Faith, Grace, marriage, prayer, remarriage, Uncategorized

Calling All Prayer Warriors

It’s hard to believe Roy and I will soon celebrate our first anniversary.

Our year has been…indescribable. There have been incredible moments of joy. We have enjoyed the companionship. It’s been great to watch him bond with my kids, to see him step up to the plate as the dad my kids have always wanted. He has surprised me repeatedly with beautiful roses and sweet surprises. We have laughed and enjoyed each other. He has loved me as Christ loves the church.

We have also experienced a tremendous amount of pain and heartache. There’s a lot I can’t go into, but some of it I have shared…including the death of his dad. While we know he is now victorious over his cancer, enjoying the presence of his Savior, there’s a huge void in Roy’s heart.

But for all the pain and loss we have experienced, Roy’s special needs daughter has suffered more. Without ways to adequately express her pain and grief, she turned to behaviors. Drastic behaviors. Behaviors that made her a danger to herself and to others.

After fighting for months to find help for his daughter, the decision was finally made to place her in a treatment facility where they could use behavioral techniques and medication to help her cope with her emotions. She’s been there for six months, and there has been some progress. She is still fighting her demons, but our visits have been mostly pleasant.

We learned last week she will be coming home soon. Honestly, neither of us was prepared for the sudden change in treatment plans; we anticipated a few more months to prepare and be ready for her return. But here we are.

As we prepare for her return, would you pray with us? Would you pray for us? Can you pray for…

Faith over fear. Roy’s daughter’s return comes with so many mixed emotions…one of which is definitely fear. I can’t even begin to describe the environment in which we lived for six months as we fought to find the right help. We never knew what would set off a tantrum, what the tantrum would consist of. And NOTHING we did ever settled her down.

I know perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18). I know faith is the opposite of fear. But to be honest, I am struggling to reach a place where my faith is stronger than my fear.

Can you pray for God to strengthen our faith?

A united front. The therapists we have met have stated they are used to working with divorced couples because these types of behaviors often drive a wedge between the parents. These behaviors are so extreme few couples survive them.

I knew our lives would be impacted by her physical and mental disabilities. I knew it would be difficult to adjust to needing a babysitter if we wanted to be alone. I knew it would be a change to be stuck at the house after she went to bed. But nothing could have prepared us for what we experienced.

Roy and I rarely argue, but we’ve had our share of fights over how to proceed. We love each other dearly, but also recognize the severity of the problems we are facing. We want to do everything we can to be united, to protect our marriage from being a statistic in the face of a mental health crisis.

A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken. Ecclesiastes 3:12

Wisdom and direction. The future is uncertain. We are searching for options, for resources. We want what is best for his daughter…and we want what is best for our family. We want those choices to be compatible, to be the same.

We also know there may be difficult decisions to make. The entire situation is unfair and unclear. We want more than anything to have God guiding our steps, for Him to illuminate the path and make us both see clearly what is best.

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. Psalm 119:105

Protection of our family. I don’t even know where to start with this one. Maybe it’s physical protection. Maybe it’s emotional protection. Maybe it’s all of the above…and more.

As before, we don’t want to lose our family. Please just pray for God to protect us.

The name of the Lord is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. Proverbs 18:10

Intimacy with the Father. I know from experience the joy of intimacy with the Father, a gift that often comes through the trials of this life. I know the joy of walking so closely to the Father you can actually feel His presence, hear His sweet whispers. I know the joy of getting to know the Father in ways you never dreamed possible…all because we choose to walk closely with the Father through the refining fires of this life.

That’s my prayer for Roy, for me, for my kids as we walk through the upcoming days. Please pray He will be near. Please pray He will do a mighty work in us so He can do a mighty work through us.

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18

Healing for Roy. I can’t even start to understand the pain Roy must be feeling. I’ve only told you the tip of the iceberg from his year. The loss. The pain. The grief. I can’t even start to comprehend what he must feel, how he must hurt.

I also know our Father is the God of healing. I know He’s the one who can pick up the pieces, put us back together, make us better than before. I know He’s the one who brings beauty from ashes, who makes beauty out of a broken life.

And I trust Him to do just that for Roy.

Come, let us return to the Lord. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds. Hosea 6:1

Grace and compassion to abound. Roy always says the military teaches you to fight for those who cannot fight for themselves, but they never teach you how to turn that off. They never teach you to care for yourself, to make sure you are in a good place.

Roy is a passionate, loving man. He also wants to be the rock for everyone to lean on. I go along thinking Roy is doing just fine, but underneath he’s hurting. He’s lost his dad. His daughter is fighting horrible demons. He’s been hit with wave after wave of loss. And he usually hides it all really well.

