Meet Tray and Melody Lovvorn, the couple who transformed brokenness into reconciliation—and a ministry.
Tray and Melody Lovvorn always tell people their “divorce didn’t work out.” That’s not exactly what you would expect to hear from a couple, but the Lovvorns have turned the story behind that phrase into a whole ministry.
The Lovvorns started a non-profit organization called Undone Redone in 2012 and have been telling their unconventional story ever since: married for 11 years, divorced for six years and remarried for 11 more years as of this past October. Tray and Melody are able to walk alongside couples and individuals in search of healing from sexual addictions or betrayal trauma because they have lived through it. While their story is a not a flawless one, it is a hopeful one. And that’s their main message.
“Life is messy,” Tray says. “Even in the pain and even in the mess, there is hope.”
“We’ve been through this. We can’t take people where we’ve not been,” Melody says. “When people call us or sit down with us, they’re almost like, ‘Brace yourselves. This is messy.’ And we’re like, ‘You can’t shock us or surprise us.’ It’s messy, but it’s beautiful because we get to see God resurrecting something that looks absolutely hopeless to the world around us.”
The couple first met in 1989 while attending college at Samford University. It was Tray’s freshman year and Melody’s junior year. They quickly learned that they grew up with very similar worldviews and began dating the following January. As two likeminded people who both wanted to go into Christian ministry, they seemed like a perfect match. Two years later, the pair was pastoring a church together and decided to get married.
However, 10 years into the Lovvorns’ marriage, years of hidden struggles began to appear. Tray’s struggle with pornography spiraled into sexual infidelity, eventually wrecking the marriage. “That was a secret struggle. I thought marriage was going to fix the problem, but it didn’t. It went further underground. (There was) more shame,” Tray explains. “Ultimately, everything kind of blew up. The way I like to describe that is like when kids try to see how long they can hold a beach ball underwater. Everybody knows it’s got to come shooting to the surface at some point.”
At 30 years old, Melody found herself trying to navigate the aftermath of divorce while simultaneously caring for four young children. It was the last thing she expected her life to look like. But the unexpected end of a marriage was just the beginning of healing for both Tray and Melody. They learned that oftentimes things have to get worse before they can get better, and one must first become undone to eventually become redone, later sparking the idea to help others in similar situations.
During their six years apart, Tray and Melody both grew to realize their lack of authenticity. In the past, they had worked to cover up life’s imperfections and portray a clean, neat image of a happy marriage and a happy family. It was a stretch from the reality. “A big part of our story is just the image that we were trying to give,” Tray says. “(We were) leading with strength and trying to cover up anything that was less than stellar.”
It was in those years apart that Tray and Melody realized they both needed to experience individual growth and healing. But eventually, the two slowly journeyed from co-parents back to potential partners—and they remarried in 2008.
As painful as it can be for the Lovvorns to relive their past through sharing their story, they know it’s worth it to help other couples in similar situations. “I feel like I’ve got the hardest, but the best job in the world. I’m walking people through the darkest hour of their lives…and we get to see God show up every single day,” Melody says.
And not only do they regularly walk alongside people as they recover from sexual brokenness and trauma, but they also help people foster and maintain healthy relationships in all areas of life. The Undone Redone ministry offers various coaching and workshop opportunities, along with conferences.
There are six different relationship and recovery coaching packages for individuals and couples, and workshops in the form of marriage retreats, digital safety and “grace-based” parenting. As parents of four, Tray and Melody know the importance of protecting young minds in the current digital age and partner with My Secure Family to help educate other parents on online safety.
Marriage coaching options include conflict resolution, surviving infidelity and pre-marital coaching. Tray and Melody are available together and separately to book conferences or speaking engagements and can speak on any of the following topics: grace, marriage, recovery, parenting, identity, community, women and men.
Now that their children are grown and either graduates of, or current students at, Samford University, the Lovvorns have been able to stay busy with their ministry, which they run out of Hoover, off U.S. 280. They have created more than 200 podcast episodes, more than 200 YouTube videos and have even been featured in a documentary movie called “The Heart of Man.” They have also recently submitted the manuscript for a book titled “Our Divorce Didn’t Work Out,” which is set to release in the fall of 2020.
To hear about the Lovvorn’s story in more detail, listen to episode 32 of the Undone Redone podcast. Follow Undone Redone on social media @undoneredone, and learn more about their ministry at undoneredone.com.