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joycemeyer

Joyce Meyer
MAINTAING INTIMACY WITH GOD IS A NECESSITY

Big-name speaker, internationally-acclaimed author, renowned Bible teacher and iBelieve columnist, Joyce Meyer wears a number o hats. But What’s she really like‘? Matthew Murray caught up with her…

MM: How do you spend time with God in the midst of your busy schedule? is it a challenge to do so?

JM: Maintaining intimacy with God is a vital necessity for me to do what I need to do and enjoy my life, so I’ve made a deter- mined decision to keep my time with God as my first priority.

I like to get up and have time alone with God first thing in the morning. Over the years it’s become a daily habit for me to spend time in God’s Word and his presence so I can be prepared for the day ahead. I need it or I won’t be at my best.
I love what the Bible says in John 15:5, that if we abide in Jesus, he will live in us. He is the source of everything we need, all the time, and apart from him, we can do nothing!

MM: What are your prayers for the next years?

JM: It’s always my prayer that I’ll fulfil God’s plans and purposes for me each day. My desire is to continue teaching his Word and helping people until I die or Jesus comes back to get me. I love what I Corinthians 9:24 says about running your race so that ‘you may lay hold [of the prize] and make it yours’. I want to be a finisher and never give up doing what God puts in my heart to do. This is what I pray for our friends and partners too.
We continually have vision and goals for our ministry to help more people. Our mission is ‘sharing Christ, loving people’, so we’re always looking for ways we can reach more people with the love of God and bring more people to Christ. No matter what’s going on in the world, the answer is always the same: the love, grace and mercy of God.

MM: How dc yea relax?

JM: l have learned that it’s very important to find a healthy balance with work and rest, and when I’m recharging, I do things that are fun for me, like shopping, relaxing at home and watching a movie or spending time with family and friends.

MM: Who are your heroes?

JM: My husband, Dave, has been a hero to me because he has been a consistently strong example of what it means to really love God, to be led by the Holy Spirit and to love others. When we got married, I was a mess because I was filled with anger, bitterness and pain from my past. I was negative and had the attitude, “lf I don’t expect anything good to happen, I won’t be disappointed when nothing good happens.”

I was so hard to live with, but Dave kept praying and seeking God and he was able to demonstrate God’s love and peace in his daily life. At first, it just made me mad that he wouldn’t be negative and join me in my complaining and worrying about things like finances and other situations we dealt with. But eventually, I came to the place where I was so desperate to have real peace in my life that I realised Dave wasn’t the problem — God needed to change me!

It wasn’t easy and it took longer than I wanted it to, but that’s when I started experiencing the total healing and restoration I needed in my mind and emotions.

MM: What’s your major regret?

JM: I don’t live with regret at this stage of my life, but I have had to let go of things I didn’t understand at times and just trust God. I still do.

For example, when I was a young girl, I prayed for God to make my dad stop
abusing me and he didn’t; and I didn’t understand why I had to go through it. But now I can see how God is using what I went through to help so many other people have hope and believe they can be what God really created them to be.

And I am just glad that my pain from the past — which I don’t live with anymore — is making a huge difference in others get the healing and restoration they desperately need from God. I will always be incredibly amazed by God’s love for us and his power to completely restore anyone, no matter what they’ve been through.

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JULIALAWTON

Julia Lawton
MAKE SURE YOU JOURNEY RIGHT TO THE END

I recently made a train journey which didn’t start too well. I found my seat and couldn‘t get my luggage overhead so put it by my feet. It was quite uncomfortable and, to make matters worse, I noticed that I was travelling backwards. I hate going backwards. The train was noisy and then a rather large man came and sat next to me, invading my space! I was beginning to get a little stressed by it. He was affecting my journey.

Then the train was delayed and diverted. Nightmare! I started to pray. To my surprise the man (a train spotter!) made polite conversation.

As he chatted to me he moved and I regained my personal space. He turned out to be a really pleasant man. The journey improved and later I changed trains and had a wonderful and undisturbed onwards journey.

We all have one life, but we can have different journeys. We can be going forward with God, thinking nothing is going to stop us, but then something happens and we’re stopped in our tracks. We cannot stand still. We have to keep going forwards otherwise we lose ground or start travelling backwards.

