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Living together was tearing us apart

The McElheneys lived together in a “fake marriage” that led to constant turmoil until God showed them the power of commitment


Our relationship was a revolving door of hurt, mistrust, anger, and resentment.

We had been living together for seven years — raising children together — and our lives were full of turmoil and chaos just trying to make it all work.

Sure, we loved each other. But we just didn’t have that bond that kept us from the numerous breakups and big fights. When you’re not married, you’re not all in. And if you’re not all in, you’ll walk away at any moment.

We had separate bank accounts. We were doing our own thing. We were a blended family, but we said, “These are my kids, and these are your kids.” We didn’t have that “oneness.” Our lack of faith and selfishness was tearing our relationship apart.

People who don’t believe that God still performs miracles need look no further than us.

A Joke of a Relationship

Our fake marriage became a joke to our friends. They even bet after each breakup and reunion how long we would stay together before the next blowout. We continued to struggle, dragging our kids through the mud with us.

Our youngest son, Benjamin, had been attending the Fuse student ministry since the beginning of 2013 and was on fire for Jesus. He kept inviting us to NewSpring — and even got mad at us when we thought it odd that we were going to the Charleston Coliseum to church to watch some guy on a screen!

Although we were both Christians, saved at a young age, we certainly weren’t living our lives that way, and it showed.

But Benjamin continued to pursue us, and his persistence has been a blessing straight from God.

We realized that a lack of Jesus was what was causing the voids in our lives.

Seeking Jesus Together

When we visited NewSpring at the beginning of 2014, we heard the Gospel like never before, and God opened up our hearts. We realized that a lack of Jesus was what was causing the voids in our lives. We realized we had walked away from God’s promises to us.

From then on, it was truly almost a wild ride. We got passionate about following Jesus and read the Bible front to back. We started reading everything that the church put out — devotionals, articles — got involved in Bible studies, and started volunteering like crazy.

I was doing so much volunteering, I sold my business, a commercial horse farm. But our finances have been blessed in ways we never imagined.

When you’re really committed, you don’t want to walk away, you want to fight for your relationship.

A Miracle Marriage

Most significantly, we got married in July 2014. God blessed us with the deep love and oneness as a couple that He promises to us all if we will trust in Him.

We have 18 people in our small group, and many of those people, and others who’ve come across our way, have similar stories.

Since we brought Jesus into our lives fully, we’ve been able to serve people through our experiences — good, bad and indifferent. Only the glory of God can do that.

Our future is secure with Jesus leading the way. When you’re really committed, you don’t want to walk away from your relationship, you want to fight for it.

People who don’t believe that God still performs miracles need look no further than us.

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