Seven years ago, life was a mess. My husband, Ari, grew up Jewish, and declared he didn’t believe in God anymore. I was a Christian—and a very imperfect one at that. We were constantly at odds with each other. I couldn’t have a Bible in the house without starting a huge argument. I desperately wanted Ari to share my faith, but to keep the peace in our house, I often hid what little faith I had left.
We became roommates, spending our days searching for fulfillment in all the wrong places. I escaped the turmoil in our marriage by working on my growing magazine and in relationships that distracted me from what mattered. We started sleeping in separate beds. Our relationship began to feel beyond repair.
One day, out of pure desperation, I prayed words that felt impossible: “God, help Ari believe in You.” I knew I couldn’t change Ari, but maybe God could. I read about people in the Bible, like Abraham and Sarah, who prayed big prayers and believed in God’s promises against all logic. God wants everyone to know Him, so why not my husband? I couldn’t make Ari believe by throwing Bible verses at him.
I decided to try something different.
When we fought, my default was to lash back at him for the hurtful things he said and not talk to him for hours. But, I felt God telling me to show Ari His love in action. When a fight swelled, I would swallow my pride, pray for wisdom, and tell Ari three words: “I love you.” At first, he would be angry when I said those words, claiming it was unfair, or that I was trying to make him more mad. But after dozens more fights and about thirty “I love yous,” he started to see I was sincere. He started wondering where all this change in me was coming from.
The biggest turning point happened several months later when Ari came home early from work one afternoon, stepped into my office, closed the door behind him, and said, “I need to talk to you.” He came close to me and sunk to the floor as his words poured out. He had done something he never thought he would do — cracked open a Bible. He often read it late at night while I was sleeping. God had been working on his heart and he felt he needed to ask for forgiveness from those he had hurt. He confessed in the most tender words his past unfaithfulness to me. In the darkest days of our marriage, he had an affair. My heart was torn in two and I confessed the same to him.
Years of shame.
Doubt and desperate prayers.
I can’t explain this experience in words that fully convey what we experienced in that moment. I just have one word: grace. His grace. In our deep weakness, His power was made perfect.
I never thought I would type these next words: Ari became a believer and was baptized that same week. The impossible happened. Your impossible can happen, too, friend. God is big and real and good. His desire is that we would all come to know His transforming grace. There isn’t a mess you’ve made that He can’t turn into something beautiful for His purposes.
We began the process of healing and forgiving each other for the hurts of our past through the lens of our new shared faith. It took time and counsel and much prayer, but God is faithful. His grace has and continues to flip every iota of our lives upside-down.
We aren’t perfect, but we now know our purpose. Grace is a real thing. And it changes everything.
More of our story can be found in Make It Happen.