~ Beverly U. in Iowa found peace and her burdens lifted once she found RMIEW who introduced her to her Heavenly Husband. Beverly says, “I didn’t even realize I HAD a Heavenly Husband. I knew the concept of being the Bride of Christ, but that seemed more like the Church as a Group and more for the End Times than for my daily life. Now I know my Heavenly Husband is WITH ME. I do not have to conjure Him up, by praying correctly or behaving a certain way. The only thing I need to do is TURN TO HIM. He is already with me! He WANTS me to talk with Him constantly.
What brought you to RMIEW?
I had been desperately searching for answers, as my marriage crumbled around me. I had read 50 or more books to help my marriage and taken several online courses. I had read both secular and Christian, and I was appalled and baffled by their inconsistency. I was exhausted, broken-hearted and confused.
Finally, a woman who was also in a secular course sent me a link to RMIEW, along with the first chapter of A Wise Woman. I immediately realized that THIS is what I was looking for. I devoured the book (ordered one immediately online), and within a day signed up for the online course.
How did God change you as you sought the LORD wholeheartedly?
Very quickly, I saw where I had made many errors in my life, such as, I never realized I was a contentious wife. I had, of course, compared myself to foul-mouthed, disrespectful wives that I knew. Nevertheless, even though I knew they were contentious I thought that surely I was not like that. 🙁
Yet, I had been quite argumentative, very over-opinionated and constantly pushing and nagging my EH “earthly husband”. Now it broke my heart to know that my actions–my sin–had helped to make my marriage fall apart. That’s when I realized, I had torn down my own house, all while I thought I was trying to build it up. 🙁
I also came to learn how fearful I had been all my life. My PTSD post WWII parents were filled with fear, and though they loved us, this trained me to always be afraid of what MIGHT happen next. My “instant fear reaction” made me a dream buster to my husband–I wouldn’t even let him finish describing a dream he had for the future before I was telling him what could go wrong and why. 🙁
I had been trained to trust in myself and my hard work and good behavior. I was a fool! It wasn’t my hard work (nor my EH’s) but God’s providence that had always provided for us. In a way, I was insane to trust in myself to “earn” good things. Finally now, through scripture, I have learned to trust in my HH “Heavenly Husband“.
And now, even though I’m divorced, I live in a spirit of trust and PEACE and JOY—feeling better than I have ever felt before!
What were the most important principles did the Lord teach and reveal to you that made the most impact on your life during this journey?
Trusting in my Heavenly Husband is the most important concept I’ve ever learned. I had been saved and a believer, for a very long time, as a child. But I lived a stress-filled life, working very, very hard to be “good enough” that led to force my family members to be “good enough” in order for us to be blessed by God. 🙁
Letting go of the constant fear and learning to trust in my Heavenly Husband , ALONE, is a joy that grants unending PEACE and happiness.
What were the most difficult times that the LORD helped you through?
I have been blessed throughout my life by the presence of the Holy Spirit with me, as I lost my baby, as I buried friends and loved ones. Yet, I did not know how to walk with my Heavenly Husband on day-to-day. I didn’t even realize I HAD a Heavenly Husband. I knew the concept of being the Bride of Christ, but that seemed more like the Church as a Group and more for the End Times than for my daily life.
Now I know my Heavenly Husband is WITH ME. I do not have to conjure Him up, by praying correctly or behaving a certain way. The only thing I need to do is TURN TO HIM. He is already with me! He WANTS me to talk with Him constantly.
My Heavenly Husband was with me on the day of my divorce; He helped me choose my clothes, drive calmly, sit through the whole mess without sobbing. He kept my hand from shaking, as I signed papers my husband told me to sign. Later I fell into His arms as I walked into my empty house, realizing that I was now left, physically, alone. Yet I was NOT alone! My Heavenly Husband stayed with me and He filled me with His peace.
What was the “turning point” of your Restoration Journey?
I think that once the divorce papers were signed, I realized that I had been trusting in my “right” behavior–my obedience to my spouse and my obedience to scripture to save me. I was still believing in good works to make me good enough to be saved. I was following the RMIEW “formula” trusting that IT would save me from divorce. I had not truly been trusting in my Heavenly Husband and HIS WILL for my life.
That’s when I repented and finally laid everything at His feet. Since that time, I feel joy and peace. I trust my Heavenly Husband to care for me. I trust HIS design for my life and my betterment. Finally, I KNOW WHO HE IS.
Tell us HOW it happened? Where were you? How did you feel?
My experience with my Lord and Savior took me through my childhood. I’ve had times of peace and had been rescued before, but I didn’t understand that the peace could be CONSTANT! I had always followed rules and believed I should obey God, but I was a fool about marriage and submission and TRULY trusting in my Heavenly Husband for everything.
Quickly, after RMIEW came into my life, I began to understand that Jesus is with us ALWAYS. He doesn’t “come and go.” It is more of us going away from Him and relying on ourselves or others, not Him walking away from us. Then I began to take the everyday things to Him. Before, I somehow thought He wasn’t interested in such little things. Now, I realize that He likes to hear from me AND to speak to me about everything.
It was on that awful day of signing the divorce papers that I felt the burden of all my failures and sins totally off my back. I had finally laid them all at Jesus’ feet. WHAT A RELIEF!
Would you recommend any of our resources that helped you to others that helped you come to this turning point and/or the resources that help you the most?
As I said A Wise Woman book was an amazing first resource and a huge insight to me.
I’ve read all the other books from RMIEW and they have been helpful also.
Very quickly, I began doing the online courses. These were my lifeline–something to help me focus on the Word while I was feeling lost, confused and afraid. I also watched the Be Encouraged videos, sometimes just playing them as I went asleep, as a reminder that there was someone out there who understood and cared.
We had resumed tithing a while before I found RMIEW but tithing has of course been a blessing to us and continues to protect me from the devourer.
What would you like to say to a woman who is reading your BIO, helping encourage her:
Dear One, KNOW there are women who care about you and who understand how you are feeling. Even better, KNOW that the LORD Jesus Christ loves you and cares about you. You can turn to Him and He WILL comfort you and protect you. Turn to HIM!
Ladies, You have found a great, scriptural resource in RMIEW. Dig in to the reading: Read through the available books and then read them again and again! Best yet, sign up for the FREE online courses! These really helped me to better understand what I read, and it was something to do that pulled me into scripture while I felt that my feet were being washed out from under me.
Your Heavenly Husband loves you, wants to hear from you, and WILL speak to your heart, if you allow Him! The RMIEW materials will help you.
READ more about Beverly in her Encouraging Praise Reports:
Salvation Stories: “Left Dad’s Salvation in His Hands”
How does your Salvation Story begin Beverly?
I was a five year old child away from home all summer with my mom and two younger siblings, visiting my grandparents in Germany. My parents had NOT spoken German in our home. They wanted to be Americans and improve their own English. Therefore, I did not speak German. Unfortunately, my grandparents did not speak English.
I do not know if we attended church regularly (or at all) at home. We did not go to church with my mother’s parents, but we did go to church when we got to my father’s mother’s home. My dad was a Deist. He had been raised in a Christian home, but had become angry with God during WWII and the horrible things he had survived. He believed God created the world, but then He just let it run, without intervening. His mother was a solid Christian believer who spent her days in prayer.
I very specifically remember detailed conversations with my grandmother about Jesus. She told my mother that I spoke German to her when no one else was around. I remember the conversations in English! (I still do not speak German.)
How did God change YOU or your family member after experiencing the LORD?