So how can we make our journey a better one? Isn’t it easier when we travel with a friend who knows the way? Jesus is the perfect travel companion. Allow him to journey with you. Listen to him and allow him to guide you and be more involved in your life.

PLAN AND PREPARE FOR YOUR JOURNEY

l planned my route and bought my tickets. What preparation are you making for your journey? Are you spending time with God? If you believe God is moving you into a new job or ministry then start researching and preparing for it. It’s time to get ready and prepared!

ALLOW FOR DELAYS AND A CHANGE OF ROUTE

l was delayed. Sometimes God delays. It may be that we are not ready to move forward. He is preparing us all the time. Faith in God includes faith in God’s timing. God may want us to change route. We need to allow him to do that by listening to his voice and being willing to submit to his perfect plan (Jeremiah 29:11).

My family and l were happy living in Crewe when God called us to the North East. l was not looking to move. We could have stayed with our children where life was pretty comfortable but I knew that if we wanted to have a full and effective life we needed to be living in God’s will. We would have missed out on so much if we had stayed where we were.

ENJOY THE JOURNEY

My train journey would have been so much more comfort- able and enjoyable if my luggage had been in the luggage rack. We need to move forward into all that God has for us. We can’t do that if we are weighed down with baggage. Hebrews
l2:1 encourages us to ‘throw off everything that hinders us’.

During our lives we will pick up baggage such as offence, hurts, disappointments, resentment, unforgiveness, bitterness rejection, shame etc. lf we carry them around with us they will affect every area of our lives. My journey was nearly affected by that man. Can l encourage you to stay focused on where you are going? Do not let circumstances, distractions or people stop you moving forward.

STAY ON THE TRAIN

l didn’t get off before my destination. l stayed on all the way, even though it wasn’t the easiest of journeys. And that is what God is calling us to do.

During his later life Winston Churchill was invited to speak at a university. His arrival was delayed and no time was left for a long speech. Churchill stood before the young graduates and paused and then barked, “Never give up.” He paused for about 30 seconds and said, “Never, never give up!” Finally, after a much longer pause, he shouted, “Never, never, never give up!” He returned to his seat to a standing ovation.

The words ‘never give up’ are ones all Christians should have written on their hearts. Perseverance is one of the key qualities which will enable us to stay the course and complete our individual journey and live effective and successful Christian lives.

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womens’ page

Helen Wreford

IT’S IMPOSSIBLE TO PLUMB THE DEPTHS OF
A MOTHER’S LOVE

WREFORD FAMILY
iBelieve’s mother-in chief, Helen Wreford, reflects on the differences between boys and girls this Mother’s Day
Gather round and let me tell you a story. Once, there was a beautiful young lady, and she married her prince. They went off to live happily ever after, but then they remembered that the story doesn’t end there…
Five years later, enter son one. I don’t do pregnancy well: my body just doesn’t like it. l felt so sick for so long, but at the end of that whole process l met Mark.
That’s a moment I’ll never forget, nor be able to describe. A little bundle of flesh and blood that I cared about more than l imagined possible.

It’s impossible to plumb the depths of a mother’s love —just like it’s impossible to plumb the depths of the exhaustion you can feel late at night, when you’re feeding again and the hours stretch out. But here I was, and I was all he needed. He depended on me and l was there.

I don’t think that ever really goes away. I’ve always wanted to make everything OK for my children. Mark was followed by Jamie and then Sophie. When we had the first two, l thought l had found out how different children could be, but oh my I giddy aunt was l wrong!

Boys are simple creatures, it seems to me. Enough food and enough football and they’re happy. They don’t tidy their rooms, no matter how hard you try, and they might start washing a bit more once there’s a girlfriend in the picture. Until then, it’s damage limitation. Especially, when it comes to clothing! On one priceless occasion, we spent an afternoon picking out an outfit for Jamie. He needed to dress to impress at a school disco, if l remember correctly. When it came to it, he decided he’d rather wear a scruffy old hoodie. Not so Sophie. Now here’s a girl after my own heart. Fluff, sparkles and finally some fashion-consciousness came back into my world.

