A MARRIAGE RESTORED

They fell in love the moment they laid eyes on each other, but Marc and Remy’s dysfunctions were tearing them apart. When they hit rock bottom, the only option left was Jesus. So began the inspirational journey of lives being rebuilt and love being restored. Meet the modern-day miracle couple who call City Builders Church home.

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Marc and Remy had a love to last a lifetime. The teenage sweethearts from Sydney’s Bondi Beach knew they were meant for each other the moment they met. Yet despite their dreams for the future, the baggage they carried set them on a course for failure.

“We loved each other so deeply, but also hurt one another very deeply; we were both broken people,” Remy says.

“At the time we didn’t know any better, but every once in a while I would ask myself, ‘why is this so hard?’”

Marc was 18 and grappling with a world of hurt and addiction when he met Remy. He had surfaced from a painful childhood and years of drug and alcohol abuse with severe mental health issues. Soon after they began their relationship, Marc descended into drug-induced psychosis and spent three years suicidal, delusional and in and out of treatment facilities. With the help of Remy and her parents, Marc came out of his drug addiction; but nothing could heal the wounds in his soul. The dysfunction in both Marc and Remy set their relationship on a rollercoaster of break-ups and reconciliations.

An invitation from a friend to attend a service at a small Sydney church began opening up a new world to Marc. There was something about the spiritual environment that seemed to uncover everything buried deep in his heart. When the invitation was given for people to receive Jesus as their Saviour, Marc was drawn to the front.

Hungry to discover more about God but haunted by depression, Marc was trapped in a downward spiral. The couple got married, but couldn’t find harmony in their relationship.

“I was saved and in the church, but everything was pulling me backwards,” Marc says.

“I wasn’t on the other side of the cross; I was never victorious or free. I was forever saying, ‘forgive me Father’.”

Marc desperately prayed to be led to a place where he could connect with Jesus in a life-changing way. God answered that prayer through an unexpected and somewhat unwanted move.

Remy’s parents relocated to Seaspray and, now pregnant with their first child, the couple left their beloved Sydney to stay close to family. Through the pregnancy and birth of their first daughter Mila, Marc struggled with unemployment. The guilt weighed on him and the pressure on Remy. Depression returned and the pair’s relationship grew more dysfunctional. What didn’t change was the prayer inside Marc’s heart.

The young family walked into City Builders Church in February 2014 looking for a place to call their spiritual home. Marc stood at the back of the church holding his baby girl during worship, weeping without restraint as the love of God touched his heart.

“There was something so different about this church,” Marc says.

“I started crying instantly. I was trying to control it, but the atmosphere in this place was overwhelming.

“I had an impression on the inside of me that was so strong, saying ‘you’re home’.”

“There was something so different about this church. I had an impression on the inside of me that was so strong, saying ‘you’re home’.” – Marc McLeod

Marc and Remy had only been attending City Builders for a few short weeks when Senior Pastor Brian Heath was compelled to share a prophetic word over the couple. He publicly declared that God was going to bring a true intimacy in every area of their marriage. There was a heavy atmosphere in the church and a weight that hung on his every word. Marc and Remy, and every church member watching on, knew God had led them to this place and that He was about to move in their lives.

“I knew this was the truth,” Marc says.

“I felt the presence of God on it and I knew this was what I had been searching for and praying for – to connect with something like this.”

Days later, the opposite unfolded. Marc and Remy’s marriage fell apart. The dysfunctions, resentment and years of broken trust reached its climax and Remy and Mila left.

“By the point I had completely checked out of my life,” Remy says.

“Issues of my past had exploded in my marriage and I couldn’t pick up the pieces.

“I desperately wanted to end my life, but I remember crying out to God saying ‘God, if you are real put people in my life that will protect me and lead me’.”

At that moment somebody from City Builders texted Remy and it was enough to keep her going for another day. The next morning, she bumped into Pastors Brian and Lynne Heath.

“All Ps Brian said to me was, ‘I want to get to know you because I think you’re a good person’,” Remy recalls.

In that one act of reaching out, years of guilt and shame retreated and Remy knew God had answered her desperate prayer.

“From that day on I knew that these people were the people God had given me to help me rebuild my life.”

“I knew these were the people God had given me to help me rebuild my life.” – Remy McLeod

The path ahead was full of trials for Marc and Remy. At times, the idea that their marriage could be restored seemed impossible. The hurt they inflicted on each other was deep and the cycle of destruction had almost become nature. Yet their pain became their motivation to pursue God and change their future.

During their time apart, Marc and Remy began to discover God individually with the help of their leaders. His love and truth penetrated their lives and began to heal the deep hurt at the source of their dysfunctions. Through His grace, they began to face their demons, forgive each other and let God soften their hearts. The entire time the prophetic word Ps Brian spoke over them at the beginning remained in their hearts like a promise that couldn’t be forgotten.

During this season, Marc was compelled to pray. He visited the Longford pine forest every day to pray over his life, his estranged wife and child, his church and community. God answered with a series of prophetic visions and dreams that sustained him during that time.

Marc’s fervent prayer began shifting Remy’s heart. Soon, she began praying daily.

“I decided for the first time in my life to truly follow God and trust the people He had given me,” Remy says.

“For 12 months, that was my sole focus and I went through an intensive time of challenge and growth.

“During that time He revived me. I came alive again. Everything that had been taken from me began to be restored.

“I had never experienced anything like it.”

"I decided for the first time in my life to truly follow God and trust the people He had given me. During that time He revived me. I came alive again. Everything that had been taken from me began to be restored."

As Marc and Remy allowed God to rebuild their lives individually, the impossible happened. Their love for one another was renewed and their relationship restored. In October 2016 while visiting Papua New Guinea with a team from City Builders, Marc proposed to Remy again.

“During our two years of separation, I developed a strong relationship with Ps Brian. He showed me non-negotiables from the word of God that became the foundation that I build my life upon,” Marc explains.

“I realised that God brought us through all of the chaos in the early days because He wanted to give us the best of each other. We just needed people to show us how to do it right.

“All of a sudden I saw how we could have this intimacy in our marriage that was spoken over us at the very beginning of our journey.

“I fell in love with Remy all over again. Every day was amazing and everything God promised us became true.

“We are very humbled to be part of something so sacred.”

"I fell in love with Remy all over again. Every day was amazing and everything God promised us became true. We are very humbled to be part of something so sacred."

Remy is equally grateful for her second chance at love.

“The way I discovered God at City Builders saved my life, saved my marriage and saved Marc,” Remy says.

“To this day we are in awe of how much our church can unpack the word.

“It taught and trained us how to have our own relationship with God, discover our new identity in Christ and live the destiny He has for us.

“That is the only thing that will truly rebuild a life.”

"The way I discovered God at City Builders saved my life, saved my marriage and saved Marc. It taught and trained us how to have our own relationship with God, discover our new identity in Christ and live the destiny He has for us."

In December 2016 Marc and Remy were remarried in an intimate ceremony at the Longford pines – the place where Marc’s life was transformed in prayer. Twelve months later they welcomed a second daughter, Coco, to their family.

Marc now has a stable full time job, Remy is in her second year of university and together, the couple run their own business. The couple are passionate about rebuilding lives and marriages in our community as they serve God together.