My grandmother taught me to pray and gave me hope and faith. The churches I attended later with my parents were not theologically strong, and I did not understand the gospel or trusting in Jesus until later in life. BUT, all along the way, God sent believers to be my friends and teachers. He sent Billy Graham on the TV. Once, a stranger in the library pointed me to the C.S.Lewis Narnia books. I can’t wait to thank her in heaven! I truly began to understand the love of God and Jesus’ sacrifice through those works, and after reading and rereading them, I got other CS Lewis works to read and learn.
What principles, from God’s Word (or through our resources), did the Lord teach you when you were trusting Him for YOUR or your loved-one’s salvation?
I trusted in the LORD for my salvation as a young child via my German-speaking grandmother, reinforced by C.S. Lewis and Billy Graham in later childhood. I read my Bible (which was considered strange by my family) and learned on my own, until as an adult my FH and I came to a great teaching church. There, I continued to grow. But it was not until the pain of my husband discarding me and my coming to RMIEW that I came to know my Holy Husband. I have grown through this pain. I believe I was saved for heaven and the future in childhood, but I believe that I did not know how to LIVE on this earth until now. I wasted much time fretting and trying to control not only my life but the lives of my loved ones until this growth.
I tried to “witness” to my family–ending up in ridiculous arguments that I did not intend–ever since I was a small girl…causing me much worry and pain. I wanted my parents to believe!
What were the most difficult times that God helped you or your family member through on your way or their way to salvation?
In old age, my dad was dying of cancer, when my mother spoke to my dad about Jesus Christ in front of me. !?! They had always treated my faith as weird, but instead of fretting and freaking out and trying to witness with words to my dad as he got more and more ill, The Holy Spirit lead me to just SERVE. I cared for my father and my mother, and I handed their salvation over to the LORD.
I did not know my mom had begun to read novels by several Christian authors. Then, I was shocked at my mother’s witness to my dad. She turned to him and said, “Honey, don’t you think you need to finally just trust in Jesus, just like your mother and father and sisters?” I almost fainted when she said that. THEN: Suddenly, my dad was reciting Psalm 131 in German, apparently the Psalm that my grandfather recited as he died! He told my mom that he wanted to go to heaven and be with his mother, father and sisters. He cried out to Jesus to help him! Very soon afterward, he was unconscious, and he died the next day.
What was the “turning point” YOU or your loved-one’s salvation.
When I stopped trying to make my parents understand the gospel….when I stopped dragging my mother to Christian meetings and events… (I didn’t know how to listen to God prompting me of when to do things, so I pushed and pulled and dragged constantly.) THAT is when the LORD moved, completely without MY assistance (LOL). And he used my mother to prompt my father to come back to how he had been raised (in Christ). It was when I let go and left it in HIS hands that the LORD moved.
Tell just us HOW it happened? Were there any signs?
Step by Step, in God’s own timing, the LORD brought the gospel to me by tongues (I believe) and by other believers placed in my path–Billy Graham, other radio preachers, friends and their families LIVING their faith–not preaching to me. In the same way, he brought the gospel to my mother via the reading that she loved. He brought the truth to my dad through the pain of dying and a reminder of the faith that was taught to him when he was a child–with words from my mother, who I didn’t even know believed!
What kind of encouragement would you (and/or your loved-one or friend) like to leave women with in conclusion?
Trust in the LORD and HIS timing, not in any fancy words or in a formula. Live your life trusting the LORD. Show others by the glow in your face, the gleam in your eye, the upbeat sound of your voice. This doesn’t mean being inappropriately “fake” cheerful during hard times, but even when things are hard or bad, there is a deep, trusting joy that those of us who know Jesus possess. We do not need to drag it out and beat others over the head with it. The HOLY SPIRIT will open a window to it, in HIS own time…he will let our faith shine forth so others can see. BUT ALSO, we need to not try to insist that it be OUR WITNESS or faith or shining face. The LORD might use the faith or writing or face of another to bring your loved one to faith.
LAY THAT BURDEN DOWN! We do not come to faith because someone worked harder than others to drag us there. We come to faith because God allowed our hearts to be open and ready and because HE timed it for when it occurred. TRUST IN THE LORD, and be at peace.
“Praise God from Whom all Blessings Flow”
We have been troubled by multiple repair needs in the midst of an expensive home repair. My car needed work, son’s car, husband’s truck, then the rental property had a crack in a tub that caused a leak through to a ceiling below that caused thousands of dollars, and all at a time when cash flow was low. Then my work announced a $900 per paycheck cut to cover a business unexpected tax expense! I was on my knees!
I had finally resumed tithing, after being sloppy while floating around after a church split. It was all my bad, since I am still the one (and have always been) who pays the bills/writes the checks (EH doesn’t want to). He believed in tithing and I could have been doing it but I failed to tithe. I apologized to my husband for not tithing, and he did say he forgave me. (I think he appreciated seeing me in a humble state.)
So, I had begun to tithe, writing the full amount as soon as the paycheck landed. And what seemed to happen was things got worse!?! I kept repeating “test Me in this, says The Lord.” I admit to being very concerned, as a bill was due in two days, and there were no funds to pay it. I went to sleep praying, and was able to sleep well, thinking that I knew God would provide in time.
The next morning I sat at the table. “Tell me what to do, Lord.” Usually at this point I would have been calling my husband in tears, asking him to help me figure it out, and thus adding stress to him and making him want to run away further. Instead, I pulled up our accounts online thinking, if I move a little from each of the accounts (business, checking, tax account, and even my kids accounts!), I could maybe make it work.
Suddenly, I saw that there was a significant amount more in one account than I expected. I looked at the details and saw it was true. It was just enough to allow me to pay the bill, even with a little left over! It was a shock, because I “knew” that account had less than that in it before.
I paid the bill and suddenly burst out singing the doxology. Now, I love music, but I have never been blessed with a beautiful voice. Yet, I know that anyone who heard me singing then would have heard it as beautiful. God gifted me with a beautiful voice for that moment of praising Him. I sat on the floor and cried tears of joy! God will provide!
“Peace in the Midst”
Four weeks ago, I opened the mail finding a letter from my EH’s attorney. It told me my EH had filed for divorce and contained copies of some of the legal paperwork one would receive when served. Before RMIEW, that letter would have set me off. I would have collapsed and headed for the phone to call friends and family. I would have hired an attorney. Anger and gossip would have been stirred up all over town.
Instead, I headed for the prayer nest I have made out of some pillows and soft blankets next to my side of the bed. I spoke with my HH. I recited all my memory verses and Psalms. I sang my favorite hymns. I poured out my tears. The Lord kept my children (my two youngest 18 and 22) busy and away most of the weekend. No one knows that a divorce has been filed. This alone is a miracle, as I used to be the biggest talker I knew. Bless the Holy name of Jesus!
My HH is here beside me. I am amazingly calm. I just do the next thing that needs to be done. I am able to focus on blessing others. He is protecting my children, too. Two weeks ago, when I was finally served, it was evening and my daughter was waiting for a friend to arrive. Normally, I wouldn’t have answered the door, but I was walking past it. A woman handed me divorce paperwork in a huge envelope!!! If my daughter (who happened to be in the bathroom) had answered the door (she is old enough to have been handed the paperwork in this state), she could not have missed what they were. (My children do not know yet about the divorce filing.) My HH protected her from seeing. I also think the server was very surprised when I smiled and said thank you very pleasantly.