Sophie was also responsible for the rediscovery of funny things called emotions in our house. While she was blissfully inhabiting a world of princes, ponies and pink, her brothers had graduated to the grunting monotone of teenage-dom. We still spoke — well, l did — but they didn’t have a lot to say for themselves. Sophie, though, has a more eclectic approach to feelings: she wants to sample them all! At least, that’s how it appears from a mother’s vantage point, as exam stress gives way to elation on completion; tearful depression one minute, hyper excitement the next. Oddly, we’ve not tried calm consistency recently…

l think the one thing that stays the same through all of these differences is love. My kids love-their food. But actually, I love them.

Cooking for them is one way of showing it — and I’m infamous for my massive portion sizes – but it’s an expression of my passionate love for them. Now, boys and girls, remember that and live happily ever after — and tidy your room!

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Sophia McLachlan

WHY, I BELIEVE

Sophia McLachlan originally from Dorset, runs a charity that reaches the marginalised in Kenya

WHAT DO YOU DO? TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR LIFE

My family and I have a charity called Awaken Love for Africa, based in Dorset. been there ever since. have worked closely with the Gideons Orphanage in Kenya for the past five years. There are I53 children that live there plus there is a primary and secondary school on site which is open to the whole community. I was planning to go to university when I left school but God opened a door to go to Kenya and my heart has been there ever since. I had a desire to change poverty and bring the love of God to hopeless people. I gave up all my plans and God met me in Kenya in a mighty way.

WHO INTRODUCED YOU TO JESUS?

I was raised in a family that loves Jesus BUT THE Lord showed me himself to me personally when I was 18. he showed me the sufferings that he went through because he love me. It changed my life forever and set a passion in my heart to serve Him and bring Him glory.

HAS YOUR FAITH CHANGED THE WAY YOU TREAT OTHERS?

Yes, I have more love for the broken, the lost, the proud and the sinner . . . I have learnt to love people in a new way. Living in Kenya has opened my eyes to see things differently.

WHY DO YOU BELIEVE?

I believe because my life depends on it. i can’t think, breathe, love or move without God. His precious blood is the only thing that can save me from eternal hell. Living in Africa makes you believe more as your whole life depends on Him.

DO YOU EVER DOUBT GOD‘?

When God gives you dreams and visions, you should never doubt him — no matter how long it might take to come to pass. God’s thoughts and plans are higher than children in Kenya ours! We should never doubt no matter the time it takes.
Our children in Kenya had no money for food one night but really wanted to eat rice. They asked God to provide for them, so they lit the fire and sat and prayed for rice. They prayed for hours until the fire had gone out. Then an old mama from the village walked in, saying the Lord told her to bring rice. The children were so happy as their prayers had been answered. Never doubt God, ever! Exercise faith in your BIG God.

IF YOU COULD SUM UP YOUR EXPERIENCE OF BEING A CHRISTIAN IN ONE SENTENCE, WHAT WOULD IT BE‘?

It is all about Jesus Christ and his precious blood that was shed for us — I live to bring Him glory. ‘

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Lindsey Everatt

WHY I BELIEVE

 

Lindsey Everatt is a nurse who lives in South Yorkshire

 Who introduced you to Jesus? I was brought up in a Christian home so was introduced to Jesus as a child. I grew up in church where I was taught all about him and surrounded by people who I could see knew him personally. To me, Jesus seemed more like a ‘friend of a friend’ – until I gave my life to him when I was 16. We’ve been best friends ever since!

Has your faith changed the way you treat other people? Definitely, mainly because faith (or should I say God) has changed me. I hear many people say that it doesn’t take faith for an individual to treat people in the right way. As true as that is, I believe that my faith enables me to see people in the way that God sees them. The way God has extended grace, compassion, forgiveness, love and kindness to my life enables me to extend the same to others.

How do you hear God’s voice? God speaks to me differently depend­ing on the season I’m walking though. I mainly hear God’s voice in the day-to-day simple things. My ability to hear him is based upon my relationship with him. By spending time in his presence and asking him to be with me throughout the day, I find that I can hear his still, small voice guiding me through the decisions I have to make. There are times when I need to hear God’s voice for clear direction in a situation. It’s at those times that I find God speaking to me though his Word, listening to teaching or by spending time with others who I know hear from him.

 What do you believe God’s plan for your life is? Can I let you know when I find out!? My walk with God has never been with a particular goal in mind. This has been a frustration of mine over the years because I’m the type of person who likes to have personal targets to work towards, but I have learnt to trust that he knows the plans he has for me.

