3 Marriages, 2 Children & 2 Chickens

I was born to a devout catholic mom and an atheist father. We were brought up to do the ‘right’ religious things. When I was a teenager, my mom had a nervous breakdown and things changed. A friend from a very charismatic church prayed with her and my mom gave her life to Christ. The charismatic church we went to then was just far too “way out” for me.

Church was always a “have to”, not a “want to”.  At 17 I left home and worked in a bank where I met Peter. We dated for 3 months, were engaged for 3 months and married soon after. We had two daughters in quick succession.  We did the right things:  went to church, had pre-marriage counselling and got our daughters christened, but I never had a personal relationship with Jesus.

When the girls were about six and seven years old, I wanted “out”. I told Peter I was leaving.  A whole lot of little things led to my decision, and my poor husband tried everything to keep our family together.

Without any faith to bolster me, I felt like I had had enough of living on this hamster wheel of continuous demands with not much reward.

I moved to a little home with our two girls. It was a particularly difficult time financially as the company I co-owned went into curatorship soon after. I worked hard all day and did housework at night.

One evening, while ironing, absolutely exhausted, but obviously searching and listening to some talk on how chakras and crystals can give you inner peace, I had an “aha” moment.  I heard a clear voice saying, “I am all you need, I just want you to have a relationship with me.”  I knew it was God.

After being divorced for 3 years, God started working in both our hearts. He beautifully orchestrated incidents where we needed to see each other. After dating for a few months, Peter asked me to marry him again. We again went to pre-marriage counseling, but this time with a very biblically based couple. Three years later, we got remarried on exactly the same day as our first marriage.  Our darling girls were our bridesmaids; the happiest little girls ever.

Along with our re-commitment to our marriage, we committed our whole lives to Christ. Working in the Middle East and no longer ‘weekend Christians’, we got baptized and delved more into what God wanted from us, including tithing. We felt abundantly blessed, experiencing the joy of the Lord in everything we did. Again and again we recognized how He was beautifully choreographing our lives.

A couple of years after our second marriage, we received a prophetic word that Peter would not go into retirement but rather “refirement” for the Lord, and also that there was something Peter had promised to do for me that he must do.  The latter was puzzling. Then I lost my ID book and while getting it replaced, we discovered that the marriage officer had not registered our second marriage! We believed that Peter’s ‘promise’ was to make sure our marriage was registered properly, so we got married for a third time! We waited for six hours at Home Affairs, along with our two daughters and two little birds – our “chickens” – who had blown out of a tree the night before, and needed to be fed every two hours.

We’re so grateful for our difficult journey. Believe you me, times are not always easy, but we try to be obedient, seeking His guidance, and He continuously amazes us with His blessings.  We’ve learned the importance of obedience to Christ on a daily basis, and that to keep our marriage going well, we need to keep God at the centre. Our painful experiences have enabled us to counsel other couples and parents. Through God’s grace, He can repair even the most broken marriage.

We recently returned from the Middle East. Peter has retired from a full-time career in financial management and is currently studying theology. We pray and wait on God as we are “refired” for our next mission.

 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” –Romans 8:28

Annabel & Peter Eggeling