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August 23, 2020 2:00 am
God doesn’t bring the storm. But, He can transform a crisis into purpose. In this episode, Susie is joined by Major Vicki Perez. She has certainly been through her own stroke of midnight and she shares how God has continued to use these trials to shape her and mold her into the powerful woman of God she is today.
Series: Barefoot Cinderellas
Hi this is breathing welcome to the Salvation Army's words of life on the new day is on a welcome to the Salvation Army's words of life.
I'm here with cohost Bernie date welcome Bernie and I'm here with cohost Cheryl Gillam.
We are now on the eighth episode of the series barefoot Cinderella's.
It's a series that is following along with Maj. Susie Erickson's new book of the same name as a reminder, you can find links to purchase this book. Read the companion blog and subscribe to the show to hear the rest of the series at Salvation Army's outcast.org/words of life today is certainly a heavy episode.
As soon as he is joined by Vicki Perez.
They discuss how God can use the greatest tragedies in our life to shape us and turn a crisis into purpose know you're going to learn during the episode that Vicki is a cancer survivor is certainly part of her journey to that during the cancer process. Her husband decides that he doesn't want to be married anymore or in the ministry that they were in together so they go through divorce. In the midst of all that and then they have three children that needed to have to learn about that as well cost quite a bit of turmoil but I can say to you that Vicki is an incredible woman of God. The only thing I can't understand is her love for the Alabama Crimson Tide, you know, that's certainly an American joke in a sense there's a school here in Alabama because Alabama home and every time you talk about that school you have to say roll tide, but you don't want to promote any kind of that stuff on this program now what I what I think he sees not only passion about, you know her sports and her team, but that she's also passionate about the Lord and that she such a strong woman of faith and that she has certainly overcome a lot of tragedy in her life and a lot of crisis in her life through the Lord's help and so I'm excited for us to share this particular episode one other little thing that we just have to kind of share with our listeners is my favorite part of moving to the southern part of the United States has been just hearing different accents.
I don't think of myself as having an accent. Being from upstate New York. Originally but now when I moved to Atlanta. My wife and I have met so many people from other states south of here and west of here that have these great accent so you will enjoy listening to Vicki as she little chew into this mesmerizing center yeah is beautiful if you recently experienced a crisis.
I pray that you find something really helpful in Susie and Vicki's conversation. Remember that God is right there with you in the midst of the storm. Hello Maj. Susie Erickson with the Salvation Army.
I'm in the studio today with major Vicki Perez, a pretty normal childhood right right yes you had one of those at childhoods that some of us dream about what the mom and dad in the home right.
I was born into a family where I never knew fear. All the rest of the typical childhood ones were present, but fear never darkened my mind ever. I was fortunate to be the youngest of six children. As I aged, I knew that I was there last.
Actually one child. So I became and have remained there little one.
You kinda probably felt like a princess right yes exactly always you know growing up as the baby born into the family with four older brothers and a sister, and because my parents were ministers for the Salvation Army. I can't remember a time when other people were present in our family and so I have lots of older siblings that I consider family because they lived in our home when I was growing up in so family for us was anybody who got a place not just blood but for in our hearts is whale. The story of Cinderella reminds us that the fairytale doesn't always last. Does it right and on the stroke of midnight really happens to all of us.
And it happened you as well. As a young adult I married and we attended the Salvation Army seminary College for Ofc. training and we were blessed with two sons, Zachary and Caleb and he were still a blessing nail and then we lost a child in utero.
Kaylee and that is when I first understood heartache and pain like I never thought I could and so I can't put on a happy face about that because that pain is still present right but I have to emphasize there was still no fear and by this time my dad's health was failing and he looked at me with tears streaming down his cheeks and he kissed my forehead his little ones for head and he said Kaylee is in the hands of the only one who loves her more than you do and and you know my good and gracious dad was right in the end, just a few months after experiencing that that stillbirth we found out we were expecting another child and we named her Grace.
