Restoring 20-year Marriage is Keeping Daniel Focused
Daniel had a difficult childhood, struggling with his father leaving their family when he was 6, and a physically and sexually abusive stepfather. He was raised in church and leaned on his faith and baseball until blowing out his shoulder when he was 15. “I got depressed, Daniel said. “I started just going to school and beating someone up. Or just skipping class.”
But when Daniel was 17, he met a girl, one who would change his life. “She was the children’s church assistant and was a couple years older than me,” he said, beaming. The two became friends, started a band, and he helped her with youth group. Until one night, they held hands and talked for hours.
Now, Daniel and his wife have been married for over 20 years and have two daughters and a son. There have been many challenges, for which Daniel takes full responsibility. “We were youth pastors for a few years after we got married,” he said. “When that ended, I feel like we kind of stepped out of God’s hedge of protection.”
Daniel had a minor surgery and was prescribed painkillers, but it wasn’t until a bit later that he became hooked on them. “It wasn’t something I expected,” he said. “My wife and I, we didn’t even drink. “I still loved God and still wanted to live as an example.”
Daniel struggled with painkillers for 15 years. “My marriage was spiraling,” he said. “It was like I was trading my wife for drugs. As far as I knew when I came here, I was getting divorced.”
Now nearing graduation, Daniel says his marriage is restored. “She stood by me and I know the Lord is restoring us. For her to stay with someone like me, a wretch—she just loves me. I love her too. My prayer is that the Lord loves my wife through me. I want to love her right. She’s all I’ve ever wanted.”
Daniel said he’s maturing in his faith by focusing on applying God’s lessons. “I know that just reading my bible, being in church, hearing a sermon—I’ve heard a lot of it before,” he said. “I have to have a different mindset. I need to apply it. I need to not just read it, but live it.”
Daniel has a lot to look forward to when he heads home—topping the list is spending time with his new granddaughter. “My son and his wife just had a baby, Ava. She’s so beautiful,” Daniel said.
“My prayer used to be that I graduated the program. My prayer now is that I do better tomorrow than I did today—every day for the rest of my life. I want to be a better man of God. I want to be a better husband. I want to be a better dad. Every day.”