By Dr. Kim Logan-Nowlin & Arthur E. Nowlin, LMSW, CAADC
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This article was written by Dr. Kim Logan-Nowlin for Marriage.com
Do you find it difficult making a long-distance relationship work? Do you feel that a ‘successful long-distance relationship is a myth?
Well, you can keep a long-distance relationship going if you have the will to do it. Here’s a long-distance success story to motivate you to trust in your relationship and make it a success despite the distance.
The story of Andrew and Cindy
Andrew and Cindy were good friends through high school and remained friends in college. The couple had been dating for three years and realized that their friendship had developed into a romantic relationship.
They trusted one another because they had a past relationship of being good friends. The couple both enjoyed living in Detroit, Michigan, and were very accomplished in their careers.
Cindy got a lucrative job offer
Andrew was an investment broker, and Cindy was an attorney. They two wanted to marry and start a family.
One afternoon Cindy received a phone call from a prestigious law firm in Los Angeles, California. The firm was offering her a lucrative dream position as a senior corporate attorney.
Cindy had been very content at the firm where she was employed. However, she had high goals of advancing and working her way up the corporate ladder, without realizing the strain and pressure it would put on her relationship with Andrew.
Cindy was seriously considering accepting the position.
Breaking the news
Andrew, who was happy in the motor city and looking forward to married life with Cindy, had no thought or desire to relocate.
Cindy, knowing that she had to tell the news to Andrew, asked to meet with him that afternoon. Andrews agreed, and they met at a local restaurant.
After the meal, Cindy shared with Andrew the news about her job offer, and he was excited for her. Cindy added and said, “The job is located in Los Angeles, California.”
Andrew was speechless. The thought of Cindy leaving Detroit and having a long-distance relationship was not in his plan. Andrew asked her, “What about our relationship and marriage plans?”
Cindy replied, “We can still date from afar and then set a wedding date when I get established and settled in.” This was a dream come true opportunity for Cindy but a serious issue for Andrew. Cindy told Andrew that night that she was going to accept the offer.
The long-distance relationship
Man Dropping Women On The Train At The Railway Station Long-distance Relationship Concept
After a few months of their long-distance relationship had gone by. They would call each other every day, and they would take turns visiting one another twice a month.
Despite his feelings against leaving Detroit and having a long-distance relationship, he realized that his love for her was much more significant.
During their separation, there were times of stress, disappointment, and loneliness, even though they conversed daily by virtual connection and phone. Cindy loved her job, but she really missed being with Andrew the way she was accustomed.
Cindy often thanked Andrew for his love, sacrifice, and patience during their time apart.
She knew that this was not the way he wanted their relationship to mature. Cindy knew the only thing that could make this relationship work was real true love.
Finally, when they met…
Andrew was scheduled to arrive later that day for a visit, and they both were so excited.
They then took an afternoon walk, and Cindy said to Andrew, “The love that you have shown to me has convinced me that I am in love with you, and I want you in my life forever, and we can make this work.”
Andrew waited for a crowd to be nearby and asked for their attention and reached for Cindy’s hand and knelt down and proposed to her.
She cried and immediately accepted. The crowd cheered.
Long-distance relationships can work if true love is the main ingredient.
Moreover, a long-distance relationship entails a lot of positives that can benefit your relationship in the long run.
Some tools to help guide your long-distance relationships are commitment, faithfulness, honesty, regular communication, boundaries, paying attention, and addressing any red flags that may occur and sacrifice.
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This article was written by Dr. Kim Logan-Nowlin for Marriage.com
Love is a lot of things. It’s joy, excitement, pain, passion, fear…
Being in love gives you a roller coaster of all emotions. Love is happiness when you celebrate your beloved’s success; love is a sacrifice when you place your beloved’s needs above yours.
While falling in love might seem exciting, committing to it calls for efforts. Love and sacrifice go hand in hand. Unconditional love demands sacrifice for love, and surprisingly, you will be willingly making sacrifices for love if your feelings are genuine.
