The testimony of our marriage restoration started long before the storm in 2009. It started before we even married.

I was a young girl, just out of high school, and after leaving a home where I was severely controlled, manipulated, and bullied, I vowed to never allow another man or thing to control me again. Shortly after, I met my husband and we immediately fell into our roles. I was head of the home; he was submissive, and we got along great. But why was I so unhappy? We never fought, never argued. We got saved and started to go to church, and spent a lot of time with friends and church family. Life was good, easy and everything seemed perfect. Too perfect…

But, we were nothing more than lost, lukewarm infant Christians who were getting older, but not growing up or growing closer to God. We had no real relationship with Him at all. This set us up for the perfect storm. One that often comes when the spirit of a man is suppressed, walking in the flesh and desires of the heart, and not united and walking in it’s communion and kingdom purpose.

In 2008,18 years into our marriage, our first child arrived. What was supposed to be the start of a new life filled with promise, quickly turned upside down. Becoming a parent was more than my spouse could handle and in 2009 our storm hit, I began my 7-year Stand….and our family continued to grow. We had two more children over the course of those 7 years.

When I first started my Stand, I started it as a backslidden Christian, who had no real love or knowledge of God. I was lost, my identity was completely intertwined in my husband and without him, I was in total fear and panic. I was a woman living in total darkness, and my husband was my only source of hope and light. When he left, I found myself so alone, terrified, and feeling beyond helpless. I was desperate to get my husband back. But God knew that that was the worst thing that could happen. I see NOW, this is where God needs to get some of His children — to this place of being alone so they can fully rely on HIM. It’s a matter of life and death!

I tried everything in my own power to get my husband back. I tried tears, anger, guilt, and even manipulation with my own health to force him to come to his senses. I thank God that He did not allow my attempts to prosper. Because we would have gone right back to being lukewarm and never would have found our real identities in Christ.

When my storm ended, I could clearly see why it had to happen. I don’t believe my husband nor I were going to make it to heaven. The storm saved our souls, not just our marriage. What came to destroy our marriage, God used for good to save our souls, restore us to Himself first, and then rebuild our marriage on His Rock.


In the parable in Luke 15, the woman and the lost coin fits me perfectly. My husband was very valuable to me. More valuable than God. When I lost it and tried to find it, I went about it in all the wrong ways. It wasn’t until I truly surrendered to God when the revelation came that nothing I was doing was going to help me. God needed me to do it His way, just like the woman in the parable. 

“Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it?” (Luke 15:8)

I lived my whole life in darkness. Oh, I had times when I turned my light up a bit, but never really bright and never consistent. But, God taught me to turn that light UP and keep it burning bright. With this new light shining bright, I could see a mess of my own life I’d never seen before. God placed a broom in my hands and helped me to sweep my house clean. It helped me to see the woman I had become: Controlling, manipulative, compulsive in the flesh, and with no respect for God or my husband. I lived with my feelings and emotions ruling my life and had no clue how to let the fruit of the spirit manifest in power throughout my life.

The flesh ruled my life, and it took the sheer magnitude and size of a 7-year storm to wake me up and get my attention; for me to take seriously what is written in the Word. Dying to our flesh! God loved us enough to get our attention and save our souls. During my storm, God transformed me from a scared, insecure child, who could not see herself as having any worth apart from her spouse, into a woman who KNOWS Who she belongs to.

I am loved! I am a child of God, and through Him, I am worthy, important, and have a purpose! I live to serve Him and my life is made to glorify HIM! And that is why I am excited for you; I know you are on your way to finding your greatest love story!

Wondering about my husband? After 7 years, he fell on his knees and poured his heart out to God. He made the decision to return back to God and join me in the fight to save our marriage. He joined a men’s group at church, started to attend church on Sunday, and eventually stepped fully into his lead role as the headship of our home. I had been praying for him this prayer for 7 years, and it came to pass.

“And rend your heart and not your garments.” (Joel 2:13)

In Oct 2019 we will celebrate our 29th year together. God is teaching us how our marriage should mirror Him….never replace Him. I have dedicated my heart and life to helping others come to know the love and heart of their Father, to hold onto the hope that is Jesus Christ, and know that He truly is our Savior and with Him all things are possible.

Marriage Revealed Ministries was birthed through our reconciliation to God, as well as our restored marriage and family.

May God bless you, your spouse, and your marriage,

Standing with You,
Sheila Hollinger


Read Sheila’s  Restoration testimony!

Destined To Stand, By Sheila Hollinger

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