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A Couple's Completion

From Emptiness to Fulfillment

By Tony and Ellyn Novak

Young couple sitting on sofa, face to face
altrendo images

Introduction

After being separated several times, everything was finally going much better for Tony and Ellyn - except for the great big hole in their hearts that nothing seemed to fill. Separately they found what they needed to fill the hole, together they found completion as a married couple. This is their true story of a marriage made whole and two hearts fulfilled.

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A Couple's Completion - From Emptiness to Fulfillment

After being separated several times, everything was finally going much better for Tony and Ellyn. They were moving ahead with their lives. Being previously married for nineteen years and then marrying Tony three months after her divorce, Ellyn had wondered if she had done the right thing by remarrying so quickly. But after their third time separated, she knew that she could not live without him. They didn't know what kept drawing them back together, but they were happier now, and their lives seemed to be settling down.

A new career was blooming for Ellyn and Tony's commercial glass business was growing. Many of the material things they had always desired became a reality. Their relationship had taken a turn for the better. They were looking forward to a great future together. Yes, everything was going much better. Except for one thing - there was a great big hole in their hearts that nothing seemed to fill.

Life Had Become Boring

They were thirsty for something but couldn't put their finger on it. Ellyn even tried several self-help books and Yoga. Tony plunged into fresh water fishing and became an avid tournament fisherman. All of the "stuff" and all of the activities were just not filling that hole in their hearts. They started to think that this was all there was to life - looking toward the goal, reaching it and starting with another goal. Life had become boring, and there seemed to be no end to the vicious cycle, no hope.

On the outside, Tony and Ellyn appeared very happy. But on the inside, they were becoming desperate. To make matters worse, they did not speak of their despair with each other.

One day, a different glass contractor asked Tony to help him with some extra work. During the first week, Tony came home and told Ellyn that this man was really strange. He was mixing his faith in God with his business, and frankly, it was making Tony a little uncomfortable. In fact, this man kept a Bible on his desk and referred to it often.

Tony's background was Catholic, and he had forgotten most of his religion due to his drug-filled teenage years. Tony had turned his life around from the drugs but really didn't want anything to do with religion. He didn't understand some of the things the contractor was talking about, but he listened anyway. When Tony would relate these things to Ellyn, with her minimal Lutheran background, she suggested that if he was that uncomfortable, he should quit and move on. But Tony kept the job and also kept telling Ellyn everything the contractor said.

Something Was Changing

What neither of them knew was that the Lord was working on their hearts - on that big hole. Too embarrassed to tell each other that a change was happening, they avoided any conversation about the truth that the contractor was speaking. Once in awhile, Tony would pick up an old Bible. Neither of them could remember where they had gotten it. Just before they went to sleep at night, he would read some of the things that the contractor had talked to him about and then read them to Ellyn. They would say good night and both lay awake, mulling over the Word, fearful that something was changing in their hearts, and that the other would never understand.

And then it happened. One day, Tony was listening to a Christian station while driving his truck, and the speaker on the radio gave an invitation to follow Christ. Tony knew it was time and pulled over on the side of the road. It was there that Tony gave his life to the Lord. He cried and knew the hole in his heart had just been filled with the Holy Spirit.

A couple of hours later, Ellyn was in her office reading an email from a friend. It was a chain letter that she usually would delete before reading. But this one was about God and His love. She knew it was time, and she asked Jesus in her life. She cried and knew that the hole in her heart was filled.

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