'My ex-husband asked me to marry him again. And I said ...'

Judy’s story | Can God rebuild broken relationships?

“I met my husband, Mark, in a pub, in 1977. We got on straight away. I liked his sense of humour and we married six months later. We lived in an orange, single-decker bus for the first two years. We had great plans for traveling in it, but most of the time we actually parked it in his parent’s backyard.”

“Then there came all the expectations. The normal thing to do was to buy a house and settle down, start a family … so we started to do that. We bought a house and we had our son in 1981 … and then our marriage fell apart. It wasn’t abusive, we were just co-existing. We weren’t close. I was very focused on the baby and less on Mark. He was working long hours, paying the bills. We didn’t have a good balance. He ended up leaving the marriage in 1985 and I filed for divorce. We both knew it was irretrievable. There was no chance of us getting back together.

Mark and Judy

In a Faith Stories special, Naomi Reed brings us the memorable relationship journey of Mark and Judy.

“I stayed in the house and it was really hard. I started to drink more and I was smoking dope with a friend. I felt like I needed something to help me cope.

“But I also had another friend who was a Christian. She had all the normal struggles, but she loved Jesus. She invited me to her church. I didn’t want to go. Then one week it was the ’40 Hour Famine’ and I ended going with her to a healing service. We were sitting up the back and I remember thinking the people were insane. It was so out of my comfort zone. I was feeling really agitated.

“Then the speaker explained the gospel and he invited people to come down the front for prayer.

“I knew I had to go. I didn’t understand what was happening, but I knew I needed God. The person at the front prayed for me, and in that instant, my life completely flipped. I was so in love with Jesus! I was so happy. I couldn’t stop laughing. Everything just changed. God was tangibly present and I was filled with joy and peace. I remember hearing the verse from Nehemiah 8:10 – ‘… the joy of the Lord is your strength.’ That became a huge verse for me, from then on.

“Afterwards, I got involved in my local church. I learned more about Jesus. I wanted to serve God. I prayed about work and I got a job in teaching, which was amazing. I wasn’t properly qualified so I felt it was a miracle. It was all good … except that my heart was still very hard towards Mark.

“One day, I asked for prayer again. I said to God that I was willing to go anywhere, to serve him anywhere. The lady praying for me looked at me and said, ‘There’s something that God wants to happen first.’ She had never met me before and she didn’t know my story, but she said, ‘God wants you to rebuild your relationship.’

“I said no and I walked away. I may have used an expletive. I loved God and I wanted to do things his way, except for that.

“A few years went by. My ex-husband kept visiting us. Then, in 1989, he took our son on a ‘father and son’ camp. Amazingly, he had a conversion experience! He told me all about it afterwards and he started coming to our church. But I was still stubborn. I was still worried. What might happen? I think God knew I needed time.

“Then in 1990, Mark asked me to marry him again. I said yes. Our son was nine by then and he walked me down the aisle. It was an incredible testimony. It was the work of God in our hearts! He changed us! Some of our friends didn’t think it would last, but now it’s been 31 years. We’ve done better this time around! We try to help each other and we support each other. God has been very patient with us! I always like the reminder in Romans 8:28 [that] God can make good come out of all our struggles, even out of my disobedience.”

Judy’s story is part of Eternity’s Faith Stories series, compiled by Naomi Reed. Click here for more Faith Stories.

Bible verse Nehemiah 8 10

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