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Revival Hits Home

“My grandfather was an alcoholic, and he would start drinking every night around quitting time, and inevitably pick a fight with somebody before dinner was over. It escalated way beyond physical altercations. Frequently there would be guns brought out in the picture. And there were many times that we were all held at gunpoint,” says Darlena Fields.  
 
“My dad was a very hardworking blue-collar guy and he would push and drive himself so hard. And then when he would come home, he would start to drink and get angry. And when he got angry somebody always got hurt,” her husband Phillip adds. 

When Phillip and Darlena Fields first met in graduate school, they had no idea how similar their backgrounds were. Because of their unstable childhoods, both Phillip and Darlena responded to the Gospel when they heard it as young people. “When I walked into this little country church for the first time in my life, I felt that safety, you know, there was something present in the atmosphere that wasn't present in my home…love,” Phillip says. “But then when they said it was all about this man, Jesus: I was hooked.”

“I got saved at an Assembly of God church camp at 17,” Darlena says. “And that is one time in my life that I was glad that my mom made me do something, because I completely gave my heart to Jesus—all my hopes and dreams. And that was what changed the trajectory of my life.”

When Phillip and Darlena married, they went through premarital counseling, but the baggage from their childhoods quickly surfaced. “I was looking for a handsome prince in Wranglers and boots to come and rescue me from my whole life,” says Darlena. “I didn't know what a fantasy that I had conjured up in mind. And when you grow up in brokenness and abuse and a victim of abuse, you fantasize of a rescuer.”
 
“There was a combination of struggles and a lot of it was family influence,” Phillip says. “What she had was, you know, ‘I'm gonna’ come at you and fight you.’ And what I had was, ‘I don't want to fight you, I hate conflict, and I'm gonna’ run away.’ I kind of thought that my way was more godly than hers, because I wasn't exploding with anger and attacking,” says Phillip. 
  
Darlena adds, “I was really triggered with Philip's disappointment in me not being able to please him in certain ways. And once the disappointment set in, it triggered depression.”

The Fields grew their family and their ministry, but still had a lot of work to do on their marriage. Phillip shares he often escaped through alcohol and binge-watching TV. “Our real enemy was fear. You know, my fear of conflict was my fear of being controlled. Her fear of disconnection was, you know, expressed in anger. And so, it's like, ‘Hey, don't pull away from me.’ And I'm like, ‘Hey, I’ve got to pull away from you, because you're not safe.’”

At one point, Phillip experienced a church split. His ministry crashed and he fell into a deep depression. he left Darlena and began living on the streets. “That was me testing God,” Phillip says. “I didn’t just go to the streets to help the homeless. I wanted to be one because I felt that way inside. I felt like I had blown it. I felt like I failed. I felt like everything in my life was over.” 

Phillip came home after a week, but while he was on the streets, he contracted hepatitis. With Phillip’s health and their marriage in jeopardy, they heard about a deliverance ministry. 

“The program that we went to practiced corporate deliverance, Darlena says. “We were in a corporate deliverance setting. And the person that was teaching touched on self-hatred. And when he said, ‘We tell the spirit of self-hatred to go,’ something came out of my chest at such a force and I let out this blood-curdling scream that I couldn't imitate, because it wasn't me. And after that day, my suicidal depression was gone. Phillip had an encounter with the love of God that healed his soul.  And eventually healed his body of hepatitis.”

The Fields continued to seek more counseling and were able to rescue their marriage. Today, they have a ministry for couples that includes the physical and mental aspects of a relationship, as well as the spiritual. 
  
“We didn't just need communication skills; we needed healing,” says Phillip. “That healing thing says, ‘I want my heart changed.’ And that's a Jesus moment, right? And so, we bring Jesus into the healing, and then we use the healing as a way to learn how to communicate better.”

“It was when I set my family free from the fantasy that I had them imprisoned to, is when they were free to be who they were. It was like a revival hit our home,” adds Darlena. “When we crushed fantasies, we destroyed the fantasies that we had had for each other, our marriage, our ministry, and went after the real. And that's when we started having the marriage and the family and the ministry that we dreamed of. That brought great fulfillment, contentment and peace.”

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