“What’s your secret?” Mom edition.

Posted in What's your secret? with 6 comments

I’ve wanted to start something new on the blog for quite some time now. While God has been so faithful to write through me, I know that I am not the only one with things to say. You’ve probably heard this question before… “What’s your secret?” The question is usually directed at someone or some couple that has been married for a long time or who just seem happy in their relationship. “How do you do it?” “What’s your advice?” “How can we make it, too?” You may have even seen some version of this going viral on Pinterest and other social media sites…

These questions are not bad. In fact, they are excellent! People are dying to know how to do marriage and it is so important to learn from those who have succeeded. That’s why I wanted to give a place where you can. I’m looking for guest bloggers! You could be married one day or 50 years… I want to know what your secret is. Use a story, talk about a specific virtue, or even some advice that helped you. Tell me how you make your marriage work. You don’t need a perfect marriage to write this (that doesn’t even exist!). Just a marriage that is not currently in a serious struggle and one that has something to share (which all of you have!). I’m asking that it would be under or around 1000 words if possible (but don’t be restricted!), and be e-mailed to me at erin[at]mystery32[dot]com. You can write anonymously if you’d like, but I would love to put a short bio about you and your family if you are willing. Feel free to include a blog or small business to promote. I will, of course, be reading each of the posts I receive to make sure they are Biblically sound and agree with the values of this blog. I can’t wait to hear what your secret is!

To start this off, I’d like to share a post that was given to me by my mom. This was unexpected, but I’m very thankful for her being open. I received it after talking about her and my father in my last post, and I can’t think of better timing to share it. You heard a bit of my own take on how their marriage has worked, but now you can hear hers. She wrote it to me in letter form and I decided to keep it that way as it is so sweet. Thanks, mama!

Dear Erin,

Here is just a small piece of our marriage. I did not mention what a huge blessing having you and Michael have been. I focused on David and the road we traveled as his parents. I only talked about my view of the story, dad may view it differently….

Twenty-eight years ago your dad and I married. We purchased a house that was being built and life was good.

You were born and life was good. 4 years later I was again pregnant with David when we heard the devastating news that something was wrong with his brain. How could this be??? This was not how life was supposed to happen!

As you know David was born and we were not given much chance that he would know us or even see or hear for that matter. The doctor advised me that I was going to be a single mother (he believed that we would divorce over the stress of having a handicapped child) and that our child was not worth how he was going to devastate our family. He advised us to give David to the state and forget about him. I can still remember the feelings I had walking out of that office. We got to the car with David, dad was angry and I was just numb.

But God had a plan for us. As I turned to Him for my every hope of David’s healing, dad turned away being angry that God could allow such a thing to happen. It could have been easy to get mad at dad but I didn’t have time to focus on his anger, he had enough for both of us so I needed enough prayer for both of us. I got into the Word like no other time in my life, I prayed like no other time in my life. Was it a close time in our marriage… NO, but we stuck it out.

The picture that describes that time in our life is of the footprints in the sand. There is only one set, they belong to Jesus.  We could not walk on our own; Jesus carried us when we could not carry ourselves.  When David was 4 and after I had repeatedly said that God gave us David as a special gift and we were chosen to be his parents, dad started to agree. He was beginning to believe that we were chosen to have this very special blessing and even though we did not feel worthy, we were given a special trust with this child . We began to have conversations wondering why God thought we could handle such a gift. Soon after dad’s anger began to subside… David DIED.. So dad’s anger returned… How could God do such a thing?  How could David leave when we loved him so much? What kind of God would do that to us?

My grief overcame my every being.. A part of me died that day.. I hurt like no other time in my life..Dad was angry like no other time in his life. But thankfully a counselor told us to allow each other to grieve in our own ways. So I allowed dad to steam and he allowed me to seek God for comfort.  This was not a close time in our marriage but yet we stuck it out. Then dad decided that he needed to move me from the town, the career that I loved and the grave that I visited often.  I prayed about it and agreed that we were supposed to move to Dallas. I was willing and a bit excited for a change and hope for the happiness that had eluded our marriage for a long time. Boy was I disappointed. Not only was I miserable here but now instead of having friends, I was alone.  BUT, we stuck it out. Can I say that it was a difficult time? Yes it was, BUT, God is faithful.  So I kept praying, and guess what? God is good and faithful to those who wait on him.  He has stayed by my side and lifted me up through so many sad times.. And I just trusted…

And Guess what? I love dad more today than I ever have. I love when he walks in the room; I love to hear his voice. He still makes me the happiest woman in the world. He is the most caring loving husband ever. He is the man God made for me. Is he perfect? No. AM I perfect? Heck NO. But we have grown apart and now back together. Had we listened to the doctors or given up, we would not be where we are today. Would I change anything? Believe it or not, having David taught me more than ever imaginable. Without him we would not be where we are today. No one could have told me how happy I could be. Praise God he helped me get to this place to see how very happy our marriage can be.

We were raised in two different kinds of homes. God brought us together and there was no doubt 28 years ago when I walked down the aisle that I was marrying the right man.  There has never been doubt that I married the man God made for me. Did Satan try to destroy what God bound together? Yes he did but he didn’t succeed, Praise God for his faithfulness! Did I want him to change sometimes? Did he want me to change? Probably… Did I change him? No. Only God who has been doing a slow and steady process on our marriage has changed both of us!




This is one of my favorite pictures of my parents. It was taken right after they finished their 100 mile bike ride in Lake Tahoe. Biking is a hobby my mom took up to grow closer with my dad and it is amazing to see how they have grown through it. My mom is a hairdresser turned special-ed teacher who is amazing at what she does. It was because of my brother that she chose to go back to school and change her career. She enjoys biking (of course), dinner with friends, and any silly game on Facebook ;). She is (as you can probably tell) a strong believer of the Lord and a role model to me or what true faith really looks like.

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  1. Bonny

    What a mama you have, Erin, refined by fire and a beautiful spirit! Thank her for this candor. Thank her for the HOPE she gives us all through what the Lord has done for her and your dad’s marriage. A beautiful post.

  2. April Cassidy

    WOW! What an incredible testimony of the power of God and also an incredibly godly example of perseverance developing strength and maturity. Thank you for sharing this powerful story and glorifying God with your marriage and example!