Last week, I was again called to fast, a new thing for me since I joined this ministry in April. The first time I fasted three days, it was very hard. Food has been a comfort thing for me, resulting in me getting fat over the last stressful decade. A year ago though, I began to lose weight, after God helped me make a connection as to why I stress ate. The fasting is a good discipline for me, as it has shown me that I still tend to turn to food when bored or restless, rather than to God. So fasting is helping me get rid of some bad habits, while I focus on the Lord. So, once the fourth of July celebration was over, I began what I thought was a three day fast. However, God called me to extend it, verified that I should extend it again, and I ended up completing a seven day fast! It wasn’t easy, but it wasn’t awful, and my HH made it clear that I was to continue and when I was to end. No one suspected, and I was able to do all the things listed above during the fast!
I am blessed. God is good. I am cherished, and I am never alone! Praise The Lord!
“He Continues to Correct Me”
As I prepare for my youngest to leave for college next week, she is doing much of the push-me-pull-you stuff that her older siblings did. She wants to be independent but she’s scared to be independent. She has the added stress of our current family situation, too. This daughter and I get along well almost all the time, but stresses and changes are high right now.
I have been through the books many times and have been blessed by them and have learned much. I grew up in a household where my mother yelled when she was upset and I learned to do the same. This distressed my EH from the beginning, but I didn’t understand because it was normal for me. I also thought that because I was always helpful to EH and kept a good home, cared for our five children and did nice things for all that I was not a contentious wife. Here I was-someone who tended to yell-thinking I was not contentious!
The Lord has blessed me and taught me over the last two years. I have not yelled or lost my temper with EH, even through this whole difficult experience. I thought I had this meekness and calmness learned.
The Lord taught me otherwise two days ago :-(. My daughter was disregarding some advice I was giving her. I had had a difficult weekend, dealing with paperwork and being physically alone while she was off at a friend’s lake house. She then decided to stay at a friend’s house, and I felt lonely. While speaking on the phone, she totally dismissed some good advice and I lost it. I ended up screaming into the phone as if I had learned nothing.
My Holy Husband had revealed to me that there was still hurt and anger that I had not taken to Him. For some reason I had not taken my time physically alone to fast and confide in Him. I have done this previously when left alone I take it as time with Him, and it has been joyful and a blessing to me. Instead, I pouted and felt sorry for myself. I pushed down my feelings and “dealt with it” as in the old days :-(. Then out it came in all its ugliness at my daughter!
My HH loves me and will not leave me with these sinful tendencies. He is teaching me, sometimes by rebuke and shame. I can take it to Him though, for He loves me and cares for me and forgives my sin.
My mouth shall speak the praise of The Lord!
“Do NOT Fret”
My Heavenly Husband is shaping and molding me! I was THE worrying fretter. I believed (but didn’t realize it) that people who worry are better than those who do not, because worrying means that you care more. That is NOT true. My heart has been changed so much that I cannot even believe that I used to think that way.
Those who have long known me know that I planned everything down to the detail and fretted over everything–every little thing! I worried about my family, my friends, the people I heard about on the news, infectious diseases, tornadoes and earthquakes! I am on the Community Emergency Response Team and am a member of Preparedness Groups planning to respond to infectious disease. Those are not bad things, but I was on them for the wrong reasons!
Tomorrow, it seems–unless The LORD decides otherwise–I will be asked to go sign divorce papers. I have asked my EH to allow me not to sign, but not signing allows the court to change the agreement, and he is concerned about that, so he is asking me to sign. I will do so, if asked.
The old me, who knew Jesus only as my Savior, would have been shaking, crying, fretting, and most likely talking to every friend and family member. But now I have a HH who will care for me and who will NEVER leave me or betray me!! I can therefore walk calmly and in His peace and I can walk through this fiery furnace with Jesus at my side.
I can trust Him…and Him alone! I cannot describe the joy from which I speak today.
No, not joy that I might have to be a divorced woman! But JOY that my LORD, my Heavenly Husband, Jesus, is at my side and will not leave me or forsake me! I have JOY that I am able to seek His Word and can ask Him to help me obey Him and do His will!
The LORD has told me that my primary lesson within this journey is to give up fretting and fear. I lived in fear for 55 years and my HH has removed that burden from me. But, I still have the tendency–the bad habit–of fretting, and I have to stop it when it starts!
I’m newly divorced and working on my budget, but I also have expenses that I had not had time to save for: children’s birthdays, wedding of very close friends, and then my cat had a $700 totally unexpected and unpreventable vet bill, followed by my kitchen faucet failed, leaked and ruined the bottom of the cabinet–I pulled that board out in handfuls; it was that wet!! My son helped me, but the repairs and new faucet still cost $200. So, today I checked my computer check register. I was dismayed to see I was going to only have $50 in it within a week, with no money planned incoming for a while.
That is when the automatic fretting began. My heart was pounding!! I stopped and sang the doxology, “Praise God from whom all blessings flow….” I told myself to stop and trust my HH. I asked Him to help me not fret. I decided to balance the register with the statement that came the day before, so that I would be sure of the amount in the account. Tending toward being a Martha, not a Mary, I confess this was also a way for me to DO something, rather than “just” trusting, but my HH cherishes me, knows my tendencies, and loves me anyway!
As I electronically balanced the statement, which verified I would soon have only $50, with insurance bills coming soon after that, I noticed there were some old entries that had not cleared. I am usually meticulous with my accounts to a fault (remember, I have a tendency to fret and worry about details). I was surprised I had not noticed these earlier. As I examined the entries, I found that one was simply entered twice, one right after the other. Easy fix. I was perplexed as to how another entry had not cleared, as it was to a bank credit card. So, I looked up the statement from that month and found the debit was not there. Something, or should I say SOMEONE, made me look at the next month’s statement, and there it was!!! I then checked my computer register and found it entered again in the correct month! Another double entry!
Finally, I noticed a large $ amount entry that also had not cleared, but as I looked at it, I wondered why I had paid a business expense out of my regular checking account. I grabbed that business notebook of statements, and there it was–listed as having been taken out of the business account, NOT my personal account. (When I had balanced my business account, I had entered it into that register, so all was OK on the business side.) What this meant, though, was that this payment was NOT coming out of my personal account! I could add this money also back into my account!
In other words, OUT OF NOTHING, God had POOF! put more than what I needed into my account. Of course He can do this, for He made everything out of nothing! Suddenly, and in a way that was very personal to me–correcting the kind of errors that I almost never make–my HH had helped me to laugh at myself and see that He can and does care for me. Out of nothing, I suddenly had everything that I needed and no need to fret.
I am learning to trust in my HH who has always been the Someone who gave me everything that I have ever had! It is a joyful and blessed thing to trust in the LORD!
My Heavenly Husband is providing for me! I am blessed beyond measure. My former husband wrote the divorce plan with his lawyer, and he wrote in maintenance (AKA alimony) for me that I can live on. Once I stopped clinging and fighting against divorce and turned everything over to my Heavenly Husband, my former husband started adding things to the maintenance amount. Once he even added 10% saying, “I told the lawyers that I knew you would tithe, so you needed 10% more.”
During the early phases, my FH seemed to care nothing for me nor for our five children. Now, he has promised to help our son with his living expenses during dental school, and he has given generous spending money to my daughter who is still in college. *(answering prayer to my HH)
FH even called and left a message asking if I wanted him to buy me two season tickets for the college football games we always attended. (That was awkward, and I am still seeking my HH about that–how to respond), but obviously, my HH has done something to calm the anti-family feelings my FH had.
My budget is tight (I am not complaining, just stating a drastic change from my life before.) Just before all this began, an Aldi’s store was built very close to me. There had never been one near me. Curious, I went to see it. I was very pleasantly surprised at the drastic difference in prices on many items I use daily. It feels like my HH placed this store by me, just in time! I was able to even buy some specially nice food for a great price, so that I could cook for my adult children when they came for a visit.
