. Okay, Brian, your wife has lost her mind and she’s not living in reality. And she won’t stop pining away for this marriage. At what point do things start to change in your life? Well before. Before I answer that, I was thinking that when. When hardship comes into our life. It’s not like. God’s taken by surprise and throws up his hands and points right now at this site. Okay, here’s an opportunity. Yeah, well said. Also. Like when? You know, when Lazarus was sick, he waited and so forth. Well, or you and sister said, well, maybe he. Maybe your marriage made it. To be reborn. And I really quite surreal. I mean, I feel some really long hours. I think ours is to be a last. Yeah. And it was it hard to realize that at the moment, Brad, when you were in the middle of kind of running from the Lord and Yeah, and feeling like I’m in this other relationship or other relationships are living in my sinful life, was it hard to understand what an was doing and praying that the Lord would redeem your marriage? Well.
Yes and no. I mean, I know I and it didn’t surprise me. But I didn’t. It didn’t sit well. Were you angry about it, or did you feel unworthy of being the man that she was praying would come back? Or do you know how it when it did? Some people get angry where their prodigal says, Stop. Leave me alone. Even that’s what happened in their relationship. The day they got remarried, my dad said, I need you to stop praying for me because he was under such conviction. Right. And some people say, I feel so unworthy and so much shame from my past that I don’t think you deserve for me to come home. So that’s I think I know that maybe some of this comes to mind that. I was feeling very guilty. And maybe and trying to encourage and to move on. That may have put some sap on my guilt, right? Yes. Yeah. That’s common that we hear that. So you ask, what changed? So. Okay, so we do get divorced. And then. I also divorced the woman that I had married. And then. I had four reasons I really don’t want to go into. I had been arrested and. Sense to going to prison. So that was like. Just to fill in that little space. So that was like ten years later. Okay. So over those years, I even filed for divorce from this other woman. And and each of those steps would kind of throw me back to the word back to prayer. Well, I mean, I was like, That isn’t quite right. I was I was praying a lot and the word a lot, but just cause me to revisit everything now and that’s why I’m doing the right thing was still.
But as time went on, I felt it. And this was really a thing from the. But as time went on, I was receiving less, less and less circumstantial reason to hope. There was just he was not interested. He he was no longer tender. Like you weren’t as much to be teary when you talked to me. He didn’t. You just seemed like he was doing fine and he was great. And so there was more and more reason not to hope. And yet this is why I think it was really God. Somehow I just grew increased during that time in feeling God’s God is going to do Yes. I move from thinking, even if God doesn’t like doing the right thing into I think God is going to do this into I believe God is going to do this. And so there was this steady increase in me. And then when he was arrested, oh my goodness, that was yet another huge blow. By the end, the other relationship was over. But that was a huge blow. And I just, you know, just hung on. And I was reminded of that quote from Jim Elliott that says, Don’t doubt in the dark what God has shown a light. And it was funny because the prayer, I would often say. Like I have this one thing in my jaw. Get him out of jail. Exclamation point. Because I felt like he was in prison and in the darkness of the world and said, you know, I can’t. And I kept praying for him because I thought I would I would, in my mind, think it’s like he’s in a prison cell and he’s looking at the prison window and the doors open behind him because Jesus is breaking on doors.
And I kept wishing you would turn me on. So I see all that because then it was so like God to deliver him from that prison while he was in prison. So I’m getting a little bit ahead. But it was just like, Oh, Lord, you are amazing, you know? So now you can imagine praying for ten years and every step is. So in your mind and in reality, it’s a step away from what you’re praying for to achieve right now versus leaving them or sitting in prison. Psych each one of those steps. You’ve got to be ask yourself, wait a minute, this it’s getting better. It’s getting worse. God, did I hear you right? Yeah, yeah, yeah. And, you know, I think we can, you know, we get balance this system, Grace. So. Anyway. So when I was and Charlene, you said when you called God. The answers all. I started coming. Not a nurse. I didn’t. Well, you know, it was more out of self preservation because I was in a situation where I was. It was scary, you know, in prison and. And leading up to prison. Yeah. And I don’t think my heart was still for. I thought she was gonna sell me or I need help out of this. Need help in this situation. And that’s why I was. You know, that’s my prayer. Just slightly selfish. And then. So now I only had one contact when I was in prison and that was my son. And so I would talk to him and tell him what was going on, you know, and I should know. Sure that was hard for him. But just things in prison, you know, people threatening, seen people beat up, you know, just. Just a difficult situation.