I never want to forget his pain. I want to make sure I am always reminding myself what burden he carries, the immense pain he is suffering. He rarely talks about it, so I have to constantly tell myself to look at things from his perspective. When I can stop and see things from his point of view, it often pulls me out of a downward spiral of negative thinking.

I need eyes of compassion and grace when I look at Roy. I need words of love and empathy when we talk about these things. When I look at him, I need to see the pain that is below the surface.

Christ to be our solid rock. Neither of us has ever been in a truly Christ-centered marriage, and we both want Him to be our solid rock upon which our lives and marriage are built. Honestly, we are simply trying to figure out exactly how that looks. And, when your life is hit by wave after wave of pain and grief and loss, it’s really hard to take time to figure it all out.

We are seeking to pray together regularly. We are trying to take time to spend with one another alone…without all the kids clamoring for our attention. We are trying to find the church where we should plant our lives, our family. We are looking for a group of fellow Christians to do life with.

Please pray for God to give us a vision of what a Christ-centered marriage entails…and the discipline to follow through.

I can’t even start to tell you all just how much you mean to me…every single one of you who reads this blog and utters a prayer for us. You all have walked this journey with me, shared your hearts with me. You have been the answer to so many of my prayers.

So today, I come to you humbly asking you to be my mighty prayer warriors. For when two or more are gathered in His name, He is with us. And we need Him now.

Much love!

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26 thoughts on “Calling All Prayer Warriors”

  1. As a teacher of students with special needs, I get this! We just have the students during the school hours in a very structured environment with many resources that the parents don’t have available to them. I have so much compassion for parents of students with special needs….I can’t image how difficult this must be 24/7 without many breaks! I will be praying for your family as this transition is coming up! I appreciate all of your posts, Dena; as I am a divorced survivor from a long-term destructive/abusive marriage. Thank you for allowing God to use you to help others!

  2. I can’t relate to these specific trials but I can relate to a relentless amount of one trial on top of another. These are the times when we walk not just daily with the Lord, but hourly, moment by moment. And, yes, we all stumble and fall because of the unknown territory we are entering. What I have seen in my own life is that when you are making good, Godly choices with your life, that is when the enemy hits the hardest. There may even seem like somehow, the enemy has the upper hand because of the multitude of terrible things you are being hit with. But outside of those horrible storms, God’s hands are wrapped around them, harnessing the enemy, controlling the outcome, producing fruit that this world cannot understand, and rarely even wants. But everything our Father does is good, is planned, even when lives are cut short and our loved ones suffer. Those terrible, awful hurts can bring us either closer into His heart, or scare us away from Him. The Israelites heard his voice and begged Moses to come between God and them or surely they would die. But God wants us to be like Moses, even though the fear of death is upon us, we seek His face. Because surely, this life is just a moment, compared to the wonderful, unmeasurable love He has to give us for all eternity. Our faith must be tested, to show what we really believe about God, And it’s OK that we fall during this painful process – He knows how to hold us up with His righteous right hand. We just need to reach for Him. He’s right there with us all along. Prayers and love!

  3. Rest assured in the knowledge that you and your family will be covered in prayer continually, asking specifically for protection over your minds, bodies and spirits; for a hedge of protection to surround you, your homes, places of employment, etc. and for His angels to encamp outside the hedge to bring protection, peace, and encouragement of beautiful promises for the future!!
    I cling to these special verses during excruciating pain, incredible loss, etc. Mark 9:23-25 “Lord, I believe, help my unbelief”, those sincere, selfless words from a father in anguish over
    the illness of his son, begging Jesus to heal him. I too make this plea, on days when a mere whisper of this single verse requires all the strength I can muster. . . .and they are always enough! You do not face these battles alone, my thoughts and prayers abide with you!!

  4. Oh, Dena, my heart hurts so badly for you and your family. Our now grown son had major anger/rage issues and not only damaged our home many times, he threatend to harm us a few times as well. Nothing seemed to help and we lived minute by minute at times depending on the grace of God to replace our fear with faith because we never knew what would trigger him either. I am only sharing this to let you know that even though our situation is a little different than yours, I feel the pain and fear in your post, and understand it. That being said, I most certainly will pray for each one of you that God will give you wisdom and also peace when decisions are made. God loves you so very much and He is our Jehovah-Jirah. What you are experiencing now you will one day understand as part of the beautiful life story being written about you. I love the verse from Psalm 91:4 “He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.”
    May He grant you strength, courage and protection as you walk through these coming days. We love you!
    Bev

