Nicole and Brandon experienced a miracle at Hope Restored in the midst of a crisis

Jun 28, 2024

Brandon was prepared to leave wife, Nicole, and their children. He felt like he’d gone too far down a dark road, believing they would be better off without him. By God’s grace, they attended a Hope Restored marriage intensive and discovered tools to rebuild their relationship. One year later, they renewed their vows in the presence of those who supported them through their crisis.

The road to reconciliation was not an easy one. Nicole’s parents, Larry and Angela, knew there was a crisis in their daughter’s marriage, but didn’t how bad it was. They had assumed it was a mental health struggles or a breakdown from stress as Brandon was angry, sad and had drawn back from everyone. Finally, sitting at the table with Nicole and Larry, Brandon disclosed the extent of his actions, including pornography addiction and infidelity. 

Nicole, with the help of her parents, set up several boundaries to mitigate any further damage, but she also knew – despite her own pain – that her husband was hurting. 

At an initial visit, Larry recalls witnessing Brandon’s pain first-hand. “I knew that I had to be there to support Brandon, and I just saw he was dealing with the hurt he had caused, trying to figure out where he goes from here,” Larry recalls. “I did not get upset at Brandon because, in a situation like this, there are no winners and losers; everyone is a loser, everyone needs grace and everyone needs support. And our God is big enough that he can do that, and he can restore.”

“One night, long before his confession, Brandon had his keys in his hand, his jacket on, and he was leaving,” Angela recalls. “And Nicole begged him to stay. That is her compassion. Rather than being angry when someone hurts you, she saw his pain. She knew this wasn’t the man she had married. She didn’t let him leave that night. She stood firm, ‘This is your home. I don’t know what’s going on,’ she said, ‘but I know this is your home. You can hurt here and you can heal here. We are your home – you cannot leave.’ 

“Amazingly, he didn’t leave. He crawled into bed that night and curled up in the fetal position. Nicole did the only thing she knew to do in the midst of her confusion and fear – she held him and silently spoke the name of Jesus over him, as Charity Gayle’s song ‘I Speak Jesus‘ played on repeat in her soul. Months later, when she had learned the truth of his secrets and travelled to the bottom of her own ocean of pain, she was able to say, ‘I forgive you, Brandon. I have always loved you. And I always will.’ God was her rock and he sustained her. She wasn’t a doormat; she was like the prodigal son’s father.”

At Nicole’s sister’s suggestion, they registered for a Hope Restored marriage intensive, and Brandon started to feel hope that he was going to get help. He was so burdened with shame, thinking leaving would be the best for his family, but his disclosure – as painful as it was – opened the door for them to get the help they needed and deepen their faith in God, both individually and as a couple. 

After the intensive, Angela remembers Nicole telling her: “We have the tools. We can do this, and it’s going to be hard work, but there is a commitment to work hard. We are actually going to be better than we ever were before.” 

Equally instrumental was their network of support. They had encouragement from their church community, and Brandon took part in addiction recovery support groups. Along with the support of loved ones and the tools they discovered at Hope Restored, they truly have hope for their future. “God has restored our marriage with hope and joy and trust,” Nicole says. “I think we will always be healing as we live and love together, but hopefully we will reflect God better.”

As a mother, Angela celebrates the fact that Nicole didn’t give up on seeking support. “Satan‘s lie is to say you‘re alone and. Nobody can help you. And Nicole didn‘t buy into that lie. She wasn‘t afraid to ask the church. They had counselling. Brandon didn’t believe that his sin was too great, like he couldn‘t have been redeemed. So, Satan is part of the story too and our God is bigger and he‘s more powerful and it‘s all about forgiveness, and it‘s all about the power of God.”

All names changed to protect privacy

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