Below is a short story of Matthew’s sacrifice for love and how unconditionally he loves Terri.
A dreamy romance
Matthew and Terri had been married for nearly ten years. They met while attending the same local university, sharing several pre-med classes. The couple enjoyed working together on team assignments, and this developed into a friendship.
Matthew and Terri both were active and involved in community services and enjoyed helping the elderly. After completing their undergraduate studies, they were accepted into the same graduate school program to earn their Ph.D. in biochemistry.
The relationship between the two after six years flourished with love, faithfulness, happiness, and attraction for one another, and Matthew decided to ask for Terri’s hand in marriage. Terry was so surprised and excited, and when she composed herself, she accepted his proposal.
The couple both agreed first to finish their course studies, and after graduation, they would marry later that summer. Matthew and Terri had a large beautiful wedding and romantic honeymoon.
Problems start surfacing
Sad Couple Comforting Each Other
During the honeymoon, Terri began to experience some discomfort on her right side. It would last for a few minutes and subside. She did not mention her problem to Matthew because she thought it was a result of nerves and excitement. Nevertheless, the couple had a wonderful time in Hawaii and even looked forward to returning in the near future.
One afternoon at work, Terri had excruciating pain in her right side again and including a high fever. The discomfort was so painful that her supervisor called for a medical ambulance and notified her husband to meet her at the emergency room at the hospital.
After several tests, the doctors discovered that Terri was suffering from kidney failure and needed an emergency kidney transplant. The examiner stated that there were no matches available at the time for her surgery to occur, and she would have to be placed on an emergency waiting list.
While the doctors were explaining her situation, Matthew asked the doctors, “What about me! Can I be tested?” The doctors immediately arranged for Matthew to be tested, and they discovered that he was a perfect match for Terri.
A sacrifice like no other…
When Matthew went into Terri’s hospital room and told her that they found a match for her, Terri was so excited that she cried. Matthew then said, “It is me. I am a perfect match for you.” Terri was in total shock and so thankful for Matthew’s unconditional love.
He leaned over towards Terri and kissed her on the forehead and whispered, “You know I love you.” Terri’s eyes were full of joy and happiness. The time soon came for Matthew and Terri to be prepared for surgery, and they looked at each other, and both said, “See you soon.”
The procedure took about 4 hours, and there were no complications. Both Matthew and Terri were in recovery for a couple of hours and were adjusting well. Several hours had passed, and Matthew and Terri were put into the same hospital room after recovery.
Terri looked across the room and called out Matthew’s name, and he turned to her, and she said, “Thank you for loving me so much to help save my life.”
Matthew said, “I love you, and I will do anything for you. From day one, I have always loved you Terri, and this was an easy decision for me to make.”
Ninety days later, Matthew and Terri had a follow-up appointment scheduled to see if any complications might have occurred. After a brief examination, the doctor stated that they both were doing well. Matthew and Terri continued enjoying a loving, happy, romantic, and healthy marriage.
The couple recently celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary with family and friends. Every morning since the surgery, when Terri awakens, she says to Matthew, “I love you. You are my sacrifice of love.”
This real story shows that you will not hesitate to sacrifice for love when you have unconditional love for someone. Their problems become yours. You don’t run off, leaving them alone to deal with the tragedy. You stick around. And that is what unconditional love is.
Love means sacrifice. You get involved in all of your partner’s joys, trials, and tribulations. You become their rock, backup, shoulder to lean on. When you are loving someone unconditionally, you share laughter and breakdowns. You compromise and sacrifice for love. You are there with them through everything.
*The names have been changed to protect privacy.
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Drama Files: Sacrifice For Love
Elijah and Katrina have been friends since childhood. They attended the same schools from the first grade through high school. Both were very active and involved in sports and community services. The two worked diligently caring for the elderly after school. They both loved to read and sing to encourage the senior citizens in the nursing homes.