I know that everything I had in the past was FROM my HH, as it is now. It isn’t that I didn’t know that then, nor was I ungrateful in the past. It is simply a more intimate knowledge now. Now I KNOW that EVERYTHING is from my Heavenly Husband…and more than being grateful, I REJOICE in it.
Praise be to Him! My Heavenly Husband who is with me and provides for me. I trust in Him!
O fear the LORD, you His saints; For to those who fear Him there is no want. The young lions do lack and suffer hunger; But they who seek YHWH shall not be in want of any good thing. Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD. (Psalm 34:10)
You do not have to be perfect in your trust…you just need to SEEK Him!
“Perfect Gift from Above”
This is crazy, amazing! I just sent in a praise report on how my HH is caring for me and how I can trust Him and Praise my HH, even when things look wrong or evil. I finished my praise report and wanted to go for a walk, but the temperature had dropped and the rain had started. I decided to walk at the mall, feeling the urge for exercise.
Now, I do not usually like to walk at the mall when it is open. (They allow us to walk before hours here. That is what I usually do.) The reason is that I have encountered a significant change in cash flow from the past. It is difficult for me to walk through a mall full of beautiful spring things and not want to buy things for my five kids, or occasionally for me. I even sometimes see things that I would have automatically bought for my FH–and of course that then hits me across the face like a slap. In other words, I avoid the mall usually.
But I needed exercise, so off I drove. On arrival, I noted the mall was rather empty, and I enjoyed walking fast past the stores. I made it around both levels, just coming to my last turn, and something made me walk into a store. I saw a beautiful, well-made dress for spring. I appreciated it, and although I would have liked to have bought it, I was OK–not in the budget. I turned and there in front of me was the yellow quilt I have been looking at online for weeks.
Right after my divorce, I redid my bedroom with a fuzzy winter comforter that plopped into my lap as an amazing bargain, and it has truly comforted me this cold winter, but it is definitely a winter cover. I’ve been thinking of a yellow quilt for spring, so I had googled it, and found one I loved, but it was $200 on one site and I could not find it anywhere else for significantly less. This quilt was sitting on a sale rack. There was no clerk anywhere near. I searched all over the packaging–no price. I almost left. But I thought, “what will it hurt, if I check the price?” I wandered into the appliance department, carrying the quilt, looking for a sales person.
A very friendly woman saw me, and happily checked the price for me. We looked at each other shocked– $18.78 ! What?! This is a king-sized, brand named, well-made coverlet! She double checked that the price matched the description and number–yes. Wow! Then she checked if I had any points–and she found $4 and change. Total price, with tax: $15.48.
It gets better!!… I bought the quilt, but as I walked out, I remembered I had a $69 gift card at home that came from the purchase of a ceramic heater that kept me warm all winter, but it had failed a few weeks ago. (It was warrantied, so I had received the $69 back.) [At the time, I was disappointed about returning the heater.] Then…when I got home and took the quilt to the bedroom, finding that the color was perfect, I also found a $20 bill under the photo album I moved on the dresser!
My HH is having some fun with me, praise His Holy NAME! Lord, thank you!
“If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:11 NIV)
My HH knows what I want and need, and He provides! I love to give surprise gifts, especially when they are the perfect thing! That trait, I inherited from my Father!
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (James 1:17 NIV)
I’ve always known that everything is from Yahweh, but…now I KNOW that every.little.thing. is from the Lord! PRAISE HIS HOLY NAME!!
The thunder is rumbling around me, and the rain pours down. I am in a sheltered place. The water is pouring down, but we’ve had so much rain that I don’t think we need any more. I used to feel cozy during storms, a reminder that although the world is a scary place, we had a safe place together in our home. Today, though, the storm reminds me that I am alone. My kids are grown, and I sit here alone–stamped with a shame-inducing “divorced” label. I can feel myself about to slip into a pit of despair.
Like a rock climber in a slippery slide, I focus intently around me, reach out quickly and grab the hold that can save me. I need to hang on. Desperate, I open my Bible and through wet eyes begin to read the day’s Psalm 17. I read aloud to block the noise around me. The rumbling Doubt shouts louder; I see the evil arrows of Accusations coming my way. I read louder.
The rhythm of the Psalm begins to envelop me: “Hear a just cause, O LORD, Attend to my cry…You have tested my heart;”…”I have called upon You, for You will hear me, O God…” He WILL hear me! And suddenly I remember He is already with me! I am not alone! My Heavenly Husband is right here beside me, and the joy of His presence pierces through the raging storm. I am not alone!
I’ve never been alone. In the past, I have failed to turn to the One who is with me-the One who will never leave me nor forsake me. He waited patiently, while I fought and struggled and wearied myself. He was here for me, while I powered-through, wielding my own chipped, weak blade, trying to hack away at the world’s evils, often clumsily hashing my own foundations. He was here, waiting for me, as I bruised myself and my family, warring vainly in my lowly perspective.
I put down that worthless blade and take up the sword of the Spirit (His Word), and I turn to Him, trusting Him to battle for me. My Heavenly Husband cares for me. I can rest in Him and feel cozy and safe. I am not alone!
“I have called upon You, for You will hear me, O God; Incline Your ear to me, and hear my speech. Show Your marvelous lovingkindness by Your right hand, O You who save those who trust in You from those who rise up against them. Keep me as the apple of Your eye; Hide me under the shadow of Your wings, from the wicked who oppress me, from my deadly enemies who surround me.” (Psalms 17:6-9 NKJV)
We have a protector! We are not alone!
“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places…Stand therefore…take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:10-18 NKJV)
Trust in Him alone-not your own abilities.
“What More Could I Want?”
God is ABLE…in ALL things, including the little ones. The Lord created ALL and provides…He “opens His hand and satisfies the desire of every living thing.” Psalm 145:16
Our Beloved is providing for me. I did not fight my divorce. I did not consult an attorney, and in the end my former husband wrote some language into the paperwork to protect me from losing money during the time of rolling over my half of the retirement plan. (YES! Praise the Lord! I have a retirement plan!) But something odd appears to have happened….yet I have learned that when I cannot SEE good happen, when evil appears to happen, the Lord has a reason for it.
My FH’s business objected to the wording, saying it was too difficult, and my husband’s attorneys changed the wording of the QDRO (legal directions of transferring funds) WITHOUT telling me or my FH. :-/ Therefore, when the funds–after too long of a delay–finally became available, I immediately requested them. BUT it was bad timing, due to the changed wording (unknown to me), and it caused a loss of funds, significant to me. Now, that looks and sounds bad.
In the past, I would have gone to the Lord, in tears, about my loss, asking, “Why didn’t you protect me?!” Now, I’ve learned to say, “Hmmmm, I wonder what is going on. I wonder how He will use this to bless me.” The constant fear I lived 55 years carrying as a huge burden is GONE. Immediately, advisors recommended contacting attorneys of my own and suing the company AND the attorneys. I smiled and said, “It looks like I’ve got something to pray about.” Also, in the past, I would have immediately gone to my FH either ranting about his attorneys, OR crumpling as the victim, searching for my FH to rescue me.
Instead, I know that I have a God who is ABLE, and loves me, and is POWERFUL, and wants the best for me. So, I wait, and rejoice that I even have a retirement plan!
The same day that all this came to my attention, I was reading a lovely book–that was given to me for FREE via a promotion. Where the author slowly and carefully gleans from Ephesians 3: 20,21 phrase by phrase. It is a true JOY to read, and it was exactly what I needed to be prepared for what happened.
Our Beloved foresaw my need and prepared me!
