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The storm is never greater than the right foundation.

In Pastor Mark’s Pinterest series he stated that “God stretches us not by leading us around the storm, but by leading us through the storm.”

When our family came to Epicenter we were in the midst of one of these storms.  In fact, we had been in one of these storms for several years.  My husband and I were two broken people which created one broken marriage; one of rage, anger, and downright hatred at some points.

My childhood is something I tried not to face for a very long time.¬† I grew up very poor and in a home full of abuse; verbal abuse which eventually led to physical abuse.¬† I saw things, heard things, and carried a burden that no child should ever have to.¬† There wasn’t a day that went by that I didn’t wonder what I did to deserve that kind of life.

My husband, Billy, has been in the Army for fourteen years with four deployments behind him.  That in itself will pay a toll on anyone!  Billy was married previously and on his third deployment, came home to a completely empty house and divorce papers.  To cope he turned to partying and drinking.  This, inevitably, led to a DUI, suspended license, and busted rank.  He was left with little self-esteem and a whole lot of anger. Put these two people and their past together and you get a nightmare. 

We both had given up on our marriage at least once.

It was not until we were stationed back at Fort Bragg and our good friends, the Filzens, invited us to give Epicenter a try, that we realized there was hope.¬† Through the spiritual leadership of Pastor Mark and the entire staff at Epicenter we have experienced an amazing turn around within ourselves and our marriage and we get to share it with our two beautiful daughters.¬† We’ve learned to love each other with God’s love and use our past to better our future.¬† We now know to embrace the storms, even when there seems to be no end.¬†¬† He will bring us through them and bless us more than we can imagine.¬† We thank God every day for leading us through the storms, because now we have a testimony and a story to tell that I hope can help others through their storms. We can never say thank you enough to this church and its leaders!¬† They allow God to work through them and they touch people’s lives in ways that I cannot even describe! We are truly blessed to be a part of such an amazing group of people!

Sammy and Billy Youkers