  5. I’m so sorry for the struggles your family is facing. I know somewhat of the heartache, stress and fear having special needs children can cause a parent. Im a single mom of two kids with social emotional and behavioral issues(they are now grown but still fight some of those demons and my youngest still lives with me and my oldest and her daughter are about to move in). I still don’t know how I made it through working, going school,taking care of them,constant fights and emotions outbursts, angry tantrums, sibling rivalries, school suspensions and expulsion, miscarriages in mid teens(im only recently finding out about my son’s ex’s miscarriages),drug and alcohol expermentation,sex,sneaking out in the middle of the night, stealing my care,and suicide attempts. Only by the grace of God am I still here because there were days(and still are) i just ready for God to take me home because life is too hard.You want so much to help them,fix them and direct them to a better life but I’m learning that maybe sometimes helping too much is a hindrance. I know what you are facing is different from what I am facing but that last statement was just something I realized today. I think I did too much to try to help my children, especially my son,that he didn’t learn how to properly fend for himself. He’s now 18 and struggling with life. I don’t know if it’s deprssion,bipolar,some other mental illness or just him excepting everyone to do for him and save him from every bad decision he makes. I think he partly gets it genetically(it cant be a learned behavior from his dad bc he doesn’t know him,he abandon us when he was just a baby)from his dad bc he was the same way at that age. I’m hurting so much and fussing at God wondering why he isn’t fixing things,why cant something good my son starts or some good opportunity he’s given not fall apart bc of his bad decisions? Isn’t he His child? Aren’t I his child? I just need some peace, I need both my kids to be financially stable on their own and successful and making a good life for themselves, so I can be financially stable and work me,my health isn’t well and all the stress isn’t helping and I focus on my wellbeing when I’m trying to care for theirs. Sorry I laid out all my burdens while you are facing your own,that wasn’t what I intended this comment to be but it all flowed out I guess because its been a hard week. You and your family are in my prayers. I’m glad you and your husband have each other through this and you both have God to carry you through. I’ve just finished The Calling by Rachelle Dekker and I learned some important truths today and I’m doing my best to hold on to them and to practice what I learned from them,the hardest one is:surrendering and let go of your fear,something I’ve always struggled with. God Bless you my sister in Christ and thank you for sharing your journey with us.

  6. I was/am a single mom with 5 kids, one severely developmentaly disabled, one adopted with attachment disorder and one soon with iep’s because of inability to read. I went back to work at a business I started and God blessed it. I have another soon who used heroin n meth since the age of 16 when her sent to live with his dad. Three years ago he came to visit me decided he wanted to get clean and has so far but has schizophrenia hearing voices and paranoia and anxiety. This has been so stressful and he is harder to deal with than my daughter who is disabled with a mental ability of a 3 year old. I am leaning to take time for me to refresh even if a babysitter is needed. I did not do that when I raised the kids. Good gave me strength as he will to u. It really hurts to see our kids the way they are and not the way the used to be or could be. I will pray for your family Dena. I know hard it is. You are fortunate that there r 2 of u to help each other.

  7. Abba Father, be with my sister dena as she struggles through the difficulties of supporting and honouring her amazing husband Roy while he works through his pain and loss of his father and strives to care for her precious daughter in her broken health. We know you can work it all out for your glory. Please bring them to a chuch with a welcoming small group so they can find their peace and rest in the arms and hands of brothers and sisters in Christ. Protect this precious family and bring them to a place of thriving in You. In Christ’s beautiful, powerful name amen.

  8. Hi Dena!
    All I can say is….speak faith! There is power in the name of Jesus!
    God knows your heart and He will come through for you and your family. You are in my prayers! Psalm 61:2

  9. You have told my past in so many areas (1 Corinthians 10:13), that I know when reading your blog that God’s Word is Alive, Quick and Powerful, Sharper than any two edge sword (Hebrews 4:12,13). He will do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we ask or think; according to the power that works within us, to Him be glory in the church (us) by Christ Jesus to all generation, forever and ever. Amen!🙏☝👏❤(Ephesians 3:8-21)
    I stand and pray your strength in God’s Power! He will do it and be glorified! ✊💨💫
    Sincere Love from God above
    Denise Daughtry

  10. Dena,
    Thank you for being a lifeline to me when I was drowning in heartbreak and sorrow. May I be that to you today.
    Abba Father, I call upon your name laying my sister-in-Christ at your feet. Father you knew all her days before she ever existed. This day and the days to come are no surprise to you and you are there already making a way for Dena and her family. Lord I don’t understand all your ways, but I know that you are good and worthy above all to be praised. It is with prayers of thanksgiving and praise that I give you glory for what you are doing for Dena and her family. Send the Comforter to Dena and Roy, let peace permeate their home. Jesus you calmed the raging storm before, now calm it in Roy’s daughter. She is yours Father, your promises belong to her. Let your precious child be loosed from the hold of the enemy, break the strongholds Lord. You are her Healer. Be the Lifter of Roy’s Head, Abba, when his heart is heavy and his shoulders stoop in defeat take him into your loving arms. Carry his burdens and hurts. Send loving and strong men of faith to hold him up and encourage him. Father give command the angels to minister to this family. Let your love, light, and spirit prevail in their home with a fullness and intensity that can felt and known by all who enter in it. Lord you are mighty, you are faithful to keep your promises and you never fail. Your praise is on my lips as I as these things in the name of Christ Jesus, the One who saves. Amen.