So finally. The last time? Well, about the last time I talked to him, he said, Dad, I can’t do this. And he says, I just want you to read Malachi, because you were excellent. Sorry, I’m an emotional guy. Oh, you’re doing excellent, Brad. And people are hanging on to hear about this because as people, we do have family and friends and other people we know about in prison. And if you have a prayer journal, dear ones, we need to write prisons in our journal to pray for those people in the prisons. There are a lot of people that can get saved and delivered and set free in the prisons while they’re in there. Mm hmm. And it was kind of remarkable. This is a bit of insight that a year before you were arrested, this would have been in 2012 from that from hearing teaching on that verse. And we asked you about if you have given a cup of water or if you would’ve visited someone in prison. There’s a list of things that said you done it and to me. And out of all the things, it was the visit to prison. That’s that struck me. And I searched hard. I made lots of phone calls to find this person. Mm hmm. And then anyway, and I went to that, and, I don’t know, I just think it was like God was preparing, because then a year later, that was part of my life. And they’ve never been anyone that go to prison have not been part of my life. So during that time, while he was going to prison, you know, we were in more contact at that time and for different reasons. He had some stuff in mind, right? He was living with one of our sons.
And so he kept saying, you know, why this guy not responding? Why is guidance during likely outcome? And I kept thinking about this passage, but I feel that it was my place to share it. So the day that our son took him to jail, to go on to prison, I read him this verse and then this is the passage that he gave Brad that day, that phone call that Brad was just saying about it. So it’s just another thing to go for its alternative tears, which, you know, is what Brad was doing. You weep and wail because he no longer pays attention to your offering or accepts. And you ask why. It is because the Lord is acting as a witness and the wife. Because you have broken faith with her. She is your partner. Why has not the word of one? And I’ll skip a little bit and it just I hate worse. Malachi two starting in verse 13 and then on through about verse 16 is that passage? Those are powerful words. Yeah. And it was, Oh, my goodness. You know, wait till you hear how powerful they were. I mean, yes, they were powerful words. And so I had shared those with our son that day. Our son was engaged. He was just over rated by what? And I think the words, the orchestrating all of that. And so he sat down, a couple of them on the sit down now. And so after we hung up, I read and it really. You know, like for the first time. I’m gonna speak to the man. Praise the Lord. I called him soon after that and said, You know, God wants us to. Once family back together. A man. You know I’m not.
One day. I don’t know. I don’t know what I think about visions and that kind of thing. But after I read that, I close my eyes. And I saw this very vivid image of a summer snake in a summer ball. Full of like, liquid soft. And the words, those words and those words that Malachi were written on set long and. I you know, I thought, well, that’s I don’t understand that at all, but I know it’s from God. And so. So the next day I think that I’m just gonna go and try to find out what is the significance of summer in the Bible. And so when I. And then I thought, Well, I’m just going to finish reading Malachi first. Well, the answer was yeah, before I. Well, it was right there towards the end of Malachi. Okay, so. And this is what I turned to for. He would be like, minus fire. This is in Malachi three, two or a laundry. So he was set as a refiner and fire. I’m Silver. He’ll purify the Levites and refine them like gold. Silver. And then. And then it says. Jerusalem be acceptable to the Lord as in the days gone by. As in former years. And so. And to me that meant for many years this like when I was first Christian, a man so rich, I was pretty, pretty on fire. You know, that’s. So that was really encouraging. And so that that began. Ah, my. Going back to and, you know, and some art. And so, you know, for you know, we want to encourage people through this. Yes. It wasn’t easy. He. Yeah, even. Because still, honestly, I wasn’t that crazy about it, but I felt like as much as I had done wrong.