One day Katrina was not feeling well and she collapsed at work. Elijah dialed 911 and she was rushed to the hospital. After a complete examination it was revealed that one of Katrina’s kidney’s was failing and she would need an immediate emergency transplant. A variety of tests were done and there were no donors that matched her blood type. The doctors were very concerned because time was running out.
Elijah said to the doctors “Can I be tested please?” Katrina could not speak as tears rolled down from her face. By this time, her parents had arrived and Katrina had become very weak. The doctors informed them that it would take time to complete all of the tests but if Elijah was a donor match then she had an excellent chance of surviving.
A Perfect Match
Elijah prayed and asked God to please let him be a match to help save Katrina’s life. The testing process began and soon Elijah learned he was a perfect match. His decision was an act of faith and a sign of love and genuine friendship for Katrina. The surgery took place the next day and the procedure went well.
A few hours later Elijah and Katrina were taken to the recovery room. Soon afterwards, they were awaken by the nurse. Their vitals signs were steady and strong. All Katrina could say is “Thank you my dear friend. What a sacrifice of love you have made for me.” Elijah smiled and replied “You would have done the same thing for me.” During the next few weeks and months Katrina was coming along just fine and Elijah was doing well also.
As the years passed, Katrina never forgot Elijah’s tremendous sacrifice to save her life. They both went on to college, graduated and became physicians with a desire and commitment to serve and bring healing to others.
Recently, Katrina and Elijah contacted my office for counseling because they decided to get married. Katrina said that ever since they were children, she knew that Elijah was so special to her. Elijah felt the same way about Katrina. Truly, God used Katrina’s situation as a test for Elijah, not realizing that God was saving her life just for him.
“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
John 15:13 (KJV)
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Drama Files: Mother-In-Law Blues
Gage and Terri have been married for a short time. Terri is a loving wife to her husband and Gage is very compassionate towards Terri.
From the very first day of her marriage to Gage, his mother Kelly constantly would say unpleasant things to Terri to upset her. Terri would constantly mention this to Gage, but he totally ignored her by saying “ Mom means no harm.”
This made Kelly very uncomfortable over time. Her mother in law would bring Gage his favorite dishes over to their home, and stay for hours talking to her son while Terri ate alone. She would buy him gifts and offered nothing to Terri. The coldness and meanness was taking its toll on Terri. Terri started experiencing anxiety and depression and contacted my office to discuss the possibility of family intervention.
Seek to Understand
As Terri’s therapist I shared with her the purpose of family intervention is to provide counseling in an objective manner to help guide the family to a resolution. I also shared with her I felt it would be a positive way to address her concerns about her mother-in-law and help Gage to understand the seriousness of the situation.
Terri asked Gage to please ask his mother to come, and she agreed. Terri led the session with my guidance and shared her feelings and concerns. Kelly said she didn’t see the harm in still caring for her son.
“That is my responsibility to care for him, and for us to love each other and care for our home,” countered Terri. You have to stay in your lane as a mother, she told her.
Terri began to lay down some ground rules. Kelly would always be welcomed, but, she needed to please call first out of respect. Kelly apologized to Terri and Gage for her negative behavior. Over the next few months Kelly would call and greet Terri with a sincere warm greeting.
One afternoon Kelly told Terri that “I feel I need to see Dr. Logan to help me with my fear of being alone and separation anxiety.” Terri told her that she would go with her to counseling if she would like. Kelly said “Thank you and I would appreciate that.”
Throughout the counseling process Terri and Kelly worked closely together and was able to learn coping skills to manage their concerns. Kelly had been suffering a long time since the passing of her husband and she began to lean on Gage for everything, even companionship.
Kelly developed realistic goals to engage in a healthier manner with Terri, also, intervention for her own healing and her only child getting married. She humbly apologized to Terri and made a commitment to follow-through with her counseling.
Now, That’s Progress
Terri and Gage are planning a vacation and asked Kelly to join them in Europe. Kelly has always wanted to go and she cried during the session when they told her. “I promise to stay in my lane,” Kelly said.
