Our Rooted Experience
Nic and Sandy Chumney’s Story
by Dale Reeves
Sandy Bane Corrado was raised in a Catholic home. Nic Chumney grew up in the Lutheran church. But through a series of events they both found themselves attending Christ’s Church in Mason. Sandy and Nic first met each other three years ago at a small group that gathered in the home of Danie and Cathy Jacobs. This is their story.
Through the death of a spouse, a divorce, and a son with a history of drug addiction, Sandy and Nic have both been through their share of life’s difficulties. But, as was recently shared in our “You Ask, We Answer” sermon series, the pain they have experienced has brought about spiritual growth in their lives. Sandy recalls, “I grew up in a home where my mom was abusive and God was depicted as a bad guy who would get you when you least expected it. I always thought, That can’t be the God I think he is!Something was missing. I eventually left the Catholic church in search of relevance, longing to know how to practically live out my faith. I knew that God had to be a loving God, and I wanted to know more about the Bible. I discovered that I could have a real relationship with God, not one just based on ritual. After my husband died a number of years ago, I was looking for a church that was based on strong, scriptural teaching, and I found it at Christ’s Church.”
Nic grew up in a church where several of his uncles were pastors, and he had some great mentors pour into his life. He started attending Christ’s Church because his son was in the Mason school system. He says that the divorce he went through five years ago had the effect of leading him closer to God. He had been challenged to be the spiritual leader in his home and he knew that he needed to step up his game.
About a year and a half ago, Nic went through the 10-week Rooted discipleship experience at Christ’s Church and he loved the strong biblical teaching that he received through that journey. Then, a year ago, Nic was invited to be a facilitator for a Rooted group, and Sandy was providentially in that group. This community of God followers continues to meet together for fellowship and encouragement. Nic had gone on several dates and he actually verbalized to himself, “I really wish I could find somebody like Sandy.” Nic had been praying that God would have someone for him and that it would be clear as day.
For Sandy, it took about five years for her to work through the grief process after the death of her husband. They had been married for 34 years when he died. While Sandy wanted to date, she was very comfortable with her life and where she was in her relationship with God. Then, she got the courage to sign up for the Rooted experience, and she says, “I was not prepared for what was going to happen in Rooted.”
Sandy shares, “As an adult I was diagnosed with PTSD based on the abuse I endured as a child from my mother. PTSD is a horrible thing—you can hardly function. I was beginning to get better when my husband suddenly died of a heart attack. I felt like I had killed him and I carried around that heavy weight for nine years. It was a heavy, heavy burden. Then, when I went through the Rooted experience, these issues started surfacing again. During the ‘stronghold’ night, the men and women split up and I was able to share intimate details about my struggles with the women in my group. I needed to tell these women that I felt like ‘I had killed Joe and I need to forgive myself.’”
Sandy continues, “One of the women in our group, Rachel Healy, looked at me and said, ‘You don’t have that much power.’ And, that truth was a game changer for me. That was the transformation moment I desperately needed. For nine long years I had held onto this and I couldn’t let it go. After that night I felt free, and Satan’s hands were chopped off. I can’t put into words how that transformed me in an instant!”
Throughout their Rooted experience, Nic’s attraction for Sandy grew stronger. He says, “I was attracted to Sandy’s obvious heart after God. She had been very open with her story and I can tell you she lights up a room when she enters it. I gathered up the courage to say to Sandy, ‘I’d like to see more of you.’”
Sandy wasn’t sure if she wanted to date Nic or not. Then she recalls, “I woke up one morning and asked God, ‘What are you doing, God? Yes, I really want to date Nic.’”
Nic and Sandy were united in marriage May 3. They say their marriage is built on three things: 1) A foundation based on their relationship with God 2) Some great chemistry between them 3) Believing that God has a divine purpose for them being yoked together. They view their home as a place of ministry where God’s presence is clearly felt. Nic summarizes, “We don’t know what God’s plan is, but every day we are gonna throw the ball down the field and see what happens. Love God, love people, and you will fulfill all the other commands.” Sandy has a heart for people struggling with drug addictions, so she hosts a support group for parents and loved ones of addicts in their home.
When thinking about her Rooted experience, Sandy affirms, “My life has been transformed. I haven’t been the same since.” And she adds, “If you haven’t gone through Rooted yet, give it a chance. Go into it with an open mind. Don’t have a preconceived idea of what it is going to be like. Just trust, give it a chance, and see what God wants to do.” Nic adds, “You can grow closer to God and get connected with other people in a way that you can’t really imagine until you do it. In just ten weeks, you can go from not feeling connected to feeling connected, from feeling rejected to being accepted. I never experienced that in the ten years I had been attending Christ’s Church before the Rooted journey. You really just need to go for it.”