Today’s family and their story is special to me and unique to Oohmoon. I have fallen head over heals for this family. They have resolved to do the hard thing. And you can’t not love them for this. And more than anything else, they seek to bring God fame for His powerful work in their lives. The “hard thing” was not possible aside from Him. And it is only happening through Him.
Before you read their story, read their entry. Then please please go on to read the story they wrote down for us. After reading about them, I asked if they’d be willing to share, in greater detail, their story. This is their first public telling of their story, and I’m so honored it could be through this blog! Thank you Andy and Caroline for your willingness to share your testimony of God’s redemption in your individual hearts and in your marriage!
|What are you family Members names, ages, color hair, color eyes, etc.? And, tell me a bit about their personality.*|
|Andy was born in Virginia, but raised in Philadelphia. He is a faithful Eagles fan and can get really, really loud during a football game! He is 38 years old, has dark brown hair and dark brown eyes. He is laid back and likes to enjoy life. He loves to laugh and make other people laugh and has a few laugh lines to prove it! Andy loves food and enjoys trying different things. He often will relate an experience with some sort of memorable dish or drink. For him, the best is great food with great company. He values friendship and will say now that his best friend is his wife, Caroline. He is always willing to lend a helping hand to his closest friends as well as to the stranger on the street. Andy is a very generous and sweet guy, especially when you entice him with yummy food.
Maddie is 11 years old, has dark brown hair (long, straight and with highlights) and dark brown eyes. She is also one of the organized ones in the family and perks up when given an organizing task in the house to complete. She is one smart cookie and enjoys reading and making lots and lots of lists of anything! Maddie loves school, respects her teachers and enjoys spending time with her friends. She is kind and respectful to others and is always a big help. She is definitely growing up to be a very marvelous young lady with a huge heart!
Emma is 9 years old, has dark brown hair (wavy with highlights) and dark brown eyes. She is the out of the box thinker. She can create a piece of artwork out of any material you give her and many times it will have some sort of purpose or function. Emma is filled with lots of passion, fun and personality. She is very spirited and loves to laugh. She enjoys having tons of friends and can make friends easily. Emma is super compassionate and kind to others and is always willing to share with others.
Tyler is 7 years old, has dark brown hair and dark brown eyes. He is all boy when it comes to sports and playing with his friends. Right now, his favorite is soccer, but he really does enjoy all sports and is willing to jump into most games. He just started taekwondo classes and takes it seriously. He enjoys math and science and does not fight to complete his homework…for now. J Tyler enjoys his friendships and makes friends easily. He loves being outside and being rough and tough. Underneath the tough boy , he is also very compassionate and will be the first to bring someone a kleenex to wipe their tears.
|The 3 to 5 prominent colors I would like in my piece include: *||We tend to like muted colors: latte, sage green, mauve, blue gray, maize yellow, dark brown|
|Tell me what you would like to see your family doing (would you like them just sitting all together posing, as if for a picture? Or would you like them to be doing something together). Please supply the most details here:|
|We enjoy being outdoors and spending time together. We like going to the park or the lake and watching the children ride their bikes. We all love music and dance to it all the time.Andy and I have been together since we were 15 (on and off) and have been married for the past 14 years. We are rebuilding our marriage from a 2 1/2 year separation. We have been spending a lot of time together working on our marriage and our family. There is still a long road ahead and we know that it’s only through God’s grace, love and mercy that we are where we are today. We have been so blessed through this time and it has been such an encouragement to us. We have been more intentional in our marriage and seeking wisdom from God. I will send you our full story later tonight. Thank you so much for your generosity. God bless!|
|Any other details you might be able to give me that would help ensure your enjoyment of the piece:||The family picture outside is what the children chose as their favorite outfits.|
God Makes All Things Beautiful in His Time
Written by Andy and Caroline
This is their story…
Andy and Caroline met during their sophomore year in high school at a Christian church youth rally in 1989. They became the best of friends. They began to date in 1990 and their friendship changed from best friends to a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship. They were in love…
They went through lots of ups and downs during their teenage, college and young adult years. They broke up often and then would get back together for various reasons. Eventually, after 7 ½ years of dating, they decided to get married because marriage would solve their problems. Right?
Andy and Caroline have now been together for 22 years, married for 14 years and have 3 beautiful children. They just celebrated their 14th wedding anniversary this past June, but this anniversary was different than the rest. They had celebrated all the anniversaries up till the 11th year, but missed their 12th and 13th because they had been going through a separation.
Being together for so long, they had built up a lot of hurts and then it started to turn into bitterness and feelings of entitlement. They became selfish and took control of their own lives. Their marriage had started to crumble and more hurt was added to the heap of hurt that had accumulated over the many years. They decided to go their separate ways and file for a divorce.
Andy and Caroline’s hearts had hardened and didn’t want to have anything to do with each other. Reconciliation seemed impossible. The children were the only reasons that there was any kind of communication. The children were saddened by the separation and went through their own grief. Nevertheless, God protected them and their spirits throughout this traumatic time. They were all traveling on a broken road.
God provided community, a new church, family and lots and lots of prayers, but that wasn’t enough. He began to strip them of all the things that they had found security in. He stripped them financially, emotionally, physically and spiritually. God had to do something drastic since both Andy and Caroline were not hearing what He needed to say. Through the encouragement of fellow brothers and sisters, they decided to meet to be able to be able to carry on a cordial relationship for the children in April 2012.
God had begun to soften both of their hearts as they met and their walls started coming down. Through convictions and obedience, they began to see what God had wanted to show them. They realized that their marriage wasn’t about them, it was all about God. They discussed some of their past hurts and realized that their own perspective became their reality. That reality was false and very self-centered. Over time they began to open up and allow themselves to be vulnerable to each other. They allowed God to really work in their hearts and Andy and Caroline began to cling to God and not to each other or even to themselves.
They continued to meet and the conversations became more intimate and intentional. Andy asked Caroline to go out for dinner on June 27,2012, which was the date of their wedding anniversary. They decided that night to recommit to one another and to protect and restore the covenant they made before God. Since then, they have been praying and working on rebuilding a marriage that they thought was dead. Now they desire to use their marriage as a testimony on how God moves and to bring Him glory. Andy and Caroline truly believe that God has a purpose for everything and that His timing is perfect.
He is our Creator and Provider and all things are possible through Him. He sent His son to die on the cross for us. God allowed Andy and Caroline to travel on this broken road to be able to fully know what His love is. It has been a tough journey for them, but God makes all things beautiful in His time.
**Thank you for reading our story. This is the first time that we were able to share with some detail what God is doing in our lives. We hope to share this as a testimony to others and that they will be encouraged and blessed through it. Thank you , Katie for giving us this opportunity to share our family miracle.
Andy, Caroline, Maddie (11), Emma (9) and Tyler (7)
Thank YOU, Andy and Caroline, for your writing your story down for us. For being the true definition of a Happy Family!! You have blessed and encouraged us today!! I am so thankful that I was able to illustrate your family. What a delight and honor you have been to work for! I give God much praise and glory for His Work in your marriage and in your individual lives as well! I pray He bless you for sharing your story!