Tips from Dr. Kim
When the day comes to meet your future mother-in law it will mean making adjustments in the relationship. Be open minded to suggestions. Be willing to share quality time together, and be careful not to isolate yourselves. Remember your future spouse has a family who still wants to engage and be a part of both your lives. Treat your mother-in-law with respect and kindness. Involve your spouse, especially if there’s conflict. Get comfortable with compromising and being firm when necessary. Don’t be afraid to be transparent and honest with one another. It may be painful going in but the end result will be worth it to eliminate the mother- in- law blues
A soft answer turns away wrath. Proverbs 15:1
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Drama Files: Never Leave A Man Behind
It May Have Been Too Late to Say Goodbye, But Not Too Late to Address His Addiction.
Carson had been a substance abuser since entering the military. He returned four years later, upon an honorable discharge from the army. He was one of 13 children and always a loving and devoted son to his parents.
Carson was reared in a very spiritual and loving family. He was very supportive, caring, and helpful towards his parents all while struggling with his personal drug and alcohol addiction. One afternoon after a day helping his mother and enjoying the afternoon with his parents, he walked out and told his father “I’ll be back.”
Passing of Time
Later that week Carson’s father, James, went into the hospital for a breathing treatment. His physician decided to extend his stay because the effects of a longstanding smoking habit were now exacting its toll. James’ lungs had been deteriorating for at least 10 years. After a week, James was no longer breathing on his own. His body was getting weaker and weaker and his lungs were no longer functioning properly.
Carson’s mother and siblings visited James several times throughout the week, until the doctor called and told them nothing else could be done for him.
James and seven sons all served in the military. “You never leave a wounded solider alone,” they believed, and the family gathered around James one last time as the life support was removed. He passed away early the next morning.
A week later when James was buried, Carson was absent. He missed his father’s illness and passing. Carson’s ex- wife, a police officer, went looking for him for the family. When she found him and told him that his father had passed away, Carson was in total disbelief. He remembered seeing a huge funeral possession going down the street and was so surprised by how long it was, not knowing that it was his own father’s funeral.
Immediately, Carson went home to find his mother and a single obituary in the china cabinet. Carson realized he had to live with this for the rest of his life.
Ever since that day Carson has lived with his mother and finally found healing in drug recovery. Carson has begun counseling for PSTD ( Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and also grief counseling.
Alcoholism and drug addiction have obvious and well-documented effects on chronic substance abusers. Prolonged abuse of drugs and alcohol deteriorate a person’s physical health, impair mental functioning, and damage the spirit. These adverse effects also impact the immediate family’s finances, physical health and psychological wellbeing.
Family roles naturally shift to adjust to the behaviors associated with drug or alcohol use, and to continue maintaining order and balance. Including the addict, there have been six roles identified to understand how the family functions around the substance abuser. They are:
No matter how old a parent’s child is, discovering that a child has an addiction can be an unpleasant, rude awakening. It may cause mothers and fathers to question their parental abilities or the decisions they made. Parents of addicts, much like children of addicts, often blame themselves for the development of the substance use disorder.
God is a forgiving God. We must be willing to forgive ourselves and grow from our mistakes. God can turn even the tragic addiction, and the grief-filled experience of losing his father into complete recovery and restoration.
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Drama Files: Too Late To Break Up?
Belinda and John met at a neighborhood party store. John noticed Belinda and was attracted to her, but Belinda was not attracted to him at all. John walked out of the store but waited patiently for Belinda to come out. When she saw John waiting for her, he approached and offered her his cell phone number. They talked, became friends, dated and later she moved into his home. Three months later Belinda discovered that John was a drug dealer. This frightened her and she wanted no part of his lifestyle.
Belinda wanted out of the relationship but John pleaded with her to stay and promised Belinda he would leave this illegal profession alone. Six months later, John was still selling drugs and Belinda was now expecting their first child. She did not want to separate the family and had no means to provide for herself and their son. Therefore, she remained in the relationship.