God has placed passions in my heart for lost, broken, abused and neglected women. I believe that he is going to bring these women into my life and it’s a desire of my heart that he’ll work through me to meet their needs.

 Does going to church on a Sunday make you a Christian, or is there more to it? It doesn’t make me a Christian, but it certainly makes the journey easier! Being a Christian without going to church is like being in a team without going to practice. As much as I believe in turning to God and his Word to learn about who he is and how I should live, I also believe that I can learn so much from other people’s walk with God.

How do you build your faith? I would say that the main way I build my faith is by reading about or listening to stories of people who have experienced God doing the impossible in, through or for them.

I often look for Scripture or listen to teaching which relates to the area where I need my faith to increase. Learning about all that God has done in the past builds my faith for all that he can do in the present.

My experience with God has always been that he places me in situations which test my faith, often to the point where faith is all I have to hold on to. I don’t believe that I can ever reach a limit of faith but that God will continually build my faith by revealing to me glimpse by glimpse who he is.IMG_2282

 

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janine parkinson

Janine Parkinson
WHY I BELIEVE

Janine Parkinson is a neonatal nurse, wife and mum from Sheffield…

HOW DID YOU BECOME A CHRISTIAN, AND A NURSE‘?

I’ve not always been a Christian, and I gave my life to the Lord when I was 19 after a difficult childhood, rebellious teen-age years and a number of events.
I’ve not always been a nurse in my working life, either. I left school with few GCSEs and little drive, but after I married in 2005 I went to college for three years to get my qualifications for university. Then, after a further three years at university and a year out to my have my daughter, I finally qualified.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD?

My relationship with God changes as anyone’s does, but he has touched my heart and changed my life so much that I can’t deny him.
I hear God a lot in the little things of life. I often get a real feeling that I have to do something that l just can’t shake, and it won’t leave me until I’ve actioned whatever it is.

My heart has always been to bind up the broken hearted and help them to live in freedom. I’ve always felt I’d like to start a clinic for children and families in a place where people don’t have the same access to medical care like we have here in the UK. This is the main reason why I went into nursing and I’m hoping that this will be the next chapter of my life.

WHERE DO YOU LOOK FOR HELP AS A CHRISTIAN?

Throughout my Christian life, the one thing that has shaped my walk with God is the verse in Matthew 6:33, which says, “Seek first the kingdom of God and the rest will be added unto you.” I have found this to be so true and whenever I battle for something I try to remind myself that I’m not on this earth for my earthly desires.

Another thing that has helped me in my walk with God is the Holy Spirit. I once went on mission to Africa with a powerful woman of God named Pauline Edwards, and she always said, “Keep speaking in tongues in every situation.” As the Bible says, this ‘edifies the soul’, and I’ve found it to be true in so many
ways. So now, whenever something is bothering me or I need to pray hard about something, locking myself away for half an hour and speaking in tongues really helps.

HAVE YOU HAD ANY DOUBTS ABOUT GOD?

As a nurse I find myself in many situations that test my faith and shake my very existence, but my faith has actually got stronger through being exposed to these things. I have learned that being able to trust God no matter what is an absolute must.IMG_2256

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rachelissitt

Rachel Issitt
WHY I “BELIEVE

Rachel Issitt lives in Nottingham and. runs a Christian missions organisation

What do you do? Tell us a bit about your life. I’m married to Edward and we have two wonderful daughters… Bethany, who is three and Hannah, who is almost one.

I’m half Indian and half English, and I really love experiencing other cultures and their diversity. Along with my husband, we direct Your Mission, which is a ministry with a passion to see each and every Christian engage in mission.

We seek to inspire others to serve God through our preaching, teaching, training and forums. I also lecture on missions at Mattersey Hall Bible College and I recently completed my first book ‘What’s Your Mission?’, which is available on Kindle.

I’m currently writing my second book on the Proverbs, which have massively challenged and inspired me lately. Preach¬ing is something I am doing more and more of. We are part of the leadership of a vibrant church in Nottingham and we both love to travel!

How do you hear God’s voice? God can be heard loud and clear through the Bible. I like to put the principles of the Bible into practice and watch the results, even when obeying what God says is opposite to the usual way of looking at things. I do aim to keep a sensitive heart toward God and seek to be open to his voice.

