Courtney, how did your restoration actually begin?
I was a bossy, extravagant woman, arrogant, and I thought that only I could solve all our problems. Even our wedding was a nightmare, due to me wanting a huge wedding party because I wanted to, and we ended up with an enormous amount of debt that caused a lot of stress. I smoked and drank a lot, and my friends and family had tried to warn me that I needed to change; they tried to get my attention, but I did not care.
Right away, I wanted to get pregnant, and I became neurotic because of that. To cope, my husband started to seclude himself to get away from me; he became quieter and isolated himself from me until he came to tell me that he was in friendship with a work colleague who had the same job as him, and he claimed that they had to work together. People said it was true, they were only friends and coworkers, but I imagined the worse. After two months of much fighting and distrust on my part, with my continual accusations, my husband decided to leave, to give us time apart to stop the fights. A week later, I decided to go behind his back and ask his boss to transfer him. After sending my husband several messages, he decided that he was done; he would not come home; we were through. He came home, packed up his things without talking to me, and moved out.
How did God change your situation, Courtney, as you sought Him wholeheartedly?
After he had left home and was gone for a month, I was exhausted from running around and just kicking him verbally, telling everyone and anyone who would listen. Each time I tracked him down and he'd see me, the colder he became toward me. A friend told me I needed help and to go see a counselor in her church—such a waste. I could not find any help, and then it came to my mind to look for testimonies of restored marriages online. By that time, I was going to the church and told this to my husband, trying to show him that I had changed (joke) and was urging him to go, too.
I knew I needed God, but I didn't know which direction to take, what course of action would make this all stop—not until He led me right to the RMI website. From the moment I started reading the first HopeAtLast.com pages, I began to cry and stayed up late into the night reading—going from one page to the other. At that moment, I knew that it was God speaking to me, and that's when I ordered and read How God Can and Will Restore, and I kept reading the testimonies, then I began working through each of the courses and started reading the daily Encourager.
What principles, from God's Word (or through our resources), Courtney, did the Lord teach you during this trial?
God taught me, through RMI, to have a meek, gentle and loving spirit, to forgive and not to explode at anything, to let my husband lead, instead of taking control of everything, and to remain calm and at peace when I would have been filled with rage and exploded in anger over something stupid. Your ministry continues teaching me to be quiet and let go of everything, turning it all over to His powerful hands. And only then was I able to rest and know that He was taking care of everything. He taught me the principles of tithing and surrendering, which were very, very important, and that was when I finally began to see things change.
What were the most difficult times that God helped you through, Courtney?
The first most difficult time was when I let go of my EH and confessed my sins to him and others (including a kiss that a guy gave me at the beginning of our engagement). I learned to let go of my life and stop contacting him, which was tough when I found out about him and OW. Up until that day, I only suspected that he had gone out with her, even though people told me they were together. Even without children, we had contact throughout, due to our bank accounts.
One day, he came and confessed that after we separated that he went out with her once but that he had repented to God. So that day we had intimacy, but after, he said we should not have done it because he was afraid to hurt me, but that showed me that the Lord was beginning to turn his heart back to me even more, so I focused on the positive.
The second most difficult moment was when he was sleeping at home and he got a text from the OW saying that she took a test and she was pregnant. That day our world collapsed, but I felt God talking to me to remain calm and trust Him, and I asked, "But how can I stay calm with this news? If it is Your will that the dream of my husband being a father be performed by another woman, I will understand." But as I became more intimate with the Lord as my Husband, I kept hearing Him tell me that not everything was what it seemed, and the more I wondered if it was true.
More tests were sent by God, and the more wonderful Lord continued to give me peace. After several crises, the truth surfaced; we discovered that the sonograms she sent to prove she was pregnant were four years old.
But before we discovered the pregnancy was not my husband, my EH had returned to his sister's house, and he said he needed to decide what to do about our future together. I kept talking to my HH, and I went on fasting and praying, and that's when the heavenly peace of my Beloved consumed me. One day, I even told my EH that he should also trust God and that His will be done but that I thought she was not pregnant. God had not revealed the truth, but I thought "either she would abort or it was a lie," and it was the next day the truth was uncovered. After this, my EH came to sleep at home but said to remain quiet.