This is Not How I Was Raised
Belinda began to feel guilty because she was not raised to live in sin, but to live as man and wife. When speaking to John about her feelings, he expressed that he had not given any thought to marrying, but if that is want she wanted he would marry her. “But,” he said, “I am a man who cannot be faithful. ” Though she was certain at that point that she should have left, she stayed because of her child. She feared she had no resources of her own, so she married John.
Belinda knew that John had extra marital relationships over the years, but never confronted him because he provided for her and their son. John, finally after many years, left the drug life behind and secured a job working for the post office. One afternoon he left his cell phone at home and Belinda discovered several women that he was having an affair with. When she confronted him, he told her “ You knew the type of man that I was then and I had several women in my life.”
“We are man and wife,” Belinda countered. “Does that mean anything to you?”
“ No,” John replied.
No Options on the Table
Belinda sat in the room alone and cried. At the moment she bowed down on her knees and prayed to the Lord for help. A few days later Belinda was referred to me for assistance. We met and discussed her options.
Belinda stated her husband refused to seek counseling and would continue to have sex with other women because she no longer satisfies him. John wanted a wife to cater to his every whim and Belinda said she would not do this. She is now preparing to divorce John, at the age of 45. She has to start her life over again, still with no resources. The house, car and her real estate business all belong to him. John told Belinda she will leave the way she came into his home, with nothing.
After her first therapy session Belinda willingly returned to church, and is not afraid to start again. “ I never signed up for this type of life and I deserve better”.
During the therapy session I shared several scriptures and suggestions to assist Belinda on her new journey.
Scriptures and Suggestions for Guidance
“He who commits adultery lacks sense; he who does it destroys himself” Proverbs 6:32.
“Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners,” 1 Corinthians 15:33.
When an individual decides to become involved with another person who is openly living a life of lies and corruption, you must be strong enough to separate yourself and dissolve the relationship, immediately.
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Drama Files: Marriage Is Not For Profit
Tyrone and Lydia* have been dating for two years. He is a steel worker in a blue collar town and Lydia is a physician. The couple met through mutual friends and their relationship has blossomed. They both are Christians and are very active in their respective churches. The couple contacted me to assist them with premarital counseling. They want to fine tune any concerns regarding their upcoming engagement.
Tyrone and Lydia both feel that money is a concern and that it is factor in the relationship. Tyrone makes under six figures per year and Lydia makes well over seven figures per year. The couple has been arguing about who will pay for the new home, and also provisions for Tyrone’s two sons. Lydia thinks that it is not her responsibility to pay for them to have the lifestyle that she is accustomed to having. Tyrone thinks that in marriage the two become one in every aspect, including finances. Tyrone feels that Lydia is looking for a partner and not a husband. Lydia has no children and is very independent.
Should They Invest in This Relationship?
Lydia admitted she is afraid to trust because of her last relationship and that her last boyfriend was only interested in what she could provide for him. She admitted she is stuck in the past and is holding Tyrone hostage with her insecurities and feelings. Lydia requested counseling to find help with her feelings and her relationship with Tyrone.
Tyrone stated he seeks God’s counsel daily and does not want to have another failed marriage. His first wife was unfaithful and he was scarred deeply by her indiscretion. With Christian counseling for the past three years he is in a better emotional place in his life. He continues to pray and fast for wisdom. He relies heavily on his faith in God and his total desire is to please God. They have both made a commitment not to be sexually active and to remain celibate until marriage. He stated he would rather stop investing his time and heart in Lydia rather than continue to invest in her if their relationship is hopeless.
First, Lydia must decided what she wants from herself and from the relationship. Secondly, she must reconcile whether the finances are the real concern, or whether her fears and insecurities from her previous relationship are. Thirdly, I believe the question of whether she can approach the financial situation as a joint effort, not a separate effort, is a real concern. Tyrone and Lydia realize that they cannot move forward if these issues are not resolved.
