This Restored Marriage Testimony is very near and dear to my heart. Dawn has been a very close friend from the day I met her way, way back in 2005. Dawn attended a very large meeting in Fresno, California. You may remember reading about Dawn in one of my favorite Salvation Stories “A Friend’s Love is Contagious.”
What is not spoken about, because Dawn has been such a dear friend and never used our friendship to seek advice on her restoration, are the details that led up to the day when she wrote me with the news—she was getting remarried to her former husband!
What brought Dawn to RMIEW? Please use this space to briefly let everyone know what her life was like when she first found us, Erin, so our readers understand just what a miracle Dawn’s restoration is.
Dawn always exhibited a “gentle and quiet spirit” since the day we first met. As mentioned in the Salvation Story, we drove from Fresno to her home, an almost 3-hour drive, but we were with another woman who attended, who did most—if not all—the talking. I’m not sure if Dawn was always soft-spoken or if God changed her after reading the RYM or WW book before we met face-to-face. But since I have so little to share, here’s an email I wrote to Dawn on her birthday this year.
Good morning Dawn. Happy Birthday!!
I'm so thankful for ALL these many years you've been such a dear, sweet friend. From the moment I saw you in that crowd of women in Fresno, our long road trip and then staying over at your house (was it really 6 hours when you add our stop for dinner?) and then snuggling with my HH in your single bed (who my niece, Lila, later stayed and got saved). Finally, you driving me to a California donut shop (I mentioned I loved) before dropping me at the airport.
Now all these years later and how many ways our lives have changed and expanded with grandchildren, and you, with your restored marriage to Jon.
So much, so much to share with such a dear, dear friend.
Oh, of course, now having you help with the RMTs, but even more, Him giving us a reason to stay in touch weekly.
Have the best day ever, dear friend!!!!!!!!!!!!
Dawn replied by saying…
Hi Erin, Thank you for the birthday wishes and gift card!! You're so right, these years have been awesome. I'm so blessed!! What year was that? Do you remember? I believe it wasn't too long after Jon left. I thank God for the changes that He has made in me. Life is a wonderful journey. We are trying to buy a home in Idaho, and will probably be moving next month. I think I told you that Dad passed away. We'll be about an hour from Mom but that is so much better than the current 16 hours. Looks like I'm going "home"!!! Blessings to you. Love you, Dawn
Erin, do you know how Dawn’s restoration actually began to unfold?
I believe it was in full swing when Dawn agreed to go on a motorcycle trip with her ex. God clearly gives grace to those He “calls” because there is no way I could have done what Dawn was asked to do and we’re the same age!!
June 13. Hi Erin, Praise God we made it back home, safe and sound. A little "bottom sore", but praising God for his grace and mercy!!
I'm not sure that I told you what I was doing. Jon and I went on a cross country trip on the Harley. We started in Ontario, California and ended ten days later in Washington, D.C. We were riding with “Run for the Wall” a Veterans group that rides to the Vietnam Memorial in D.C. every year.
After 2 days in Washington, we went to South Carolina to visit with friends for 2 days. Then on to Nashville for a short visit with another couple that used to live here in my hometown. From there we went to Oklahoma City and stayed 2 more days with old friends. It seems that most of the couples we have known over the years have all moved away. It’s so much fun to meet again and "catch up."
After leaving Oklahoma, we dodged storms but arrived home safely. I've never been an avid Harley motorcycle fan, I have decided I'm definitely a fair weather rider. I'm done with rain. LOL Hope that you are doing well.
A little over 3 months later, Dawn nonchalantly emailed this addition to her sending back another RMT she’s been working on:
Tue, September 26 Jon and I are trying to choose a date for a wedding. I'll let you know what we decide. It will be a new adventure being married again. I have enjoyed my time "alone" Hope that your well. Love you, Dawn
Sun, November 19 Hi Erin Happy Thanksgiving!!! I’m well. I’m blessed!! Jon and I married Nov 11 (a small ceremony at home). Both our kids were there with their families. Praise God for that!!!! He is still working on my family. Lol. My grandson is fine!! It’s amazing how fast children heal. I continue to praise God for that miracle!!! I haven’t gotten much done lately. We’re in Idaho now for my Dad’s 91st Birthday. Hopefully, I will get back into the swing of things soon. Love you. Dawn
A month later Dawn emailed me the picture (above) saying:
Here's a look very low key wedding. Both kids were there with their families... I give God all the praise for that. Thank you, Lord!!! Love you, Dawn
How did God change Dawn’s situation, Erin, as she sought Him wholeheartedly?