There’s a lot of things you can’t do. You can’t make. Right? Right. And this is one thing I could do. And so I’ve. It just kind of dawned on me that, you know, if you do what is right. That God bless you. And that those feelings that weren’t there would come. And Brad, that’s when you were speaking. And I literally I was thinking, God is going to bless you for your obedience to follow him and his will and his way. Speaking to you will bless you mightily and to get your family back together and with your son. And. Wow. You know, even though you were in prison, God him. Open your eyes and set you free. And it was so neat because I prayed scripture so much during that time and I kept praying and we found prayers that I wrote in my journal where I that we talked about together, where I was just praying, you know, that the word of God would speak that that versus just to the dividing of bone from zero. And and when God did that, he just used I just love that kind of use the word to just take you apart and put you back together again. You know, it’s just so it was just so wonderful and so, so on my end, my son calls me at work and he sounded just stunned, honestly. And he said, Mom, I don’t know how to tell you this, but Dad said, it’s tension and he wants to get our family back together. And you just I feel like he just was just stunned. You know, your staff member. I said, yeah, when your son was the messenger. And to think that also, Oh, it is wonderful. It’s like, who was that? You know, And thanks for they are praying for this guy.
And then he showed up at the door and I. I can’t be here, you know, saying answers their prayers like, no. Oh, oh, he will face, you know. And it was and I, I knew it because he was still in prison and faced a lot. I, I knew that it was a challenging road ahead. But I thought today I am just rejoicing. I’m not going to think of any of that. I am just going to rejoice because my God has heard of my prayer. And I remember the verse that came through my mind is that first time I say a word to you, that sense. Tell her that her heart is open. Oh, yes. Well, I’m not quoting it perfectly, but telling her that her heart service is over. And it was just so neat that that first just just came over my body and I just was so full of joy. The next two years after I got in prison, we began to see each other again and again. It wasn’t like, Oh, I can’t see. So if it was like, Let’s work this out. How do we work this out? And. Part of that struggle a couple of years. The father was. And. I don’t think she could trust me. But her, you know, she had been hurt and she didn’t know how I felt about her. Well, she did. And that wasn’t how a pretty person covered it. So there was a lot of rebuilding there. And it was hard. It was really hard for her. Can I interrupt you for one second? What you’re saying makes me think of what we hear so often from people that they look at their prodigal or prodigal that’s looking at their spouse who’s praying for them, and they feel the same way.
Like, I don’t really know if I love them. I don’t really know if I want them back. And they can kind of get in their own way of of saying, maybe that’s not what I want. And when you were praying for restoration, you didn’t want Bob back. That was that was the vibe of that day. He was, you know, had addictions to pornography and was a womanizer and and then other relationships. And that’s what’s so important is we are praying for the person that God can redeem. Brad is a different man today than you were when you were in prison, probably. And that’s so important to not get stuck on thinking, well, I don’t know if I should be praying for restoration because I don’t really care about this person anymore. But Brad, it sounds like you were walking in obedience to the Lord and saying, Lord, I’m going to follow this and I’m going to obey you, and then you give me the feelings later. Yeah. And I felt like, you know, when he was in prison before this repentance had taken place, a man that he had talked to at a church had called me and said, So do you still desire to get your marriage back together? And I remember passing, thinking. I don’t know that I desire it, but I am committed to it. And I think in our case and I don’t know that this is true for everyone, but in our case, it was like. That verse. He must increase that. I’m Steve Damon. We wanted what the word wanted and we wanted him to be qualified and our own desires. And, you know, your own fleeting feelings. Had to to just decrease and go be put aside. Now then, of course he does.
Or that he ever asks of us. And so. But but it was a process of. Giving over our desires. For what? The word. What does the word want? And let me say this to everybody that is listening to this, that we’ve all going to go through different scenarios. Every story is a little bit different with different circumstances. But there’s one key word that the Lord uses over and over again is forgiveness. And we need to forgive ourselves for what we’ve done wrong or doubt or unbelief or whatever. But we need to forgive our spouses for all of the circumstances that they have done outside of their home, of our home, and what they’ve done. And you can’t do that without the Lord. The Lord has to give you that forgiveness in your heart, in life, and it will change you. It will transform you. And we can take captive, as it says in the Bible, take captive every thought to be obedient to the Lord Jesus Christ. And when we do that, when the devil starts to say, Look at what they did or look what they’ve done to our life, you know what they God. And then we take captive our thoughts and say, Look what God has done and the miracles. And literally for inner Bragg being that experience, being in prison. What a miracle. I mean, I mean, we know there are prison ministries and fellowships and everything else to say God can change lives in prison. It doesn’t matter where you’re at. Right. We thought I thought about first, very slight free fully from my presence. Where shall I go? And you know, the Lord is there and him so powerfully. So you all had a slower journey towards restoration, Is that fair to say? Yeah.