Financial Concerns Cause Relationship Stress
Many couples spend hours arguing about what they feel matters, but at the end the day, it all points back to the lack of trust, respect and open communication. Family finance is one of the major causes of divorce. Disagreement over finances can tear apart the lining of of the relationship when one spouse may not be employed, or not contributing enough. Or one spouse may believe “What’s mine is mine, and what’s yours is yours,” an unrealistic and selfish way of thinking. The Bible states upon marriage, the two become one, Genesis 2:24.
Finances are the leading cause of stress in a relationship, according to a survey of people in a relationship or partnership released by SunTrust Bank. Some 35 percent of all respondents experiencing relationship stress said money was the primary cause of friction. (Annoying habits came in second, at 25 percent.) Among respondents with relationship stress aged 44 to 54, 44 percent said money was the primary cause.
“Money really touches everything. It impacts people’s lives,” said Emmet Burns, brand marketing director for SunTrust.
Prenuptial Agreement Covers More Than Money
Lydia feared that if the marriage fails, Tyrone would be legally entitled to portions of her property. “I do not want her money but only her love and respect,” he said to me during their session.
“I may not bring seven figures to the marriage, but I bring something you can’t put a price on: friendship, advice, companionship, spiritual leadership and love,” Tyrone said. “How ridiculous does it sound for me to hold back on friendship, protection, love, and companionship and when we get married I’ll hold back sex? Do we sign a prenup on those concerns because it may not work?”
“I may not bring seven figures to the marriage but I bring something you can’t put a price on: friendship, advice, companionship, spiritual leadership and love,” Tyrone said.Tyrone told Lydia that she is only looking at the tangible things and that she is not ready for marriage. She said she never looked at the situation through those lenses and she apologized to Tyrone. She told him she values what he brings to the table, acknowledging that it is priceless.
Work it Out
Lydia and Tyrone both stated that they want to marry one another and they love each other. They will continue counseling to help resolve the concerns and Lydia will receive individual counseling for her fears about sharing her finances in her future marriage.
*All names and locations have been changed to protect privacy.
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Drama Files: Acknowledging Brokenness
Eighteen year-old Jenna came from a loving environment. She grew up in a Christian home and attended some of the best schools in her city. Her parents always provided all the advantages that life could afford.
When the time came for Jenna to attend college her parents wanted her to follow them and attend their alma mater where they met. When her parents drove her to school and attended the parent orientation, everything fell in place. It was difficult for Jenna’s mother to leave her only child, but they embraced one another and said good bye.
Soon after classes began Jenna settled in with her schedule. She began to meet new people and enjoyed the routine of campus life. One afternoon she was studying in the library when Richard greeted her and started a conversation. She liked him instantly. The pair began to spend a lot of time together and soon became very close.
The Day That Everything ChangedOne afternoon two men brutally assaulted Jenna as she walked to her dorm. They almost beat her to death and she was unrecognizable. The campus police found her behind a building on campus. She was rushed to the hospital and then lingered in a coma for almost six months. Richard and her parents would visit her everyday with hopes of her regaining consciousness.
Late one evening, and after much prayer, Jenna awakened and recognized her parents. It all came back to her–Richard, her close friends, and the devastating attack. She had always been an action-oriented person who set the bar high for herself, and this awful situation created in her a vulnerable state of mind, understandably.
Jenna felt helpless and hopeless. Her parents sought Christian counseling because they recognized she needed intervention as soon as possible. She was depressed and very angry that she had been a target of such a terrible crime.
What Ray of Hope?I hoped to help Jenna focus on the fact that she was alive, though she had to acknowledge her brokenness. She was mentally and physically broken, exhausted. Jenna recognized that she could have died, and, or could have been raped. She blamed herself for trying to defend herself to prevent the attackers from hurting her more than they did.
Jenna’s parents continue to care for her as she made every attempt to return to her school routine. She and Richard are still together and he has been very patient and supportive with her during the whole process. The counseling treatment provided
information to help Jenna understand that she is not alone.
Sexual violence on campus is pervasive.
* 11.2% of all students experience rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence, or incapacitation (among all graduate and undergraduate students).
