CBN.com Clint and Penny Bragg had a storybook wedding. It was everything they had hoped it would be.
Clint says, “I’m telling you, she’s just the most beautiful thing that I ever saw.”
Penny recalls, “We were just so excited, and we were so sure that God had called us together.”
They knew they had something special the first time they met. Over the next year, their love and respect for one another grew.
“The more I got to know Clint, the more I realized that I was attracted to the deep love he had for the Lord,” says Penny.
Clint says about Penny, “There’s a Christian woman that cares about the Lord and is putting the Lord first.”
Clint and Penny married on September 2, 1989. For the first year of their marriage everything was wonderful.
“Everyday I woke up and said, ‘Wow, this is the way it’s supposed to be,’” says Clint.
Penny says, “In that first year we shared a lot of dreams and hopes. I felt like we were in that honeymoon phase for that entire year, which culminated in a missions experience that we were both so excited about -- a mission trip to Haiti. It was what we always dreamed about doing.”
But something happened on that trip that they were not prepared for.
“What we weren’t prepared for was the spiritual darkness that was everywhere around us,” says Penny. "We would be driving down the street and see a band of voodoo people practicing right there.”
Clint recalls, “There was a Haitian woman that came out of nowhere.”
Penny adds, “Screaming vulgar things, screaming in a language that I didn’t understand, chanting things and running around.”
“She came up to me and started putting her hands all on my face and my head,” says Clint.
Penny says, “That moment I believe was a pivotal grip of spiritual darkness on our marriage and our relationship, and from that point forward everything was just different somehow.”
The couple began drifting apart. They became busy with work, and Penny was finishing her teaching degree.
“At that time I was making a lot of new friends, and some of those friends were outside of the church fellowship,” Penny says.
Penny started spending less time at home and more time with her new friend.
Clint asked Penny if there was something going on between them. “That’s when I realized that there was somebody outside our marriage that had come in and was pulling her away. What happened was that this person that pulled her away was not a man; it was a woman.”
Penny walked out on Clint and moved in with the woman.
“At the same moment when I was rolling that suitcase out the door, I was tossing God’s truth out the window,” Penny recalls.
Clint tried to restore his relationship with Penny but all of his efforts failed.
“I went to my minister and the deacons of our church for probably six to eight weeks,” Clint says. “Every Sunday after service, we were praying for Penny to change her mind. It didn’t happen.”
“I had taken a step forward that I could never take back -- a regret that I couldn’t change,” says Penny. “How could I ever come back?”
Eventually, Clint moved to Florida and started a business while Penny stayed in California. For eight years she tried to find love and affection through her lesbian relationship.
“I participated in it because those needs were so great in my life,” says Penny. “There was such a hole in my heart.”
Over time Clint lost contact with Penny and any hope that he would ever see her again. Eleven years passed. Then one day, he received a letter in the mail.
“I looked at it. It says P. Bronzenni. I said, ‘Oh man!’ My heart just literally went to my knees,” says Clint.
Clint learned that Penny’s relationship with the woman had ended. For the past three years Penny had begun to renew her lost relationship with God.
“At the moment at which I admitted my sin and asked for God’s forgiveness, He gave me the deepest level of understanding of mercy that I could ever have imagined,” says Penny.
Slowly she began to make things right with the people in her past but there was still one person left… Clint.
“It was like, ‘Lord, I’ll do all these with You, but You’re not going to ask me to go there, are You? I mean, after all, I don’t even know where he is.’ But the Lord did,” says Penny.
Penny found Clint’s address on the Internet.
“At that moment God said, ‘Write the letter, and write it now.’ And so I began writing, and the words just flowed off of my heart onto the page,” says Penny. “I just began to write and write and write.”
He has directed me to apologize to you and to ask your forgiveness.
A few weeks later, Clint called Penny.
“It was just unbelievable,” says Clint. “We talked on the phone that night for about five hours. It was probably the best talk that I’d had with anybody in such a long time. It was so amazing.”
“What shocked me the most about our conversation was that he said, ‘Penny, I know you’re asking for forgiveness, but what you don’t realize is that I forgave you a long time ago.’ I couldn’t believe it,” says Penny.
Two days later, Penny found a letter in her mailbox.
What I’m about to write comes from my heart. It seems that your struggles have been my struggles, and your pain has been my pain, but I still have love for you in my heart.
“When I read those words, my heart just leaped outside of my chest because I could hardly believe,” says Penny. “I just could not imagine what was happening.”
The two decided to meet. It was more than either could have imagined.
“All of a sudden there she was,” recalls Clint. “And oh, man, she was more beautiful than the first time I married her.”
“God just stitched up a gaping 11-year hole in an instant with His thread of forgiveness and love and grace,” says Penny. “The rest of that weekend was just like that.
“He asked me, ‘Penny, do you still have your wedding ring?’ I said, yes, I took it from a little brown pouch in my suitcase and handed it to him. He had his on a chain around his neck. He took both of our wedding rings, and he prayed over them -- a sobbing prayer -- consecrating them to God anew. He looked into my eyes after that prayer and said, “Will you marry me again? This time for life?’ I just blubbered out an emphatic, ‘Yeesss!’ And just sobbed out loud.”
It was a dream come true. After 11 years, their love was re-kindled and the bonds of marriage restored.
“When I wrapped my arms around him, I knew that I held a rare gift from God and that was the gift of a second chance,” says Penny.
Clint and Penny have written two books together. They now tell others of the mighty miracles God can do.
“No matter what has taken place, if God can reconcile our marriage, he can reconcile any relationship whatsoever,” says Penny.
Clint concurs, “We don’t have the answers. God does, but what we can do is we can share how you can expose the darkness. Then God can begin to work. When that happens, there’s nothing that He can’t do.”
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