CMI News

Familiar Is Not a Savior

Changed Lives
Familiarity feels safe. From her earliest memory, church was familiar for Macaro. It was as much of her childhood as family dinners or playing make-believe.

Then Macaro got married in her early twenties. The marriage started strong. The two forged a life together, started a new business, and had two children.

But adding children surfaced the differences between Macaro’s evangelical background and her husband’s Catholicism.

They attempted to find common ground. But slowly they talked to each other less. Kept to themselves more. And then it happened…

The moment etched itself on Macaro’s mind. It was the day she discovered her husband was in an intimate relationship with another woman. Worse, it was no stranger. The other woman was Macaro’s close friend.

Determined to pick the pieces up, Macaro flung herself into saving their marriage. She’d learned as much growing up in church.

In spite of her best efforts, Macaro’s husband remained distant.

Finally, Macaro met with her husband over coffee one Saturday morning. She had one question ringing in her head. She gathered her courage. Then she uttered the most difficult question she’s ever said out loud…

“Are you in love with her?”|

As she waited for a response, everything inside her wanted to escape.

He went silent.

And in his silence, Macaro knew. She knew her happy marriage and nice Christian home were gone. She was embarrassed. Heartbroken.

Macaro ran to church once more. She found solace in the familiar hallways and activities of church. But she didn’t find a love to replace the loss of her marriage. Soon, she met another man. Despite warnings from the church, she rushed into her second marriage. It ended as abruptly as it began.

This was never the life Macaro envisioned. She felt as if she was living someone else’s life.
At a loss, she returned to the thing she knew. She went back to Puembo Church.

What she found was the tender mercy and endless grace of the Savior. For the first time in her life, she discovered a real, personal, life-giving relationship with Jesus. The Jesus from her childhood Bible stories and nursery rhymes invaded her life. He was faithful, present, kind, and caring.

Today, at 33, Macaro knows Jesus. Puembo Church has become family. You’ll still find her at the church a lot. She’s now in year two of the church’s Bible Academy. But now Jesus is real. He is close. He is intimately involved in all of her life. Looking through the painful lens of two failed marriages, Macaro can see what she never realized before.

Being familiar with Jesus is not the same as walking with Jesus. And being at church all the time is not the same as being the church.