The Power of a Praying Wife: Chapter 19 – His Past

Do not remember the former things,
Nor consider the things of old.
Behold, I will do a new thing,
Now it shall spring forth;
Shall you not know it?
I will even make a road in the wilderness
And rivers in the desert.   ~Isaiah 43:18-19

Gregg and I were married when he was 34. In those 34 years leading up to meeting me, he had buried his mother, graduated high school, fought in a war, got out of the military, attended three colleges, obtained 30 professional certifications, started a career, gotten married, gotten divorced, and lived another five years dating and working and existing.

Long story short, he’d lived thirty-four years.

In thirty-four years, a lot of living can happen to a man actively involved in life.

Outside of Ft. Benning, Georgia, is Columbus. And when I was in high school, Columbus had two major military supply stores: Ranger Joes and ARCCO. I worked for ARCCO. I loved my job there and met a lot of soldiers coming and going to the different schools at Ft. Benning – including Airborne School. My second year at ARCCO, Gregg went through Airborne School. He and his group of friends, when released, headed to Ranger Joes instead of my store. I have said to him many times that I wished that he’d come to ARCCO. I’m certain that he and I would have met and fallen in love at that moment. Then we would have had those extra fourteen years together.

As much fun as it is to imagine, the fact is that he didn’t, we didn’t, and it was fourteen years later before we ever met.

I remember one night we watched a war movie and it niggled with Gregg’s Gulf War Veteran subconscious in a very serious way. That night he had nightmares and woke me screaming in Arabic. When I woke him and told him what he was doing, he said, “What did I say?” I said, “I don’t know. I don’t speak Arabic.”

It’s something we joke about now, but until that moment, the fact that my husband was a war veteran with a chest full of wings, badges, ribbons, and decorations including a Bronze Star didn’t mean as much to me as it did after that night.

Our lives shape us to who we are. Sometimes that’s good, and sometimes that’s not so good. We carry previous relationships into our marriages – familial relationships, romantic relationships, camaraderie relationships. Piled on top of those relationships are all kinds of experiences, both joyful and traumatic. And all of it ties into a pretty bow that is us, who we are, how we react, how we interpret.

Sometimes, those relationships, experiences, reactions, etc., are things that need God’s healing grace. We just need to seek it, and when we do, we can be renewed and become new creatures in Christ. Through prayer for deliverance from the traumas in his past, I’ve seen a peace and a gentleness fall over my husband in the last two years that was never there before. It has affected everything about who he is from how he perceives the world to how he responds to it.

Read chapter 19 of The Power of a Praying Wife and consider the following discussion questions.  They are also posted on the forum at Hallee’s Daily Brew here, but the comments are open on this post if you prefer to discuss it here.

1.  Is there anything in your husband’s past that repeatedly torments him?

2.  Is your husband’s past something from which he learns, a part of his life he tries to ignore, or a place where he lives?  Explain.

3.  Philippians 3:13-14 says:  Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,  I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Do you feel that your husband is able to reach forward to all that God has for him?  How do you think your prayers might help him do that.

4.  Was there anything that happened in your husband’s childhood that is affecting his life today?  Was his childhood happy, sad, troubled, carefree, “normal”, uneventful, full of turmoil, or unstable?  Explain.

5.  2 Corinthians 5:17 says: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Does your husband truly understand that he is/can be a new creation in the Lord?  Do you?  Explain why you do or do not believe this truth.  Re-read this scripture, inserting your name or your husband’s name.

6.  Isaiah 43:18-19 says: Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old.  Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it?  I will even make a road in the wilderness, And rivers in the desert. Write out what you are to do about the past.  What does God promise if you do that?  Do you believe this is true?  For you and for your husband?

7.  Pray the prayer out loud on pages 145-146 of The Power of a Praying Wife.  Include specifics about your husband’s past.


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