strengtheningourfaith

When we accept Christ, we die to our old selves. We become a new creation. There will be many challenges to overcome; many temptations. Just as Jesus was tempted, just as Satan sifted Peter and Job, Christians all over the country are suffering and being sifted for Christ. Because as Christians, we are called to suffer; to walk through trials; to withstand the enemy for Jesus. It is what strengthens our faith.

I didn’t fully come to realize a personal relationship with Christ until my thirties. This is where my faith walk began. Little did I know God had just called me to some of the most incredible, scary, and difficult times of my life.

Learning Obedience and Humility

Our marriage went through times of intense happiness, intense sorrow and loneliness. Both Type-A personalities, neither one of us wanted to yield to the Holy Spirit. Though I read the bible, I didn’t understand what a godly wife was. Humbling myself before God was one thing. Humbling myself before my husband, was something I could not grasp, no matter how hard I tried. I was 38 and a totally independent business owner when I married.

My daily prayer was, “Lord, please just keep my mouth shut. Please let me do no harm.”

Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers. Luke 22:31-32

Four years into our marriage, I became very ill. Something I consider a blessing to this day. God found a way to humble me and draw me closer to Him at the same time.

I prayed for any change that would transform our situation. I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that this was His Divine Answer. I did not question it. I have felt God’s presence since. I have not been scared.

Giving the Devil a Foothold

With change comes more chaos. Our marriage went from bad to worse. We were talking separation because we just couldn’t communicate anymore, yet we loved each other deeply. We wanted to spend every minute with one another when we weren’t fighting. We couldn’t imagine life without each other. Our hearts and lives were crumbling before us. This opened the door to the enemy.

Suffering and Sifting for Christ

Our saving grace was that we both loved Christ and each other. We agreed when we got married it was forever. We worked hard at finding a solution.

I’d found several books and a class at our church that would be great for us. I talked them over with my husband. He agreed they were exactly what we needed. I was to order the books and sign us up for the class the next day.

As I sat at my computer, I had a feeling of hope. There was something within me that said this is the path we needed to take. But the closer I got to finishing the sign-up for class, the stronger I felt the presence of evil. It was overwhelming.

It felt as if something had slithered up my neck and was laying across my shoulder and neck area. I could literally feel a presence behind me, daring me to hit the enroll button.

It scared the daylights out of me. I didn’t turn around. I didn’t move for what felt like eternity. I just said a silent prayer. Then I hit ENTER. Because losing my husband and my marriage scared me more than facing the enemy. I always had faith. Now was the time to put it into action.

In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. Ephesians 4:26-27

This presence showed up again as I crawled into bed. It felt as if it was a few inches away from my face. It remained there as I fell asleep. I just kept praying with my eyes shut tight until I drifted off.

The next morning as I showered and dressed for the day I felt a burning sensation on my neck. I looked in the mirror I couldn’t believe what I found. I called for my husband and told him what I’d been experiencing. As he started to doubt, I showed him the physical marks – red raised bumps, exactly where the slithering feelings had been.

It spread for a few days and then slowly disappeared. I went to my doctor, but she could not explain what the rash was.

A New Calling & Passion

That marriage class and the books we read together not only healed our marriage, it became our platform to help other couples going through marriage crisis. God-centered marriages became our ministry.

It doesn’t matter who you are or what you’ve been through, God can restore your marriage. You just need to work together and believe that He has the power to do ALL things.

There is an enemy out there. We need to be on our guard. When marriages are vulnerable, they are easy targets. My husband and I have been able to handle many storms that have come our way and help other couples thanks to the tools we learned early on.

Remember – What the enemy intends for evil, God uses for good. If you are suffering and being sifted for Christ, trust in Jesus. Hold on to one another. He will bring you safely to the other side.

Kim MorganKim with Roses small writes at Learn. Grow. Love. Thrive with the desire to provide tools to have a God-centered life; to be a resource to enhance family and relationships; and to show you how to live with joy and to coach you as you boldly move forward to reach goals in your life.

Why? She was blessed to work successfully in the corporate world for 20+ years, but God redirected her life in 2009 when she became ill with Sjogren’s syndrome and Connective Tissue disease. Isn’t that just like Him? To use her brokenness to turn her toward blogging and Life Coaching? Connect with Kim on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

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This is the 38th post in Testimony Tuesday: Women who inspire. Click HERE to read all of the other posts in this series. Now it’s your turn to link up your story of how God is working in your life. ________________________________________________________________________________________

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Holly Barrett
 


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