by Allison Gray
For the first five years of our marriage, I worked hard to build my career and support my husband, Jason, while he went to college. As breadwinner of our family, I felt a lot of pressures and looked forward to the day when he could help with the finances. Shortly after Jason's graduation, he landed a great job.
At that same time, I lost the job that I had poured so much of my life into. I was devastated and felt like Jason was only concerned about how we would make it financially. He became more and more focused on his job and was not there for me—emotionally or physically. We spiraled downward to the point of living in two separate bedrooms.
One of my girlfriends was also having problems in her marriage, so we both left our husbands to share an apartment. I continued to stay in touch with Jason, but it seemed to me that the only thing that mattered to him was his job.
During our separation, the arguing continued. One day, in the heat of emotion, Jason said that he wished that he had never married me. That was it! I decided that I couldn't go on living in turmoil. I took a job offer out of town, near my family, and began the process for a divorce.
When Jason realized that I was serious about dissolving our marriage, he snapped out of passivity. He told me that we needed to reconsider and said that he didn't want a divorce. He promised that he would do whatever it would take. But, I wasn't so sure that he would.
Jason began looking through some FamilyLife resources that we had bought earlier in our marriage—when we attended our first Weekend to Remember® marriage getaway. He started searching through the books for a solution and watched our wedding video to see what exactly we had promised one another.
He called me one night and read a section from the conference manual called "Path to Isolation." As he read, I realized we had been through every step that was outlined in the book. He realized his failure to me as a husband and asked me to give our marriage another chance. But to me it seemed a little late for all of that. Our divorce was now final, and I wanted to start a whole new life.
But Jason was very persistent. He pleaded with me to give our marriage another chance and asked if I would attend another Weekend to Remember conference. The closest one he could find on the schedule was in Tampa, Fla. I reluctantly agreed—deep in my heart I wondered if our divorce had been a big mistake. I still loved Jason, and I honestly knew he loved me too.
A Weekend to Remember in Tampa
A lot of forgiveness and reconnecting took place over that weekend in Tampa. We both realized that being married to one another was God's plan for our lives. We talked about the hurt and pain that we had caused one another, and we resolved to put it behind us and move forward. I came away with the assurance that this is the man God wanted me to be with and that he was truly a gift from God.
The conference helped me to finally understand God's design for marriage and the importance of leaving a godly legacy. We learned how important it is to have a strong marriage for any children that God may give us.
After the conference, we approached speakers Dave and Peggy Jones and told them an abbreviated version of why we came to the conference. Dave asked if he could pray for us, and then he mentioned that he and Peggy ran a bed and breakfast inn, and offered to remarry us there. Jason and I could only look at each other and shake our heads in awe: How amazing God is to have brought this wonderful couple into our lives!
Married to Jason—the second time
Two weeks after the conference, on September 24, 2005, Dave Jones remarried us in a small garden ceremony at their home. Peggy arranged for flowers, food, and so many things that really made it special for us. We were married right after Hurricane Katrina, and Dave talked about storms and how they relate to the "storms of life."
Following the intimate ceremony, Jason and I burned our divorce papers. It was such an emotional moment when he lit the match. As we watched the papers turn to ashes, we not only cried tears of joy about our reunion, but also felt remorseful that we had actually gone through with the divorce.
Today I know that Jason is the best thing in my life. Our marriage is so very different this time around. We share a deep love that I cannot even describe. I often look at people around me and wish they could experience what I feel about the love I have for my husband. He is truly my gift from God.
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