Ladies, trust in the Lord and you will be amazed! This 57 year old woman who was the poster child for constant fear just got done transferring funds without tears or worries. In fact, I was smiling so much that the receptionist and the agent both commented, asking what “amazing thing had just happened in my life?” Instead of smiling shyly, I looked them in the eye and said, “I have a God who is able and who cherishes me. What more could I want?!”
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20-21 NIV)
Here it is in The Message:
“God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.” Glory to God in the church! Glory to God in the Messiah, in Jesus! Glory down all the generations! Glory through all millennia! Oh, yes!There is POWER–HIS POWER–in His love. Give HIM the glory!
“Anger Toward Their Dad”
Father’s Day approached, and I began to get panicky emails and texts from our five adult children. All sorts of anger or sadness were expressed. We literally had the range from “Meh” to “I hate him and will never speak to him again!” to a heartbroken, “How can I make him see what he has done wrong/ where he is walking? I’m terrified for his soul.” Many discussions ensued.
As I had learned to turn to Jesus and take EVERYTHING to Him, I was trying to teach my children to do the same, but some of them were so angry they couldn’t hear or think. It was a lesson in dealing with angry people. At first, I tried to convince them that they needed to forgive him, but learned quickly that angry people aren’t ready to forgive. I gave up trying to convince them and took it to my Heavenly Husband.
It wasn’t instant, but slowly, each child began to deal with their relationship with their father, my EH at the time.
Ladies, if your children do not yet know about infidelity or other problems, do all that you can to protect them from this information, NO MATTER how old they are! Knowing any details–the more the worse–will only hinder their ability to have a relationship with their father. If you are angry, or at wits end, you might not be able to see the destruction that sharing information with them will do. AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE protect them. Keep your lips sealed. My children found out elsewhere, but when they asked me, I felt awkward “lying” to them. I acknowledged what they knew. I really wish I had said something like, “Your father and I are having trouble. The details are between him and I. Let’s trust God together to heal our family.” Think of every detail that they learn as another puncture wound for them, and thus avoid sharing with them.
My FH (EH at the time) was actively wanting to have a relationship with his kids, but he was angry at them for being angry at him. He thought they had no reason to be angry, and that it was only between him and I. He really wasn’t thinking clearly, and this frustrated our children. FH said things trying to excuse himself that made them more angry.
Slowly, God began to answer my prayers, as one child after another made progress with putting anger aside. I think it helped for me to acknowledge their hurt, but continue to point them to Jesus. They could see how much it was helping me, and they began to try. We talked about the commandment to Honor your father and mother and the promise it contained, AND how it did NOT say honor your father “if” he is behaving. There is no exception. I said to them, “I do not know how to do this; turn to Jesus and ask Him to guide you in this.”
All but one child had at least an awkward relationship by Father’s Day. We talked about how they had a perfect Father in heaven who would never leave nor forsake them. They took comfort in this. We also talked about forgiveness and love. For Father’s Day, they decided to pool funds and buy a brick honoring their grandfather at the university that he and all of them and their dad had attended. Three of them were in town and gave their dad a certificate stating the gift. This allowed them to do something for Father’s Day that he enjoyed, but that was OK for each of them.
Finally, later that year, my oldest called her father on Christmas Eve, so now all of them are working on some kind of relationship.
It is a difficult thing. Adult children can be especially angry and perplexed by a father who had been a church deacon and who taught them God’s Word. Love and forgiveness is always the answer, but until they get help from Jesus and the Holy Spirit, they will struggle.
Each child will be different. Some will be angry, some broken hearted, others might want to “wash their hands” of their dad. You’ll have to help each of them in different ways, but ALL of them need to turn to Jesus. If you are leaning on your Heavenly Husband, you will be modeling for them. They will see your joy and want to have it too.
“Respecting His Timing”
Waiting has not been my strength. I grew up in a family that believed in hard work, self-sacrifice, integrity and good works. We plowed on through all difficulties. Now, those are not necessarily bad traits, but we were not taught a balance of trusting in God and in seeking God to lead us. We were to do what is good and right, according to the rules. Also not a bad thing, but there are times when WHAT is good and right isn’t always clear. That caused great confusion for me…especially when the people around me advised different ways! Now, I have learned that the LORD WANTS to hear from me and speak to me. I always thought my troubles were too small to be important enough to bother Him….it felt like whining (something that was never tolerated in my family.) Now, I know that He wants me to come to Him with every little thing. He doesn’t mind listening, and when I turn to Him and talk with Him and quiet my soul, He speaks to me. BUT…He doesn’t always answer right away. His peace can be with me, but the answer to my troubles is not always immediate. I am learning to respect His timing. Just like we don’t let little boys drive cars, because we know they are not ready, in the same way God has His own timing for when and how our troubles will be answered. I am learning to trust in that timing.
Today I came across a verse, speaking of Jesus, and the LORD helped me to see it differently than I had before. It speaks of Jesus SITTING at the right hand of God. I always saw it as Jesus being God’s “right hand man”, as a symbol of approval and validity of His actions. But, today I also saw it as sitting, and waiting for the right time. Surely, the humanness of Jesus would have the desire to rid the world of the evil He experienced RIGHT NOW, upon His resurrection. I point out, however, that if He had, many of our ancestors would have disappeared from the earth, and we would never have existed, nor felt His love for us. Jesus trusts in the timing of God. JESUS trusts in the timing of God!! Thus, should I not also?!
“Going to Higher Places”
I would like to praise Him for a beautiful book recommended by RMIEW–Hinds Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard.
I saw this book as one recommended by RMIEW some time ago, so I ordered it. I read it a few weekends ago, and have been pondering it since, finally realizing I am led to write a Praise Report about it.
I must say that I was wary–having read the summary that it was an allegory. I really enjoyed Hinds Feet, as it seemed to have much in common with some of my own circumstances, perhaps, as it is written by a woman. Almost immediately, the story interested me. It was reasonably easy to read, but it also had a pull on my heart. I was eager to have breaks in my day to read some more!
I believe that many of the women here at RMIEW would not only benefit from this book, but they would also enjoy it. It “gets” the feelings of disappointment, dread, and heartbreak when we see the Lord’s path before us as turning away from where WE want to go now. It reinforces the idea of our need to follow Him and encourages us to wait more patiently.
From the book summary: “Much-Afraid had been in the service of the Chief Shepherd, whose great flocks were pastured down in the Valley of Humiliation. She lived with her friends and fellow workers Mercy and Peace in a tranquil little white cottage in the village of Much-Trembling. She loved her work and desired intensely to please the Chief Shepherd, but happy as she was in most ways, she was conscious of several things which hindered her in her work and caused her much secret distress and shame. Here is the allegorical take of much-Afraid, and every-woman searching for guidance from God to lead her to a higher place.”
If that sounds goofy to you, I plead that you give it a chance anyway…you might be as surprised by it as I was. It is a book I will reread and treasure, and I am giving a copy of it to my mother, all my daughters, and daughters in law this Christmas!
“In His Mode”
My mom is 81 years old. Thankfully, she has been relatively healthy for her age. I had to avoid my mother during the beginning of my Restoration Journey, because her presence stirred up every bit of fear and fretting that was left in me. She would tell me all the possible things that could go wrong in my situation–and they were terrifying. Now, my mom needs me, though, as some health issues have come up, and a few days ago, she fell and hit her head on the cement. She was taken by ambulance to the hospital, and she called me.
When I arrived, her anxiety was HUGE; and she spoke to me about how I could use her money IF she died, etc… However, the trigger effect she once had on me is gone! I’ve learned to take EVERYTHING IMMEDIATELY to my Heavenly Husband, so on the way, I had spoken with Him, and He surrounded me with His peace. I was able to separate my mom’s anxiety from me. He allowed me to step back and not “own” my mother’s anxiety. I was in HIS mode!
