A Marriage Healed by Hearing and Obeying God’s Voice!

Mark Virkler's picture

Folks, it is going to take a few pages to tell this story, but it is so powerful, I believe you will want to hear it from beginning to end, so here goes! Larry and Barbara Hutchins have given me permission to share the email dialogue I have had with Barbara. Thank you! It will inspire you.

From Barbara: I was planning a getaway day just to get away from the pressures of life. It was a chance to go for a day trip and just be by myself and get some quiet alone time.

Everything changed on me this morning – on a dime. I received an email from a social networking friend. This lady lives in my community but we have actually never met. It turns out that she and 3 female family members had planned a weekend away. They are attending the Conference in Toronto Friday and Saturday on How to Hear God’s Voice (March 16-17) they are actually making a longer stretch and leaving to get to Toronto Thursday and coming home on Sunday. She invited me to go with them. They booked at a nice hotel with a gym and pool and the 2 room suite - sounds incredible! I was not sure if my husband would agree to me going but as soon as he heard about it he released me to go.

A side note here, both my husband and I are born again but we have not been attending church for a couple of years – hubby has some hurts and I pulled back to prevent further conflict.

Last night my husband sat me down and told me how close I was to losing our marriage because of an unhealthy friendship with a backslidden friend that I have been struggling with. He said he has lost the woman he married 21 years ago and misses her. He explained to me that the reason he wanted me to go was because he knew this was God and he knows it will be pivotal and life changing. He said he knows I will be transformed and bring home his wife.

Response from Mark: You might want to ask your husband what he misses, and what he senses God is saying.

Barbara: When I read your suggestion, it terrified me. The thought of asking my husband, are you crazy? (No disrespect meant)... He said he misses my spunk and passion and he feels like I lost myself in trying to please other people.

This evening the house is quiet and I was going to watch TV while I packed but I had those wonderful spontaneous thoughts starting to hit fast and furious so I pulled out my journal. I am out of practice with journaling and quite frankly I have been out of church for a couple of years now except for a sporadic visit here or there so I am a wee bit intimidated. I hope you do not mind but I am going to share with you what I journaled. If it is off or whatever let me know - like I said I haven't exactly been Miss Pious lately.

Journal:  March 12 - Lord, what do You want to say to me?

“Who do you say that I am?  Close your eyes and see me with you and what do you see?”   The vision I see is a little me playing and laughing with Jesus in the field.

You have closed yourself off to me – you have retreated from me and hardened yourself towards me. You have completely shut down and in doing so imprisoned yourself. You have allowed yourself to become the mistress of disguises, a chameleon.

You are like a diamond that has been pulled apart, dismantled, and all the pieces scattered on the floor of your life. But I am the Gatherer. I gather the pieces, I gather the broken fragmented pieces and not one fragment is lost. I will gather the pieces and I will rebuild the gem. I will restore its beauty and when I shine through this diamond you will be radiant and my promises will flow from your lips and dance in the lives of others. I will restore you to your former glory – a vessel that shines with MY GLORY.  No longer will you hide and lay in obscure places. You will arise and you will flow in my Spirit.  I will awaken your spirit, your heart, where it has fallen asleep and I will restore you to your original self. But you have a part in this restoration. You must allow me into those hardened places and allow me to crush the lies that you have believed.

The Bridegroom is reaching out to His Bride, the love of His youth. Your husband is a shadow of who I am. His mouth spoke my words. I miss my bride. I miss my passionate, vibrant bride and I am calling you back to me, your first love. Leave the rest behind, I am the one you are to please and to die to self for. When you surrender yourself to me, completely and fearlessly then will I be able to come in and give you everything I have for you.

Exchange your filthy rags of insecurity, fear and shame and allow me to clothe you in MY Splendor. Allow me to clothe you in my garments of praise and my robes of righteousness. Do not fear my touch, do not fear my presence for I am a gentle, gentle Bridegroom and I am ready to embrace you and enter into full fellowship with you. My covenant is with you. Be fearless and run to me, run to the altar and allow me to restore you and to make you shine like the noon day sun.”