For we had found favor in the eyes of her maker and she's now my little one and so you know we week my husband and I continued our ministry roles. I felt like everything I had ever dream we Grace.
His birth had come true. My you know my dream my fairytale because I had just wanted a little girl in with her and in all that her birth brought in to help me in the healing that took place because she was born one year to the day that we buried Kaylee while in so it's it's a remarkable sense of the love and mercy that God shows us in so we continued in our ministry God blessed us by opening doors. We never expected laughing at home ministering to others and then they ministering to us.
It was it was joyful and full and then, until it wasn't anymore and the death of my father seven years ago and then my brother two years later was very difficult for me.
I lost two of my protectors and I was heartbroken but when I doubted God held me closer to himself and then five years ago, just six weeks after my brother was provided to glory. I was diagnosed with stage IV metastatic breast cancer.
My life became a series of scans and test and surgeries, radiation, and treatments that the treatments continue to this day a guy was faithful and there still was no figure. I was still surrounded by my band of protectors in the God of miracles was present.
Sweet mama cared for me, my family and friends prayed me through those difficult days.
In the end are reasons not related to my cancer diagnosis. My husband and I separated and then divorced and life became very complicated. I found my version of Cinderella's glass slipper was not just broken. It was shattered my life first found in Jeremiah 2911 took on a whole new meaning for me, for I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. There were days that that first purpose propelled me to get out of bed and seek his face because I was so unsure of what the future held for me and I came to understand and believe that whatever goes bad, God will work it for good SQL. It's what he does he will turn the broken into beautiful. There's many details that I have not shared for God has refashioned all the broken pieces and that shattered slipper of my life and formed it into a vessel useful for the ministry in which he spliced me. What did you learn about yourself and that if someone told me that I would be where I am today. Five years ago that I would've live through whatever live through and be strong. I would've said there's no way I would make it through that, but today the strength that comes from the Lord without even having to think about it I just I just do every day because having face my own mortality. It changed my view on life. It changed my priorities, it changed things that would normally upset me or would concern me. Not anymore. The little things they don't concern me anymore because I know God is proven through the miracle that is my life that I'm able to to sit here today and share my story. He has proven to me that he's faithful that even on those dark days when we don't know how we will get up and make it through that darkness that he has. They are with us and he is guiding us what would you say to a woman today who is face the diagnosis that you faced has maybe even had a spouse that's left in the middle of a crisis of her health. What would you say to her today when don't take anything for granted. He knew you can live through those experiences.
God is greater than the fear or situation or circumstances. He will keep holding you up and carrying you through and making a way out of the fears and difficult situations and circumstances.
And the thing that cost you the most pain in life might just be the thing that produces the greatest power. Second Timothy 17 says for God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline. We have to grasp hold of God's promises and choose a life with him. I think about it this way when I was young, late at night I would walk to the kitchen and get some cold water and in that darkness. I knew exactly where everything was, including the glasses and the ice in the water and I would take that water down the long hall to my room in complete darkness and take a drink and put the glass down on the bedside table and knew where everything would be had fate to know the bed was there to lay back, they only gently go to sleep. There may be some that are going through an unknown darkness and they're afraid and everything around seems strange that we can trust that God knows exactly where we are and he will guide us through. Yes, he will thank you so much for coming today and sharing your story and for encouraging those who are in a season of side darkness right now that can't quite find their way on these words. Today we pray, give them hope absolute in their journey to 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. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-800-229-9965 or write us at PO Box 29972, Atlanta, GA 30359 tell us how we can help share prayer requests or share your testimony. Would love to use your story here. You can also subscribe to our show on iTunes podcast store and surely give us a rating to search for the Salvation Army's words of life. Follow us on social media for the latest episode extended interviews and more. And if you don't have a church home.
We invite you to visit your local Salvation Army worship center will be glad to see you this is Brandon to join us next time for the Salvation Army's life