Relying on God took Sylvia on a journey from conflict to calmness.
I was a person who did not know how to communicate well. I was shy, hardly had any friends and felt inferior about my inability to communicate. My husband, on the contrary, spoke a lot and joked with his friends and others. That was one of the reasons I married him!
Years into our marriage, our relationship deteriorated. We found we had little in common and didn’t know how to rebuild our happiness. My husband, our daughter and I each wanted to go our own ways.
My sister had been a Christian for around 17 years and for the past six of those had been telling me about God’s love and his message of salvation. The conflicts in our marriage were increasingly affecting our daughter, so I took my sister’s advice and decided to go to church to see if we could get help. I took our daughter with me. I also wanted her to make some more friends, as she was shy like me, and I thought this would help.
During my first two years of going to church each Sunday I was touched by the songs and the prayers, but I resisted actually believing in God. I didn’t know why I found the decision to believe so hard, so I asked some Christians at work to help me and pray for me.
One Sunday, the Salvation Army officer (minister) asked if anyone wanted to accept God’s call and I suddenly felt melted by God’s love and accepted his saving grace. I believed.
After a while my passion for God and trust in him wasn’t growing. I developed chronic severe insomnia, and was always too tired to do much, including read the Bible. I was afraid of losing my job and had to rely more on my husband. Our family was suffering.
Through God’s mercy and prayer, I have kept my job. I still have insomnia but I know God’s love is always with me and keeping me. When I have difficulty working out solutions for the tasks at hand, I pray and God leads me to finish those tasks.
Our daughter finished high school five years ago and wanted to leave Sydney and study in Melbourne. I prayed that God would provide the right opportunities for her, and for my husband to help her achieve her dream. God answered, and she studied in Melbourne.
My husband and I continued to have conflict and argued a lot. We were both unhappy and stressed. One sleepless night I found one of my daughter’s books from her church youth group years ago. I started reading it, and the Bible more, too. These books helped me with trusting God more, feeling at peace, and being calmer. Through what was happening in my life, God was helping me to follow him and his teachings.
God’s teachings in the Bible about gentle words defusing anger and sharp words causing tempers to flare (Proverbs chapter 15, verse 1), as well as forgiving one another and the power of love and kindness, made a big impact on me. When I put them into practice, they also impacted my husband, and our home is much more peaceful now. I still stumble and react from time to time, but am improving.
I believe that God has helped me to grow and I have now become a soldier (member) of The Salvation Army. This will help me to serve God and tell others about his amazing love. Around the world, The Salvation Army helps others physically and spiritually and I am glad to be a part of this church.
I pray that God will walk with me, transform me to be his peaceful daughter, and grant me the strength, grace and ability to serve him!