You mean like after he had repented, right? Yeah. I mean, that that repentance and commitment was. For all that, it was kind of hard to just rebuild closeness. I would say I felt really confident of looking to help. And I know not everyone experience, but I, I felt that that was rock solid, but it was just hard on, you know, we’re simple people here. You know, we have our views of our weaknesses. And it took a lot. It took a lot of effort, but it was worth it, you know? And then he had some legal things that prevented us getting married right away. I mean, we had to I don’t know, just just get to the place where where we could do it. So then finally, on the date that he had proposed to me back in 1978, he came over with a big bouquet of flowers and said, Will you marry me again? How awesome that was. That was just not me. That was it. That is awesome. And so then for the wedding day, we he suggested that we remarry on May on our original wedding date so that we’ve been married. How many years were you, apart between the time that Brad left and your remarriage. Yeah. Yeah. So it was a long time that you were waiting for a miracle. And I look at you two now, glowing and praising the Lord and sharing for God to get the glory of what you’ve gone through. Because, see, look what He has done for you and for your family. I think obedience is extremely underrated, you know, in the Christian community, you know, And, you know, for me it’s like, look out for me, You know, I will forgive me no matter what I do.
I think and I think that’s kind of grown in the church and spread word is a cheap grace, you know, it’s just like, do what you want, you know, God forgive you. God loves you. But God does love and forgive. And He does. But. He does worse. I was reading a book by Bonhoeffer and the positive side, which is strong obedience comes before face. You know, we talk about the people that Jesus called. No, they didn’t enter into faith until they made this word. You know, this can’t come following me. Yeah. And so if you’re waiting for faith to make a move, don’t, you know, make the move first. Yeah, Well, said the man. Well, I share one other little thing. I just wanted to share that our wedding day itself was just. I just can’t even say. And even at that point, we weren’t fully renewed in closeness. I mean, we were definitely on the right track. But that day was just a day of just unparalleled swing. And our sons were the grooms and their wives were like my bridesmaids. And and our little grandson was the ring there. And it was just, I don’t know, just the Joy Award making. Right. Something that had been long. And it just it just felt so great. And it was just I just it’s hard to convey because it wasn’t the same when you first get married. And it’s just you’re crazy about each other. And and that’s a lot of fun. And we did wonderful. But this was. Weighty with joy. It was. And it was a God miracle. And it was a god. Your call and goodness. When Americans when our son stood up at the reception, said the only a couple in my life and we others started to toast us and he just broke down and couldn’t speak.
And he was so. So. And were they were they supporters of your stand for marriage restoration through the years that you all were apart? Or did your sons kind of leave that as your thing? And they were moving on with the fact that dad’s never going to come back? What more this second thing? Yeah, they I mean, my one son said to me, he said to mother, to be honest, I, I never thought this was coming. Yeah. Yeah. And they, they, I mean I, I felt like one of my rules was to encourage their relationship to your dad and be a preserver and their relationship to him as much as I could. But yeah, they, they thought that was a bridge too far and kind of thought I should just move on and stuff. But they, you know, I think it’s really blessed. That was part of the construction secrets, you know? They were hurt. Yeah. You know, they never, ever said that kind of work to morale, to praise the Lord a work wise beyond their means. They wanted. But they are still hurt, you know. And I remember one day one of my sons and I sat down and I said, Just tell me. Tell me what you saw. And we talked for about 6 hours and we cried together. And it was probably a very healing moment that day. And that was hard. But so that heart isn’t bad, right? So I think one thing we would encourage people was just in the will to do the hard work. All tips. So, yeah. And Brad, what is your relationship like with the Lord today? I can I can imagine from your tenderness and your area is that it’s a bit different than the hard Brad’s from a few years ago.