Then a miraculous thing happened: as I stayed in His peace, it spread through the room. Due to what was happening to my mom, I spoke with my HH, and He told me to take my mom home. I kept her calm, took her home, washed and dressed her wounds properly, and looked her all over–doing my own exam. I had to wrap up her wrist (sprained) that they had x-rayed but had not yet treated, and I discovered a pocket in a wound that needed addressing. I also found symptoms of a possible broken rib.
In the past, I would have been angry, and my fretting would have increased my mom’s anxiety. INSTEAD, my HH told me I could be calm and seek better care in the morning. The next day, I took her to an excellent doctor, who did the needed chest x-ray, gave her a brace for her wrist, treated the wound, and was calm and gentle and encouraging to her. Because he did the chest xray–rib not broken–he discovered a suspicious mass and approached the situation calmly. My mom modeled my calm demeanor and did not fret. (This is considered a miracle in my family!) We eventually discovered the mass was something that can be treated by the new MD over time–nothing to panic about.
Our HH was WAITING until she was in the right environment for the discovery to be made! And because I trusted in Him and followed His lead, He blessed us with a rather enjoyable day. An enjoyable day (?!?) of going to TWO clinics, multiple exams, labs and x-rays and CTs?! YES–due to ALL done with calmness and a sense of being in this together! My HH even showed us a cute new restaurant; we laughed over our day, and then we both took a restful afternoon nap. I was even able to say to my mom-that the LORD had led us through our day together! Praise Him!
“Filled with Love & Encouragement”
This has been a huge week of turmoil for my family and many of our friends. My eyes have been opened to the hurt of others in a way that I might not have seen in the past. By waiting before doing anything, by seeking Him first, I’ve been given the privilege of intimacy with the hearts of others.
My children’s grandfather, their dad and I, and all of my children attended the same university. My youngest daughter is currently a student there. I am an active alumna. This past week, there have been protests, reaction, more protests, even a hunger strike and international attention, due to racial tension…something I had hoped was long past. What at first seemed to be only drama and over-reaction to me has been shown to me to be hurting people shouting for help.
The key difference now is that my HH has removed my urgent need to react. He has given me the gift of resting in Him. Since I am on one of the school’s boards and have an email loop of Christian parents of students, as soon as word of campus trouble got out, family, friends, acquaintances and more distant strangers reached out to me for a response. In the past, I would have shared my immediate opinions, with a statement of “but we need more facts.” This time, I waited to respond, and when I did finally send a response, it was full of His love and encouragement for others to seek Him and love one another. Even my required (secular) board response was slightly delayed, then was filled with His love and encouragement to seek understanding and LOVE each other.
It is almost as if I can see the evil forces stirring up others—using their wounds to cause them more pain, and I can empathize with their reactions, even though I can see that they too would benefit from seeking Him and waiting. Because I too used to react to things quickly, my heart could understand those who did, without anger at them. Because I took time to seek my Heavenly Husband—because I was very careful with my words—God allowed me to help hold together a group that was very divided on the issues at hand. I then heard from many who were hurting and I could lend an empathetic ear. I was able to NOT take a side and, instead, to encourage others to love one another. His Love, introduced into a situation by only one person, can melt the frozen hearts of some and can stop the stirring up by evil forces! He will use us to introduce His Peace!
There is much healing work still to be done, but at times of turmoil, a quiet whisper from Him can produce Peace. Rather than being caught in a fight between factions, He stopped the fight! Praise my HH for allowing me to be part of His work! Ladies, the principles learned here at RMIEW can help us to heal ourselves and then the world around us. Be still and know that He is God! Lean into Him and trust Him to guide every word (or lack of words!)
“In the Everyday Things”
He is in the everyday things. When I began my Restoration Journey, I fretted and fought hard and tried to do everything to perfection. I believed in Jesus and trusted Him for my salvation. When things got overwhelming, I prayed and asked Him for help. What I didn’t do is walk through my entire day with Him. When you read Genesis, before Adam and Eve sinned, you see that they walked WITH God in the garden; they had fellowship with Him. Sin ruined that. But even in that sin, God promised them that in their future would come a solution. That solution was and is Jesus our HH! Through Him, we can again walk through our days with the Lord, forgiven and free! Now, I realize that He is in the everyday things. He is with me always. I discuss every little detail with Him.
Yesterday, as I was approaching a small task that I had never done before, rather than fretting about it or feeling intimidated, I opened my computer, sat in front of the task to be done–that I had NO IDEA how to do. But rather than googling it, calling friends, and making multiple unsuccessful attempts–as I would have in the past–I simply said, “My Heavenly Husband, I have no idea how to do this.” Then I sat and waited. I wanted to merge two cells from two different rows in a table together, but NOT the other cells in the rows. As I sat quietly, a clear thought came, “highlight the two cells.” So I did it, and POOF! up comes a choice that wasn’t there before the highlight: “merge cells”! Click–BOOM! DONE!
I realize some will think that was an accident or coincidence. I do not believe in coincidences anymore! What I failed to do in the past was WAIT, and get quiet, and allow my HH to help. Yes, this is a minor thing, but as anyone over 30 can tell you…the minor things in life add up over the years, set a pattern, and suddenly you have a lifestyle. Mine is no longer a lifestyle of striving, fretting, fussing and fear. I have a Heavenly Husband who cares for me, right down to the minutia of details! And I am FREE!
“I Want My Children to Know”
One constant desire that I frequently discuss with my HH is that I be able to share what I have learned here at RMIEW with others–most especially my children. I’ve shared here in the past that although I trusted in Jesus as my savior almost all of my life, I was not familiar with the concept of being the Bride of Christ. My church had discussed the bride of Christ as “The Church” during the end times, but we had not addressed the individual relationship. I spoke to my Father frequently, but now I know I have a Heavenly Husband, and that is a less distant relationship. I want my children to know this!
Our youngest daughter has struggled. She was a teenager through our troubles and divorce, and even before it was apparent that our marriage was in danger, she was struggling with her relationship with God. My older children went through phases of figuring out their faith and what church they wanted to belong to, but it was obvious that this was a bigger struggle. Adding the divorce into her life, she has really struggled with trust and belief issues. One weekend, she came home from college in tears. We were up much of the night, as her feelings had been dashed by someone she had trusted who had betrayed her. I know a little about that now, so we talked and prayed, and my primary encouragement continued to be, “Take it to your heavenly Father.” I explained more about being the bride of Christ and pursuing Him. We slept in very late the next morning, so as I was cooking a sort of “brunch” for us, she surprised me by being in an upbeat mood, as she said, “Would you come with me to the bookstore? I’d like to buy a new Bible–one that I picked out all on my own.” She had her own beat-up hardcover version–that had been the required one for her Christian school–and she had access to other versions all over our house, but she explained that she wanted one that SHE had picked out. As a mom of four older children, I especially appreciated that this was her desire after a long night of tears and frustration! Perhaps it was God’s plan that none of her friends were also home from school, so she couldn’t run to them and lean on them.
We got dressed and drove together to one bookstore, where she spent much time sitting on the floor of an aisle, looking through Bibles. Nothing “grabbed” her, so we headed off to the Christian bookstore, a little further away. I was truly enjoying this time with my daughter. I poked around the store looking at items, until my daughter called me over to get my opinion. Again, I encouraged her to pray about her choice. She said she really liked a leather bound and wrapped version that tied closed with leather straps. It had beautiful maps and real photos of the places events occurred within the text of the Bible. It was expensive, though. I backed off to allow her to ponder, and as I stood in the background, a store employee came to see if we needed any help. I explained to her what we were looking for, and as we both stood there together watching my beautiful daughter spend her precious weekend time choosing a Bible, we connected. “It doesn’t get much better than this,” I said. She nodded, as we saw my daughter’s face aglow, reading through a Bible, sprawled out on the floor of the store.