The OW did not know that we knew the sonogram pictures were old, so he quietly called her to talk, and she told him that she had an abortion because there was a problem in the womb, but my EH did not confront her about her lie. Though, I confess that I wanted everyone to know that she faked her pregnancy and that we knew that the sonogram was old. But God taught me to remain quiet and trust Him. Later, I realized that maybe the scandal would hurt us as a couple.
Courtney, what was the “turning point” of your restoration?
The turning point was to confess and ask forgiveness from my husband and others I hurt, to speak to my HH about everything, to rejoice in good or bad and be kind to everyone, to dedicate myself only to the Lord, and to stop running after my husband. To be loving and to be quiet, after all these changes are when my EH came back to begin sleeping at home and began to make plans for us, financially and as a family, but always asking me to remain calm. It wasn’t until he brought all his uniforms home that I knew things had turned. His excuse was always because (as we live in an apartment) it takes more time for them to dry, and sometimes he had to go two days wearing the same one. I said nothing, and soon he said it was better to bring everything home, and I smiled. The next day, we went to get his things, and he packed everything, leaving nothing behind. All this to the glory and honor of my Beloved Husband!
Tell us HOW it happened, Courtney. Did your husband just walk in the front door? Courtney, did you suspect, or could you tell you were close to being restored?
God was turning his heart slowly; what I see today is so much better and not as I imagined. I always did everything quickly and pushed things to be finished. Yet yesterday, I realized how calm I felt, due to what you taught me here. What a blessing it is to wait and be patient, and I thank you very much. I am able to thank Him for all the trials, because every tear, every bad moment, served to help me and teach me.
Of course, we messed up a lot during the journey, and we are going to make mistakes, but I believe that the important thing is always to seek Him, and what He wants for our lives, and to feel that peace in the heart that only He can give us, even in the midst of the storm. Knowing that He is with us is the most comforting feeling there is! It's been eleven months since the day we came home after picking up his things, and that day he asked me if we were going to start going church! Glory to God!!!
After I let go of my church, as you all teach (so my husband would have room to become my spiritual leader), I confess I thought that would never happen. How wrong I was!
Would you recommend any of our resources in particular that helped you, Courtney?
I recommend that you read How God Can and Will Restore Your Marriage and also A Wise Woman and purchase them to give as gifts to family and friends. The courses were what helped me a lot, to keep moving forward; as I journaled relentlessly, it helped me not remain just going around and around what I was learning. Just follow each course on the list, plus other recommended courses like Abundant Life. Of course, include a lot of prayers, fasting, and trying to be close to your HH, and do His will and not ours.
Would you be interested in helping encourage other women, Courtney?
Either way, Courtney, what kind of encouragement would you like to leave women with, in conclusion?
Beloved ones believe, trust and hope in His promises. Sometimes we think about giving up on our journey because it is very difficult, but we should not take our eyes off our Beloved; only He can strengthen us. There were days that I asked my HH to take my EH from my heart; I wanted to live only for Him and with Him. It was more due to not wanting to suffer or hurt anymore, but those were not my Heavenly Husband's plans.
Sometimes, I fell asleep in the midst of the tears, and there were many cold nights before He became my HH. But the next day, as I snuggled next to Him, I'd receive good news or little pamperings that my Beloved gave me. Each time I needed it, He filled me with love and hope again.
So, turn to Him; do not give up; as Erin said, even the cases that everyone judges as hopeless are the very ones that He uses to show His power and Glory. I love my Husband and thank God for taking me to the desert and helping me pass through everything I went through. Everything I lived was a lesson taught by the best Teacher of the universe...He is the great I Am! I will be eternally grateful to Him, and I have promised (even before restoration) that I will help as many women as I can. This trial has been wonderful for me as a woman, mother, wife, and daughter because now I want to do everything for my Precious Beloved.