Kathleen: “My family was a family of faith; however, it wasn’t until college that I understood the gospel and a personal relationship with the Lord. God put some very faithful friends on my dorm floor who would invite me to Bible studies and church events. Then, I started reading my Bible and praying more – this felt way more personal than what I’d experienced before. My faith completely shifted because I understood who Jesus was and what He did for us on the cross."
Brad: “I accepted Christ in my heart when I was in third grade, so for most of my life, I’ve known God and have gradually continued to grow in my faith. I stayed in church for the majority of my life, but about ten years ago, I went through a phase of doubt. For the first time, I questioned my faith and doubted God. It got to a point where I would be in church worshiping but not believing anything I sang. I thought everyone could see right through me. Suddenly, to think that I didn’t believe any of it was scary. We were raising our children in a faith I wasn’t sure I believed anymore. I didn’t know what to do, but I continued to pray that it would go away and that I’d start believing again.
“I started doing research on my own and read through books that focused on the intellectual side of Christianity. Learning more helped me become more confident in the truth of the Bible and helped me realize my doubts were fueled by emotions instead of a lack of belief. That season helped crystalize my faith.
“Years later, I found myself in a job that required a lot of hours and travel. Mentally, I wasn’t there for my family. It was not healthy for our marriage or my relationship with our kids, but I didn’t know how to get out of it. I was so overwhelmed.”
K: “For almost a full 365 days, Brad and I prayed every single night together because we were not on the same page. It was the hardest year of our marriage. We knew his job was not what God wanted for our family. The entire year, we ran to God and asked Him, ‘What do you want for our family?’”
B: “Together, Kathleen and I decided I should leave my job. The time that followed was a great season of reconnecting with our family before I jumped into a new career as the owner of a small business. This change gave me the margin to spend longer in prayer and more time with our kids. God was incredibly faithful to lead me out of that season and provide for us.”
K: “It truly has been the biggest blessing I never could have imagined. We are not risk-takers, but the Lord showed us that He would provide for us – not just financially but in our family relationships as well. I love seeing how God makes the changes that need to be made.
“God even used Brad’s season of doubting years ago to help our family now. When our kids ask questions about the Bible, Brad can help point them to the answers. Our oldest son recently went through re:generation for students, and Brad met with him on Sunday nights to go through the curriculum. Having a dad to be able to sit and do that with is huge for kids.
“From college to the present day, God has used other people, like Brad and other believers, to sharpen and encourage me in my faith. I didn’t know a lot about the Bible, but God has provided amazing people in life and in ministries at Watermark to teach me. Every year, I feel like I am learning more and more.
“Being in community has greatly impacted our relationship with God and our children. We are surrounded by people who have had similar experiences with their kids and ultimately want the same thing for our families – to know Jesus more. We’ve spent years with solid believers who are teaching and shepherding their kids to live lives that are honoring to God.
“Even in the hard parts of parenting and watching your children experience hurt and pain in their lives, I know that God’s plan is better than mine. I can be anxious inside, but I have to remind myself that I trust God. Over and over, I see what God has done in our lives, and the circumstances with growing children are no different."
B: “God’s faithfulness is consistent and never-ending. Through everything, God totally blew our expectations out of the water. With our kids, He is consistently showing us to trust Him.”
K: “As parents, we want to control what we don’t know, but our kids are now the ones reminding us of God’s faithfulness through prayer, Scripture, and encouragement. Every single time, God brings us through in a much better way than we could have ever thought.”
The learning opportunities and ministries at this church have been important parts of our journey and have helped our family grow closer to the Lord throughout the years. Parents with kids of all ages, you’re invited to join us at the Uncommon Marriage Conference here at Watermark on November 10 – 11 for an opportunity to have the same kind of impact on the future of your family. Register and learn more information.