We've received countless stories of how Amanda's story has changed people's lives. I love to hear these because they remind me that NOTHING IS WASTED. I wanted you to see some of these stories too. This one is from Heather.
Where do I start? I guess let’s start with the 20-year-old girl who partied every weekend...the girl who had yet to find out who she was and who she wanted to be…possibly the girl who was avoiding doing either of those things. The girl who would quickly be forced to make a decision no 20-year-old wants to make.
I remember taking the pregnancy test. Crying. Thinking "WHAT AM I GOING TO DO?…there is NO way I can have a baby….I'm going to have an abortion…there’s no way I can tell my mom". I remember finally telling my mom though. I remember her saying "Heather, you can do it. I did it. You aren’t a baby, or a child, you are 20 years old and out of high school." Now, at this time I was in college still, but working part time. My mom was right. I wasn’t a child and this could be a lot worse. So, I decided (even though I really don’t think I could have ever had an abortion) to keep the baby. The baby that is and was my saving grace. Her father and I had only known each other a month. He didn’t even have anything to really do with me at first. He thought he had 9 months left to party. We ended up almost hating each other. I wrote his parents a note to tell them I was pregnant because he wouldn’t. So from the start we were on the wrong foot. Perhaps we WERE still children, despite our age. We weren’t ready for a child together.
Fast forward. We have Madyson. Warren (her father) and I end up getting married…because we have a child…trying to do the right thing…I mean, we get along…we obviously liked each other at some point before. It should work, right? WRONG.
I went from a 20-year-old “free spirit” to mother, to wife, and a few short years later…a mom of three girls. Life caught up to me. I want to say life caught up to our marriage. So year five of marriage…I’m miserable. We don’t have a relationship. We don’t even spend time together outside of normal daily duties. I nag about finances. He wants to have fun together. I nag about the cost. I stress day-to-day. I feel he’s being immature, that he’s “in his own world”. I feel like I'm alone raising 3 children even though he's there.
Fast forward again. I finally left. In August 2014 I left, signed a lease at an apartment, packed my things and went. Can you believe that he even HELPED me move? I crushed him. I was just emotionally done. Didn’t look back.
Do you know this man has tried for over a year to get me back? If it were me, I would have told myself to go somewhere and have a great life WAY long ago…not Warren. I don’t even know why he stayed around trying. I’ve known a long time that he loves me, but could we ever be IN love? I gave him an ultimatum or two before I would even try to work things out with him. He didn’t “prove” to me he was doing it so I really just thought “Nah, never going to work”.
THEN. Enter Davey. I'm sitting in church listening to him speak about running from the roar. WAIT...WHAT? This is me. Running from something scary. Refusing to admit maybe I made a mistake and maybe if my husband and I both really got involved in church we could find our marriage blossoming. Maybe if we did it over again, we could be happy. I realized I had been holding back at giving our marriage a second chance because I was terrified. What if we got back together and it didn’t work? My children would have to go through it again. I didn’t want to risk that. I sat listening to Davey talk about losing the love of his life, the person he DID life with...made a life with. Here I am taking for granted this man that has loved me unconditionally despite my efforts to deny everything he did for me. It was like my eyes were opened for the first time, because (trust me) I didn’t see that before.
Davey opened something up in me. God softened my heart that day and opened my eyes. Here I am giving this man an ultimatum before I will even try…but he had NEVER given up me one. He wanted to try WITH me…not apart. I wanted things fixed before I even gave it another chance. I ran from the fear of failing again. NOT ANYMORE. I broke down crying during this service and actually texted my husband right then and said “I don’t want a divorce. I’ve been stupid. So stupid and I'm sorry”. I knew I had to say it right then while it was on my heart or I would possibly talk myself out of it and be scared again later. It was that day that I decided my marriage was worth running TOWARDS the roar…that my marriage was worth it to me to save. I will forever be grateful for that day, for Davey, for his faith, his story…for allowing God to use him to help others. I also am grateful for Amanda’s sacrifice and her faith and love for God…and how God has used her story to impact others, but most importantly saving me...my family...my marriage.
If you have a story of how Amanda's story has changed your life please share it with us.