* Among graduate and professional students, 8.8% of females and 2.2% of males experience rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence, or incapacitation.
* Among undergraduate students, 23.1% of females and 5.4% of males experience rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence, or incapacitation.
* 4.2% of students have experienced stalking since entering college.
After many months of counseling, and the police apprehending the two men as they tried to attack another woman, Jenna is healing from her own brokenness and was able to bring closure to her past.
What Closure Looks LikeJenna testified against both men and they were sentenced to ten years in prison. She is now an advocate against campus violence. As a volunteer to support other victims, and speak out against the violence, she is thankful that God spared her life.
Jenna is also attending church and Bible class that has allowed her to trust God in everything. And, she believes that God has empowered her to speak out to help save others. She is very thankful for her Christian counseling and being able to acknowledge her brokenness to become whole once again.
As she grows stronger, Jenna shares this scripture everywhere she speaks:
Phil. 3:13-14: “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before. I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
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Anthony and Tina were expecting their first child and had been married for seven years. They made all the preparations for their daughter’s soon arrival. One evening Anthony had to work late during a terrible storm. He was employed with a local electrical wiring company. Tina was home alone and was not due to delivery for six more weeks. The couple felt comfortable and Anthony remained at work.
While Tina was preparing dinner the storm knocked out the lighting for their entire home. Three trees had fallen near the house and one in the driveway blocking her car. Eventually, the temperature chilled to 35 degrees, and she realized she had forgotten to charge the landline phone. And, of course, she could not get a signal on her cell phone.
Tina began to get nervous and was becoming very cold. She knew that stress could cause the baby to arrive sooner then expected. Therefore, she tried to remain calm and prayerful. As she was lighting candles throughout the house, God reminded her of her favorite scripture Daniel 6:16. “Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee.” Tina knew without a doubt that God would protect her through this storm.
All Went WrongWhen Anthony could not reach Tina, he knew his home had been impacted by the storm. He left his job and requested that an electrical crew be sent to his home immediately. However, it would take several hours for the team to arrive.
Tina still did not know what was going on outside of her home and continued to trust God. Before Anthony could arrive the roof caved in and some of the roof fell on Tina causing a terrible impact on her and the baby. Tina could not move and she felt an excruciating pain all over her body.
Tina tried to move her body to remove some of the lumber off her abdomen. However, the more she moved the worse she felt. She felt herself losing all her physical abilities due to the cold and the debris that confined her to the floor. She soon felt herself having contractions and was screaming for help. She called on the name of Jesus and recited scripture to help put her mind at ease, but subsequently lost all consciousness.
Power in the Name of JesusShortly, after Anthony and the electrical team arrived, they began to assist with saving Tina and the baby. Anthony knew that they didn’t have enough time to get Tina to the hospital and he remembered that their neighbor was an OB/GYN. He ran next door and knocked on the door and providentially, Dr. Winston was home. He told Anthony that although was scheduled to be on duty at the hospital that night, he was unable to get get there due to the storm. The same trees were blocking his driveway.
Anthony told Winston the situation and they ran to assist Tina. They worked to revive her, and were happy when she rallied because she was in labor and needed to assist in the birthing process.
Winston directed them to call an ambulance because Tina would need to be transported to the hospital right after she delivered the baby. Inviting the electrical team to join hands, Anthony prayed with Dr. Winston, and for God’s healing power and deliverance in this situation.
Trust That Speaks VolumesWinston coached Tina while Anthony stood by her side encouraging her. She soon gave birth to a beautiful and healthy baby girl. By the time Tina delivered the ambulance had arrived and transported them to the hospital. The electrical team had removed all the trees so that Winston could also get to the hospital. Within thirty minutes followed up with Tina and her doctor.
Anthony, Tina, and baby Danielle were all doing well. Several days later Tina and Danielle were able to leave the hospital and during this situation they have become good friends with the Winston family and have been witnessing to them about Christ. Winston was so moved by Tina and Anthony’s trust in God and the circle of prayer that he wanted to know more about their God. And, what was behind the name, Danielle? he wanted to know. They wanted to name the baby after Daniel in the Bible, the couple explained. Just as he did for Daniel, Tina stated, “I knew my God would rescue me.”
