Darren and Heather's story of crisis and redemption is portrayed in the powerful new movie called Indivisible (link to movie is below).
Both Darren and Heather grew up in Georgia, met in 1999 when Darren was working in campus ministry at the University of Georgia, and married that same year. He completed seminary in 2006, was commissioned in the Army and deployed to Iraq. After 15 months at war, Darren says he was angry and distant. “For 15 months, you think of no one but yourself," Darren said. Heather said she did not take his homecoming well at all. “I tried to get him to open up and check back into our marriage,” she says. This just pushed Darren further away and made things worse. “He withdrew, and I pursued more,” says Heather. Instead of getting help for his issues, Darren began taking them out on his wife. “I began to snap at little things. It didn’t matter if she was right or wrong. It was an opportunity to let some of my anger and frustration out.” Heather remembers how it affected their marriage. “We were not fighting together for our relationship. I was fighting against him for our marriage and he was just running away.”
Darren went to airborne school in 2009, and that's when Heather asked for the beginning of a separation. “In my mind, I was done,” says Heather, who says Darren became emotionally abusive and controlling. “He was becoming that way with the kids.” They were separated for several months while Darren was still serving as a Chaplain. One day, while Darren and Heather were switching off the kids, Darren says God used that moment to open his eyes. Seeing his kids run to Heather while he walked back to his car broke him. He realized what he had done to contribute to the downfall of the marriage. “But I wasn’t onboard yet for reconciling,” says Heather.
The next week, she was alone with the Lord. “I was taking inventory of what my life would look like for my kids,” she says. Both Darren and Heather stayed connected with their church, and also talked with family and friends. “My sister and brother-in-law told us we were making a mistake to separate,” she says. “What you think would be better for you and your kids is outside of God’s will,” they told her. Heather decided it would be better to be in a difficult marriage and be in God’s will than to pursue greener grass and be out of God’s will. “If the Lord is for us, then He will equip us with what we need,” Heather said. “I willfully chose to work it out.” Slowly, they reconciled over the next several months with the help of Christian counseling. “I was still scared and doubtful,” says Heather. Darren resigned his commission and got out of the military (He is proudly serving again today). It took a year for Heather to fully trust and feel loved again.
Today, Darren and Heather are living a vibrant and fruitful life sharing about their story of struggle and the unmerited grace of Christ's healing and redemption in their lives and marriage. Despite their reckless and selfish decisions, Christ's love and mercy conquered their hearts, and He continues to use their story to bless and encourage others.
(Adapted from CBN)
Darren and Heather offer speaking engagements for churches, military events, marriage retreats, PWOC, men's and women's conferences, and more (Heather has more availability as Darren is still on active duty). Please complete the "Contact Us" form below with detailed information and dates to check availability.
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