Mark, your suggestion scared me to death and for the first time I realized I am afraid of what my husband really thinks of me, and as I journaled I realized that fear runs deeper to being afraid of what God really thinks of me and interesting enough it also runs to a fear of my dad and what he thinks of me. This upcoming weekend seminar excites me but it terrifies me. I have pulled together a few prayer warrior friends to soak it and me in prayer this week and weekend.

I made journaling my priority for this morning. I had no clue where to start so I just asked the Lord. “Where do we go?”

He spoke about my marriage, my other relationships and my walk. He gave me instructions (simple ones). I could feel myself bristling against His instructions. I identified it as rebellion and He stopped me and said “No, your life is fear based. The root is FEAR BASED LIVING. Since you were a child you have been rooted in fear based living. I want you to know LOVE BASED LIVING.”

Ok..... I know there is more to come including He is directing me to begin studying in the Word what He says about love and fear.....  A side note – I was diagnosed 10 years ago with “Generalized Anxiety Disorder.” Whoa. 

This ends Barbara’s journaling before the seminar.

Post Seminar – A Life and Marriage Revitalized!

The report below was emailed to Mark on 4-1-2012, two weeks after the seminar.

Barbara: That entire weekend was incredible and since I have been home it has been amazing! I knew to expect change and new things but I have never dreamed what God was up to and what would happen.

Marriage: WOW. There is a new vitality, trust and fun flowing through our marriage. My husband is coming to me and talking and planning and asking me, “Have you journaled? What is God saying to you?” So I have been sharing it with him and asking his feedback. (He is beginning to hear now, too.) We will be going through the teaching together soon. He is also coaching me through the next year (you’ll understand in a minute).

My Friend: I shared with her about the weekend and the teaching and she turned her life back over to God and went back to church this week. We are going to go through the material together with her teenaged daughter.

Employment:  I have been unemployed for four years. This past week I literally had a job – part time fall in my lap. I start April 17.

A One Year Challenge: For the last year I have been working hard to lose weight and get healthy. I am Type 2 diabetic. When I came home I continued my journaling and practicing what I learned. I laughed at the thought of immersing myself in something for a year (as you suggested in the seminar). I am undisciplined, and can sometimes be all over the place.

Well, I should know better than to laugh when God tugs at my heart. I right away sensed that He was not even close to done with the work He had begun leading up to the conference and over that weekend. And this week it all became picture clear. “I am going to teach you to run the race with endurance.”  This week I start one year of training and discipline to prepare to run a Team Diabetes marathon in Canada and next year, my goal is to run internationally. He has opened the doors incredibly for personal training and preparing.

When I came home from the conference I saw both doctors (Family doctor and Endocrinologist) both shook their heads and said, “What happened?” They were so pleased with my health and the changes in it that they released me from every 3 month appointments to scheduling a six month appointment! And they both challenged me to consider some kind of race or long hike. I laughed at them! I had no idea!

I start training tomorrow. God has challenged me to trust Him completely in every aspect of this and let Him use it to reach others. My journaling is of course very tied into this and as people are asking me, “Why are you doing this?” I am able to share with them the 4 Keys to Hearing God’s Voice and how God is speaking to me to learn to run the race (both the marathon and the Christian life) with endurance. WOW.

I have only touched the surface of what has been happening since the conference. I literally cannot keep up! God’s voice has become so clear ... my accountability partners have been very, very faithful as they have read through my journaling that I have shared and it is neat to watch because as they are helping me I am watching God begin to change how He is speaking to them! Suddenly He is activating the 4 keys in their lives and they are now looking at going through the teaching too. (Glad I purchased the materials.)

Mark, I cannot thank you enough for being open to walking me through this process leading up to the conference and for chatting with me and encouraging me. I can’t wait to see what God does!!

I have been in touch with your Ministry about a “Personal Spiritual Trainer” coach to go through the materials again and also I am looking into your materials about health – Goodness knows getting healthy is very much a part of this next year.

Thank You Again!


Barbara Hutchins