It’s it’s completely different. Yeah. So I feel like that verse in Malachi where he said. And I will make them as they were. This what I feel like is. It’s beautiful. You used to, with your testimony of all the circumstances beyond what we say circumstances are, your circumstances were much more difficult than the normal circumstances. I must say that just seeing you with the joy of the world and willing to share your testimony to hundreds and thousands of others is going to give so many people hope and encouragement and and get them in the world and stand on the promises of God and believe in miracles, that there is nothing that any spouse can do, that God can’t turn around, that God can forgive us, cleanse us and make us into new creatures in Christ. And he’s done it for both of you and for your family, which is so important. You have just blessed me with your testimony this afternoon because I know that I know you are sharing how much God to do in the most difficult circumstances. And that’s what we’ve got to know our Lord for and the forgiveness and trust in you again and all the circumstances. God is our son. He is the song that I mentioned to you on the phone. It’s so too good, not only with the song. And so they were singing it at church just this Sunday, and they were saying, Don’t you tell me God can’t do it. Don’t you tell me God can’t do it. And I just looked over at Brad and, you know, we’ve we’ve been together now for quite a while, so this doesn’t come up every week. But I, I just turned around and said, I’m sitting by my circle and people are so touched.
And then the next like a future verse after I said that was, you know, he can bring the particles back home and restore the family. And it was just like such a neat moment because that’s what he did for us. And we just we just want to give him all the praise and we’re just simple people that he just was so good to you. And that’s your song and you guys. Yeah. You know, Well, you have really blessed us and I know you are going to bless so many others, encourage them, give them hope. And you have just it just blows my mind how a mighty God is and change circumstances that are impossible and turn them around. That made me think. When Jesus was talking to Peter about Peter’s betrayal. Right. And he said, you know, Satan’s desires, except he likes wheat. And I prayed for you and sort of prayed for you, Simon. Now, your faith may not fail. And when you have to back. Strengthen your brother. So that’s what we would really like to do. And just sing Jesus and pray that he wouldn’t fail when you fail. Yeah. And when you turn back. So, you know, I just feel like, you know, people that have maybe gone. What if he goes too far? Never too far. Nothing is impossible with God. Nothing. Nothing. And brag. I admire all that you have shared so honestly and transparent. Because not everybody will do it. But not everybody understands that you’re going to be blessed mightily by the Lord and help so many people that think their circumstances are impossible. And we serve a mighty God. Are you still writing a book? Yes. Yes, I’m still writing. I’m coming to the end of that.
So, yes, we’d love to just have the board do with that what he would desire. Take that wherever he wants it to be. Guide in that. And we’ve moved just to be near our kids. And I think there’s just a lot of joy there. I want I want to see the Lord just continue to build all of us in faith, in devotion to Christ, in our relationships with each other. And I think the Lord’s doing that. I will meet you. I mean, I loved your word that you said more than once was. You know, when you are beginning to reconcile or reconciled, that’s not the time to stop praying. And I certainly think that was an excellent word, because not only did we need prayer all during that reconciling period, but I, I just reading my old journals, I’m like, I need to be praying for my kids and my grandkids. Yes. Yes. But, you know, I need to to pray the word over and praise the Lord over that. Yeah, we we have a phrase around here. Once a standard, always a standard, meaning when marriages are restored, that’s not the time to take a deep breath and say we made it. That’s the time with the enemy’s really going to ramp up, trying to cause division. And now you’ve come together as a husband and wife serving the Lord together, and you can continue praying for your marriages and for those around you, just like I know the people that are listening to this, you’ll be praying for their marriages. We love having restored marriages still involved with Rejoice, hopefully, you know, but I’ll tell everybody that we have a devotional that comes out weekly for couples that are in a restored marriage called restored and redeemed.
