I had just finished tucking in my three-year-old daughter for a nap. The house was finally quiet with my kindergartener at school. I slunk into my corner of the couch with my hot coffee, and opened my laptop to write as I do every day. Upon typing my first words, I heard the screeching of the garage door opening. Doom immediately entered my stomach and sat like a boulder. I had been dreading that sound, and knew what it meant. I stood up and peered down the mudroom hallway. There, stood a man, white with shame and guilt.

“I got fired,” my husband said.

“What?” I said. Although I had seen it coming, I was trying to digest this new reality.

He stared down while he took his shoes off. Then he picked his eyes up, looking straight over my head—avoiding my eyes and said, “I got fired, that’s it.”

Sweat accumulated in the curve of my armpits. I went back to the couch and shut the top of my computer. I took my husband’s hand and we sat down together. As we talked, a sense of calm slowly swept over me. I call that the Holy Spirit. My husband however, spoke anxiously, nervous about our future.

We label ourselves Christians, but we are non-churchgoers for various reasons. We pray before dinner and at night with our small children. I do my best (OK, I could do better) to read devotionals or words that will attempt to keep me connected to God. I’m far from perfect. I swear 262 times on a good day, I’m great at throwing pity-parties, and I sin more compared to the average Christian woman. Yet, I have a relationship with God because I’d be a hopeless spirit without Him. I’d stand empty. And when my husband lost his job, He created a sense of peace within me by simply trusting Him.

Days passed. My husband polished his resume. He applied. He interviewed. Days turned into weeks. He got denied. Weeks turned into months. With each passing week, my husband’s ego shrank until finally, it disappeared.

That’s what needed to happen. Humility needed to be restored. He needed to find a faith outside of himself. Luckily, he found it at a food bank.

On a whim, a friend asked me if I would volunteer with her at an inner-city church on a Tuesday. With both kids at school, my husband and I went together. We helped the volunteers place food in the paper bags for the poor.

The following Tuesdays I was unable to volunteer, so my husband went on his own. At first, he was nonchalant about volunteering at the church by himself. “It was fine,” he’d tell me after coming home. But after each week, he came back from that church a little lighter—his head a little higher. And finally, after a couple of months, I heard that screeching door open again. He walked into our family room with his winter coat still on. “How’d it go?” I asked.

Visibly shaken and gulping down his tears, he said, “Good. Really good.”

In that moment, I saw it: the Holy Spirit had finally jumped into my husband—magic was ignited.

My husband continued. “A recovering alcoholic, a man who lived on the streets for over a decade, joined hands with me and began praying for me. Right there—on the spot.”

“That’s amazing, honey,” I responded.

He no longer cared about having dry eyes. “It really was,” he whispered. He cupped his face and let tears fall.

Each week my husband would bond with different men volunteering—almost all of them had fought some kind of addiction in the past. They had hit their rock bottoms, and God pulled them to their feet. He wiped the dirt off them, made them clean, so they could start anew. And my husband witnessed these men standing—still imperfect—but tall. It’s these men, these seemingly broken men— who helped open my husband up to the true feelings of God.

I recognized those tears in my husband. It was God and the Holy Spirit working their magic inside of him. Although society deems tears as a sign of weakness, especially with men, those tears showed he was becoming stronger.

Through the weeks, my husband has had a surge of energy. He still has yet to find a job, but something is happening that is far more important. He’s more cognizant of others. He wants to make this world better. He’s putting his trust in something other than himself. Although my husband is quiet, this new energy is not—he’s impacting everyone he stumbles into. Now that my husband has welcomed God in his corner, he doesn’t need his ego. Yes, he worries about when he will land that next job. But he now knows that the time will come when God will open that screeching garage door to my husband’s next, great opportunity.

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available for pre-order now!

Pre-Order Now

Angela Anagnost-Repke

Angela-Anagnost Repke is a writer and writing instructor dedicated to raising two empathetic children. She hopes that her graduate degrees in English and counseling help her do just that. Since the pandemic, Angela and her family have been rejuvenated by nature and moved to northern Michigan to allow the waves of Lake Michigan to calm their spirits. She has been published in Good Housekeeping, Good Morning America, ABC News, Parents, Romper, and many more. She is currently at-work on her nonfiction parenting book, Wild Things by Nature: How an Unscientific Parent Can Give Nature to Their Wild Things. Follow Angela on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram  

I Was Raised by an Easter-Only Mom and I Want More for My Kids

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother and daughter read Bible

Motherhood is not for the faint-hearted, and women tend to look to their upbringing for guidance. We may not even realize we’re doing it! But being a godly mother is even more difficult when you weren’t raised by one. The questions are endless: How do I model forgiveness? How do I set the right priorities for my household? How do I explain baptism to my 6-year-old? Is it okay to have undiscipled friends around my children? Do we have to pray over every meal? Is the occasional swear word acceptable?  These questions may be less intimidating if you were fortunate enough...

