You guys, we are back with our first guest of the year! I’m so thrilled to be sharing this conversation I had with Cheryl Scruggs— she is the mother of Lauren Scruggs Kennedy (who we had on the podcast in episode 002- click here to listen!) who is a dear friend of mine. Cheryl and her husband have a nonprofit called Hope for Marriages where they support couples in reconciling their marriages and they also co-wrote “I Do Again.”
Cheryl + Jeff: The Way They Met
• Cheryl and her husband, Jeff, have such a beautiful story that genuinely makes me cry.
• In a world that says to bail on something the second it becomes uncomfortable, they have chosen a countercultural response in their marriage.
• Cheryl was working as a cocktail waitress to put herself through college when Jeff walked in. They talked a bit and he asked her out on a date.
• She was already engaged at this time, but deep in her heart knew that she would not end up marrying the man to whom she was engaged.
• When Jeff returned the next week, she agreed to go on a date with him. After a year, they became engaged.
• Two years in to their marriage, she began to feel lonely. “I thought there was something wrong with me for feeling that way because it looked like we had the perfect life.”
• She opens up about her IVF treatments that led her to have her two twin girls who are now 30 years old. She thought maybe they had been the missing link.
• One day, she was on a sales trip and she met a man that she would eventually have an affair with. “I’m not proud of any of this, but this is our story.”
• When she and Jeff moved from Los Angeles to Dallas, she found herself missing the man she had been having the affair with.
• They would have phone calls—connecting heart to heart. Ultimately, Cheryl filed for divorce from Jeff.
A Second Chance At Love
• Looking back, she realizes that Jesus was the missing piece in her marriage.
• “I think God had a different plan and we weren’t following it.”
• Two months after their divorce, Cheryl really dove into her faith.
• “By the end of the year 1992, I realized that, ‘oh my gosh, I feel like God is wanting us to pursue reconciliation.'”
• Jeff didn’t think that was going to happen, so they continued to co-parent from separate homes.
• “The more I read about biblical marriage, I realized if we could just work on this, we could have a marriage honoring God, being what God wanted us to be rather than who we were.”
• Five years after their divorce, they began to spend more time together as a family. And soon after, Jeff began asking Cheryl out on dates. Soon after, they remarried.
• Out of this experience, their nonprofit Hope for Marriages was born.
All In Commitment
• “You yourself have to understand who you are and who God has made you.”
• Cheryl recognizes that our pasts always have an effect on our relationships, but if we are aware of them, we can have more control over how they affect us.
• “Happiness is very fleeting. What the Lord wants for us is deep joy. You can be going through trials and still have deep joy.”