And it speaks just to the challenges that you face as a couple that’s going through remarriage. And as a writer, I’m going to invite you and Brad, either one of you. You are welcome to share on that devotional. Any time the Lord gives you something to share with others, we would love to have you participate and write with us there, but we’ll put a link to that devotional in the show notes. For anyone who has a restored marriage that would like to subscribe to that weekly. But we really appreciate you both sharing in your tenderness and willingness to be so transparent. Well, thank you so much for your ministry. It was a great source. The guy gave it to me at that time. So thank you so much. God be the glory. Maybe we’ll get some fanatic shirts made someday or something like this. And I liked it. Listen, that’s all through the Bible. There was fanatics, right? An ark in the middle of a drought. And I mean, there’s fanatics. So. I know I wrote in my journal. I don’t mind being a fanatic as long as it’s right with the war with that world. So where are your beautiful couple? Yeah. We appreciate you sharing. And I know everybody is going to be able to get so many things out of this sharing of your testimony. There’s so many different attorneys and and and circumstances. And when you tell your story, it reminds other people of other things of how they can apply it to their own life. And that’s what we want. And especially for a prodigal, you know, if they could ever give it to their spouse to listen to and say, you’re not by yourself, you’re not hopeless, you’re not hopeless, and wouldn’t that be wonderful to give this to their spouse and say you’re not homeless and our marriage isn’t hopeless, helpless? 811 What can I close us in prayer on? All right, Lord, I thank you for this opportunity that we’ve had to hear from Ann and Brad and to hear the work that you have done in their marriage and in their family.
And, Lord, I just thank you. For the way you have shown them first hand that nobody is too far gone, that there is no circumstance that is beyond your control. And so I pray for those listening today that they would be reminded of that fact, that they would understand that when the mountain seems to be growing higher and higher, you were the one who can command that mountain to fall in your timing. And so I pray that you would strengthen the hearts of those who are in the middle of waiting, that they would have patience, that they would have faithfulness to you, and that they would wait on your timing to bring the miracle that they’re praying for. Lord, I pray for them, for the prodigal is out there. I pray for the Brads out there and for the men and women who have walked away from their family and have walked away from you and are searching for happiness and contentment in other places. And Lord, I pray that you would just go after them today. I pray that you would send a person like Brad Son into their life who can just give them even a verse or a passage to read and to just affirm to them that you are God and that you are able to redeem and restore what the enemy has tried to break down. Lord, I pray for those couples who are in a restored marriage today. And like we said today, it’s not always butterflies and loving feelings and happiness. It’s a process that happens as a lord For those who are struggling through that process today and are just dealing with the lack of feelings towards their spouse and lack of love, I pray that you would just continue to restore and to rebuild that love that can come only from you.
I pray that we would all be people of prayer and that regardless of the situation we’re in with our marriages, that we would never stop praying for our spouses and that we would always be willing to lift our marriages before you, Lord, I prayed for protection for Brad and and from the enemy in the strife you would strive to cause and their marriage going forward. I thank you for their testimony today and for the testimony that I know you’re going to continue to allow them to share with many people. Lord, we pray for. And as she finishes her book, I thank you for giving her the words to say and for Brad’s willingness to let it be said. And I just pray that you would bless that work and that you would use it for your glory in your name. Amen. If we can help you in any way, we invite you to visit the website of Rejoice Marriage Ministries at WW W Rejoice Ministries dot org. Thanks for joining us today as we proclaim that God hills hurting marriages.
Praise God for this amazing transformation in the life of this couple. I have never heard such sincerity and conviction in the voice of a man before in my life what a reflection of the power of God working in and through him, I dare to say I got chills as he spoke. Wow!
This was the perfect Christmas gift I needed this encouragement this season thank you RMM…please pray for me and my family on today.
This is Anne of Anne and Brad and we are So BLESSED that this blessed you! It can be so difficult, and such a long haul to stand, but, on the other side of it, we can say wholeheartedly: It was worth it! And it continues to be worth it as we see the miracles God has done!
What a powerful testimony at a time that I really needed it ! Wondering how long he was married to the OW? And how did she continue to believe at that time. That was the hardest point for me because I was confused about knowing there would be another divorce. But God kept me standing. I’d love to hear a part 2 from this couple regarding that issue and more info about that second marriage.
I’ve been standing 7 years and he’s been married to someone else for 4 years. They both look so happy and that adds pressure to my stand. Some days I just focus on Gods perfect will. Whatever that is! If he never comes home and stays with her. Ok. I know He has done miracles in me and many days I feel like that is enough reward for the standing !
Over the years he had not spoken to our children (who are now 19 and 20). Suddenly, earlier this year he sent me an email telling me how much he missed them and how sorry he was for hurting them. He has been reaching out to them ever since that email. They aren’t very receptive to him yet but he keeps reaching out!! Praise God!! Praying that these are steps to restoration!