For one thing, God changed how Dawn was living right when she first agreed to invite my niece to live with her. Around the same time, God presented another opportunity for Dawn to invite another college student, from China, to come to live with her. So she had 2 teenage girls from Asia.
So many women seeking restoration are lonely but do little to help others, focusing only on themselves and their woes or sorrows. Yet, Dawn’s living situation became entirely different. When her husband left her, she didn’t leave the void empty, but instead, she filled it as a home of hospitality, then to become a home of salvation, then finally, restoration!!!
What principles, from God's Word (or through our resources), did the Lord teach Dawn during her trial?
Only speaking from what I know, one huge blessing from a principle was from Luke 6:38, “Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.” Not only was Dawn a huge and faithful tither for so so so many years, but as I stated above she also gave by “entertaining strangers” Hebrews 13:2. And, also mentioned earlier, she never “buried” her talents Matthew 25:14–30 but has blessed each of you who enjoys reading these encouraging RMT. Prior to RMTs getting the many By the Word of Their Testimonies books.
What were the most difficult times that God helped Dawn though?
I only know about the one trial Dawn was asked to go through (though I know there surely were many more, but she just kept them to herself). Just 4 months after her remarrying her husband, Jon, Dawn shared this:
Hi Erin. Happy Birthday!!! So sorry that I missed a week. We got back home, Friday. Hope that you're doing well and that you had a great birthday.
Dad passed away quietly two weeks ago. Mom was holding his hand and one of my sisters and one brother were there with him along with Jon and me. It was really sweet. I praise God that I could spend so much time up there with Mom and Dad. It gave Mom a lot of peace because I'm a nurse. I could clarify things that were happening. Love you, Dawn
This hit me quite hard because of me remembering losing my father—many years early—but those experiences are always quite fresh aren’t they?
Erin, do you know what the “turning point” of Dawn’s restoration was?
I’m honestly not sure— though agreeing to go on the long motorcycle trip, doing what her ex, Jon, obviously was passionate about— had to be some sort of a turning point in her restoration. Though I suspect there were probably many more Dawn never shared with me. As I said, she took these to her HH instead of sharing them with me.
Tell us HOW it happened Dawn? Did your husband just walk in the front door? Dawn, did you suspect or could you tell you were close to being restored?
I am not sure how it happened, but I did hear how they are now living “happily ever after”!! The year after they were restored, I got this short note from Dawn:
We're leaving Tuesday for Hawaii. Jon surprised me with a trip for our first anniversary! So very sweet!!
And not only did God bless Dawn with a trip to Hawaii but a gorgeous new home, simply gorgeous!! California real estate is extremely high as compared to Idaho and God used this to bless my dear friend. When my Christmas card arrived this year, I was so thrilled to see their rustic home surrounded by forests of luscious green trees. Dawn deserves so much and only HE could bless her as much as I love seeing such a dear friend blessed.
Would you be interested in helping encourage other women Dawn?
I can speak for Dawn because she helps all of you in so many ways. I may be repeating myself but, first, she’s been a faithfully tithing partner for as many years as I’ve known her. No wonder she reaped such a magnificent restoration with all the trimmings (new home, Hawaii anniversary)!!
In addition, Dawn has helped with proofreading for so many years, and more recently editing and getting restoration testimonies ready for all of you to remain encouraged!
Yet, maybe the way she’s helped the most is to encourage me personally, which ultimately trickles down to each of you. I remember way back when I was traveling extensively and very often I would call Dawn just to talk. We all know what a blessing it is to have a friend who is *likeminded, who “gets you” and who won’t “talk shop” or abuse your friendship, but is there to simply give you what you need—a dear, a lifelong friend. Yes, Dawn’s been an Encouraging Woman for years and years!
Either way, what kind of encouragement do you think would Dawn like to leave women with, in conclusion?
Here’s my encouragement I’d like to leave each of you. If you don’t have a friend who is likeminded, you can! Ask God to show you your own “Dawn” who you can sow and pour your heart into. I did it indirectly by writing the resources that she found, but through it, our friendship was cemented.
Likewise, Tara asked for a friend and God blessed her with her first best friend, her cousin, Monica, but He never asks you to wait without blessing your socks off. Now Tara has friends all over the world.
Dawn is not just a testimony of a marriage restored, but of being a friend and pouring her life out to be, which has spilled over to each of you!
Luke 6:38, “Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.”