Almost five years ago, I gathered with an army of women for an incredible time of worship and prayer unlike anything I had experienced before at the Mary & Martha conference. We sang boldly with conviction, “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.”
We had no idea what battle we were preparing for, but we were ready.
It was also almost five years ago that 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 prior.
Nine days after moving into our new home, Hurricane Harvey threatened to wreak havoc, not just on our new house, but on the entire city. We needed to evacuate, so after praying we took the first photo in our new home in front of our “It is well” tea towel that was already adorning the wall. Two days after evacuation, our mailbox was completely submerged, and the inside of our home was flooded as well. Our house was demolished. Our savings would be drained. Our walls were destroyed. I was devastated. It felt like a death. But then I looked up. Hanging all over our home were reminders of truth. Messages of hope that I had chosen to be foundational to our family. Purposeful pictures plastered everywhere.
The “It is well” tea towel hung stoically in the stark air. The reminder helped me breathe again.
The next three months were a blur of demolition, decisions, and dust. They were also days filled with creative provision in the form of gift cards, meals, bills paid off anonymously, and gatherings. Yes, I continued to work when it would have been easier to hide under the covers. I knew the Lord could abundantly provide for our needs through my persistent efforts, and it was a comfort to be around believers who spoke encouragement and truth over my girls and me. I enjoyed my time away from the sheet rock, grout, and saw noises.
And the fall proved to be even more abundant than I could have ever imagined. I broke my own Mary & Martha sales records two months in a row…the Lord was just showing off and abundantly provided.
But in the midst of it all, PTSD began to set in. My home was back in order and, from the outside, it looked like everything should be alright. However, I started having migraine headaches, my stomach hurt continuously, my face tingled and was constantly broken out, and I could not sleep with any regularity. I had CT scans and psychiatry appointments. The enemy even bombarded my mind with the most horrific of thoughts. I knew I was not doing well. I shared with friends how indifferent I felt about life. Nighttime was the worst because that was when I was attacked most rigorously. Just as I would lie my head on my pillow to go to sleep, destructive thoughts would bombard my mind. But I did not hide them. I did not try to fight alone.
Two days after an incredibly intense battle, I was to lead the worship and devotion for the Mary & Martha spring conference. I had been transparent that I was in a tough spot, but I had not revealed the extent of what I was battling. I was told I didn’t have to lead that portion of the weekend, but I knew this was a declarative statement to the enemy. You might have won a few battles, but through Christ, I would win the war. You might have tried to take me out, but I would be victorious! God’s purposes for me are good. He would never want to harm me! He has plans for a hope-filled future. I am His voice of truth to the world, and you will NOT silence me!
After I shared a short devotion, I shared my struggle and sweet friends embraced me in an imaginary hug. Moments later, I stood arm in arm with this precious army of women and declared with loud 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.”
We love this story of faithfulness from Erica Stidham, an Executive Director with Mary & Martha. Mary & Martha is a DaySpring company where you can create your own schedule, share your faith through inspirational products, earn unlimited income, and belong to a sisterhood of women. Mary & Martha allows you to combine your faith with your work through the products you sell and the women you gather with.
If you’d like more information, discover the Mary & Martha difference today!
I think you may have lived my story. Mine wasn’t a house, but just as devastating, occurring over the course of literally a decade. And, yes, transparency, especially with fellow believers, and worship in defiance of the enemy are weapons that are so very powerful. Add in the recitation, out loud, usually in a very high volume, and the enemy MUST flee in the name of Jesus. Thank you for sharing your story of the greatness of God.
Ruth Mills says
So encouraging! Truth well spoken. Thank you & blessings upon blessings in your endeavors!
Karen West says
What a wonderful story of faith.
Today is my birthday and your story was perfect. I have been waging my own battle with the enemy and could relate to everything you said. Thanks so much for sharing!
Ruth Mills says
Happy birthday, Marilyn! May you know each day you are not waging war on your own but HE is fighting for & with you…spoiler alert: He wins! May you feel especially loved today! (((0)))
Dawn Ferguson-Little says
Marlin Happy Birthday all the way from Northern Ireland. My God bless you with many more Birthdays. May you know you are loved by the king of kings that is Jesus. You are a Daughter of the king as well I say Amen to that Xx
Beth Williams says
Happy belated birthday! I pray you had a good day. Asking God to bless you with His wisdom & unfailing love.
This was much needed today. There is a lot of uncertainty in my life right now and my dad told me I’m letting the enemy win in my thought life. Thank you so much!!!
Ariel Krienke says
Thank you for this message. I really needed this the other day. I have no one who is willing to strengthen me in the faith and my husband has an emotional disorder which causes him to push away those he loves the most. I feel so alone at times and I forget the wonderful things God has done and can do. You’ve rejuvenated me in the Lord. Thank you greatly
Karen Purkey says
Thank you for your powerful story of faith.
Within the body of Christ all things are possible.
I am continually battling chronically pain, yet Jesus
is so present in my devotional life. I do need to reach out
more to my sisters in Christ.
May the Lord continue to bless your family and your ministry.
Dawn Ferguson-Little says
How true it is that Jesus will never fail us. We see in Psalm 34 verse 8 it says “Oh taste and see the Lord is good Blessed is the man who trust him!” How true those words are. As we all can see God Goodness no matter were we look it all around us. We are a blessed people who trust him. As he does not fail us. We might think when something bad happens in our lives where was God. Why did you let it happen. It was not God doing. We should never blame God. We have to trust God that he will help us get through it what ever it was that happened in our life. Know he still loves us. We are to keep on trusting him no matter what. Look at the birds they neither sow nor reep. Yet our Heavenly Father feed them. So we are to trust God and know he with us not matter what we are going through. Also as Isaiah 61 verse 10 says “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord My soul shall be joyful in my God For He has clothed me with the garments of Salvation. He has covered me with the robe of righteousness.” How good that is to know. But in times of when thing happened do we believe theses to verse I said here. Are do we go into panic. Then blame God. I done that in the past. So it is about trusting God no matter what we go through in life that he will take us through it and help us through it. So we can look back say God was there all the time. I say Amen to that. Thank you for this reading today. In my prayers all incourage. Love Dawn Ferguson-Little xx
Janet Williams says
Thank you \0/
Nancy Ruegg says
Thank you for telling your story. Praise God for his faithfulness during that dark valley time! And thank you for your example of how to fight back when the enemy tries to keep us down!
Beth Williams says
You only need look at the story of Joseph to see that God won’t fail you. He endured so much from brothers selling him to imprisonment in Egypt to being second in charge of all Egypt. Joseph said at the end “you meant it for harm. But God meant it for good.” There is nothing that happens to or around you that God won’t be there to see you through. Great post. Thanks for sharing your story.