Ahead of the 18th annual Charleston Leadership's Prayer Breakfast on Nov. 19, The Post and Courier asked readers to respond to the following prompt.
Have you ever had to walk away from a toxic situation? Whether it’s a relationship, a job or an institution, what convicted you to walk away? How did prayer and your faith help you to come to that decision and guide you through it?
We are grateful for their stories.
Relationship with son
The most difficult “toxic situation” I have faced in this lifetime has been with my youngest son. I am 69 years old and he is 38. In Genesis 2:24 it says, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” Enduring a toxic situation of abuse and unhealthy emotions are against God’s purpose of my life. Each prayer is answered: “Let go, let God! — Be Patient.”
Accepting that God has a perfect plan for me and a life purpose for my son, fills the journey to our eternal home with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. I am grateful and blessed with global prayer warriors who walk this sacred path with me and for my son. Earth is our training ground. I am listening, loving, laughing, learning and living each moment with God!
— Aleene Kann, Summerville
Quitting 'cold turkey'
In the mid-1970s I was smoking 4 packs of cigarettes every day. Back then you could smoke anywhere, and I did. My son was very young and I knew if I didn't stop, he would lose the only family he had, so I quit — cold turkey. Absolutely THE hardest thing I have ever done. It would not have been possible without the power of prayer. God truly saved my life.
— Laurie Breisch, Mount Pleasant
Healing at Seacoast
I had a profound, miraculous and life-altering healing prayer experience at Seacoast Church in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. As a Greek-Orthodox Christian, prayer is embedded in my being. Yet, the healing night of worship at Seacoast struck to the very core of my need for spiritual healing.
Two pastors laid hands on me and spoke directly to the torment carried like a weight upon my soul. They voiced and rebuked the darkness and I could tangibly and physically feel it released from my body. The Holy Spirit washed over me through them.
The boy from our sweet childhood who then deceived, betrayed and deeply mistreated me as an adult. The lifelong greed and jealousy from a family member. The harsh words of criticism and judgment from a neighbor at my lowest point of grief after caregiving for and over my mother’s passing. All was voiced, seen and lifted. Freedom poured over me and my life can and never will be the same.
— Jackie Morfesis, Charleston
Every morning, a new adventure
After surviving four deaths, the financial burdens of a fire that destroyed my business and merchandise in 1998, and incarceration at the age of 59, in 2003, I matured stronger. Then through education, prayer, faith, perseverance and understanding God’s divine purpose and reward through all my trials and tribulations, I found victory between the ages of 59 through 75.
Finally, in 2003 forward, I understood through His divine timing, the weaknesses and addictive sexual behavior that I allowed to control my life, the hidden effects of dyslexia at birth, and the unknown consequences of a traumatic brain injury that happened at the age of 14 in 1959. Every morning becomes a new adventure, for God made it all, even the free will that I consistently allowed to control my subconscious mind.
Robert Frost said: “In three words, I can sum up everything I have learned about life: It goes on.”
— Robert Durland Sr., Summerville