My husband, Brian, and I finally made the decision to move our family into a new home — a new home we had prayed about, saved for, and contemplated for years. It was a beautiful, freshly remodeled home with everything brand new throughout the house. God’s confirmation in opening doors seemed to be clear and evident with everything falling into place as it should. Inspections, renters for our current home, and closing dates all went smoothly. We were thrilled, entirely in agreement, and totally at peace.
One week after moving into our new home, Hurricane Harvey began wreaking havoc on our city. We knew we would be safe though because my husband, a land development manager, had studied the flood plain maps and our house was supposed to be well out of the danger zone.
However, two days later, we moved our belongings upstairs as water threatened to invade the first floor. It was surreal. We had already unpacked entirely and put everything in its place. The pictures were all hung, and the décor had already found perfect spots. I was so pleased with myself having stayed up late every night to get it all done before the girls started school.
What should have been a joyous first day of school for the girls was terrifying and sad as we had to evacuate. Just before leaving, we took our first photo in our new home in front of a wall hanging that featured the lyrics, It is well. I truly believed the Lord would stop the water. I knew He was able, and I had peace that all would end well.
But soon after we left, I received a message and photos of our home with a couple of inches of water throughout. When Brian and I finally made it back to our neighborhood, we ended up having to ride in an Army truck to the entrance of our neighborhood and kayak the rest of the way to our home.
We came home to our mailbox completely submerged, and as we waded into the house, I was immediately overcome with emotion. Walls were destroyed, along with everything in the path of the floodwaters. The feeling of tremendous loss, like a death, swept over me. That’s when I saw it — the last message that resonated with my spirit before we had left, a message from the One who sees me, knows me, loves, and has the perfect plan for me:
It is well.
As I went from room to room, there were foundational truths and messages of hope hanging all over our home — all pieces I had acquired from Mary & Martha, the DaySpring company, where I am an Executive Director.
The next three months were a blur of demolition, decisions, and dust. Dedicated family and friends helped bear our burden, and we were blessed day after day with loving provisions — gift cards, meals, and even bills paid off anonymously.
Despite the chaos of those days, I continued to work my Mary & Martha business. I still wanted to do my part diligently, and it was such a comfort to be around other believers who spoke encouragement and truth over our family. God provided abundantly through it — more than I could have ever imagined!
So it took me by surprise when in the midst of all the love, support, and blessings, the anxiety of PTSD began to take hold.
As our home remodel came together, everything seemed to go back in order. People stopped asking us how we were doing, and from the outside, it was as if all was well. But it wasn’t. I started getting migraine headaches, my stomach hurt continuously, my face tingled and kept breaking out, and I couldn’t sleep with any regularity. All was not well.
At times, I would hear the voice of the enemy telling me this was all too much and that I needed to give up. I shared with friends how indifferent I felt about life, and one morning, I lay prostrate on the floor of my closet, crying out to the Lord for relief from the anxiety and despair.
“Lord, stop these thoughts!” I cried. As I was again barraged with thoughts of giving up, of ending all the pain and suffering, I prayed for God to provide a way out, and just then, my sweet daughter called out to me, “Mom, where are you?” Her voice immediately brought me back to reality.
I thanked the Lord that His thoughts are never for defeat. Only a vicious enemy would attempt to fill my mind with ideas that would steal, kill, and destroy.
Just two days later, I was asked to share a devotion at a Mary & Martha meeting in Dallas. I knew it would be my victory statement to the enemy: You might have won a few battles, but through Christ, I will win the war. You might have tried to take me out, but I am victorious! God’s purposes for me are good, and He would never want to harm me. He has plans for my hope-filled future!
I shared with the women at the meeting that I was a wounded warrior. I brokenly admitted that I needed the support of my fellow fighters as I took time to heal. They all embraced me, and as I stood arm in arm with this precious army of women, we declared with complete certainty, “This we know: we will see the enemy run. This we know: we will see the victory come. We hold on to every promise You ever made. Jesus, You are unfailing.”
And at that moment, the confidence returned that it truly is well with my soul.
– By Erica Stidham, Executive Director with Mary & Martha
We love this story of faithfulness from Erica Stidham, an Executive Director with Mary & Martha, DaySpring’s home party business. Mary & Martha allows you to combine your faith with your work through the products you sell. Click here for information about starting your own Mary & Martha business! If you have any questions about shopping or joining, just leave them in the comments and we will be in touch with the answer.
Mary & Martha has the most beautiful items that help you welcome, connect, and serve others — like the “It Is Well” tea towel Erica displayed in her home. What a beautiful reminder to trust God’s goodness! And to help remind you of the peace that comes with such trust . . .
We’d like to give away a Mary & Martha “It Is Well” Tea Towel to FIVE different winners!
Leave a comment telling us about a time you trusted God to make things well with your soul. Giveaway is open to all and will close on 8/30. Winners will be contacted via email.