THEN, the kind woman inquired if I had a member card and proceeded to show me how we could get 40% off the price of that Bible! My daughter came up and asked if they would hold the Bible until she cashed a paycheck. She was thrilled when I explained it wouldn’t be necessary–our HH had made a way for her to have that Bible now. My daughter has grown and this special Bible will encourage her to continue to stay in the Word. She could have gone to buy a new Bible in her college town alone, with friends, or with her siblings (who live there.) Instead, my HH allowed me to be part of that day–showing me that my prayers are being answered! It truly doesn’t get much better than that!
“Supposed to Be Tough?”
When I found RMIEW, I was shaken to the core. For 34 years, my life had been all about supporting my husband and his work, then birthing, raising and guiding our five children, while enabling my husband to work and provide for us. I worked very, very hard for all of those years, and I had dragged, pushed, and prodded both my husband (blush) and my children (also not necessary) for most of those years. I believed I was supposed to be tough, and I worked into the wee hours of the night. I was exhausted most of the time, but I pushed on, believing that was what women who wanted godly families do. I fretted, worried, and worked for good things. I was a believer, trusting God for my Salvation. I taught my children AND Sunday school. For 34 years, my marriage was very hard work. Our youngest was almost ready for college. One more to get through college and on her way, and I dreamed of all the extra time my husband and I would have together! I was getting excited about resting a bit and enjoying each other. Then, WHAM! My feet were taken out from under me–everything I had fretted, strived, and worked for was in turmoil! God had my attention!
The first thing I learned at RMIEW was to go to the Lord and His Word, instead of fretting, wondering, and trying to figure out WHERE my husband was. I would retreat to my quiet spot with my Bible, pouring out my heart to the Lord. I decided to memorize some complete Psalms. The first one was Psalm 25, which begins: “Onto You, O Lord, I lift up my soul, Oh my God I trust in You! Let me not be ashamed, let not my enemies triumph over me.” Immediately, I realized that I was only SAYING the second line. He spoke to me and helped me realize that I did NOT trust in Him. Yes, for my salvation I trusted Him, but not for my LIFE here on earth! I knew that all blessings were from Him, but I had thought of my intact family and successful husband and children as the fruit of MY hard work. I implored: WHY had He taken my life’s work from me! I thought of it as unfair, comparing myself to idle, pampered wives that I knew—women with foul mouths who spent most of their time playing tennis or at the gym, who put little effort into their children, yet their husbands bought them gifts, took them on great vacations, and they did not stray. WHY ME?! He told me to keep memorizing Psalm 25. I was to keep saying the Psalm until I learned to truly TRUST IN HIM! I did.
As I did, He took away the fretting and worry that had plagued me my entire life! He took away most of my need for the approval of man (still working on some of that!) He taught me to turn everything—every little thing—to Him. I had willingly spent my life as an ox at the plow, barely getting a night’s rest, not even taking off the yoke. I had lived a life of waking up to immediately begin plowing again—fighting against some very hard dirt full of rocks. I had stubbornly tugged and tugged—working toward very good things, believing that God wanted me to live this way! I didn’t recognize that I had a Heavenly Husband willing to take my yoke from me, and all I had to do was stop pulling and ask Him to take over! Oh my God I trust in You!
Finally, I learned to trust in Him. My HH has taken all my burdens. Even though I have much less money, no one living with me in a house that needs some big, expensive repairs, and no earthly MAN to help me, I finally live without fear! My HH has taken over all the burdens! Even with my dreams shattered, I am happier than I have ever been, for I trust in Him—not my own strength. His Psalm is in my heart, and I have a perfect Husband, who cares for my every need and blesses me with constant joys and gifts.
Trust in Him, Ladies! Lean on Him, not your own strength. Memorize His Word, so that your mind and heart will be renewed and changed—and then He will change your behavior and bad habits, too! Trust in Him!
“All My Moments with Him”
I’ve been a Christian since I was a young child. I learned of Jesus Christ and His salvation while visiting my grandmother in Germany for the summer. My grandmother only spoke German; I only spoke English, but I vividly remember conversing with her about Jesus. She told my parents I spoke German to her; I remember her speaking English to me. Our God is amazing!
When I was a teen, I went to church weekly, but do not remember hearing the gospel at church. I do remember praying and giving my heart to the Lord. Unfortunately, the people who lived around me were not believers, but I read my Bible and learned from it. I didn’t attend a Bible-based church until after I had already been married for 15 years, but I was blessed by the learning there. However, I still didn’t know how to walk through each day WITH my Heavenly Husband. That I have learned through RMIEW, after my heart was broken and what I had dedicated my life to (family) was torn apart. I should have dedicated my life TO HIM! I had trusted Him for salvation, but I had not trusted Him for my life, now, on earth. When my earthly husband left me, my heart broke, and I wanted my life back! I had given up career and many activities to give, and give, and give to my EH and my children. I had taken care of both my EH’s parents and my parents through multiple sicknesses, and I had cared for both of his parents as they died, and my earthly father as he died. I followed “the rules” to be a good Christian. I worked, very, very hard to raise my children to be “good Christians.” I also (unfortunately) prodded my EH to be a “good Christian.” I thought that all my striving and working hard to “be good” was walking with Him. I was wrong.
I’ve finally learned to spend all my moments with Him! The biggest surprise is that it is NOT hard. It is NOT about striving for excellence at all. It is about giving up all those burdens and striving and instead: turning it all over to Him! If we are willing to turn to Him and LET GO of all that fretting and stress, He will take over and we will be free!
This holiday past, I was at my older son’s home, with many relatives from both sides of my son’s marriage (including all five of my children!) There were 26 people, including my FH! My HH was right beside me all the day. I was able to speak with Him from early in the morning and throughout each moment. When my FH walked in, my heart didn’t stop. I still love him, but that love is no longer tied up with neediness and demands. I love him and want God’s best for him. I pray our HH touches his heart and pulls him in the same way He has pulled me close. What I now NEED though is the love of my HH! I crave it in the morning, immediately upon waking, and He never disappoints, for He is always with me! He will never forsake me! So, I was able to greet, even hug, my FH, smiling with true love in my heart. I continued to enjoy the gathering. My FH invited me outside to see his new, very fancy truck. I admired it, and was able to be glad that he has something safe and comfortable to drive all over the state, instead of the loud and awful-to-drive van he used previously for work. My heart did not even contemplate being angry about that money not being spent on me. I didn’t even think of that until a friend pointed it out later, and I laughed aloud and said, “My Heavenly Husband owns it all! He’ll give me whatever I need.”
The peace of knowing that I am cherished and cared for by our HH puts everything else in proper perspective! If we walk throughout our days in HIS presence, we walk in freedom and peace and love! Then we know what it is like to be truly cherished, and we will no longer have cravings for more. Then we can accept what He gives us with joy, wanting only to do His will and walk in His way. Praise His Holy Name!
“Holding Us Together”
He is changing me. I am still someone who likes to plan and prepare, but I speak with my Heavenly Husband throughout the day, and when “my” plans are changed, I look with expectation at what He has planned for me instead!
