Wife of missing Jacksonville firefighter leans on her faith to stay strong

'That is a big space but it is a bigger God,' Stephanie McCluney says

By Ashley Spicer - Reporter, anchor

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The wives of both firefighters lost at sea remain hopeful their husbands will be found.

Stephanie McCluney and Nastsha Walker both praise their families, friends and volunteers for their support. And since day one, Stephanie McCluney has been leaning on her faith. 

Being day five, many would have broken down as the search continues for Brian McCluney, who works for the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department, and Justin Walker, a firefighter from Fairfax, Virginia.

But not Stephanie McCluney.

Her faith in God is keeping her strong and getting her through this.

"That is a big space but it is a bigger God and he's going to bring them home. Praise be to God for the things he is doing right now amongst all of these people," Stephanie McCluney said.

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Stephanie McCluney married her high school sweetheart. In fact, in July, they celebrated 15 years of marriage and have two children together, ages 8 and 6.

During this unimaginably hard time, she's leaning on her faith.

"She has a strong, strong relationship with her Heavenly Father and it’s getting her through these tough days and I can’t imagine," said Jason Cullum, the lead pastor at Christ's Church in Mandarin.

His church has been praying for the men nonstop since the weekend. 

Cullum explains how faith is helping.

"Well, how in the world can you put faith in a God who allows these things to happen? When the bottom falls out and the legs are out from under you, you sometimes you feel like you’re just spiraling and you’re falling through air, nothing to hold onto. Faith acts as handlebars," Cullum said. "That is the faith we are seeing right now in a wife whose husband is missing at sea right now. Her faith is rock solid and people look at her, and I don’t know about you, but she gives me chills."

Cullum said the community will continue to pray and wrap themselves around these families. 

Cullum also said if you need someone to talk to or lean on in this time, his church is open. He said Christ's Church has a service at 6:30 p.m. Thursday and would love to pray with you and talk to you.

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