Encourage – From Fearful to Thankful

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I hope you’ve been enjoying these testimonies of encouragement. It is wonderful to hear about how God is working in the lives of women to inspire, support, and fill them with courage!

This week we will hear from a young mom who had to find the courage and strength to get through with her husband’s deployment. Though you may never have to endure this particular kind of hardship, her story paints a wonderful picture of how God’s Word empowers us, equips us, and energizes us in the midst of the battle. Everyone can learn from and be encourage by this story!

Testimony of Encouragement #4

Meet Theresa …Fearful and Alone

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Hi! I’m Theresa, and I’ve been asked to share a small part of how God has been working in my life, specifically through our recent deployment. It is so hard for me to put this experience into words. My feelings when I first heard that Josh was going to be deployed for 6-9 months were feelings sadness, fear, and fatigue. I wondered how I could possibly get through it. I was overwhelmed!

The devil tried so hard to control my thoughts, mood and behavior. Josh and I prayed and committed from the beginning not to let the devil win. We knew that God was in control and that all things came from Him. We tried our hardest to focus on the positive and see God’s work. We knew that even if we couldn’t understand His plan, we could trust that it was for good and had kingdom purpose.

It was hard to stay focused! The negative feelings and emotions came back all the time. I was so thankful I was involved in Bible Studies and surrounded by godly women. Deep down I knew that God was in control of all things, and that He already knew the whole story. But He had to teach me to truly stand on His truth and abide in Him. I had to learn to give up control and let God do His thing. As a person who feels most comfortable with a plan, that was a hard lesson to learn!

Over the time Josh was gone, I had to continually battle my thought life. The devil wanted me to dwell on the lies and deception he planted over and over. It is so easy for me to let my emotions and thoughts lead me to the worse case scenario, and Satan knew that. I had to learn to take my thoughts captive, to truly focus on things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable. (Philippians 4:8)

I was learning a ton about who God is, AND that His word is 100% truth that can be counted on.

As it says in Jeremiah 29:11-14, 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. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord.”

This verse was not given to the Israelites during a time of easy living and rest. No, this was during captivity when they were lost and scared. Yet God never gave up on them, never left them without hope. His Word states that “all things work together for the good for those who love GOD and are called according to HIS purpose.” (Romans 8:28) He was continuing to show me that He could provide all my needs regardless of my circumstances and that if I trusted in Him with ALL my heart, He would be there.

Another thing I was learning was the difference between joy and happiness. I am continuing to learn to “rejoice always, pray without ceasing, and give thanks in all circumstance.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) Even in our hardest moments we have so much to be thankful for, and if we focus our eyes up, toward God – on His goodness – then our problems don’t seem so awful. We realize that we “can do all things through Christ who gives us strength.” (Philippians 4:13)

God is continuing to show me that whenI have the right focus my heart can be truly joyful.

Even though deployment was hard, and I wouldn’t want to do it again, there was so much good too! The sweet times I had with my children, special time with family, the time Josh and I had to grow in God’s Word because of the extra alone time at night, and learning to completely  lean on the Lord.

God showed us that no one was in control – only Him. When it seemed impossible that Josh would come home on time (hurdle after hurdle continued to come), I refused to let the devil win and continued to trust in God. I truly felt peace that HE was working to prove that it was Him bringing Josh home. And He did!

We must never loose sight of who God is, that He alone is trustworthy. He desires and longs for our whole heart. When the devil tries to pull us away, He calls to us. “Return to me” is His constant call. No matter what we do, he never turns away. He never gives up on us.

My biggest lesson … Stand on His truth! It never fails. “The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever” Isaiah 40:8.

Other verses that meant a lot too me during this time

  • Psalm 16 (This was my focus for the year – specifically verse 8)
  • Jeremiah 17:5-8
  • Lamentations 3:19-24
  • Philippians 4:8, 12-13
  • 2 Chronicles 20 (Especially verses 12, 15-17, and 21) I learned that the battle is not mine, and God fights for me. I love verse 21 when they praised Him on the way to battle, before victory because they trusted Him! They believed what he said would come to pass. This is how I felt during the time we were waiting for Josh to make it home.

Theresa Now … Thankful

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  • Are you overwhelmed?
  • Do you need God to replace your fear with faith?
  • How are you using God’s Word to empower, equip, and energize you for the battle today?
  • Do you know a military wife whose husband is deployed, a single mom, or just someone who needs a hand? Will you reach out to them this week and be the hands and feet of Christ?
  • Ask God to make you sensitive to those around you this week and show you who you need to encourage.

You could make a meal for a family, pay for a drive-thru meal for the person in the car behind you, write a note of encouragement, send a text, or call someone and pray for them over the phone.

Thank you, Theresa, for sharing this testimony of encouragement!



Jacqueline Heider is the Director of Women’s Ministry, Prayer, and Resource Specialist at Warren Baptist Church