Find Hope

Shacked up at 14, but now we lead marriage classes.

"I was raised in the church. But through my teenage years, I got a little wild and did things I shouldn’t have done."


Like I said, I moved in with him when I was fourteen. Of course, we shouldn’t have been having sex before marriage, but we did. We had two kids by the time I was seventeen. We bought our first house and got married at eighteen. We knew nothing about marriage at all. Actually, when we first met, I was twelve. We liked each other, but because of the age difference, we didn’t start really seeing each other until I was thirteen. He was seventeen. He was four years older. I was working actually. I started working when I was twelve. It was the first restaurant in Fort Oglethorpe. That’s how we met. He came in there one day, and my sister was there. He went to school with my sister because she’s his age. She introduced us. He really wanted her, but he got me. She wouldn’t give him the time of day, so.

We rushed into moving in together because there were drugs in my home. I came from a family that was addicted to meth, so we actually had meth labs in our house. I had lied about my age and got a job at McDonalds. I was supposed to go to work, and I went to my house. They said, “You can’t come in here.” There were police officers there with suits on. They had masks on, and they were like, “You can’t come in here.” My mom, my dad, and my brother and sister were all in jail together at the same time at one point. He said, “You’re not going to live like this. You cannot live in this environment. I’m going to get you out.” So his parents, not knowing how old I was, agreed to let us move into his grandparents’ house, who had passed away, so that’s where we moved. We moved in there. I was fourteen, and he was eighteen at the time. He actually made sure that I got on the school bus and went to school. I did go to school for a while, but then I got pregnant. That’s when I quit, and we started having babies. One thing led to another.

I was raised in the church, but through my teenage years, I got a little wild and did things I shouldn’t have done, like having sex before marriage. So when I finally got pregnant, I thought I want to be a good mom. I want to set a good example for my children, so that’s when I rededicated my life to Christ at fifteen, and I never turned back. I was more into the church than my husband was, but he did go with me, but yeah, he was a good guy. Actually, he got basketball scholarships. He went on to college. He motivated me to go to school and to go to college. He was the one who motivated me to do those things and also my mother-in-law. I remember when I was pregnant, at fifteen, I remember her coming to get me and saying, “Let’s go to church together.” She would come and get me, even though she didn’t agree with what we were doing. She still took that initiative to take me to church and to pray for us and things like that.

There was actually one point where I said, “No sex until we are married. I just, I feel shameful, and I don’t want to do it. I feel wrong when I do it, and you’re just going to have to marry me. I’m not going to live in sin anymore.” So that even became a problem. He would probably say that I rushed our marriage because of that, but we were already living together. We already had two kids, so I wanted to make it right by getting married. I wanted to be right in God’s eyes. I gave him an ultimatum.

We have been married eight years, so we have been together thirteen total, but we both graduated college. Even through all of having kids young and getting married young, we both graduated college. I mean, everything worked out good. We just did it all backward.

I really felt like God wanted me to start blogging, so I did. I started my own blog. I started sharing with other husbands and wives and counseling others and helping others. Eventually, I became the teacher for our couples’ class at church. I began counseling them. He goes to church just about every Sunday. We pray together all the time. He’s just recently started reading the Bible out loud and praying out loud. We do Bible studies with the kids. Of course, he’s a big supporter of my ministry and what I do.

Rachel - Shacked up at 14, but now we lead marriage classes.