“So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the
outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on
the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by
without his unfolding grace.” (2 Corinthians 4:16, The Message)
Sheila Walsh tells her story in the new book Let Go.
It was Sunday morning and I was getting ready for church. I stared at the mirror, feeling overwhelmed and discouraged, but knew I had to hold things together for our eleven-year-old son, Christian.
I heard God speak in my spirit, “I will deliver you!” Rarely have I heard His voice so clear, so commanding and I knew exactly what God was saying. Our family was in big trouble.
“Lord, how will you deliver us?” I asked. “It is such a mess!” I heard again, “I will deliver you.” Suddenly I realized how stupid my questions were because of who was speaking. How God would do it was not my business, though to me it seemed impossible. I needed to let go and trust Him!
Let me give you some background. My husband, Barry went through a deep depression from 2005 to 2007. I know what that feels like because I had already been there years before. Throughout my illness, I had a constant awareness of the God’s love. Barry did not have that comfort. He refused to see a doctor and I tried everything, but could not reach him. He believed God was through with him.
Barry had made some financial choices that were not smart. When I realized that all the money I thought we were saving or investing was gone, I was devastated.
We met with my assistant and I hoped Barry would say, “Look, I’ve really messed up and I’m sorry.” But he had no answers. In despair, he withdrew from me into a dark hole.
When he finally considered help through a Christian counselor, I had emotionally cut Barry out of my life. We were still a family, but I closed a little door in my heart. I hoped God would help him, but I felt I had to take care of our son.
Every weekend with “Women of Faith,” I told thousands of women, “No matter what you’re going through, God is able to give you what you need.” I believed that was true, but I didn’t know how it would work for me.
Marilyn Meberg expressed her concern for Christian because he is such an intuitive little boy. She urged me to give him an opportunity to talk.
So one night at bedtime, I asked him, “Christian, if there is anything that dad or I could do to make life better for you, what would that look like?” I thought he’d say he wished Dad hadn’t spent so much money because it had affected him, but instead, he said, “I wish you weren’t so angry at Dad. He did some things that weren’t good, but you have to forgive him.”
I hugged and thanked him. After he was asleep, I poured out my feelings to God. “This really stinks, God! Barry gets us into a mess, removes himself from the human race for two years and I’m supposed to just let it all go and forgive him?”
God responded, “Sheila, you can’t move beyond this if you don’t forgive him.” So I got on my knees and said, “Father, I didn’t sign up for this. But because of your mercy to me, I absolutely forgive him.”
It was the turning point for our family. Later, I’d finished some ironing and suddenly the room temperature felt like it dropped by 15 or 20 degrees. I felt the presence of evil and I heard soft voices saying, “It is not going to work. Your family is not going to make it. It’s too hard. ”
A picture popped in my mind: a knife I had just put away in my kitchen. “Go get it? It won’t hurt and your fight is over.”
I felt as if I was being pulled further and further into a pit. Eventually, I lay on the floor sobbing and I whispered Jesus’ name again and again. I felt the presence of Christ come in the room and His strength helped me stand to my feet. I spoke to the enemy, “In Jesus’ name, no! Never tell me that again!”
The next morning, something had changed inside me. I realized that Barry was not my enemy. It was Satan, who wants nothing more than to tear apart everything that God loves most—His children.
God taught me how to let go and take my hands off the problem. He told me, “Sheila, I didn’t come to get you out or get you through; I came to live in you through the problem.”
God got us both through! Now we are able to share our experience with others, like you, to let you know that whatever circumstance you find yourself in, God is faithful. He will get you through!
Has God shown you some areas you need to let go of? How do you combat despair? Read His word, pray and begin to allow Him to take control of your situation.
“Father God, I let go of my fear, my anger, my need to control things and protect myself. I choose to forgive, and I will trust Your grace.”
Sheila Walsh shares her story in the book Let Go.