Hi, my name’s Christina, I’m one of the founders of Christian Connection Magazine and Directory in Tallahassee.
I’m originally from the Virgin Islands, from St. Croix. I was born and raised there until I was 15, and then we moved to South Florida.
Growing up, my mom went to church, and we went with her sometimes, but my dad never came unless it was Christmas time and maybe an occasional other holiday.
When I was little I was taken with the Lord, as children are. We absorb things and, you know, it was great and I liked Sunday School. But then once I started wanting to sleep in late…didn’t really want to go so much anymore. And I saw my dad never went, and so…and my mom was always very much that, your faith was like voting, you didn’t share it. It was something that was private.
When we moved to South Florida when I was 15 I, like any other teenager, hated it and didn’t want to go. I had just found my niche back home and had a lot of friends and was popular. I see now that God really spared me, because I look back at a lot of those friends who’ve been in trouble, who’ve had abortions, the ones that would have been close friends of mine - I see that that probably would have been a path that I would have gone down if I had stayed around those same friends, staying out at night and things like that. So, looking back at it now as an adult I’m very grateful that God moved me.
I always considered myself a Christian, but I never read the Bible. I didn’t follow the Lord. I didn’t go to church, except occasionally – a little bit more than Christmas – Easter, too.
I moved to Tallahassee to go to school, and I ended up staying here and I met my first husband. We were married. I was very young, 23. It was my first real boyfriend, and I loved him with what I thought was love at that time which I know now really wasn’t. I was young and inexperienced, but it was the best I could love at that time.
Eventually I had an affair, which is something I never thought I would do. I was always the “good girl.” My mouth was never good, but everything else about me was.
Me and this guy got married in 1998, and we had a baby boy in the summer of 2001.
I knew things weren’t right, but I didn’t know what was wrong. The intimacy level in our marriage was just…once we got married and our relationship got serious….just seemed to just go down and down and down.
I spent about four years crying, thinking that it was God punishing me. As I was pregnant things got worse. After we’d had the baby a couple months I just begged my husband to tell me, “What is going on?”
And what it basically came down to was that he had been having, as he put it, an “affair of the heart,” – nothing physical, “Except for a kiss,” he said – which devastated me right there because kissing was something we hadn’t done in forever.
The morning that I found out about the affair, that morning I went to my friend’s house. And I remembered my mom telling me when she was going through a rough time that she never understood what it meant when people told her, “Just tell God that you can’t do it, and He’ll do it for you,” until she was in that moment.
And I got down on my knees and I told God, “I can’t do it. I need You to do it. I cannot do this. I don’t know how to do this.”
And that was the turning moment for me. We went to counseling, and eventually one of my friends saw him meeting with that girl. Instead of telling me what he had been doing, he just told me that it couldn’t work, that it was over, and that he wanted a divorce.
And so in five days I picked up and moved down to South Florida with my sister.
In South Florida I went to a divorce care group. I was the only person in the class who was still married, but I was ready to deal and to get on with my life.
They went to Malachi where God says He hates divorce, and that no matter what your spouse has done, that God would still want your marriage to work (except for physical abuse – that you would need to be separated for that situation.)
I was stunned! And I was like, “God would want this marriage to work, after what he did and how we started?” You know, I just got exactly what I deserved. Everything that I had told my ex-husband, my new husband now told me.
I became convicted, though, that God wanted this marriage to work, and I moved back to Tallahassee.
I joined a mom’s Bible study group at my church, where I met my two partners for Christian Connection and my two closest friends. I concentrated on being obedient to God, and learning as much as I could about the Lord and His ways, and just, I mean I just really sank everything I had into God.
And I began doing the “Reconciling God’s Way” program that “Live the Life Ministries” offered. I started it in February, finished it in May, and in June we were back together.
On my son’s first birthday, it was Father’s Day. I asked my husband if he would come to church with us. And when Pastor got up, he said, “I know that you all think I’m going to preach about being a father. I’m not. I’m going to preach about being a husband.”
And the sermon was all about men who trade in their wives for younger versions. And just, I mean, complete conviction.
So I didn’t want to rush God, so I waited a few days. Later, he called me and he said, “Can you come out with me tonight?” And I said, “O.K.”
So we did, and we sat through dinner and a movie and he said nothing! And I thought, “God, this is torture! What is going on?” you know, and I just tried to be patient. And finally five minutes before we were to pick up our son from my friend’s house he said, “Are you sure you want to give it another try?”
If God hadn’t intervened in my life that morning that I asked Him to come in and do it for me, I would have been bitter, and angry. I can’t imagine what my life would be if Jesus hadn’t intervened.