From Ashes to Beauty: Mark & Joy McClain's Story

My husband and I met in high school. When we married, God took a backseat in my life and my husband did not have an intimate relationship with the Lord.

We conceived just after our first anniversary and were so happy. The pressure of a family, however, began to take its toll on Mark, and he began to drink more. With the addition of two more children in a little over three years, Mark began to pull away and isolate himself. We struggled greatly financially and within our relationship.

When I was twenty-three, my cousin, a godly woman, died while nine months pregnant with twins. This tragic event caused me to surrender my life and marriage to the Lord. I got on my knees in the midst of such sorrow over her and her babies’ deaths, and I bowed to Christ.

Mark’s behavior and addiction to alcohol increasingly spiraled out of control. His anger became a terrible rage when he drank. He would scream obscenities at me, punch holes in the wall, not allow me to sleep, and on a few occasions, became physical with me. There were many nights I fled with the kids.

I sought the counsel of my pastor and other godly individuals. I prayed for about six months on seeking a legal separation. Signing those papers was the most dreadful thing I’ve ever had to do.

Before the separation, I found Revive Our Hearts on the radio. Nancy would often talk of marriage, the struggles, honoring your husband even when he did not deserve your respect. She seemed to narrow down the struggle to where it really is—in the supernatural realm. Her words encouraged me to never give up, continue to pray, and to respect him.

We had been separated for three years before I saw any real change in Mark. It came after he had a court date for a DUI. He finally turned to God. At first, we tiptoed around each other. I thought it would only be a matter of time before he was drinking again. We went to intensive counseling, and it was there that Mark and I were able to unpack the mighty heap of ashes that had buried us for so long, uncovering some amazing beauty God had waiting for us. For the first time I saw in Mark humility, gentleness, and owning his sin. Everything was different—even his appearance!

Revive Our Hearts was the only ministry that consistently gave me hope in a hopeless situation. Now I desire to give women hope with the only hope that is worth giving—the message of the cross.

How has God given you hope in a hopeless situation? We'd love to hear your story!

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About the Author

Joy McClain

Joy McClain

Through writing, teaching, and speaking, Joy helps women understand their redemptive position in Christ. She has authored the book Waiting on His Heart; Lessons from a Wife Who Chose to Stay. Married to her beloved for over three decades, Joy and her husband are passionate about discipling the wearied and wounded in the context of a farm setting where biblical applications abound. They have four children and five beautiful grandchildren.

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