In January 2007, my husband and I left a lucrative life in Las Vegas. He was a chef and I was a blackjack dealer, and we were the typical American churchgoing family: living like saints on Sunday and like sinners for the rest of the week. After doing that for some time, we really tried hard to do the right thing. We went to a great church and started reading the Bible regularly, so you know who showed up? The devil, who was not happy about our progress. Before we knew it, we fell, and we fell fast. We found ourselves in a big, fat, marital mess, both of us doing things that we should not have been doing. It did not look good for us, but we chose God, we chose each other, and we ran straight to Arizona!
God was there every step of the way. The scary process of moving out of state was so smooth, and the timing for everything was perfect. It was clearly God’s direction. We were able to purchase a beautiful four-bedroom home with a big backyard, a pool, and a great neighborhood. It was a dream. Shortly after the move, we realized that the jobs in Arizona are not like in Las Vegas. On an incredibly low income, we used up our savings pretty quickly. God began to show us how to trust Him completely in everything.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6). Boy, did we cling to that one. We still do. We began an eight-year financial struggle that would shape our faith and begin to mold us into the image of God. It will forever be the foundation upon which God had and will continue to lay His trials and His plans. During those years, we found the faithfulness of God to be so true, the gentleness of God to be so sweet, and the patience of God to be so long. We almost lost our home to foreclosure during that time, but He showed us how to hold loosely to the things of this world.
Not only did He let us keep the house, but we raised up godly children in that home. God made miracles happen in that home. He called us to homeschooling in that home. We had life groups in that home. We fostered children in that home. Family members got saved in that home. We got to use our pool for baptisms!
Our marriage has flourished since those days so long ago. We know that God uses all things for good and that the struggles that we endured during those years can be used for His glory.