I occasionally hear God through prophecy, words of knowledge, dreams, pic¬tures and impressions which God places on my heart. Any revelation needs to match up with the principles in the Bible, as there is no higher wisdom than God’s Word. I also ask God for confirmation regarding such things and need to have peace. I do sometimes get hearing from

God wrong but as long as I stay open to correction and allow the Bible to have the final word, it’s all OK. God understands me.

What do you believe his plan for your life is? I believe God wants us to love, worship, obey and serve him as a family. We travel a lot and believe this is something we will do a lot of in the future. I believe our travelling worldwide will include impassioning others for mission through preaching and equipping.

God loves us and his plans are to bless, increase, prosper us and cause us to be fruitful in what we do. I love the USA and so hope that is part of God’s place for us to visit more often in the future as well as going to many other nations in a ministry capacity.

If you could sum up your experience of being a Christian in one sentence, what would it be? An exciting and fulfilling journey of growing, learning and following Jesus.

How do you build your faith?

It is important to belong to a good church and be rooted and planted in it Reading the Bible is important. Prayer is a key and I aim to have a devotional time each day. Edward and I pray together most mornings and read a passage from the Bible as well. Good worship music helps. I listen to preaching on podcasts and aim to spend more time with quality Christians who will stretch, challenge, rebuke and inspire me to go further. Sometimes when we take a big picture perspective of our lives, we can trace the moving of God in our circumstances. This helps us to look forward in faith. I have lots of encouraging answers to prayers and miracles which I can think on and it gives me faith for the future and confidence that Jesus is the same tomorrow as he was yesterday.

Describe yourself in five words Creative, traveller, musical, teacher, inspirer.

How do you build your faith? It is important to belong to a good church and be rooted and planted in it. Reading the Bible is important. Prayer is key and I aim to have a devotional time each day. Edward and I pray together most mornings and read.

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leannemallett

Leanne Mallett
THERE’S A PLAN, BUT YOU NEED TO BE PATIENT

Feel like life is stuck and things just aren’t working out? Don’t worry, God’s just getting you ready writes Leanne Mallett

When we are going to a celebration, we first get an invite and then there comes a time of ‘getting ready’. I don’t know about you, but if I’m going somewhere special, this is all part of the excitement.

Take weddings – the preparation and planning for that big day could have been going on for years, Then there’s having a baby and the things we do in anticipation of the new arrival. As ladies, getting ready for cel¬ebration is one of the things we love the most.

When we know the place where we are going to is likely to be good, we approach it with the right mindset and with an attitude of expectancy, It’s the same with what God has in store for us. You see, you were born for a purpose; for a time such as this!

Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future,” In other words, the Lord is saying, “Hey, I already know what’s ahead for you. I have plans.”

When we plan, usually there is a time of preparation and we need to be patient. I love the illustration of growing a Chinese bamboo tree, A seed is planted and you don’t see much growth for at least four years. It needs

The amazing Chinese bamboo tree can grow 90 feet in just six weeks – but seems to do nothing for the first four years! It needs watering and feeding each year, then – al! of a sudden, at around the fifth year-within six weeks it can grow to an incredible height of 90 feet! There is an appointed time for it, but patience is needed.

Often, during the waiting, we can become frustrated that things aren’t happening as quickly as we would like. But there is a given time for everything that happens in our life; it says so in Ecclesiastes 3.

There has to be a nine-month gestation period before a baby is born. He or she needs to grow and that waiting time is important-it’s vital. My daugh¬ter was born ten weeks early and there were complications initially, If a bride-to-be sud¬denly announces her wedding will be tomorrow, it would cause chaos as no one would be ready. So waiting for ‘the time’ is important.

Often in the ‘getting ready’ we come across setbacks. Have you ever been getting ready, nails freshly polished, and you smudge them, or a ladder ap¬pears in your tights, or your hair just won’t go right? Ladies, it’s a catastrophe! It spoils our getting ready! I’m sure we’ve all used the phrase, “That’s it, I’m not going!” Our attitude changes as there is a setback. If you are reading this today and you feel despondent because you think things aren’t progressing as quickly as you would like – just hang in there! Sometimes God is waiting on us to deal with some things first. Sometimes we need to adjust things in our life. It could be an attitude that needs dealing with, it could be some unforgiveness we are harbouring or it could be some fears that need to go, Setbacks sometimes are just God saying, “Slow down, the timing isn’t right yet!”

