Ray’s Story

Life was good until I was nine. The day my father had a complete breakdown is etched in my memory forever. He would spend the next 26 years of his life, in and out of hospitals.

We were raised on a farm north of Winnipeg, and two of us brothers discovered we could earn extra cash training and riding horses. We loved it. Working with horses brought us to shows, rodeos, and the race track.  Soon I was hooked on the fast pace and parties.

I got married and for eight years my wife and I plunged into the party life. We had a daughter and I thought everything was going great.

But one day I came home to an empty house. My wife and daughter were gone. The marriage I had taken for granted was over. Our business fell apart. My world unravelled. A part of me died and I sank into a pit of drugs, alcohol and despair.

One of my friends tried to talk to me about Jesus. I refused to listen. But for the first time in my life I cried out…”If there is a God, please help me!”

Out of the blue, my wife agreed to have our daughter live with me. With that came the realization that there was a great Power and He did love me. Maybe I would survive this nightmare after all.

I spoke with my friend again about this greater power. She explained how this power was Jesus Christ. I could not reject what she said. Instead I knelt down and invited Jesus to come in and take over the mess I had made of my life. My appetites changed. Almost immediately I stopped drinking and doing drugs. The profanity that was a part of everything I said was gone. I began to regularly read the Bible for the first time in my life. I was seeing something true and wonderful everyday and could not contain my excitement!

My friends and I began a Bible study and invited our race track friends. Many came. Some of them also gave their lives to Christ. Even though I experienced this amazing new direction in my life God did not bring my wife back and she eventually divorced me. However, He had given me a joy that I had never found before and my daughter and I began to rebuild our lives…with Him leading the way.

During this time I met a woman with two children who had also been through a divorce. As we began to get to know one another, we felt the Lord leading us to marry. God graciously gave two repentant sinners a new beginning. We know we don’t deserve His grace but He continues to show himself faithful every time we cry out to Him. A second marriage is not easy and many times we have had to ask the Lord for His wisdom when we saw how our past failures have damaged us and hurt our children.

I love the following verse from the Bible: “God causes all things to work together for good to those who love Him.” He can take the brokenness in our lives and make something good out of all of that. Would you like Him to do that for you? He will if you yield to Him the control of your life. After all these years this cowboy can truly say that he has met the Master wrangler.

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