Open In App

He Was A Cheater Until God Changed The Game

Daniel and Michelle Hemmingsen's Story

At a special live-recorded event in August 2014, Daniel and Michelle Hemmingsen had the opportunity to say “thank you” to NewSpring owners for giving to the church that changed their lives forever. Watch the couple's remarkable video from that day, and read the story behind their story ...

Daniel and Michelle Hemmingsen were engaged to be married when the affair began.

The woman was a customer at the store Daniel was managing in a neighboring town. He flirted with her, telling her how nice she looked. Then he asked her whether she was single. And within a few minutes, they had exchanged numbers. Just as quickly, talking turned to cheating.

When Daniel and Michelle got married in 2009, it just made the “game” more intense.

"I was in my own little world and didn’t think I could get caught,” he says. "The thrill of having two relationships made me feel like a man.”

To cover his tracks, Daniel would painstakingly delete every text, email and Facebook message they were exchanging. Just in case, he made sure his phone never left his hip.

The first thing I did was curse God for allowing my marriage to be torn apart, and through the overwhelming pain, I realized God didn't do this to me - Michelle

But once the secret hookups at lunch or after work had fallen into a predictable pattern that didn't seem to raise questions, he started to get sloppy. The digital purges got further and further apart. He’d leave his phone lying around.

Michelle began to notice strange texts popping up on his phone, but he’d always deny and deflect. Just someone with the wrong number, he’d say. But Michelle couldn’t shake her suspicions.

Then one day, nearly three years into the affair, Daniel had fallen asleep on the couch, and Michelle saw her opportunity. She grabbed the phone. Scrolling through, Michelle found enough digital scraps to piece together the truth.

Their whole marriage suddenly was revealed as a lie. And she felt her life shatter into a million pieces. In her utter desperation, Michelle collapsed and cried out to God to save their marriage, for their own sake and the sake of their then two-year-old daughter, Jordyn. God, of course, had already been at work.


God said 'I’m going to show you how good I am, and how I can restore a marriage​

"The first thing I did was curse God for allowing my marriage to be torn apart, and through the overwhelming pain, I realized God didn't do this to me,” Michelle says.

Neither Daniel nor Michelle knew it, but mercy had come disguised as tragedy that day. The Hemmingsens came to discover, as so many others have at NewSpring, that only Jesus can save us from sin and bring us back from the brink of destruction.

“God said 'I’m going to show you how good I am, and how I can restore a marriage,'” Daniel says. "Jesus said, 'we’ll build your marriage on my rock and not quicksand.'”

Only Jesus Has the Power to Change Us

Michelle’s friend had invited her to NewSpring several times. The affair — and the lack of progress they’d seen with marriage counseling — gave her the push she needed.

Despite years of on-and-off churchgoing, it was only when Michelle decided to visit NewSpring in August 2012 that she heard the truth about Jesus in a way that pierced her soul.

Trembling, she walked down to the front of the stage at the end of the service to nail her name to the cross to declare that she had asked Jesus to come into her life.

She realized she needed Jesus to forgive her own sin, and only then could she forgive Daniel’s. She believed Jesus had the power to change her husband.

Before I met Jesus, I was as far from Jesus as one person could be

The next two weeks, Michelle kept asking and believing that Daniel would join her at NewSpring.

When Daniel finally agreed to go, he heard enough in the message that day to want to find out more about God’s plan for marriage. He agreed they should meet as a couple with one of the staff for six weeks for biblical guidance and prayer.

Uncovering the causes of layer upon layer of dysfunction in their seven-year relationship was an awkward and painful process.

Daniel began to see how poorly he’d treated his wife. His words were cruel. He showed her no affection. He treated her as if she were beneath him. But even more than that, he saw that his actions and behavior weren’t just wrong, they were sin. At the end of his last session, Daniel realized he needed to ask Jesus into his life, too.

Trust Rebuilt

"I felt changed,” he says. “That weight and guilt and shame had been lifted and taken away, and I could start over — that I was forgiven by Him and my wife."

Soon, the couple was putting into practice what they’d learned about putting each other first — serving one another, cherishing each other.

The depth of Daniel’s grief over the pain he had caused was obvious in his gutsy decision to apologize to both his family and Michelle’s family over Thanksgiving Day dinner just a few weeks later. But it was giving up pornography that proved how serious he was about repentance and doing life God’s way.

Porn had controlled Daniel’s life ever since he was exposed to it when he was just 12. When he met his mistress he had been watching porn, just like he did every day between management tasks and serving customers.

"That’s where it started,” he says. "It led to me not treating women the way they should be treated.”

Now, to stop himself from getting on the computer at work, he picks up a guitar or goes outside. He's put filtering software on his iPad, desktop, and cell phone to keep himself accountable to his wife and friends, and he shares all his passwords with Michelle. Offline, he's learned to bounce his eyes when he sees attractive women.

 If it wasn’t for Jesus and the staff and volunteers at NewSpring, there’s no doubt in my mind I would be a divorced man - Daniel

It takes time to rebuild trust. Daniel knows that. He chats with Michelle several times a day to let her know how much he loves her. And he tries not to be alone, so she has no reason to be suspicious.

But their marriage is strong and growing stronger every day, especially with the support of others they’ve met as volunteers in Fuse and KidSpring.

They now keep a regular date night. They make sure to communicate and listen to one another. They pray together. In the mornings, he helps get his daughter and wife ready to head out the door.

“Its like the song 'Amazing Grace.' I was lost and now I’m found,” Daniel says. "Before I met Jesus, I was as far from Jesus as one person could be. Jesus was saying, 'I’m going to let you fall on your face to show you that you need to change.' If it wasn’t for Jesus and the staff and volunteers at NewSpring, there’s no doubt in my mind I would be a divorced man."

Want to see more stories from that day? Check out the full message, "Not From You, For You." 

Download the NewSpring App

Like what you just read? Download the NewSpring App for an even better reading experience. You can read, share, and bookmark your favorites quickly and easily from your phone.

We want you to have a safe experience while using our site.

Unfortunately, there are security risks associated with your browser. To keep you protected we will be discontinuing support to this browser. Please visit for a secure browser update.