My older children are grown and married and work in healthcare, so since we had all spent Thanksgiving together, most of them had to work the Christmas holiday. Then, my youngest daughter, who is in college, informed me that she would not be coming home until very late on the 20th, meaning I would have to decorate for Christmas by myself. I also found out that my mom had decided for the first time that she did not want to host Christmas at her house. I volunteered to have her and my brothers come to my home, but almost immediately, my brothers chose to stay home on Christmas day, and my mom chose to go to one of my brother’s homes. For a short time, this made me sad. I felt alone. But, as soon as I recognized that I was feeling sad and alone, I took it all to my HH. He reminded me that I am never alone! He would be with me as I decorated, and I could choose to celebrate the real season with Him, during all this extra alone time! I really enjoyed the peace of it all!
My daughter would be home just before Christmas, so we could still bake together and enjoy our time, and we would have a quiet Christmas time together. She was beginning to understand some of the things I have been trying to share with her about pursuing our HH. So, when my daughter arrived, I was at peace and well rested from much alone time spent with Him. During the week beforehand, my daughter’s cat had nearly choked, needing emergency surgery, but I had not told my daughter, because she was studying for finals. When she saw the shaved cat, I told her what had happened, and she totally fell apart. I knew she had been very stressed the last week—more than normal, and I had wondered if it was more than finals. Well, she informed me that she had been holding herself together all week and had not called me because it would make her fall apart. She told me that a friend had committed suicide a week ago, and then another friend was raped. She had been hosting all her friends at her apartment for the past week, in a sort of wake, all while studying and taking final exams! She told me that she knew that if she had called me, she would have fallen apart, and wouldn’t have been able to take her exams. She said that if she would have leaned on me for help through this, she would be leaning the wrong way. She said that she had taken breaks and gone for walks, and she had always heard, “Just show everyone love. One step at a time, show them My Love.” So, she had obeyed. Many of her friends are not believers, and they were in great distress and confusion last week–some very angry, all very sad. But she didn’t run; she didn’t force her views. She Loved, and she listened to His voice and trusted in Him to hold her up.
He had planned for us to have this quiet time with no need for travel or busy preparations! He did this long before either of us knew that we would need it! We had peace and quiet to share what He is teaching us! Can I be more blessed than to know I am never alone? I am always cherished! And, my daughter has begun to know what it is like to walk with Him throughout each day!? I praise His Holy Name for this journey and all He has done for me!
“When I Stop and Really Listen”
I was concerned because my youngest daughter (age 20) has made herself busy with activities, every day of the week, including many evenings. All of them are good activities—studies, charity work, a Bible study she attends, another one she leads, a small group for younger women, etc.… She reads her Bible; she prays; she tithes, but I thought she needed more time for contemplation. So, I took my concern to my HH. As I prayed, He pointed out to me that *I* had modeled busyness to her. I had raised five kids, homeschooled the younger ones, been involved in Bible Studies and activities at church, taught Sunday School, while being the “team mom” for football and cheer, volunteered for many good causes, and I had even been in a mother-daughter organization with her that kept both of us extra busy. Yes, I had always modeled love for God and Jesus; I had spoken of the Holy Spirit, but I had not modeled quiet time with the LORD. (My quiet time had often been at 1 am when everyone was asleep, and all my chores were finally complete for that day.)
Even now, living alone, I find that I keep myself too busy. I have my alone time with His Word to start out my day; I pray for my children and friends, and even my enemies; I end my day in contemplation and prayer, and I often spend my lunch time speaking with Him. YET, He showed me that sometimes, when He is wanting to speak to my heart, I quickly get busy—cleaning out closets or painting a cabinet. I’ve even used checking on my tasks at RMIEW to fill in my need for busyness and my desire to be approved. I asked my HH if it was wrong to want to be doing good things. He pointed out that I was still a people-pleaser. I was still wanting approval from others for my good works, rather than seeking after His guidance for everything. I want others to be pleased with my work and express approval, when I know that the only approval that truly matters is that of my Heavenly Husband.
I was reading a Psalm this morning, and my HH used it to speak to my heart. From Psalm 35: “Plead my cause, O LORD, with those who strive with me; Fight against those who fight against me. …And stop those who pursue me. Say to my soul, ‘I am your salvation.’” The point here is allowing my HH to plead my cause! I do not need to plead for myself; in fact, pleading for myself—sometimes by doing MORE good works—is ineffective and sometimes just annoys others. Rather than trying to please others, I need to focus my heart on pleasing HIM. I have in the past been hurt by others’ unfair actions, as in the same Psalm 35: “Fierce witnesses rise up; They ask me things that I do not know. They reward me evil for good, …But as for me, when they were sick, I humbled myself with fasting; And my prayer …I paced about as though he were my friend or brother; I bowed down heavily, as one who mourns for his mother.… But in my adversity they rejoiced And gathered together;” Yes, often things can seem very unfair, but my focus should NOT be on the behavior of others, nor on pleasing them, NOR on how unfair they are. My focus should be on my Heavenly Husband!
“What Do I Say Lord?!”
His timing is impeccable! I am writing this at 01:00, simply because I must praise Him! It has been an interesting few days. I felt a little ill over the past week, so I cut out some planned activities and spent time resting.
The snow was melting from my deck, and the bad condition of the surface began to haunt me. It needs to be replaced; it is quite large and the bids were overwhelmingly high…so I talked to Him about it. I was led to fast, and for it to be a 3-day fast. I spent a good amount of time in His Word and quiet. Then, just as I was asking Him if I should end the fast this past evening, my FH texted me that He was in town and he wanted to stop by for some business items. (His side business is still located in my basement, but it is mostly stored items and records.) I sat and prayed for the 20 minutes before he arrived, totally at peace. Our relationship is very cordial, and he came in and talked about his business trip and a wedding he had attended. He enjoyed playing with our cats, and asked if everything was OK with the house. I mentioned a cap that had broken off of a battery, and he proceeded to check and fill all the batteries, replacing two caps with ones he knew he had in storage. [He had installed a battery back-up system for the house long ago.] When he was washing up, he looked out the window to the deck and said, “We need to do something about this deck.” I kept my mouth shut. (A huge improvement for me, and I’m sure the fast helped.) He talked about who he might call to do the work–he knows that I do not have any spare money, so he put his arm on my shoulder and said, “I think I have the funds. I’ll need to get some bids.” I kept my mouth shut, as I prayed, “What do I say, LORD?” I was led to say nothing! Soon after, my FH left.
I spent more time with the LORD, while cooking the dinner He told me to enjoy. I watched a little TV and decided to go to bed early. I was still feeling quiet. About midnight, a text woke me. I don’t usually wake from texts, so I read it. It was an alert from my daughter’s college saying, “Shots fired near campus. Stay indoors and wait for follow up.” My daughter lives near campus. This is the kind of thing that used to send me into hours of worry, calling my daughter to check on her location, etc… I began to talk to my HH, asking that my daughter’s heart be tuned to Him and that He lead her in the way she should go. THEN, suddenly, my furnace began to make an awful racket (like the fan was loose.) I prayed the 25th Psalm, which is one of my constant companions. Even though the blower was still going, the rattling ceased. Rather than fretting, I knew things would all work out somehow. Then I heard an email come to my phone, and I knew it was probably The Encourager, as that usually comes in around midnight. Sure enough, it was, and I thought it would be a good thing to read at that moment…anticipating more encouragement and peace. As I began to read, it seemed familiar, and I realized that I had written the PR! AND it was all about learning to trust in the LORD! I giggled with Him, and since I am now fully awake, I just felt that I had to write this new PR.
We CAN trust in Him! As soon as I am finished typing, I will lie down and rest my head, knowing that He cares for me and my children AND YOU! Trust in Him! [Oh…and the follow-up alert just came saying that the “shots fired” were determined to be fireworks–nothing to fret about.