When I was young there was a lot of verbal abuse and anger in our home. Negative attitudes and hurtful words were expressed to me and to others in my presence. These outbursts scared me. I became so afraid, that when someone would accuse me of something I had done, I would just deny it because I didn’t want to experience another outburst. I became a very quiet person. When I went to school, I was made fun of a lot which made me feel rejected and worthless. This locked my heart even tighter. 

I met my wife and we married. I couldn’t lead because I lacked confidence and was afraid of rejection. My mom was a dominant person who tried to control. She told dad what to do. I was afraid of Dad’s anger and Mom’s controlling nature. When I should have been learning to lead and communicate, my heart was locked and I couldn’t. Now, as a husband, I couldn’t share my heart with my wife. I didn’t know how to meet my wife’s spiritual needs, causing pain and frustration for both of us. 

When she would pressure me to lead in our home, I felt controlled and dominated. My heart locked and I would leave the house just as I had done when my mother would pressure me.
When our children were older, we had problems that led us to Grace Haven. We were led in prayers to Jesus and experienced his forgiveness, love, closeness, and an emotional connection to each other that we had never experienced before. The peace I felt afterward was great! I also have noticed that when I read the Bible, I can understand it like never before.  
"I was a sensitive little girl. I would cringe under Dad’s harsh words. I became very afraid of men, a raised voice would make me lock up. This made me view God as harsh.  I turned Dad’s negative critical words into feelings of rejection and fear of not being good enough. Because of this, I always wanted to please everyone. I received approval through performance. If I could do something for someone, even if I neglected my family, I felt like I was okay. Working made me feel good about myself. I became a “Martha”.

When I got married, I had all of these ideas of what marriage should be. My husband and I came from two completely different families. My dad was a strong leader. My husband didn’t lead like I thought he should. If I didn’t agree with him, or didn’t like how he was leading, I would step in. This caused him to feel very frustrated, angry, and rejected. He would walk out of the house not saying anything or sometimes saying hurtful words. I was then frustrated, angry, and hurt that we could never talk about our problems. Our inability to communicate looked like a big mountain that wasn’t going to move. I didn’t realize that by criticizing his leadership I was stepping on his painful feelings of rejection.

At Grace Haven, we were walked through prayers to resolve the issues that caused the problems we were facing. We began understanding how to care for each other instead of hurting each other.  After praying through many issues and unlocking our hearts, we felt very free and peaceful. We had no idea what pain in childhood could do to us in later years. I realized that God is not harsh, but full of love. Learning how to listen and understand my husband’s feelings has caused him to open up and talk, making me feel loved and cared for by him too."
A Husband Shares His Journey
A Wife Shares Her Story 
As a young child, I experienced much rejection and loneliness.  I believed the Enemy’s lie that nobody wanted me on this earth, and that my life was worthless.  Through my negative thoughts, I became deeply depressed.  At a young age, I withdrew into a shell and did not talk to anyone.  I was driven by fear and...  read more

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...I began to realize that when I prayed it seemed as though I was on a one way street. When I was honest with myself I knew that there was a wall between God and me, that our hearts were not connected. As I struggled with this...  read more
...I heard quite a bit about Jesus at school in Bible class,but for the most part I lived in fear. Fear that I could never be good enough or able to do anything right for anyone. My dad was an alchoholic...  read more