Real God, Recent Stories, Salvation

Shani’s Story

13 years ago my marriage was headed for divorce. From the outside everything looked fantastic. My husband Rick and I had four beautiful daughters, a very successful business and we had just moved into our dream home, an impressive rural retreat on the South Coast. But I was miserable. Rick and I only really communicated when we had to and most of the time those conversations ended in an argument. The demands of Rick’s job meant that he spent most of the week in Sydney while the girls and I lived more than hour away. I was frustrated, lonely and exhausted and reluctantly resigned myself to the fact that our marriage was over. It was time to move on.

In a bid to make myself more employable I enrolled in a design course and purchased some textbooks from an online retailer. When the shipment of books arrived I was surprised to see an extra book in the box. It was a romance novel, how cruel. Frustrated, I tossed the book aside, annoyed that I would now have to go to the trouble of returning the unordered book.

A few days later after yet another argument with Rick I was feeling miserable. The unwanted book caught my eye, ‘A Time to Dance’ by Karen Kingsbury. I picked it up, telling myself I would just read a few pages before taking it to the post office to return it. Within moments I was hooked. As I read each page I was astounded at how clearly and directly this ‘subversive’ Christian romance novel spoke to my life; disappointment, hurt & a broken marriage were healed & restored through the grace of God. Was it possible that what I was reading on the pages of this book could become true in my own life, in my own marriage?

The final page of the book contained a prayer to ask Jesus into your life. I dropped to my knees in the middle of my living room and prayed. As I prayed I felt the burden of anger and unforgiveness lift from my shoulders. When my husband returned the next day I ran to him with tears in my eyes.  He was confused but grateful. We started attending a local church as a family. Six weeks after I made the decision to become a Christian my husband made the same decision for himself. This year we celebrated 27 years of marriage. We now have eight children, three sons in law and five grandchildren.

Living as a disciple of Christ has not always been an easy road for us. Shortly after coming to the Lord, we were challenged by the loss of our family business and home and experienced betrayal from those we had come to trust. It was painful but through it all, Jesus held us. My life is hidden in Him and it is only through Him that I now exist. Everyday I am amazed at how good God is.

R&SOur wedding day and renewing our vows 25 years later.

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