365 days ago.
12 months ago.
1 year ago.
October 2nd, 2015.
It is hard to believe that Anguished Hearts is celebrating its One Year Anniversary today. Where does time go?
In late 2014, we had this desire to do something with our story. Some people might say that we were "called" to this ministry. "Called" is one of those Christian buzzwords that is thrown around quite a bit. We are not saying that there is anything wrong with saying that we were "called" to create Anguished Hearts. But we like to refer to it as something else.
We were DESTINED to begin Anguished Hearts.
We were destined not to do something with our story but to do something with the story of Jesus.
The story about how Jesus wrecked us into something beautiful.
October 2nd is a day of celebration as we have had so many great memories from the last year. We have met so many amazing people who we have had the honor of serving beside. October 2nd will forever be a date that we look to as a day of celebration and reflection of what God has done in each of our hearts and what God restored in our marriage.
16 This is what the LORD says— he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, 17 who drew out the chariots and horses, the army and reinforcements together, and they lay there, never to rise again, extinguished, snuffed out like a wick: 18 “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. 19 See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. 20 The wild animals honor me, the jackals and the owls, because I provide water in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland, to give drink to my people, my chosen, 21 the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise.
3,650 days ago.
120 months ago.
10 years ago.
October 2nd, 2006.
We want to invite you into our living room at the previous house where we lived. It was a Monday and around 10:30 in the morning. The door from the garage led into a living room where we had a couple of couches and a TV. Bryan was sitting at the couch working on his laptop. This was not abnormal as Bryan worked from home. However, this day was anything but normal. When the door opened from the garage, we both knew that this was the end.
It was not normal for Shayla to come home on a Monday in the middle of the morning.
She had experienced any woman's worse nightmare earlier in the day.
Shayla talked to the other woman. The other woman who was taking attention away from her.
The other woman that Bryan was having an affair with.
There was no more hiding. There was no more running for Bryan. He had been caught and now the life that we had promised to each other nearly 7 years earlier was going to be over within days or weeks once the divorce would be finalized.
But that was not our destined future. Our destined future was to be one of restoration.
We were going to go from anguished to healed.
But in that moment for both of us, we were in disbelief that our marriage had come to this.
However, six short days later, history and generations would be changed by one simple act of surrender.
With everything taken away from him, Bryan turned to a man who walked this earth over 2,000 years ago. Bryan said no to himself and yes to Jesus.
An encounter with Jesus changes everything.
There is so much that happened between October 2nd, 2006 and October 8th, 2006 that we will wait to share on a different platform. But the point that must not be missed is this...God will meet you in your brokenness.
For 8 years, we always knew what the first week of October meant.
October 2nd, 2007. October 2nd, 2008. October 2nd, 2009. October 2nd, 2010. October 2nd, 2011. October 2nd, 2012. October 2nd, 2013. October 2nd, 2014.
Each year it was the same emotion. The emotion had many names...hurt, betrayal, disbelief, sorrow, despair, agony, pain, ANGUISH.
Every time October 2nd showed up on the calendar, we both knew what the day meant. It was a reminder of the day that Shayla found out about the affair. October 2nd was never a day that we looked at as a day of reflection of what God healed. That day of reflection comes a few short days later. There were 6 days of darkness beginning on October 2nd.
As 2014 came to a close and we began to put thoughts on paper, we had no idea what to name our ministry. You can read about how we named our ministry by clicking here. Once Anguished Hearts was named, we moved quickly to secure website domains, social media handles, and began the process of creating a logo. From there we began creating website content and design. We were anxious to get everything together and launch as fast as we could.
After weeks of preparation, the summer days were becoming few. One morning, Bryan had an idea that he shared with Shayla.
"What if we wait until October 2nd to launch Anguished Hearts?
What if we reclaim October 2nd as a day of celebration and look forward to October 2nd each year on the calendar instead of remembering a day of sadness?"
"I LOVE THE IDEA" was the response from Shayla. There was no debate and no discussion.
WE WERE GOING TO RECLAIM OCTOBER 2ND AS A DAY OF CELEBRATION.
From anguished to healed.
From darkness to light.
So will you celebrate with us today as we look back on the past 12 months? We look back and have so much to be thankful for. This blog post would get way too long if we thanked everyone and we would most definitely unintentionally forget someone. However, there are a few people that we want to say thank you to.
To Andy...you heard our story and challenged us to do something with it. Thank you for that first initial phone call and for our friendship. Is that your TobyMac playing?
To Trent...there are no coincidences.
To Dylan...you captured our story with a few brush strokes. Thank you for your creativity in creating our brand.
To Paul...you were by our side on October 2, 2006 and have watched this journey from the beginning. Thank you for the late nights and effort in getting the website created.
To Merle...your leadership and friendship means so much to us. It's an honor to learn from you. Thank you for believing in us.
To Pleasant Valley Baptist Church...to have the love and support from our home church means so much to us. Thank you.
To Popcorn & Brownies...Monday nights are the highlight of our week. Thank you for doing life with us. We might be the leaders of our group but we learn so much from each one of you. You are on the front lines of the AH Army.
To the many churches and groups that have partnered with us...THANK YOU. We will look back on our first year as the year of "firsts". Thank you for being a part of our story. We are humbled that you invited us to speak, to teach, to lead, and to minister to your people. We hope to see all of you again.
To our followers on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram...we have over 600 followers on social media. Thank you so much for "liking" our posts. We ask that you help us reach even more people who need to hear the message of Jesus. Please share this blog post or share our Facebook page on your personal page. Thank you for being a part of the AH Army!
There are so many others that we could thank from the past year. It has been an amazing journey so far and we are excited to see what year 2 brings.
Psalm 55:4 My heart is in anguish within me; the terrors of death have fallen on me.
October 2nd, 2006 our marriage was in anguish. Our hearts were in anguish.
October 2nd, 2016 our hearts are still in anguish. Not in our own anguish but in anguish for others living in the darkness.
As we look back on the past 10 years, we know without a doubt that God is using us to give hope to the hopeless. We are not perfect but we surrender daily to a perfect Jesus. Whatever you might be going through, God wants to heal you just as He healed us.
God wants you to go from anguished to healed. But it order to be healed, we must admit our brokenness. By admitting our brokenness, we can admit our need for a rescuer. Let Jesus rescue you from the darkness you are living in.
We are praying for you.
Father, you rescued us from our own sin. We pray for each person reading this that they will open their hearts to healing as well. Lord, we pray for walls to be broken down and hearts to be softened by your Spirit. May one person reading this have an encounter with Jesus in a real and authentic way.
In Jesus Name,
Keep fighting the good fight,
Bryan & Shayla