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Anthony and Elizabeth Juliana- Forgiveness in Marriage

Words of Life / Salvation Army
The Truth Network Radio
February 14, 2021 1:07 am

Anthony and Elizabeth Juliana- Forgiveness in Marriage

Words of Life / Salvation Army

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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

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Hi, this is Bernie Dake. Welcome to the Salvation Army's Words of Life.

Welcome back to Words of Life. I'm Cheryl Gillum, and I'm here with my cohost- Bernie Dake. Happy Valentine's Day. Happy Valentine's Day, Bernie. Who's your Valentine? I have a Valentine of 29 years. Her name is Laura Dake, and who's yours?

Mine is Timothy Gillum. Well, we're nearing the end of our Highlight Reel series, and throughout the series, we've been revisiting some of our favorite and most memorable interviews from the past few years. In this episode, we're sharing another interview from our marriage series. In March of 2019, we were joined by Salvation Army officers Anthony and Elizabeth Juliana. This is a powerful testimony about forgiveness. If you've been struggling in your own marriage, we pray you hear something today that gives you hope. Your majors, Anthony and Elizabeth Juliana, currently stationed at the Texas divisional headquarters in Dallas, Texas.

There's no better opportunity to serve the Lord than we believe as our calling is in the Salvation Army. We have been married for 28 years. Actually, we met in Charlottesville, Virginia, where we were both working for our Christian organization. We met there. 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 be this breakup in this friendship. For the first time, I had a sister kind of figure in my life, a best friend that I could share girlfriend news with and struggles and those kinds of things. She would give me counsel and advice on how to handle that relationship.

I would help her with her English and with her U.S. history homework and those kinds of things. We didn't want romance to ruin that great friendship. I took a trip to West Africa.

It was about a six- or eight-week trip. While we were away, we said to each other before I left, let's pray about what the next step in our relationship should be. We'll just listen to the Lord during this time apart. When we came back together after those eight weeks or so, we were kind of surprised as we sat down and just prayed together and said, you know, maybe the Lord has designed this relationship for a purpose, for a reason. We let the love begin to grow between us.

Probably about a year or so after that, we were married and have been together, like she said, for twenty-eight years. We both wanted to be active in ministry. We just didn't want to attend a church and sit in a pew or come twice a week and just not get involved. So, like Anthony said, meeting the Army provided us with the perfect opportunities, like, okay, we can be part of this.

It was 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. 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 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 rote. It just became going through the motions. Before long, that really started to burn us both out spiritually, emotionally, physically, to the point that, honestly, one day I looked at her and said, I'm not happy. I'm not happy doing what I'm doing anymore.

I'm not happy with the relationship. And the relationship had become so part of the ministry together that it became part of the habit. You get up, you say good morning, you know, kind of a thing. And it became the motions and the relationship just became part of that. Well, then I started to see everything through those glasses, right?

Through those lenses. It didn't take too long for everything to start deteriorating where even the good things that were taking place in my life, I didn't notice. And our relationship had gotten so intertwined with our ministry and our work that when I started to push that away, it pushed the relationship with it. And so we ended up separated for about a year.

We each have our own perspective on it. For Anthony, it was, I'm done. You know, I cannot do this anymore. For me, I just couldn't believe that this was happening to us. It's like I had been blind for so long and all of a sudden this happened and I couldn't figure it out where it was coming from. For me, it was devastating. It took every bit of that year to really work through that hurt. 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 going to say that we were very blessed that we have some dear friends that believed in us even when we were done with each other. And they reminded us that we could not just give up.

I cannot see how without them we would be here today. When I think about it, 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, God expects us to forgive. And that doesn't mean that everything is okay, that everything is brushed under the rug.

It just means that it's a step. So it began with that acceptance, okay, Christ asked me to forgive. I'm going to forgive. And I was even realizing that we still had a lot of hurt and a lot of healing to work through. There were a few things that needed to happen for us. And one in particular was this realization of where am I with my personal relationship with the Lord?

Let me start there again, right? Because it was in that relationship that he brought our relationship together. Then I began to realize the gift that he had given me in Elizabeth. And that desire to re-engage with the Lord and the gifts that he had given me in my wife and in my children was really the starting point back. A lot of times people look at forgiveness like they try to look at love. Love is the feeling of the butterflies fluttering in your stomach and that sort of thing. But after 10 years of marriage, the butterflies don't flutter so much. And so where does that love come from when you start coming up on 10, 12, 14, 28 years of marriage?

Where does that love originate and where does that come from? And it really then becomes a decision that we make 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. We started out doing some Christian counseling apart separately and then ultimately had an opportunity to actually do an intensive, I think it was like four days of intensive group marriage therapy that was really kind of the major push back for us.

People are sometimes afraid to kind of air their dirty laundry out. For me, I'd be sitting down talking to a counselor and, of course, this was all my mother's fault and that kind of a thing. But I learned that, no, I need to take responsibility for this. But part of that couple's counseling really was designed, one of the sessions that we sat through together was all about kind of cultivating our own garden. That was freeing for us because what it gave us permission to do was work on ourselves before trying to fix what we thought was totally destroyed and broken and had no hope of ever being restored. Once we started to see that God would restore us individually, it took some time to, you know, can I see what's growing in your garden? Can I, you know, that's pretty. I like that.

Can we just kind of sit under that shade tree for a minute? We were also reminded of the covenant that we made to each other and the vows that we took. And that was for a while, that was a real struggle because all that we could think of was about the hurt. But that was part of that healing process, looking back at, okay, I've made a commitment. So beyond what I feel right now, I'm going to have to trust God to reignite the love.

And over time He did. That's why I think, you know, if God can fix us, you know, there's hope for other people. The Salvation Army's mission, Doing the Most Good, means helping people with material and spiritual needs. You become a part of this mission every time you give to the Salvation Army. Visit salvationarmyusa.org to offer your support.

And we'd love to hear from you. Email us at radio at uss.salvationarmy.org. Call 1-800-229-9965 or write us at P.O.

Box 29972 Atlanta, Georgia 30359. Tell us how we can help. Share prayer requests or share your testimony. We would love to use your story on the air. You can also subscribe to our show on iTunes or your favorite podcast store and be sure to give us a rating. Just search for The Salvation Army's Words of Life. Follow us on social media for the latest episodes, extended interviews, and more. And if you don't have a church home, we invite you to visit your local Salvation Army worship center. They'll be glad to see you. This is Bernie Dake inviting you to join us next time for The Salvation Army's Words of Life.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-24 21:33:04 / 2023-12-24 21:37:26 / 4

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