The Johnsons experienced difficult seasons as a family and have shared their story through our Creating Healthy Families Podcast. Read below to see how God redeemed their story and can give you hope for your story.
Between six and seven years old, I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. So, that foundation of looking to the Lord started young. I started college and seminary at Fort Worth Texas. I was probably 26 when I started praying, “Okay, God. You know I want to be married. So, please send somebody my way.” Then, I had to remind Him how old I was at 29. I had a great friend at the time and knew that he could be the one. The first time I was introduced to him, I literally said out loud, “God, this one will do!” I didn’t know I had said it out loud, but it worked. And, we got married one month from my 30th birthday.
However, seven to eight years into our marriage, he became a different man. I was shocked and wondered what he was going through.
Mom allowed and gave me an opportunity as a five-year-old to have some emotional vulnerability. That set the trajectory for my life.
Early days, months, even years, were tough. Then, I came to the realization that this was not something that was going to be able to be fixed. I had hoped that the marriage would stay together and that there would be help coming. I remember the anger that came into my life, but you can choose to stay in that anger or not. Every little choice you make either draws you closer to the Lord or away from Him. God tells us in Jeremiah 29 that He’s got a plan for us, to prosper us not to harm us, to give us hope and a future. But, we have to do our part.
The hardest part of the whole thing was that I had memories of dad, and I knew I had to let go of what I thought his place in my life would be. Thoughts like my dad was going to come to my ball games, show up to graduation, and be there for my wedding day. However, I began to see little pieces from different men fill those roles in my life (i.e. a man who could teach me how to be a good athlete, care for his wife, be a successful professional, love God by being a disciple maker. Through the church, I saw living examples of Jeremiah 29 and believed that God had plans for me.
I truly believe God established the church for community and for all of us to lean on each other.
The way that the Student Ministry responded to us was that we gained 100 brothers and sisters. This is how God redeemed my story. And today, I am the Student Minister for Groups and Leadership at the Brentwood campus, where I have the opportunity to show how God has created family—His family.
A great opportunity for our male students to be supported and encouraged by godly men is at our upcoming Anvil Guys Retreat. This is an all-campus event, and registration ends Sunday, February 23.