The Marriage Mirage

Kristi Hanusch sits on her kitchen floor. Lately, she’s been suffering from intense migraines, the latest physical manifestation of a half-decade of strife and sickness. In her hand is relief: a tiny, white, round piece of relief. She takes the pill and closes her eyes. Ten minutes later, she takes another one. And then another one. The relief she so badly wants is too slow to come, so she tips yet another pain reliever into her hand. “This is it. This is how people kill themselves. They take these medications to feel something other than life, to balance between wanting to feel something and wanting to feel nothing. Then they die.”

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Pursued through Adoption

Eight feet of tape divides the floor of Michael and Keeley Simpson’s living room. As the Simpsons prepare to leave the country, they must fit all their belongings into an 8-by-20-foot space. Michael and Keeley met while attending the University of Southern California before they got married and moved to Texas. They both grew up going to church but say they were simply going through the motions of religious life. They left the church when they left home. Keeley says, “I started going to a church [again] when my daughter was young, not necessarily because I needed God, but because that’s what you do, you raise your kids in the church.” When Michael and Keeley decided to have a second child, they chose to adopt.

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Shared Grief

The Missional Community made it to the funeral service and Kellen felt strengthened by their prayers and presence. Kellen, his brother, and his sister delivered the eulogy and all three preached from the Scriptures boldly. The children wanted to pay their respects to their father, but the end goal of the service was to exalt God. And that was exactly what happened as they preached the gospel, piercing the hearts of their family and friends. God was at work, wooing his people to himself through the paradoxical pain of losing a father, friend, and family member, and the celebration of a godly man going home to be with his heavenly Father. After the funeral service, the group asked Kellen if they could go with him to his house to fellowship, eat, and be with his family for the afternoon.

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Lindsie’s Story

Lindsie didn’t like who she had become. She cried incessantly and worried she would die if she and her boyfriend ever broke up. Ashamed, she knew she was a failure and felt guilty about her lifestyle. She despised the person she saw in the mirror. In February 2011, God began to plant seeds of life in Lindsie. Her sister, Malorie, had recently become a believer in Christ. Malorie told Lindsie that Jesus could heal her broken heart, and she would never be left alone. Lindsie agreed to go with her sister to Recovery at the Austin Stone. Recovery is a God centered program that addresses issues ranging from substance abuse to depression. Through the program, God revealed another seed of life. He showed Lindsie just how serious her sin was in contrast to God’s holiness.

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