♕Today's Promise: "But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may prove yourselves to be sons of your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:44-45
Dona, how did your Restoration Journey actually begin?
During our seven years of marriage, my husband had left two times. We didn't fight but we always argued. Most of the time because things don't go as I would like. I was a contentious, quarrelsome woman, did not honor my husband and humiliated him in front of my family. Being submissive? That word always left me feeling discouraged and trapped. When I started college I heard that as women we should say everything we thought and "set out to fight for what we wanted" and that means discussing everything and making sure you win, so you’d get what you wanted.
Just to give you an idea, I thought I could act in the most obnoxious way and I would still be admired and cherished. I have been a Christian since I was young and my dream was always to raise a family and be married forever. I loved the word “marriage” but didn’t have a clue what would keep a marriage strong and happy.
Incredibly I saw myself as a humble person and I was sure that I was looking for God in the right way. What a hypocrite I was. I didn't beat my chest in public to say what I did but I thought everything everyone else did was wrong according to God's principles.
My husband always told me to listen to him, to say only what I needed to say, not to talk to everyone about our intimacy (don't ever do that). But it seems that I could not understand what was missing and besides, I always opposed anything he said, I did not support him in most conversations we had.
During the period just before this, I had always had a great thirst for God and had decided that I no longer wanted a meaningless life. I wanted something different. I wanted to live being guided by God just as the prophets lived, so I started looking for it by reading the Word, praying, and looking for books in that sense to become more spiritual.
One day while surfing the internet, I found the book "the power of the praying wife" and immersed myself in prayer for my husband, which I did very superficially. After three weeks of prayer and fasting, my husband said to me after an argument, “I'm going to take a trip to rethink our marriage. We simply don't work as a married couple, please respect me."
Let me explain that prior to this he had already proposed that I quit my job to take better care of our children and finish school, but I decided not to obey him and that I was the only one who could hear from God. I was sure he was going to come back changed, but instead, when he came back from the trip he told me that he was leaving because we were no longer working as a married couple. He also told me he had met someone else and had not loved me for some time. That he’d tried to make it right (by what he had earlier proposed) and that he was still with me due to the children but that he would not even stay for them now. I was impossible to live with.
How did God change your situation, Dona, as you sought Him wholeheartedly?
That was the end for me. Desperation came over me so the only way I knew was to go to God in prayer and that's what I did and asked Him to guide me to find something to follow. Because I believed that nothing is impossible for God I just needed it to be true, I needed to live what was impossible. God guided me through the Internet to find the RMI website. When I started to read the testimonies of restored marriages on the website, I was filled with hope, so I downloaded the book "How God can and will restore your marriage" and I read it in three days, then read it again, and then again.
From then on, I was able to see how I acted so horribly and how my prideful attitude made my husband not feel supported. It was his dream to have a united family (because he grew up with a separate father and mother so he always wanted that: a wife, children always together). What I gave him was nothing but deep frustration. At first, I couldn't forgive myself for it. I loved him but I had made him suffer a lot.
But God is so wonderful; He made me see how silly I was, how contentious, quarrelsome, and hypocritical. He broke me and reshaped me and changed me and has been changing me just the way He wants me to be!
What principles, from God's Word (or through our resources), Dona, did the Lord teach you during this trial?
Reading the book God gave me strength and I started to apply all the principles that I didn't know and never heard. I’m still shocked how no one in the church, no retreat, no Bible studies ever taught me the truth on marriage. It’s shocking.
So, without knowing the truth, first, God had to each me to purify myself and He broke my heart. Then I started to apply the principles of "letting go" and getting out of his way. I learned to make my God my first in everything and I didn't run to the phone anymore as I did in each crisis. When that happened God turned my husband’s heart back to me. But first I needed to be tested.
At his brother's wedding where my son was a ring bearer, he took OW (other women) and introduced me to her. I smiled and said, “Hello, it’s nice to meet you.” I was "gentle and quiet" winning without words. At the end of the wedding, my husband took me home, and on the way, he said to me “Congratulations, you managed to get rid of another one of my dates.” I replied that I was sorry, that I hadn't meant to say anything to mess things up. He said he knew it wasn’t my fault, but the fact that he had his wedding ring on is what really made her break up with him. (During our separation he never stopped using your wedding ring.)
What were the most difficult times that God helped you through, Dona?
The most difficult moments were at the beginning when I still did not feel the peace that surpasses all understanding. That didn’t happen until I did the courses Finding and then Living the Abundant Life.
The other difficult time was when I worked and didn’t come home until dawn, then being present for my kids when they’d wake up. I prayed and asked God to change that situation and He did! Without telling anyone, my graveyard shift was changed to days. Now since my restoration I am a stay at home mom!
Dona, what was the “turning point” of your restoration?
The turning point was when he introduced me to OW(other women) and I didn't say anything unkind or create a scene in front of his family. I never asked him about anything that was happening or asked anyone else about it. This spoke volumes to my EH (Earthly Husband) and our family and friends, but it was God who saw and had favor on me.
Tell us HOW it happened, Dona? Did your husband just walk in the front door? Dona, did you suspect or could you tell you were close to being restored?
In fact, after that wedding, he began sleeping at home every other night. He did trip up and was with the OW (other women), but again, I said nothing even though he knew I knew. He stayed away two nights and a day. Then he was home for good, physically, and emotionally. Being home and with the OW (other women) gone for good, he became more relaxed every day.
He didn't say anything, he just came back. I also didn’t ask any questions about anything that happened. Now I am trusting God to make my EH (Earthly Husband) the spiritual leader of our home and I believe it is close. I let my church go so I have made room for him and will leave the details to God
Would you recommend any of our resources in particular that helped you, Dona?
I recommend all RMI materials starting with the Bible that is our foundation, after the book "how God can and will restore your marriage", "a wise woman", the encourager, the testimonies of restored marriages, and the lessons of the courses, all of them.
Would you be interested in helping encourage other women, Dona?
Yes, I already encourage other women. I share the HopeAtLast.com site because God told us to share the good news. We need to share with women who are suffering and need hope.
Either way, Dona, what kind of encouragement would you like to leave women with, in conclusion?
Never give up on seeking restoration for your lives, families, marriages and always put our God first in everything in your lives because He is who will turn the heart where He wants: towards you or away from you. Even though you may not see any evidence that things are changing, you have to know that God is at work and restoration is moving towards you.
Want even MORE Restored Marriage Testimonies to study and learn the linked principles to encourage you?
There's a lot MORE to read in By the Word of Their Testimony Full Series Packet: 7 eBooks or by purchasing them in paperback By the Word of Their Testimony Full Series COMBO Packet: Paperback & eBooks.