“I used to drift wherever people accepted me because I was very lonely. I desired to feel loved and known, and when I was young, I found that at church. I did feel God's presence, but it was a similar relationship to what I had with my distant father; He’d show up when we needed him. He was fun. We loved when he was around because he would take us to restaurants and bring gifts that my mom couldn't. I had a misconception of what a father should be, and my relationship with God was the same. I loved Him, but there was no closeness.
“Later in life, when my husband, Daniel, and I moved to Dallas with our twins, our whole world kind of shifted to being more parents than husband and wife.
“When the kids were maybe two or three, we started coming to Watermark. The twins loved the kids’ ministry, and Daniel would stay in the Town Center lobby area working on the computer while I went to service. I had always heard Watermark prioritize biblical community, but I never thought Daniel would come with me. So many messages touched my heart, and every Sunday felt like a blessing, but the rest of the week, I just went on with my normal life.
“In 2020, with the pandemic and church online, I became so distracted. I started drifting spiritually from God and relationally from my husband. Social media helped me reconnect with boyfriends and people from the past. Even the smallest compliment would light up my day and make me feel great. I liked knowing someone could see me, and it felt good to feel loved.
“What started as small connections with a past boyfriend turned into long conversations. I didn’t think I was doing anything wrong, but it eventually became an emotional affair. I thought that, because it wasn’t physical, it wasn’t wrong. Slowly, I started to think I had married the wrong person.
“Wounds and pain from my childhood and teenage years started to surface. I was blind to see that God wanted to heal me and my heart. My entire life, I thought God was real but distant. I thought He was too busy ruling the world to care what I did with my life Monday through Saturday.
“My husband started catching on to my distance and distraction. When he confronted me about the affair, it was the first time I saw grace instead of judgment. Daniel had every right to say anything he wanted and to tell me I was out of my mind, but he assured me he loved me and wanted to fix our marriage.
“That is when I realized I had been trying to find my belonging and identity in anyone but the Lord. God was orchestrating my husband’s heart, and I was so blind. I thought I was the Christian in our relationship and that my husband would come to Christ because of my good works. But it was the opposite. God used transformation in my husband to bring me back.
“It’s the biggest proof of love. The biggest story of love is God and the cross. It’s Jesus.
“I gave so many reasons for God to give up on me and say, ‘You’re a lost cause. You’ve heard the Word, and you still don’t get it.’ But God was pursuing me. He was with me the whole time through all my wounds and hurt, and my eyes were looking in the wrong direction.
“This was true in my marriage, too.
“As God reminded me of His personal, neverending love, Daniel and I started re|engage, Watermark’s marriage ministry. Every chapter revealed something in me that I needed to work on. I learned how I could confess to Daniel and to God in a way that the enemy could not hold me anymore.
“God met me in my mess and brought me back. When I understood God’s love for me, I could love Daniel more. I could accept his love for me.
“We rebuilt our marriage on a firm foundation, and our kids could see the change in us. We confessed to them certain age-appropriate details to encourage them in their own walks with God.
“Sunday at Watermark is amazing, but that is one block of time in my week. God wants us to focus on Him. Over the rest of the week, my husband and I are in a biblical community, serve other couples in re|engage, and start our day with Scripture together. I’ve learned that I must pay attention to what I am feeding my soul. I have to watch even the time I am spending on social media. I can’t spend 15 minutes in God’s Word and then five hours on the internet and expect my heart to be focused on God. Together, Daniel and I have learned to be more alert, sober-minded, and intentional in walking toward God and loving Him to better help us love each other in a way that is honoring.”