Hi Susan, I can really understand your question about what happens when the person marries the other woman. That really gave me pause as well, although I had been searching the Word in advance, knowing that might happen. I only wanted to do what was right according to God’s Word. I want to give a short answer to a big question. I saw that according to scripture the second marriage was adultery (based on Luke 16:18 and other passages) and that just as God would not recognize a homosexual marriage, for instance, so this, too, was outside of His given will in the Word. (Brad was “married” for five years to the other woman.) Psalm 4 has been a great comfort to me. One verse, “He has filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain and new wine abound,” rang true to me. Despite the good things on the surface of his life at that time, I knew the joy and bedrock strength of my Savior, and I knew Brad was missing this joy.
I have compassion for the many, many people who are divorced and remarried to other people even within the church and among Christians, but I think we need to look at these passages more carefully, repent as the Word would require, and seek God’s face regarding this issue. I hope this short answer helps! And I trust Charlyne and the rest of Rejoice Ministries to make clear anything I’ve misstated.
Wonderful that your husband has again contacted his children!
May the Lord strengthen you daily, and in this year ahead, in your stand.
Is there a transcript available for this podcast?
“Once a stander, always a stander…”
Tomorrow marks eight years since i asked my husband if he was “done” and if there was someone else…
I am happy to say that over the last fifteen or so months, especially this fall, there has been some movement and shifting.
I haven’t read or listened to any RMM material for a very long time, and have been in a very tough place with some other challenges (my mother’s health and disagreements with my only sibling about issues regarding it… Also just continued employment and financial challenges… (I have not had a real “home” since we have been separated, or really, for years before, as things had been very tough for quite some time.
It is tempting for me to just give up, and at times, i feel as if i have… That i am just settling for so much less than God’s best.
But i felt led to look through my email account this morning and then click on this message and listen to the podcast. And hope is revived.
May God bless you, Brad and Anne,
And Charlyne and Lori…
And all of the members of your families.
For His glory!
God Bless you and know that our Master is real! He can do anything above all that we can ask or think according to the power at work in us. As we renew our minds and stay laser-focused on Him he alone can woo and renew our minds to all that He has for us living your best life as they say now is living God’s best life in spirit and in truth so do this and leave your spouse to him no matter the situation or circumstance. Praying for your strength and a complete and total turnaround in your life today, may God begin to speak to you in a very real way!
Amen! Well said, Pamela! And I join you in encouraging Laura to “stay laser-focused” on Jesus! Great way to put that!
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Yes, hope is revived for Laura and for all of us. Thank you Anne, Brad, Charlene, Lori, and the entire RMM staff who work diligently behind the scenes to feature such an encouraging testimony. The feature has come at a time when many of us are discouraged when we see the years go by without the fruit of a restored marriage, in the context of much prayer and staunch belief (yes, fanatics – lol). We identify with Laura’s anguish and we thank God for reviving our hope. Earlier today during my morning devotional, I engaged in a deep conversation with the Holy Spirit concerning my stand. To cut a long story short (I hope to write a full praise report later), He ‘insisted’ that I go to page 123 of my Bible. I went there reluctantly and to my utter amazement, I found Mark 10 on that page. The flood of encouragement nearly knocked me off the chair. On a related note, Anne mentioned to another stander here that the Word of God is the check point/determining factor for the stander. For instance, read Mark 10:1-12 to see what Jesus said about marrying a divorced person.
Dear standers, may the Holy Spirit help us to remain consistent in our stand just like or selfless teacher Consistent Charlene! Bob was drawn to her consistency, among other virtues, on his way back home from prodigal land.
Faith, that is amazing about you being led to page 123 and there finding Mark 10! Such a powerful encouragement!
Thanks for sharing! As always my hope has been renewed. I need daily encouragement to keep trusting the Lord!
It is truely amazing that after 23 years of standing I still remember when I reach out for help to God. It was a week after he left and I connected with a pastor who was very fire and brimstone kinda of pastor. When talking with him he was sounded life a defeated pastor. I heard later he was having family problems and he said to give up (I sometimes think he favored my husband over me). I hung up after the call and realized I could not give up. I went back on computer and searched out more website. You were the website that came up. I have always followed and I know I had stumbled on my walk. I am giving this to God. My prodigal is really someone I can’t handle. I am praying but I am being still and waiting. Please pray for me for guidance.