Keep Reading

Even When it Feels Like I Can’t, I Keep Going

In: Faith, Motherhood
Tired mom holding toddler

When I feel like I can’t do one more thing. When I am overwhelmed and touched out and lost in the logistics of it all. When my physical and mental energy are depleted. When the length of my to-do list needs more hours than I have. When I am so bone tired that I’m sure I just can’t go on. And there is still more to do. And the only choice is to keep going– I keep going. I dig a little deeper and find strength I didn’t know I had. RELATED: Check on Your “Strong” Friend, She’s Faking it...

Keep Reading

What Happens When She Wants Another Baby and He Does Not?

In: Faith, Marriage, Motherhood
Husband and wife, pregnancy photo, color photo

I am on my knees, folded over, with my head resting on the carpet. I am in my closet, which doesn’t see much of the vacuum, and it is the only place I can find to sob out of sight. I feel hollowed out and defeated as if I have run a marathon and was cut short at the finish line. I cry out in prayer, pleading with God to soften the heart of my husband. I desperately want another child, and he desperately does not. I take a deep breath and dry my eyes because my 4-year-old outside the...

Keep Reading

Is Your Marriage on Cruise Control?

In: Faith, Marriage
Couple holding hands in car, above view

Cruising down the road, the highway curled before us like a ribbon into the horizon. Cozy road trips are a staple for my husband and me, and we look forward to the time together. Having been married for 37 years the adventure continues! We have loved each other through the ups and downs, and we have learned a lot about relationships. We also made a point of carefully watching successful relationships and surrounding ourselves with those whose marriages flourished. Nowadays, we have many young couples ask us what it takes to keep a marriage vibrant. One of the key ingredients...

Keep Reading

Ordinary Mornings, Extraordinary Grace

In: Faith
Emily Ley holding Sure as the Sunrise book by water's edge

“From his fullness, we have all received, grace upon grace” (John 1:16). Today, take note of what brings you gladness. That which gives you pause or causes you to take a deep breath. These are glimpses of God’s goodness in our lives, brought to life through moments and things, memories and sounds. Realizations and hope. In its biggest forms: a moment you wish you could freeze in time, and in its smallest: a sliver of grace, otherwise overlooked. I wake up to the smell of fresh laundry, sheets cool against my skin. One eye open, I peek down at the...

Keep Reading

She Just Needed to be Held

In: Faith, Motherhood
A little girl held by mom, color photo

“She just needed to be held,” I texted my husband after a two-hour battle to get my 3-year-old to bed. She’s been sick. Daddy’s been gone. And she needed to be seen. Held. Loved. And in that split second, I felt God say, “Just like you.” When things are chaotic. When we feel alone. When we feel weary. RELATED: God Sees You, Weary Mama When our spirit feels sick. When it all feels like too much to carry. We need Him. To breathe life into us. To remind us of our worth. To remind us of the hope He offers....

Keep Reading

Church Should Be a Sanctuary for Neurodivergent Kids

In: Faith, Motherhood
Child praying in church pew black and white photo

We still have a lot of work to do when it comes to the acceptance of loud, energetic, and spirited children inside the church. It’s easy to preach (pun intended) acceptance of every individual as God made them, but when a 9-year-old is shouting out, repeatedly during a sermon, or a 6-year-old is jumping from one pew to the next during the prelude, that’s when reality sets in. You hear the elderly man behind you whisper to his wife, “Back in my day, children were seen and not heard, what’s wrong with kids these days?” Then the single, 30-something across...

Keep Reading

Do You Ever Feel Like a Fraud?

In: Faith, Motherhood
Stressed woman side view

Hey, Momma. Do you ever feel like a fraud? Maybe it’s just me. Here I am . . . trying to build a life and career writing about motherhood. Yet, I don’t feel very good at it at all.  When my oldest was born 13 years ago, I decided on my own that we weren’t going to spank or yell.  Then, life changed.  One child turned into six over the course of a decade. And over the years, I’ve failed to keep the commitment I made all those years ago.  RELATED: I’m Not The Mom I Thought I Would Be...

Keep Reading

The Prayer Heard Round the World: ESPN Anchor Prays On-Air For Damar Hamlin

In: Faith, Living
Dan Orlovsky prays on ESPN for Damar Hamlin

No doubt you’ve heard it said (or even said it yourself): “I’m praying for you.”  In the wake of Damar Hamlin’s terrifying collapse midway through the first quarter of Monday night’s NFL game between the Buffalo Bills and the Cincinnati Bengals, it seems the entire nation has been praying for his recovery. We saw both teams kneel to pray as the ambulance carrying Hamlin left the field. There have been moments of silence offered across stadiums in Hamlin’s honor. Hamlin’s family issued a statement thanking the public for the outpouring of support and prayer: “We are deeply moved by the...

Keep Reading

The Weight I Carry Is Heavy, but Jesus Is Strong

In: Faith, Living, Motherhood
Tired woman holding forehead by light of computer in a dark room

Some days are heavy. Some weeks, months, and years are heavy.  This year has been a hard year for my family, and it took some time for me to describe the feeling that hits me randomly every day. Today, I was sitting on my couch, putting in another grocery order, removing things yet again to fit our ever-dwindling budget and the word heavy came to mind, and it fits so well to describe this year. My heart is heavy. The weight I am carrying is heavy. The always-increasing grocery costs are heavy. The medical conditions, medical debt, and doctor appointments...

Keep Reading