'love Restored'

By: Sarah A Ward
| Published 10/28/2014



'Mercy Triumphs!'

This is a story from despair to triumph. Like James the brother of Jesus states “Mercy Triumphs”.
Fred, my husband and I started our Christian life out with a bang. We both had a heart after God and surrendered ourselves to the Lord in our daily lives and God used us in ministry.
In the 70’s we worked in Teen Challenge and saw many youth come to Christ. In the 80’s we pastored a church in Kansas and in the 90’s we served in Russia with MAPS an Assembly of God Mission organization. This is where we fell under the satanic attacks and struggles and gave into making ungodly choices in our lives. We took back control of our lives and were no longer surrendered fully to our God. We both suffered pain, heartbreak and devastation. We divorced and attempted to put the past behind us. We were both miserable from the mess we had made of our lives and not only did we bear the pain but our family did also. A few years later we remarried and tried to make a go of our marriage once again, but there was more pain than I could bear and we divorced again. I once again made a choice that would open a door to more pain and suffering in my life. I walked away from church, family, and all my Christian friends. For 13 years I only went to church
one time. For me church was inviting more pain in my life which I didn’t think I could bear.
The Lord did give me one person who listened to me when I cried and kept me from suicide, and that was my sister-in-law Beverly. I could not make sense of my life and God used her to keep bringing me back to God. The only reason I let her in my life was because I knew she understood what real pain was, she is a cancer survivor.
During these 13 years God was dealing with Fred and he went through many terrible things. He survived prostate cancer, a stroke, an aneurism, and two brain surgeries. It was when he was in a coma after his last brain surgery that God visited him and spoke to his heart. He woke up looking into the face of his children and knew God had given him another chance. He began a journey of growing in the wisdom and knowledge of the Grace of God. He was totally surrendered to Our Lord. Our children also experienced Gods renewal. It was obvious God was restoring not only Fred but our family.
I was crying out to God but was still making my own choices outside of Gods will. Beverly used every opportunity to speak hope and life into my heart. I constantly was struggling with just wanting to live. I was in an abusive relationship that was getting worse all the time. The Lord kept drawing me to Himself and used Beverly to keep me safe. The Holy Spirit never left me but was always wooing me backing to Him. I could see Gods hand and the working of His grace in my life. The Lord provided for me in my brokenness.
Finally October 2011 I had enough and was broken. I was able to move out of this relationship into my own apartment but unable to face the struggle I committed myself to a mental facility until I was stable enough to live on my own. I lived in Columbus, Ohio at this time.
It was during the Christmas holidays 2011 I saw Fred and as usual he was flirting with me, which I tried to resist. He told me there would never be anyone for him but me. My granddaughter commented how cute we were together and that she knew her grandpa loved me. Oh, out of the mouth of babes!
After returning to my apartment from the hospital Beverly asked me what was keeping me in Columbus and I told her nothing as I had already lost five jobs and unable to work because of my emotional state. At this point my family came together and moved me into my nephew’s apartment in Lorain. Fred and I began going to Church of the Open Door and he took every opportunity available to talk to me about all God had done in renewing his life. I told him I could not make any promises to him and anything he chose to do for me had to be for the Lord and nothing more.
Finally, I was on the road to healing. We continued seeing each other, going to church, praying, and reading Gods Word together when I realized God had brought us back together. July 1st 2013 we remarried and I was reunited with my soul mate.
Since then with God’s blessing we were able to purchase a home and have experienced family gatherings and so many blessings! We are so thankful to Our Lord for never giving up on us. He has always been with us. Our children are also thrilled with what The Lord has done in us.
To Jesus Christ All Glory and Honor. I pray that if you are on a path The Lord has not chosen for you please realize God has a better plan for you. Consider this story of hope and know God shows no partiality and wants to give you grace as He has done for us. Mercy Triumphs!

Author: Sarah A Ward