A Testimony from 2018 Estes Park:
After I filed for divorce because of the darkness that had overtaken my husband’s life, the evening of May 25, 2018 Chris came over and spewed Dark my way and I felt defeated. I went to my room and hid. I vented to my private support group on Facebook and put The Shack on T.V. I began to listen to the worship song “Your Spirit” By Tasha Cobbs and my soul poured out. I was empty and I needed the holy spirit to fill me up and fast. I got down on my knees at the foot of bed and prayed. My legs were shaking as I cried and asked God for a drink or a miracle. I needed something, anything just to feel better. When the song ended I jumped back on Fb to see if my friends had responded but nothing. However, I noticed someone posted a free marriage retreat in another group. It was in Estes Park for five days and it began Monday. Two other gals responded with “interested” but I wasn’t just interested, I was desperate. The angel’s name is June and I told her that I had filed for divorce and that we were separated. I explained that I was being obedient to God in surrendering him but that I didn’t want a divorce. June said she would hold the space until noon on Saturday. She said she would pray and ask others to do the same. I then went to work texting Chris about the opportunity and sending prayer request to every faithful friend I knew. Chris came to pick up the kids at 5pm on Saturday to go fishing and I simply asked him if he was done. He had been drowning himself in booze, drugs and anger for weeks and looked broken in spirit. He was shaking and trembling with frustration and anger. “I am so broken and angry.” Chris said, with his eyes full of rage and sadness. All I could say is, “I know but that’s not who you are. That’s The Dark spirit on you and I can’t fix it. I’ve tried but maybe these folks can help us but above all, help you. I want you happy for our kids. Just jump Garcia, jump.” Finally, he cracked and said “yes, I’ll go.” He surrendered and I ran to the phone and screamed “hallelujah” into June’s ear about 10 times as I cried thankful and humble tears. I was realistic and realized he might not want to stay married. He could also bail in the process of discovery. However, I was full of hope and our God can do anything with a willing heart.
2Corinthians 8:12 “for if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have”.
It was a long quiet ride to Estes Park. I was ok with the silence and hopeful for what was to come. We mingled for a bit before getting started but Chris kept his head down and words to a minimum. Chris was the first to speak as he compared our marriage to a branch we brought from our land. He told the group that we were broken, dead, separated and dry. I said, we had no roots and it would take an act of God to bring the dead back to life. We left nothing off the table and laid all our shit bare. For the next five days we had amazing biblical marriage teaching from 9am-12pm and then again form 6pm-9pm every day. There was so much to learn and amazing fellowship that we could have stayed for two weeks. We covered everything from God’s design for marriage, prayer, needs, communications, spiritual gifts, love languages, sex and more. Hosea 4:6 “My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge.”
We heard testimonies from couples that were convicting, reflective and powerful. Monday night conviction began as our spearhead Roger gave his testimony. Roger said that he used to hate God, his wife, everyone and everything. His heart was hard and that’s exactly how Chris felt. I knew it was resonating as he nudged my arm during Roger’s testimony. That night, they asked us to read scriptures back and forth to each other. The scriptures spoke about our identity in Christ but Chris wasn’t ready. I didn’t push, I just rubbed my tattoo that says, Be still. Tuesday morning, by his prompting he stumbled through all 98 scriptures. I did notice that it got easier for him about ¾ of the way through. I had learned about the I Am Scriptures over the past few years but they were a great reminder for me. They reminded me of who I am in Christ, victorious, righteous, The Light of the world and an enemy of the devil.
Tuesday his heart cracked a bit more as the group listed to a poem written by our other leader Laureen, Rogers wife. We were in Rocky Mountain National park overlooking Long’s Peak and it was beautiful. Laureen likened the marriage experience to conquering a mountain trail. Laureen said that we have choices. 1. We can keep going around the mountain, which leads nowhere. 2. We can allow God to knock down the mountain because He is the only one who can, or 3. We can choose to climb to the top and see the view. Thus, the name of the ministry, Mountain Top Marriages. That same day we heard from Bill and Lora who had a testimony of sex, drugs, rock-n-roll, destruction and restoration. Chris and I could relate because our story was sex, drugs, hip-hop and destruction. Lora found God 1 st as did I in our marriage. Chris and I were both moved, in tears and had an instant spiritual connection to them. Man, when Jesus does the convicting through testimony He is so powerful and gentle at the same time. Bill is now a pastor & preacher and together they have a ministry in Kansas City Missouri called Hope City.
