My husband Richie and I met when I was a young teenager. We became good friends and later fell deeply in love. When I was 14 years old, just about everyone in my family was addicted to drugs. It was such an unsafe environment that Richie decided to get a place for us to live together. By the time I was 17 we already had 2 kids and had just bought our first house. I felt such strong convictions from living and sleeping with a man I wasn’t married to, that I gave him the ultimatum; he could marry me or lose me. On June 9, 2007 we said “I do” in front of all our friends and family. I was 18 and he was 22. At that time I never imagined that being a wife would be one of the most difficult things I would have to learn. Richie and I both grew up with divorced parents. We had never seen the example of what a godly marriage looks like. Over the past several years we have experienced a lot of heartache and pain in our relationship. We have dealt with job losses, bankruptcy, incarcerated and homeless family members, infidelity, and more. We allowed the difficulties and trials in our lives to place a wedge between us, instead of bringing us closer together. Our marriage became like two roommates living together but isolating themselves from one another. We were so disconnected that our conversation was only about the kids. I didn’t enjoy my husband’s presence and I didn’t even want him sleeping in the same bed as me. Our love for one another was like the last spark in a fire when no flame is present. After going to counseling, marriage classes, and a marriage retreat and still having not made any progress, we decided to separate. On December 29th, 2014 I received a phone call that I was approved for the apartment I picked out, but God put it in my spirit to ask my husband if he really wanted to separate. He said no and we decided to give our marriage one more shot. Now 3 years later after allowing God to show us the changes we needed to make, and being obedient to His will, we are happier than we’ve ever been. God completely restored our marriage and we want to share our story with the world.