Gina Nicholson

Stories

Daniel and I first visited Pathway in 2015. We were living in Southeast Oklahoma and visited with family who attended Pathway. We were both Christians with different church backgrounds. We were struggling with so many issues in our lives at the time and did not attend church on a regular basis. We both felt such encouragement every time we visited Pathway. The worship service was incredible and the people were very genuine and welcoming. I thought that we would surely be victorious Christians if only we could find a church like this closer to home!
When Daniel and I met in 2011 we were each coming out of our second failed marriages. We were not submitting our lives fully to God but were both believers. We rushed into our relationship, becoming engaged on our third date. We didn’t even consider the emotional baggage we were both carrying into this marriage but believed that God had crossed our paths. We both had issues with anger, rejection, and personal discipline. That is not the kind of information most people share when trying to make a good impression, right? We now laugh when Pastor Marty mentions that we usually attract people with the same kind of brokenness because that is exactly what happened with us. Now factor in the combination of our 7 children, ranging from ages 10-31 at that time and you have the potential for disaster or a lot of miracles waiting to happen!
Of course, the disaster came first. Three of my adult children could see some red flags we happily ignored. There was already some brokenness in my relationships with them and this marriage led to serious estrangement. I naively believed that it would quickly pass when they saw how blissfully happy we would be. Reality quickly set in when we couldn’t find the church that would fix our mess. We added financial difficulty to our list of issues. Four years into this marriage we were falling apart. Our frustration and poor communication skills led to some violent confrontations. Add shame and secrets to our growing list and we finally reached a point where separation was necessary.
In July of 2016, Daniel faithfully attended Pathway during our separation. We were so broken that I had lost faith in our marriage. Thankfully, Daniel had not. He reached out to the prayer team and asked for help. A very kind man named Bill Anderson prayed with him and gave him continued encouragement from God. Daniel broke before the Lord and gave his life and our broken marriage to God. During this time God was working on my heart as well. I attended a church service with friends, and the Pastor spoke from Deuteronomy 32: 11, “As an eagle stirs up her nest, flutters over her young, spreads abroad her wings, takes them and bears them on her wings, the Lord alone led him.” He shared how sometimes the circumstances of our lives are stirred up for God’s purpose, even through events that look like a failure. I felt God speak hope into my heart and I knew that He wasn’t finished with our marriage.
Daniel and I quickly reconciled with a new focus on what God could do with our broken lives. We sought God’s will instead of our own. We agreed that He was calling us to sell our house and move so that we could serve at Pathway. God made a way where there seemed to be no way. We moved to White Oak in March 2017. We took our First Step soon after, became involved in a Lifegroup and became owners. We are now leading a Lifegroup called “Broken Together.” We are taking our Next Steps and learning how to live life in the kingdom of God. We have learned that only God can heal our broken hearts and clean up our messy lives. We are able to help others find hope in a God who loves broken, messy lives! We have experienced the joy of a restored relationship with one of our daughters! Psalm 147:3 says “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” This is so true in our lives, and gives us the joy and strength to share the good news with others!

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