I will lift my eyes to the mountains;
From where shall my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth. Psalm 121:1-2
Just over 18 months ago, Steve and Sue found themselves at rock bottom in their 10-year marriage. Steve had made some terrible choices and had left his wife and family. They were angry and bitter towards one another, living in separate homes, and discussing getting a divorce. Their situation without God in their lives was one of hopelessness and despair.
Sue began to turn to God in prayer, and assured Steve that they (and their three kids) would be together again. Steve remained stubborn and unwilling to ask God for help – and then an auto accident last October changed everything.
Steve badly injured his neck, and it was only by God’s mercy that he survived the crash that left him immobilized and unsure if he would ever walk again. At his lowest point, Steve realized that he had been running from God and God’s will for his life – trying to control and fix things in his own power. In Celebrate Recovery, we learn to ‘Give our problems to God’ and to live out the Serenity Prayer:
‘Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, and the courage to change the things that I can.’
It was while in the hospital and recovery that he realized that there were two persons who truly were always there for him – God and Sue.
“We started praying together and asking for God’s help and healing. God finally had me in a position of brokenness where I would listen to Him about how much He loved me and how important it was that my family be back together again. I decided to finally listen to God and ask for the courage to do whatever it took to rebuild my marriage.”
If we’re honest with ourselves, a lot of us have tried to do life our way and on our terms without ever asking Jesus to be our guide and help. It’s in tragedy or loss that we learn that God is our strength and constant companion.
They began to put God first in their life and marriage, but the journey back to wholeness was not easy. There was grueling physical therapy, lack of any work income, and the kids at that time were living with other family members, but Steve and Sue reunited at the Salvation Army in Fayetteville.
Sue had found a caring and safe haven in Genesis Church while waiting for Steve to get out of physical rehab. She says:
“God just keep telling me to pray, get plugged into the Genesis, work Celebrate Recovery, and to never give up or doubt that He could do miracles to change our lives.”
Homeless and without any family or outside help, they were determined to trust God’s promises and His ability to rebuild their lives. They both began to daily take steps of faith towards God and to Genesis. God and the church had become their refuge – a place where they were not judged, where the past was forgiven, and they were valued and loved.
They became constant fixtures at the church and on Wednesday nights at Celebrate Recovery. God began a powerful healing work in both Steve’s health, their finances, and in their marriage as they sought through prayer, recovery, and worship to make God’s will the center of their lives.
Within a few months of faithfulness to God they had their family all together in their own home. They had a peace and joy from knowing that God was at work in their lives, and they were determined to give back to our Genesis community. Every week they serve in the Actions and Truth ministry by loving and serving others. Their experiences of hardship and of turning to God for help have become an example and inspiration for many that come to Genesis for love and assistance.
“When we decided to put God first in our life, when we allowed Him to lead and guide us, we saw that He truly loved us and had a plan and a future for us and our family”
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” - Romans 15:13