Check it out…they are a power house for the Lord. We can’t wait to visit. They are another reflection of #HardBeauty. “Owning our stories & loving ourselves through the process is the bravest thing we will ever do.”-Brenè Brown
At the closing of Tuesday evening, we were asked to move from our normal spots for worship and Sara invited the holy spirit into the room before she sang. Chris and I separated and I was about two seats ahead of him. While I was singing, I noticed Bill walk back toward Chris. I glanced over my shoulder and watched Bill place his hand on Chris’s chest and they were praying. Without thought I turned my head forward and dropped to my knees in a moment of surrender. After worship I approached Chris and grabbed his hand. His hand was cold, he was trembling, he could barely speak and I had to grab a handful of tissues so he could wipe the sweat from his head and face. I mean he was soaked. We walked back to our seat and I asked if he was ok. He was clearly shaken and every time he would try to tell me what happened, he would be overcome with a wave of emotions and chills. He kept repeating, “something happened to me.” We left a few minutes later. In the truck with his voice shaking and tears in his eyes he said, “Oh my God Racquel. That was crazy. I don’t know what happened but I’ve never felt that before in my life.” When we got inside he looked different to me and I had a hunch. When he gathered himself, he told me what happened after I had fell to my knees. Chris told me that while Bill prayed with him another guy at the retreat, Tim joined them. Tim placed one hand on Chris’s back and the other on the back of his head. He went on to say that Tim began to pray in a language that he had never heard before. Chris thought it was Hebrew, but it wasn’t. Chris told me that he was asking the holy spirit to enter him and soften his heart when he began to sweat profusely and tremble. As the moment got more intense for Chris he told me that the men just pressed harder to hold him. He said it lasted for at least 3 minutes and that he didn’t remember walking back to his seat. He said floated there. He said he felt lighter.
OMG for real!!! I knew exactly what had happened, a spiritual deliverance of #HardBeauty. My husband had The Dark removed and Venom was dead. The mountain was destroyed by God and the church bells had finally rung, just like they did for Spiderman. Only God can remove The Dark in an instant. Chris had received a supernatural deliverance of epic proportion. Before we left the group that night, Roger and Laureen had mentioned that tomorrow morning we were going to go over spiritual strongholds. I had studied them in the past and my girlfriend Jen and I had spoken about them often. I had seen an evil spirit slowly take over my husband for years. Unsure if he would believe me I hesitated to mention what I knew, but he already knew. Chris didn’t even flinch when I told him that he had been delivered. God made him fully aware that The Dark was gone. He kept repeating how light and peaceful he felt and that the anger had disappeared. Chris had a light in his eyes and he was smiling. It was an inner shekinah glory that I witnessed. I finally had seen Chris’s new spirit man. He was beautiful, peaceful and sexy as all get out. Psalms 34:17 The righteous cry, and the Lord hears And delivers them out of all their troubles. And saves those who are crushed in spirit.
When we arrived for our Wednesday morning session we received confirmation of the deliverance that took place the night before. All of our new friends said that Chris looked different and that his smile was contagious. Chris was looking everyone in the eyes and told them how great he felt. They then gave the teachings on spiritual strongholds. We both recognized various strongholds within us and Chris kept kissing my hand and saying, “not anymore.” We were taught how to combat spiritual strongholds and gave permission to reveal them to each other if needed. My husband was confident, alive, peaceful, and he could see and hear things like never before. It was like watching a blind man soak in life with new eyes for the very first time or watching my kids take their first steps. I was in the middle of a miracle with front row seats, thank you God! Chris could understand the spiritual principles and could truly hear the scriptures. He could finally see me as I am and he looked at me with adoration, understanding, forgiveness and true love. I can’t recall the last time I had seen that face. When we broke for lunch we decided to renew our vows the next day. You see, Thursday May 31 st 2018 was our 21 st wedding anniversary and without this gift from God we would have been apart, him drunk and both of us miserable. Chris asked Pastor Bill to officiate the ceremony and with excitement he said, “I’d be honored man!”
That night we went to the hot tub and I was mortified. I have a rare condition that causes my skin to burn in water over seventy-six degrees. I shower in less than seven minutes because my feet and hands turn red and they feel like they are on fire. I also get a hive-like rash all over my legs. I get dizzy, tired and very sluggish. My afflictions are Dysautonomia and Erythromelalgia. When Chris removed the hot tub cover, I noticed the temperature read 100 degrees, ouch! That night I was willing to rock the pain if I could just last ten minutes. However, Chris stopped me before I got in and prayed over me. He grabbed my hand bowed his head and asked God to please let my skin not burn and allow me to relax. I was in awe of this new man. The water felt great and the jets rocked our muscles. We discussed some recent hurts and even a few biggies that we hadn’t discussed in twelve years. Before this transformation, that would have been impossible without further harm but this time we were steady. We asked for forgiveness and gave forgiveness to each other for all the harm we had caused in the past. Time went fast and yet stood still. When we looked at the time we realized we had been in the hot tub for over an hour. Yes, I said one hour and I didn’t burn nor was there a rash. I have not been in any warm water for more than ten minutes in five years. It was our own physical miracle. Thank you, Jesus! Deuteronomy 10:21 “He is your praise and He is your God, who has done these great and awesome things for you which you have seen.”