So today, I believe God wants us to celebrate in whatever stage we are at. We may feel like we don’t know what is going on, but God has a plan and we just need to trust him,
If we are grounded in the Lord and know who we are in God, we won’t give up; we will carry on regardless, as we know he is in charge of our life.

Parties, weddings, births and jubilees are amazing and we go away with great memories, but the celebration of living life with Jesus goes on forever. Building our house on the rock also gives us an even greater bonus. We are ‘getting ready’ to spend eternity with Jesus, too. What an assurance we have!

So, while we are here let’s celebrate in the getting ready – getting ready for the life Jesus has mapped out for us here on earth, and getting ready for the life he has for us eternally.

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marionmeyers

Marion Meyers
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF OUR GENERATIONS

Women of all ages enjoyed the fellowship and incredible teaching streams at Aspire during EBWI3, as Marilyn Glass reports

It was an honour for the Aspire team to be part of Elim Bible Week 2013. The theme ‘Generations’ is so much a part of our Aspire vision.

The Aspire stand was a meeting point for generations of women who chatted, shopped and gathered more information on the Aspire vision and our future events. There is always a buzz when women connect together, and this year was no exception, from casual chats with lots of laughter to stories of God’s grace through life experiences.

Each morning the Aspire streams dealt with subjects to which women could relate. Mags Hallam spoke on ‘the bar¬ren woman sings’. It was a personal testimony from the heart that was very moving. The pain of miscarriage is devastating, but the full story for Paul and Mags is an exceptional journey of God’s exceptional plans.

Although they have no natu¬ral children, they are parents to the many children in the homes they have in India and Romania as part of their mission programme. Also, at their Light¬house church in Manchester, they input into the lives of many young people. Such a story of hope from despair.

‘Generational blessings’ was the theme given to Bobbie Tin-nion, who, with such candour
and humour, looked at the different decades of a woman’s life. In each decade there were fresh challenges to face but also a freedom to enjoy the wisdom of the past and the opportunities of the future. There was a real sense of God wanting to use every generation, each helping the other. We can do things alone, but it is better to do it together.

‘Generationally significant’ was covered by Marion Meyers. With her experience as a social worker and ordained Elim minister, Marion spoke with great passion.

There was a real depth of teaching and practical information placed into our hands. There was a call for women to rise up in confidence and with a God-given authority to take their place to empower generations.

On the final day, Julia Derbyshire and Lynda Heron tackled the subject of holy hormones. In line with God’s Word, they spoke of the emotional well-being of women through each decade.

Mentioning the part hormones play in our lives, they highlighted the benefits of good nutrition and exercise to keep us healthy, both physically and emotionally. Also, we were en¬couraged not to be led by mood swings but instead to use the wisdom from God’s Word over our lives. God is able to bring everything into alignment as he knows every detail of our lives. One of the passions of Aspire is to release the younger generations. This was our thinking when we invited Jemma Chesman, one of our Aspire team, to speak at our main event.

Jemma, one of Elim’s ordained ministers, spoke so powerfully and with great authority. It was a message of hope which stirred up a passion for women to make a significant impact in our society through each generation. This was our day and God was raising up confident women who did not see their confidence in themselves but through God’s confidence in us and through us.

Aspire exists to encourage and inspire women to be all that God has called them to be and to do all he has called them to do.

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andkimandrickcarpenter Krickitt Carpenter
MY WIFE FORGOT WE WERE MARRIED

In this extract from the book behind popular movie The Vow, Kim Carpenter unpacks part of his journey as he watched his wife recover from the horrendous car accident which robbed her of any memory of him

“Krickitt,” her therapist began in a soothing voice, “do you know where you are?” Krickitt thought for a moment before replying, “Phoenix.”

“That’s right, Krickitt. Do you know what year it is?”

“1965.”

She was born in 1969 I thought, somewhat frantically. That’s just a setback – nothing to really worry about, I tried to convince myself.

“Who’s the president Krickitt?”

“Nixon.”

Well, he was the president when she was born, I justified.

“Krickitt, what’s your mother’s name?” the therapist continued.

“Mary,” she said with no hesitation… and no expression. Now we’re getting somewhere. Thank you God!

“Excellent Krickitt. And what’s your father’s name?”

“Gus.”

