Christ healed our marriage that two years ago many thought would not survive! We just celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary with a surprise renewal of vows on the island of St. Lucia. What a wonderful day!
Steve and Phyllis Hamby
In 1989, our world was rocked when our precious daughter was diagnosed with severe hearing loss and I began a life of addiction that progressively worsened over the next several years. In defeat, the only thing that eased my pain was alcohol. Less than three years later, our 3 year old son was also diagnosed with hearing loss. God didn’t answer as we wanted, so I believed God had abandoned us.
Though promoted in my career, alcohol seemed to be what I’d looked for all my life, something to get me over those rough periods, to dull my emotions, fears, and pains of life. I now know that what I thought was saving my life was actually destroying my life and all that should have mattered to me as well….my beautiful wife and two amazing children.
Two years ago coming to BCC was a last ditch effort to save our marriage. I’d reached my third bottom in 7 years. Though sober, our marriage was still crumbling. I didn’t understand the damage my addiction had done to my wife and children, so my rebellious ways continued. When we met with Dr. Allchin, we were already separated. Not only were we not healed, we were dying as a couple and as a family. Not sure where our future was heading, our heads were spinning. Our daughter was now married, our son a senior in high school. We had seen a few counselors over the years, but I hadn’t changed. Removing my addiction had not healed our family. Thankfully, Dr. Allchin saw what needed to change and even told us that he wouldn’t waste his time with us if we weren’t both willing to work on what God’s Word asked us to. I needed to think about that.
Phyllis’ faith was faltering and our children were struggling. As choices over the next few months were made, some good, some bad, God worked in each of us. We stayed separated for 4 long months, but we learned to do things God’s way. We wanted our marriage to work; we wanted our family to thrive. We wanted to change!
God spoke through counseling to both of us, moving me toward true repentance and humility and Phyllis toward forgiveness. Over the next few months we both realized what God wanted for our marriage through the Word and several homework assignments. God healed a marriage that before had no hope. I was challenged to know Christ as “Lord,” which gave life a whole new meaning!
Trials continue to mature us (Jas 1:2-4). Our 20 year-old son was diagnosed with a retinal disease which most likely will take his sight. In the past, I would have been angry with God, but now I can say that I fully trust my Lord and Savior and believe with all my heart the promise found in Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and future. I have seen Him answer prayer for our children according to His plans, even by providing nearly normal hearing through technology! He continues to provide for our family and marriage in abundant ways!
We still have lots of work to do in our marriage, but we’re both committed to each other and to the Lord Jesus Christ. We’ll make mistakes, but are prepared to work through these in a biblical way with the tools we’ve learned in counseling.