Brought Together through Brokenness

Bubba remembers, ”I was done. The words hurt enough, didn't want to be around anymore, didn't want to hurt anymore…I wasn’t good enough to just – to just be his.”

Heather reflects, "You would have never known...that I was dying inside…I was like… I'm the filthiest thing you've ever seen. And I thought, ‘You're on your own, Heather.’"


Bubba reflects, “My dad had a business in town and we needed to look a part…this happy-go-lucky-family…church on Sundays…but in all reality… I lived with a lot of fear. He wasn't like lurking around the corner like a big monster, but…it felt like that. My dad would write nasty notes and leave them all over the place…and would go to church and profess his love for God and Jesus. I just came to accept the fact that I was what my dad said I was.”

Even as a high school star athlete, he could never win his father’s affection.

Bubba says, “like, ‘Hey Dad, how'd I do?’ ‘You did all right BUT…if you would have done this, this, this and this it would have been so much better.’”

In his teens, cutting was his only release.

Bubba remembers, “I couldn't deal with all the pain that I had of just wanting my dad to love me. I just wanted that, wanted that relationship…Not because of anything that I did…but because I was just his son. If my own father wouldn't love me, couldn't love me, maybe didn't know how to love me, how could anybody else?”


Heather reflects, “My dad never wanted children. My mom was very broken. I was very worried about keeping them happy…how can I make this be okay?”

Her father began abusing her when she was just two years old.

Heather says, “I can remember…laying beside my dad and him touching me and it hurt…I remember almost gasping like (GASP) and then…I just went away. “

The abuse continued for ten years.

Heather says, “I was filthy and I felt so like heavy all the time. And… It wasn't that I wanted to hurt – that's the only relationship I had with my dad.”

Then one day at vacation bible school, she experienced something she had never felt before.

Heather remembers, “The lady talked about who Jesus was, that he was willing to trade us all of his good stuff for all of our bad stuff...And I was like, ‘Oh, my gosh. I totally want to do that. If he's willing to do that, I want to do that.’ and I just remember bowing my head and just going ‘I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry.’”

Heather says, “I felt this, woooo! Over me…all the way out my fingers and down my legs and I remember thinking, ‘Oh, my gosh, I feel like I’m floating.’ ‘I've never felt like this before.’…I felt light.”

Heather remembers, “I was a little bit nervous to tell my mom, but I was like, ‘This is really good. Maybe she doesn't know about this.’ And she said, ‘Aggh, Heather, you can't do what you have to do to be a Christian. You can never lie again.’ And she just went on talking and…I just quit listening and thought, ‘Wow, okay, well, if I’m going to fail, I'm just not even going to try.’ I didn’t know Jesus loved me.”

So she started searching for love the only way she knew how.

Heather says, “I could get a guy to do anything I wanted him to do if I brushed up against him, if I showed enough cleavage, if I wore a short enough skirt. I just thought ‘This is how you do it. You have sex with someone and then they'll love you.’”  

When she was 21, she met Bubba.

Bubba remembers, “She said that I had kind of a cute smile… and then ended up having a 2 or 3-hour conversation. We dated for two years.”

Heather says, “He was different. He was like, ‘I just love you.’ And I’m like, I didn't know how to love anybody...I didn't even know what it looked like. But at that point I just thought, ‘Well, if he's not going anywhere, might as well do this.’”

They married in 1997. That same year, Heather became friends with a Christian who told her something about God she had never heard as a little girl.

Heather remembers, “She started talking to me about Jesus loving me and I was like ‘What do you mean he loves me? I don't even know what that means.’ So she started to explain to me and I would be like, ‘Well, I've had sex with more than 30 men’ and she'd go, ‘Doesn't matter, he still loves you.’…She didn't bat an eyelash…And I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, maybe this is real.’”

Heather started attending church, and Bubba wanted nothing to do with it.

Bubba says, “I remembered what it looked like with my dad...And was like I didn't want any part of that.”

But then Bubba accepted an invitation to a men’s small group…and he found what he had always been looking for.

Bubba remembers, “I was so hungry for that male affirmation that I met with these guys as a 21-year-old…at 5:30 in the mornings on Wednesdays, and 6:30 in the mornings on Sundays because they would say things to me like, ‘How-how are you doing? You've got what it takes, man. You can do this.’ They weren't impressed by my performance. They weren’t impressed by the things I could do. What impressed them was I was just me. And they loved me just for me.”

Bubba says, “I wanted what they had. And what they had was a relationship with Jesus, and I said ‘Jesus…I need you. I've tried everything else, I'm going to give you a shot.’ Bam! Peace. Jesus just loved me, for me…It was then that I realized…I am his son, and I am good enough just the way I am. “

Over the next few years, Bubba grew closer to God. But one thing kept Heather from truly knowing God as her father.  

Heather remembers, “I'd said to him, ‘Where were you when I was being raped, where were you at?’...And he showed me…I could see myself…laying on my back and I looked over and he was on the floor on his knees with his hands clasped, crying with me. And I was like, ‘Okay.’ So, people have been teaching me all these things. And I've been reading in Scripture how ‘Oh God created the universe and God…healed all these people and he did all these amazing things…so why not a little girl in the middle of Iowa? Why couldn't you take care of her?"

Heather says, “I just started screaming at him...’You're a stupid…horrible father.’ And I’m just railing on him. But that moment was where I totally was so real with him that from then on it was like ‘Okay, all right. I can get to know you now.’”

Heather reflects, “The Lord was so sweet and gentle with me…gently teaching me to trust Him…Gently teaching us what love even looked like. “

“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God.” - 1 John 3:1

Heather says, “I always wanted a man to love me. I always wanted to be a momma. He gifted us all of that, so I’m like-like ‘Gosh.’...I have everything I've ever dreamed of.”

Bubba says, “I wasn't good enough. I was lazy. I was stupid. I wasn't going to amount to anything. And God says, ‘No. You are good enough. Just wait and watch what I'm going to do with you.’”

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