Country singer Sara Evans has crafted a successful career singing about love, faith, longing and heartache -- and her life, at times, seemed to mirror her lyrics.
In 2006, her 13-year marriage fell apart in the most public way -- while she competed on "Dancing With the Stars." Evans decided to depart the show early to deal with the breakup and her family in hopes of shielding her three young children.
She kept the television off and didn't look at the splashy magazines documenting her painful divorce, and today she still doesn't discuss it publicly.
"I won't talk about the divorce now because, you know, your children are gonna watch TV. They're gonna read magazines," she said. "The whole effort is to protect them because they're already going through enough without the whole world [knowing]."
But now, Evans said her previous troubles seem "like another life" because she has been able to find love again and marry former college football star and radio host Jay Barker. Their relationship probably is worthy of its own country song, though Evans admits she hasn't written one for him just yet.
"I haven't written any songs since we've met 'cause I've been on the road so much. And -- but, I'm getting ready to start writing for the new album. And I have a couple of ideas," Evans said.
"I'm obsessed with Jay Barker. Like, I adore him," Evans added. "I just stare at him all the time. I think he's so gorgeous. But, not only that. But, he's so smart. And he has the best ideas. He's such a great father."
The pair, who were married last June, was introduced by a marriage counselor that helped each of them as their marriages crumbled.
"After both of our divorces were final, I got an e-mail from him saying, you know, 'There is a guy I want you to pray for and he is going through a rough time, and you all are very similar and I think that you could be great friends,'" Evans said.
And so, Barker's and Evans' courtship began slowly. It was just e-mail and phone calls in the beginning. The two had their first date last October when they played softball.
Each noticed their immediate connection.
"That was it. I fell in love with him that night," Evans said.
"I tell her all the time, she's the greatest person I've ever met," Barker added. "All of the sudden we meet, and we fall instantly in love. And not only is she absolutely gorgeous, but her heart is better than any heart I've ever been around. She's an amazing mom. She's an amazing wife."
A mere eight months after their first date Evans and Barker got married with each of their children serving as attendants.
"I cannot believe that I get to share this with him, spend the rest of my life with him, be a stepmother to those amazing children. I mean, just all of it overwhelmed me," Evans said. "I cannot believe I found this man who loves me better than I've ever been loved before in my whole life."
Barker was enamored with his bride.
"She looked gorgeous and I just couldn't wait to say 'I do' and just walk through life with her," he said.
The couple's new life now includes a total of seven children between them. Evans has three from her previous marriage and Barker has four from his.