She was an adorable brown-eyed five-year old girl living with her single alcoholic mom and never had met her father. One day she returned home to discover her mother’s closet emptied and her grandparents waiting to receive her. She came to understand that day her mother had abandoned her—leaving a deep wound. God knew twenty-three years later I would marry that brown-eyed beauty and together we would raise two children living out His story together.

In the early years of our relationship, I began to understand how my dear bride feared being abandoned again. When I would leave to go to the home improvement store without telling her, she would feel left again. When our first child came into the world, however, God opened up her heart to experience the feelings of a mother’s love toward our own beautiful little brown-eyed girl. With this joy, though, negative feelings emerged—either she wasn’t worth being loved and cared for or absolutely no one could be trusted.

My courageous wife began a journey to fully know and daily receive the Father’s love. I have had a front-row seat to see her daily surrender to Christ. He is her hope— our hope. When I was not enough for her, God was. When she was not enough for me, God was.

Roxanna’s spiritual core, birthed out of the agony of abandonment, continually radiates beauty. If I had known all of His story yet to be written when we first met, I would have been overwhelmed. God is gracious in His timing not to give us more than we can handle in painful processes.

Every segment of our life together has brought its challenges to our marriage. Our life journey has had many ups and downs but God’s grace and mercy have been the constant sustaining force. This October we will celebrate thirty years of marriage and we have raised two absolutely amazing adults. There is no human explanation for these events, given our life journey. Our family tree began as a stump, but its roots were from the Jesse tree! Only God has the power to make something from nearly nothing.

Remember today that God is writing His story in the life of your spouse. When times get rough and the story is not going as you would have written it, remember it is His story to write. Lean into Him and ask Him to simply let you play your part in the story of your marriage.