What happened? Where are the kids? What destroyed their marriage? What shipwrecked their faith — assuming they’ve left it behind? It wasn’t supposed to turn out this way. Then it hit me: This could have been me. It could have been my family.
I clicked on her Facebook page with eager anticipation of seeing her husband again — an old friend — and their two children, now grown and likely with families of their own. Our two families had been among the up-and-coming leaders in our church many years ago. I viewed them both as spiritual giants. They struck me as humble. They knew Scripture deeply and walked daily with God. We left the church for seminary, they for another city and a higher rung on the corporate ladder. Surely, God had big plans for us all.
That was 20 years ago.
The pictures that stared back left me in stone cold silence. The husband was MIA. Another man stood in his place, a sight that brought instant queasiness to the pit of my stomach. The children were absent, too. Her philosophy of life was there, but it mentioned neither Christ nor any other god: “If you want to be somebody, you’ve got to grab life by the throat before it grabs you.” The lone sign of religion was a linked article from a popular prosperity preacher, titled “Finding the Better You.”
Two clicks later, I located her husband’s Facebook page. Same thing. New woman, new worldview. No kids, no God — nothing I recognized from the family I once knew.
What happened? Where are the kids? What destroyed their marriage? What shipwrecked their faith — assuming they’ve left it behind? It wasn’t supposed to turn out this way.
Then it hit me: This could have been me. It could have been my family. By no means do I presume to know the true condition of their hearts. Perhaps they will repent and return to Jesus. But it struck me that there is only one difference between my story and theirs. God has granted my wife and me persevering grace.
In my prayers, I rarely fail to be grateful for God’s saving grace in Christ, but I realized that I seldom thank him for the daily grace that keeps me saved. Since making that discovery, I have prayed for our former friends, but I have also thanked the Lord for continuing to send daily waves of grace onto the shore of my life.