“That’s right. Very good.” He paused before continuing, “Krickitt, who’s your husband?”

Krickitt looked at me with eyes void of expression. She looked back at the thera¬pist without answering.

“Krickitt, who’s your husband?”

No! God, please!

Krickitt looked at me again and back at the therapist. I was sure everyone could hear my heart thudding as I waited for my wife’s answer in silence and desperation.

“I’m not married.”

The therapist tried again, “No, Krickitt, you are married. Who’s your husband?”

She wrinkled her brow. “Todd?” she questioned.

Her old boyfriend from California? Help her remember God!

“Krickitt, please think. Who’s your husband?”

“I told you. I’m not married.”

When Krickitt made her declaration of singleness in such a matter-of-fact way, it felt like someone had thrust a knife deeply into my chest. I looked into her eyes, praying for even the slightest hint that she recognised me. She looked back with the gaze of a stranger.

She remembered her parents, brother, and sister-in-law. She remembered her old roommate Lisa. She even remembered her old boyfriend Todd, which didn’t bring me great joy.
But she could remember nothing from the previous year and a half. And what had happened during those months? My wife and I had met, dated, gotten engaged, gotten married, had our honeymoon in Hawaii, and started our life together.

The most encouraging part of Krickitt’s recovery was that somehow her faith in God had remained intact. She remembered things about God, church and the Bible, as was obvious from her first journal entry after the accident and from other comments she had made about what she called ‘this Christianity thing’. As scrambled as her thinking was, she had praised God and prayed to him shortly after being charted out of a coma. Even so, I still had some fears about whether or not Krickitt’s faith would be as strong as it had been.

Her brother Jamey calmed some of my fears with these words: “Krickitt’s Christianity is in her core, Kim – it’s part of her soul. Her soul can’t be affected by any injury because it’s immortal. Her faith will always be there. It’s there A scene from The Vow, starring Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams, which told the story of Kim and Krickitt great purpose, and her faith is there to carry her through.” At times I wondered how our lives would have turned out if the accident had never happened. I longed and grieved for all the dreams we might now never see come to fruition. But I also came to realise that we had a chance to build a new future together.

My wife was still with me. She still could have a life. We could still have a life. But I had to accept the fact that it would not be the life that I had been looking forward to.

As hard as it was, I knew God must have preserved her like this for some great purpose he could see that I couldn’t.

The advice, encouragement, and love I received from Jamey and other mem¬bers of the family helped me hold things together when I should have been falling apart. As surely as God had saved my wife for some great, unknown purpose, he had also surrounded me with loving, supportive people I could talk to. When and Krickitt’s family to share the burden. I would have given up if I’d tried to keep everything inside.

It wasn’t that I hadn’t prayed. I had, and often. But I knew that my focus had been on Krickitt and my desires for her and us, not on God and his desires for us. I need¬ed to focus more on him. I needed to trust him more, because he is the one who is all-powerful, not me. So I made God a promise that I would always remember to trust in him and his amazing power.

On April 14, 1994, Krickitt came home. Four days later we celebrated our seven-month anniversary. At that point Krickitt had spent two thirds of our married life as a hospital patient. and I had spent two- thirds of our married life wondering if my wife would ever remember that she had, indeed, married me.
OUR LOVE HAS GROWN STRONGER

Kim and Krickitt Carpenter’ remarkable experience has given them an incredible testimony. They told iBelieve a little bit more about what it’s meant for them

How has your experience changed your view of love?

It has created a much stronger lo’ and a greater sense of peace in 01 relationship. The small things do create hardships for us like they c in other relationships. Our love h; grown stronger because of over¬coming the hardships we have b< through.

What do you think of the film and the renewed media focus on your story?

The film, although much different than the book, we felt was very good. Rachel and Channing did a good job in their roles. The context of the story was there and the m was very good about leading pei to the book. A Japanese television producer once said ‘the world n« this story’.

How do you hope that your testimony will impact others?
Based on response from people there is a want to change and m; a better relationship for themselves. We are very hopeful that our story will help people to want to change or make others think hard about true meaning of a vow.

How do you deal with doubt?

We recognise that at times life w be challenging. Our faith is what tains our doubt and during that we look to one another for adde support.

How has your faith been affected?

Our faith has more strength than ever. The Lord showed us the reward for persevering and the stronger the faith we have the more stable we have become.

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