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February 14, 2021 1:07 am
This was a powerful testimony of forgiveness in a marriage. Anthony and Elizabeth shared how God restored a marriage they thought was over. Especially if you are in full time ministry, they share powerful lessons we can all learn from apply to our own marriages.
Series: The Highlight Reel
Hi this is breathing welcome to the Salvation Army's words of life. Words of life. I'm Cheryl Gilman I'm here with Michael Bernie Dake happy happy Valentine's Day Bernie Valentine.
I have a Valentine of 29 years.
Her name is Laura Dick and is yours mine is Timothy Gayla were nearing the end of our highlight reel series and throughout the series we been revisiting some of our favorite and most memorable interviews from the past three years. In this episode were sharing another interview from our marriage series in March 2019. We were joined by Salvation Army officers Anthony and Elizabeth Giuliana.
This is a powerful testimony about forgiveness. If you been struggling in your own marriage.
We pray here something today that gives you home were majors Anthony and Elizabeth.
Giuliana currently stationed at the Texas divisional headquarters in Dallas Texas. There is no better opportunity to serve the Lord. Then we believe that our is our calling news in the Salvation Army, married for 20 years actually remit in Charlottesville, Virginia, where we were both working for our Christian organization. We met that we became best friends. We were in a missions ministry at the time and I didn't want to ruin a really good friendship with romance because I didn't want there to to to be this breakup in this friendship for for the first time I had a sister kind of figure in my life a best friend that I could share little girlfriend news with and struggles, and those kinds of things and she would give me counsel and advice on how to handle that relationship and I would help her with her English and with her US history homework and in those kinds of things and so we didn't want romance to to ruin that great friendship. I took a trip to to west Africa was about a six or eight week trip in and out while we were away you know we said to each other. But before I left. Let's pray about what the next step in our relationship should be, and will just listen to the Lord during this time of apart and when we came back together after those eight weeks or so we were kind of surprised as we sat down and and just prayed together and said, you know, maybe the Lord maybe the Lord has designed this relationship for a purpose for reason. And so we week, let the we let the love begin to grow when between us and probably about a year or so after that we were married and have been together like she said for 28 years. We both wanted to be active in ministry. We just didn't want to church and sit in the pew seen up to you or come twice a week and just not get involved so they said meeting the Army was provided with the perfect at what you need to ease the pain.
We can elicit like coming home. As you get active as a couple you get active in the ministry right and as happens so often the work of the ministry. After several years really got to be heavy for us what weight we started engaging very heavily in the work of the ministry and to the point where that was really the catalyst to what eventually started breaking down the relationship because what's what started to take place was that the work became so involved and so critical important that some of the other things that we were doing in ministry and relationship became wrote. It just became going to the motions, and before long.
That really started to burn how burn us both out spiritually, emotionally, physically, to the point that honestly one day we just, I'm I looked at at her and said I'm not happy not happy doing what I'm doing anymore. Not happy with the relationship and in the relationship had become so part of the ministry together that it became part of the habit you get up to say good morning. You know, kind of a thing in it and it became the motions and the relationship just became part of that will that I started to see everything through those glasses right to those lenses. It didn't take too long for everything to start deteriorating, where even the good things that were taking place in in my life.
I didn't notice in our relationship had gotten so intertwined with our ministry in our work there when I started to push that away. It pushed the relationship with it and so we we ended up separated for about a year. We each have our own perspective fun it out for Anthony less.
I'm done. You know I cannot do this anymore for me is I just couldn't believe that this was happening to us, like I had been blind for so long and all of a sudden this happened and I couldn't figure it out where he was coming from for me was devastating.
It took every bit of that year took to really work through tote to work through that her what what was a catalyst for bringing us back together was the fact that we had people in our lives that wouldn't let this destroy us.
I was can I say that we were very blessed that we have some dear friends that believe denies even when we were done with each other and they reminded us that we cannot just keep on cannot see how we found them when I think about it. We have, we had to be reminded and re-embrace our Christian belief and that had to come first because when you had no hope when you don't even want to talk to the other person that specs us to forget and that doesn't mean that everything is okay everything is brushed under the rug. It just means that is is a step, so he began with the acceptance of cake cries asked me to forgive and forget us even realizing that we still had a lot of hurt and a lot of healing to work through the roof.
You things that needed to happen for us and and one in particular was this realization of where my with my personal relationship with the Lord. Let me start let me start there again right because it was in that relationship that he brought our relationship together. Then I began to to realize the gift that he had given me in and Elizabeth and that desire to reengage with the Lord and the gifts that he'd given me and and my wife and my children was really the. The starting point back. A lot of times people look at forgiveness like they try to look at love, you know love is you know about the feeling of the butterflies fluttering in your stomach can and that sort of thing. But after 10 years of marriage. The butterflies don't flutter so much, you know, and so how, where does where does that love come from. When you start coming up on 1012 no. 14. 28 years of marriage. Where does that love originate words that come from and and it it really then becomes a decision that we make to to care for each other the way God cares for us because he brought us together in this way forgiveness in the same way, is a choice that we make to not allow the words and actions of another person to dictate my words and actions towards them weed. We started out doing some Christian counseling apart separately and then ultimately had an opportunity to actually do in intensive monthly was like four days of intensive group marriage therapy that was was really kind of the major push back for us know people are sometimes afraid to kind of air their dirty laundry out and you know for me.
You know I'd be sitting down talking to a counselor in an old car course this was all my mother's fault thing, but I learned that know and I and I need to take responsibility for this, but part of part of that couples counseling really was designed. One of the sessions that we that we sat through together was was all about kind of cultivating our own garden and that was that was freeing for us because what it what it gave us permission to do was work on Mars work on ourselves before trying to fix what we thought was totally destroyed and broken and had no hope of of ever being restored and once we start to see that God would restore us individually. It took some time to get all can I see what's growing in your garden.
Can I know that's that's pretty you know I like that in all can can we just kind of sit under the shade tree for a minute. They were also reminded of the covenant that we make to each other and the violence that we took and that Alice for a while.
That was a real struggle because so that we could think of less about the hurt led Nellis to fight of the heating process back at me a commitment so beyond what I feel right now would have to trust God to reignite the love.
Over time he did this, I think you know if I can fix you know these hope for other people, the Salvation Army's mission doing the most good means helping people with material and spiritual needs become a part of this mission every time you give to the Salvation Army visit Salvation Army USA.org to offer your support and love to hear from you.
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