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Last year, I was in the midst of a separation from my wife, Danielle, back home in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. My life was spinning out of control. It felt like no matter what I did, things seemed to get worse. I felt like everything I touched turned to ruins. I was extremely depressed. The only thing that kept me going, day after day, was the fact that I had the Lord in my life. As I pressed in more to Him and His word, I started to allow God to guide me to where He wanted me.
When I was in the midst of my depression, I pressed into His word and I was watching and listening to every sermon on the Rock Church's website that I could get my hands on. I had only known about Rock Church because Danielle's dad happened to attend a service while on a business trip in San Diego. When he came back from his trip, he shared with all of us how amazing it was, ever since, we watched online every week. While scrolling around the website one night, I came across IMPACT195 School of Ministry. I wanted to investigate what it was, so I watched a few online videos; I believed the program wasn’t for me, but God thought differently.
As the weeks went by in my life, doing the same old things. God kept putting on my heart this School of Ministry. I told Him it made no sense. I would have to quit my job, rent or sell my house, and leave my family. It just wasn't in the cards, so I thought. But as time kept passing and my marriage continued on a spiral to divorce, I decided I needed to change my life. I needed to remove myself from where I was and relocate somewhere else – San Diego.
Immediately after I made the decision to follow where God was calling, He completely blessed everything in my path. First, I went to tell my boss that I was quitting my job, as I told my boss, he thought I was crazy, but I didn't care, I told him it’s what I need to do in my life right now. I expected my boss to just simply accept my notice and that would be the end of it, but at the end of the conversation, he told me he would keep my position open for me for when I returned. That was all God! Once that was done, my next mission was selling the house. My family and I put the house up for sale that weekend. We really didn't know what to expect with the market or if we would even sell it; God showed up for me again. Our house was sold the very next day – for $20,000 more than what we were asking! The extra money covered my tuition cost and all living expenses until I left for San Diego. Where God guides He provides. He showed me this in full certainty, that the School of Ministry is where He wanted me to be and He would walk with my through each of the obstacles placed in my way.
As I made my way to San Diego, my relationships at home were breaking, especially with my wife. We were on the verge of divorce; we were not talking, but I knew God wanted me to be here. When my wife and I first separated, it didn't take long for people to find out. I had gotten every piece of advice of what to do, mostly that I should divorce her and just move on. I remember getting advice from people even when I was not asking for it. At that time, I really wondered if this was a sign from the Lord. But as I got attacked with these thoughts I pushed further into God, so that He could reveal the truth to me. I would constantly read about divorce in the bible and learned that it was not God's heart no matter the circumstances. So I wrestled with people’s opinions and my own opinions for weeks, but God was so good to me and poured His grace on me.
Finally arriving to the School of Ministry, one of the first classes the Pastor of IMPACT195, Scott Wessell, taught was his RESTORE class. This class rocked my world. It was all about restoring relationships at ANY cost. This is God's heart for us; He died on the cross to restore our relationship with Him. This lesson was so powerful, especially in those hard times when all I could think about was reasons to sever my relationship with my wife and move on. God had a different plan. He was truly showing me that divorce is not His heart, ever.
A couple weeks later, God completely changed my perspective and life forever. As we headed into our Solo day on our very first School of Ministry trip, God spoke to me clearly, “Go and get my daughter, do not leave her, she is my daughter and you need to bring her back to me." He was talking about my wife. It was so clear what God wanted me to do, but in my stubbornness I responded to God, "Are you sure God? That seems way too hard." God confirmed it with me saying this is what He wanted. Returning from the trip, I had a new heart; a heart to pick up the pieces of my marriage and trust that God will do His part as I do my part. I began to communicate with Danielle who was back home in Canada. It was one of the hardest things to do, but I knew what God had told me.
As the weeks turned into months, our communication grew stronger and God was starting to heal our marriage. This was a very slow process, but we worked on it every day. As I entered into my second term at the IMPACT195 School of ministry, our marriage was really starting to turn the corner. We had decided that maybe we could try and salvage what we could from the wreck. We had people praying for us from all around the world. We still were struggling, but we were pressing into the Lord and to each other, which was key to making our marriage work. About mid way through my term, I really felt like God was telling me to go home and be with her. So I did it, I packed up my bags and just left everything to be with her.
As I went home and we started to be a married couple again, lots of our past problems kept coming up. As we tried to press through and work on things, it seemed like it was going to be impossible again. It was then that I learned that God was not done working in my heart. I also knew that my wife needed a real, genuine relationship with the Lord. As the weeks went by, with many trials and tribulations, God finally revealed to Danielle that she needed to change her life, so she decided it was time to grow her relationship with God too because if she didn't change her life our relationship was doomed. God put on her heart to go to the School of Ministry with me. We wrestled through how it would work, but of course God showed up again in miraculous ways to make us be able to go.
That winter we decided together to give our marriage one last shot doing it God's way. We packed our bags, hopped in the truck and traveled to San Diego. We had no idea what work God was going to do or how He was going to use us. But everyday with tIMPACT195, and our friends and community at the School of Ministry, we were being poured into. We had never been in such a great community of believers who genuinely cared for us and our marriage. They challenged us to serve one another and to push each other closer to God. God continued to heal our hearts and we were fully able to forgive one another and reconcile our marriage.
It was through this school that we received the love and support needed to change our marriage. God used His people to minister to us in every way manageable. Looking back, we can now say that God has healed our marriage! He has completely changed our hearts! Ezekiel 36:26 says, “I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” This is exactly what He has done through this school. We have been used to minister to other couples and God has shown us that this will be our ministry. What the enemy planned for evil, God uses for good.
God wants to use every single one of us; He is simply waiting for us to take a step of faith. When we take that step of faith and trust Him, then He can use us. I took a step of faith to trust the Lord with my marriage. Now a year later, Danielle and I went from near divorce to full healing and a marriage that thrives. He has given us a ministry, new love for one another, and now – a baby!
This is how great our God is! God loves you so much – trust Him with your life and He will give you life and life abundantly!