  11. God can make the impossible possible. And He *never* will abandon us. When we feel He has left us… we are the ones who walked away. <<— I keep telling myself this in my family's own brokenness.Your joy and promise of hope is the same, Dena: He's got this! Holding you in prayer… Deuteronomy 31:08 NIV

  12. Dear Dina praying for God to strengthen and encourage you. Praying for the right decisions to be made to bring peace in the family. God Bless you and Roy as you seek the answers you need.😊

  13. Hi this is from a daily prayer site. It spoke to me and I felt it would help you gain some peace

    Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27, NIV

    Dear Father in heaven, we thank you for holding open the way into our hearts and for bringing us the peace of Jesus Christ. Help us to keep this way open. Grant us peace in this tempest-torn world. Grant us peace when many struggles and uncertainties try to occupy our hearts. We have no strength in ourselves, only in him who is standing at our side and who will never forsake us, who lives and gives strength. His light will always break in anew among us. His light will shine on many people and lead them to the promised day, the day that will bring all our hopes to fulfillment. Amen

  14. Heb 3:13 (CEV) “You must encourage one another each day. And you must keep on while there is still a time that can be called “today.” If you don’t, then sin may fool some of you and make you stubborn.”. No doubt Dena, your sincere blog does stir up my spirit to exhort you as you face these huge mountains on your remaining short journey. Your response and attitude of heart to these trial are inspiring. In your quest to yet seek and stay in the daily grace of Father, you are surely victorious in standing, bearing up, resisting the enemy, still giving of your substance, keeping a godly attitude in suffering (with us saints). I imagine that Father is smiling upon you for the godliness of your heart. I really really love the way you have sought God’s word to stand on as you face each of your mountains. So i stand with you and in faith of the spoken word of God, being reminded that if one (Dena) will put to flight 1000…….. what of the power of the many of your blog family.
    I want to particularly pray Ps37:4 … Continue to delight yourself in the Lord, and He will continue to fulfil the desires of your heart. Pray you and Ron continue to lean towards God, however long-suffering that it may seem, may your faith grow in the process. May that Father will soon plant you in His wider family of a suitable warm church, a complementary home group and may He blend your new family to light and inspiration by the working of His enormous love and power (Holy Spirit). GOD BLESS

  15. I would like to begin with the word of God in Romans 8:28 , which says how the life of those who diligently seek the name of the lord ends up. Psalms 145:14, a psalm of King David, the richest king of Israel, says from his own experience that God upholds those who are falling and raises up all who are bowed down. Moreover we have the promise and assurance of our lord Jesus Christ in John 10:10 that he has come to this world to give us life and life in abundance. In this same Bible verse it is written that the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I believe John 10:10 is one of the most important bible verses which emphatically says the blessings of life in abundance in one side and the bitter end that the wicked enemy is poised to cause our lives on the other hand.

    So, one thing is very clear that the struggling that we are going through is from the wicked enemy. So, we have to be prepared to fight off the enemy that is roaring like a lion to torment our lives with unprecedented difficulties. The best way is to cling on to the promises of God like the promise in John 10:u10 or other, and to customise the word of God and to repeatedly say it to ourselves, for example in your situation you can say that ” My LORD JESUS CHRIST WILL DELIVER OUR CHILD FROM THE HAND OF THE WICKED ENEMY THAT TORMENT HER LIFE LIKE ANYTHING AND SHE SHALL BE FREE FROM ALL THE INFIRMITIES THAT TORMENT HER LIFE, FOR THE
    GLORY OF THE NAME OF MY MASTER, MY SAVIOR AND KING LORD JESUS CHRIST.. AMEN AND AMEN”. This because of the word of God written in Hebrews 4:12 explains the power of the word of God that can work miracles in our lives as a breakthrough.

    “Father, I humble myself for the child with special needs because of disability. Let the power of thy glory manifested in psalms 27:5 – 6 come to pass in the life of this child for the glory of thy name, Amen and Amen.”
    Keep on praying for the child . You will see the miracle of God .
    Blessings !!!
    Mathew.

  16. May the Lord’s Grace and Favour be upon you all as you continue to walk with Him and to allow Him to guide you… God bless you all

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