Rick and Heather Lawless are the founders of Reliance Ministries. They have been married for 11 years as a blended family they have four children – three from Rick’s previous marriage, and one from Heather’s previous marriage. They also have one grandson. Rick and Heather live in a tiny town in Idaho, and enjoy time in the outdoors in the beautiful mountains of Idaho.
As Heather served as the Director of Development for a local Pregnancy Resource center for five years, her passion for helping women and families facing an unplanned pregnancy grew. Her desire to promise to be there for them and then “prove it” became like a fire in her heart. Together, with love and support from friends and family, the vision for Reliance Ministries was born.
Heather has had a calling on her to be a voice for LIFE even when she was in the womb. Her mother, who was a kidney transplant patient, was told she should never have children. When she became pregnant with Heather, the doctors and her family told her to have an abortion. Her mother refused. The doctor told her that if she lived through the pregnancy she would not even live to see her child turn 18. With God’s grace, Heather’s mother lived and loved her until Heather was 28 and then went home to be with Jesus.
Heather accepted Christ at the age of 16, but like many young people, Heather made mistakes and found herself married, divorced, and facing an unplanned pregnancy by the time she was 23. Heather chose life for her child and is now blessed with a beautiful 13-year-old daughter.
After two marriages ending in divorce and then a single Mom of a 1-year-old , Heather made the choice to finally surrender all her Life to Jesus and from then on everything started to change. She was re-introduced to Rick (after five years) and they got married in 2006. (Ask them about how they met and their first date…it’s a whopper of a story!)
Rick was born and raised in the Seattle, Washington area and gave His life to Jesus at the age of 14. He too, made the decision to turn away from God, made mistakes, had some bad relationships and ended up leaving Seattle one day…deciding enough was enough. He packed up and moved to Idaho, living in his car on the banks of the Snake and Clearwater rivers for almost four months. He then was married, had three beautiful children, and then divorced. After running from God for so many years, he turned back to him during his divorce. He had given his heart to Jesus, but not his life. It wasn’t until Rick and Heather had been married for eight years that Rick finally surrendered ALL to Jesus.
Living as a blended family and struggling with baggage and consequences of their choices from before…marriage wasn’t like Rick and Heather imagined. The first eight years together were far from the white picket fence life that people dream about. Dealing with issues like pornography, disrespect, anger, plus the added stress of a blended family, the enemy tried to make it abundantly clear that the only choice was to give up. Because of God’s grace, mercy, and the promise to “be faithful to complete every good work that He has started”, Rick and Heather are still married and enjoying the married life that God intended them to have.
Rick and Heather have realized God’s purpose and calling for their lives, despite the mistakes they have made. Because of the choices in their past, they can relate to so many of the issues that people face. Rick and Heather can speak into lives with truth and love, together they have the desire to break destructive cycles, save lives, change hearts, unite families, save marriages, empower men to be strong leaders, and help women find their value, worth, and purpose.
Together, they hope the Reliance Center and Reliance House will be a beacon of light to the LC Valley. Places where women and men feel safe, loved, whole, and worthy.