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A number of years ago, we went through a trial in our household, and a friend approached my husband, Wally, and said, "I discern that you are going through a spiritual trial."

He talked to Wally and prayed with him and then came to me. He said, "I've been praying with your husband and I discerned that Wally is going through a trial."

I said, "Yes, he is." Our friend continued, "And I have discerned the problem." I said, "What is it?" He said, "You." "Me!" "Yes, it's you." "What do you think I'm doing wrong?"

He told me, "You're just too active in the ministry." (This happened long before I was as active as I am now.) He went on to say, "Wally can't have a ministry because yours is so important. You're in the way."

When he said that, it hurt me so much that I couldn't tell anyone about it. I didn't go to anyone. I just hurt inside. Have you ever had anything hurt so much that you couldn't talk about it? That's how much it hurt.

All of our married life, and before, Wally always encouraged me in every respect, but I thought, "Is this what he really feels? Has he just been putting on a front? Has he not been honest with me? Is he really down on me? Has this really bothered him?"

And I became hard and brittle inside. I'll be honest—I became like iron. I just wanted to crack apart and throw it all in.

Then one day I told a friend about it. My friend said, "You're carrying all this around. Why don't you ask Wally?" So I did, and he laughed at me. He said, "How could you think that when I've always encouraged you?" 

"How could you even let that enter your mind? You know the problem in that man's life. He has a beautiful ministry, but he has an aspect of women that is not the total concept of what God has. He doesn't really discern the fullness. He doesn't understand a call."

Then I remembered the things this man had told us before he was married. He had said that when he married he wouldn't want his wife to play the piano or organ, to sing, or to teach. She wouldn't do anything but cook and sew for him.

So I turned my anger on the friend! I thought, "That's a terrible thing! He could have broken up our marriage over this." Even his name made me angry. If he came through town and wanted to be with us, I always had an excuse so I wouldn't have to be with him.

I'll be honest—I didn't like him. I got hard and brittle on the inside. Why? Because I didn't discern the Body. The Father said, "You're to forgive. You're to pray for people who despitefully use you. You're to bless them and do good to them."

I certainly didn't discern that! I was too busy being angry.

But the Lord will help, because He doesn't want us to be cast iron and crack. He may see you sway, but He wants to take the Word to you and bring you back to your original position.

One day I received a letter from a university that has a woman in a high position. This friend had a position there, too. The letter invited me to speak there. I thought, "When I see him, I'm going to ask him how he likes to work for a woman." Terrible!

Why did I feel like that? Because I had not discerned that the Body of Christ is to be forgiving. I was still hard and brittle inside.

God called me to pray before I went there. Do you know whom I saw when I first arrived? Our friend! Do you know what I thought when I saw him? I thought, "I just love you." It wasn't my love. It was the love of Jesus flowing through me.

I had lunch with him and his wife, and afterward she visited with me. She said that they were going through a terrible trial and asked me to pray for them.  God worked with me to pray for them and dropped faith in my heart for them.

To this day, when I hear their names, I just love them. Do you know what happened when I prayed for them? I believe God accepted me and restored me from the captivity in my spirit that could have cracked me.

He didn't want me to be cast iron. He wanted me to be high-tension steel. Sure, the winds had come, but He wanted the Word to bring me back into place.

Source: Beat Tension by Marilyn Hickey
Excerpt permission granted by Marilyn Hickey Ministries

Author Biography

Marilyn Hickey
Web site: Marilyn and Sarah
Encouraging, optimistic, always upbeat, and energetic at the young age of 90, Marilyn Hickey actively ministers internationally, most recently in Sudan, Israel, Jordan, Egypt, India, China, and Pakistan, as well as domestically in the United States through Bible Encounters and speaking engagements. Marilyn has had audiences with government leaders and heads of state all over the world. She is the first woman to join the Board of Directors of the largest church in the world, Dr. David Yonggi's Church Growth International in South Korea. She has traveled to 146 countries and plans to visit many more in the years to come. She and her late husband Wallace were married for over 50 years, and have two children and four grandchildren.

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