Tina’s Faith StrengthenedOver the next couple of weeks Tina realized she was experiencing anxiety and contacted me for Christian counseling. She shared two points in her counseling session with me because of her experience and the affects of the storm. First, God has a plan already in place as He did with Dr. Winston’s inability to get to the hospital that night. God had him available to assist. Second, she noted, nothing catches God by surprise.
While we are worrying we must learn to trust and lean on God totally. Tina thanked God for showing her a new path of trust and faith. She and her family are all well and truly thank God for her life and the life of Danielle.
Tina wants to remain in counseling to help overcome her concerns and learn new skills and tools to develop her walk and faith in God. She now clings to a new scripture of hope in Psalms 91:15: “He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honor him.”
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This article was written by Dr. Kim Logan-Nowlin for Message Magazine : Drama Files
Mother’s Day 2018, Mr. and Mrs. Samuel and Linda Carson* were notified that their two sons had been arrested for armed robbery. Linda Carson stated that her sons could not have committed any crime because they just arrived home the day before to celebrate Mother’s Day with her.
She called me to pray with her and to ask for my attorney’s number. I made myself available and went to meet with the attorney, the police, and the Carson brothers that day.
Tale of Two Sons
Alex and Andre are both third-year medical students and doing very well in school. Linda stated that her sons had been mistaken for two other young men, misidentified when they went to visit some of their old friends from high school in the old neighborhood.
Two young men had robbed a store, and were identified as two African- Americans wearing white t-shirts and blue jeans. The Carson brothers wore similar clothing, but during the time of the robbery, they were visiting with their pastor and other church members. After leaving the church they stopped to say hello and socialize with old friends and were arrested by police soon after. That is when someone identified them as perpetrators in a yearlong robbery spree.
Police arrested Alex and Andre and allowed them to call their parents. Soon, however, police acknowledged that a mistake in identity had been made. While the Carson brothers were being held in custody, two other young men committed another robbery on the other side of town.
The “Right” Brothers
As the Carson brothers left the precinct, they recognized the other two young men coming in. They had gone to middle school together. What happened to them over the years? It was clear they had chosen a life of crime while the Carsons had chosen God, a crime-free life, and education.
The brothers told me that they prayed together daily, and they called their parents everyday for family worship. They were thankful that they remained close to God, family and church. They recognized early in life from their parents that there are no easy, fast tracks in this life. You must pray, study God’s word, be kind to others, remain connected with positive family and friends, and work hard.
Fortunately, for them, all charges were dropped and the family was reunited.
Mother’s Love Rewarded
Linda Carson stated she was praising God all the way home. The family attended Sunday evening service together and she was thankful for an amazing and eventful Mother’s Day with her family. After church she asked her sons why they had gone to visit their friends in the first place. Their answer was that they had gone to visit, to give them a Bible, and pray with them! Linda smiled, hung her head and wiped a tear from her eyes.
“Continue to use them, Lord” she said, breathing a soft prayer.
Alex and Andre both reached out their hands and said, “Love you, Mom.”
Can We Talk Values?Samuel Carson prayed, never forgetting that this was truly a test of faith and sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ to others. He repeated the words of the Psalmist: “I will bless the Lord at all times. His praise will continually be in my mouth” (Psalm 34:1).
It is important for parents to teach their children morals and values with spiritual principals because, as they say “a family that prays together stays together.” There are at least 10 practical ways to teach your children the right values. I especially want to see our parents instill: respect, kindness, honesty, courage, perseverance, self-discipline, compassion, generosity, and dependability.
Most parents want to instill these kinds of values in their children, too. Doing so will protect them from potentially negative societal influences and lay the foundation for them to become good citizens. We’re not fulfilling our responsibilities as parents if we don’t try to instill solid morals in our children.