The next morning Laureen asked if we wanted to be baptized after the vow ceremony. Without hesitation Chris said yes. I had given my life to Christ via Baptism in 2016 but I learned that Chris was baptized catholic at age three. How did I not know that? This was different, this was by choice and we wanted to do it together. We made the announcement to our new friends that we would be remarried and baptized that afternoon. To say they were happy for us is an understatement. They were fully aware that what had happen to Chris and our marriage was nothing short of miraculous. Chris had asked me to buy him a bible so we found a small book store in Estes Park that had about seven to choose from. I chose a simple NSB and it perfect for him. Then we were off to a local jewelry shop to get rings. We had fun combing through the trays of sterling silver. We haven’t worn wedding bands for more than ten years. In the past, Chris would get mad at me and crush his with channel locks lol. We had a blessed lunch with our friends Emmitt and Karen. We were ready! When we arrived at the ceremony they had set up simple trellis in the back of the condos. The ceremony took place alongside the Big Thompson River.
Everyone from the retreat came as did the owners of Aspen Winds, Phil and Dot. Lois, who’s their ninety-one-year-old mother came and jokingly asked to be my flower girl. She’s a spit-fire for the Lord and I want to be like her when I grow up. Lois is something else I tell ya! Her and her husband Daryl own the home where our marital transformation and teachings took place. One thing I know for sure, their land is beyond blessed and so are they. Our angel June drove up from Colorado Springs to meet us and they attended the wedding too! We plan to go back as often as we can to visit. Our vows were real, authentic and perfect. Chris promised to love me like the word of God had taught him. Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” My favorite moment was when Bill asked us to hold the face of one another. Simultaneously he asked us to say, “Your people are my people.” Up until that moment, I felt that I had lived a separate life from Chris since finding The Light. I had only hoped for us to someday become one.
After the ceremony we were both baptized in the hot tub where our physical miracle occurred. It truly was a miracle, as I have burned in the shower every day since. After the ceremony our friends gave us a little reception with cake, love and congratulations. Each couple made an encouraging video for us to look back on when things get tough and Chris had the group sign his new Bible. Roger touched Chris’s heart with the gift of a three-foot Colorado Blue Spruce to replace the dead branch that we had brought with us. It more magical than our first wedding. We eloped! I couldn’t wait to get home to our 4 children so they could see the miracle that God created inside their father and for our family. They had no idea of what had happened at Mountain Top Marriages. Chris entered our home with a soft front and apologized to the kids for the harm he had caused. He promised to never leave us again and professed his love for Jesus and me. Chris told the kids about his supernatural experience, our wedding and that he was baptized. Our daughter cried with joy and our 3 sons were speechless. I could see in their faces that they were happy for their dad. The 4 of them hugged and loved on Chris like never before. Our youngest son giggled when his dad yelped, “Wahoo” or “I love the Lord” throughout the evening. The sound of Chris’s happiness and the joy in our children’s eyes made my heart so full. That was a hard and long fought battle. Standing in who I am, as God has called me, has removed many people from my life. I completely understand why and I am at peace with that. But the thought that my husband was going to be one of those people was my greatest fear. What God gave in return is far better than anything I could ever have imagined. I don’t regret a single moment. Had I not remained obedient to God’s calling and done all I did to become who I am, I would have never seen or believed the miracles at the top of the Mountain. To see my husband, transform before my very eyes then give his life to Christ, make amends, get and receive forgiveness and open his heart has been the most brilliant beauty I have ever seen.
How much does God love us? He loves us so much that on our 21 st wedding anniversary we married each other’s new Spirit-man in the presence of God, on His land and with His people. Chris was delivered from the strong holds of resentment, anger and alcohol. He was filled with the holy spirit,
MTM can help your marriage!
Following is a letter received by Roger from someone that was helped by the ministry of MTM.
Thank you for contacting me regarding the email I sent to you. When I sent that email, I was at a very low point to say the least. Since then, God has been moving dramatically and things have improved. I decided to be honest with God and my wife. As a result of that decision, God met me in the darkness and brought me back into the light. When I see you again, I will tell you some amazing stories of how God showed his love to me. I just got back from a three day mountain retreat that included prayer and deliverance. I am happy to tell you my beautiful wife has returned home and our marriage is stronger than ever. We are implementing your suggestions in our marriage and this time I am being honest with my wife. That commitment has made all of the difference. Before, I was afraid I would be hurting her if I told her the truth about my struggles with lust and to be honest I did not know if I could ever get rid of my lustful thoughts. I know now the thoughts may come and go but I can deal with them if I am honest and I cleave to my wife.
Thank you for your ministry. I look forward to seeing you again.