Josephine, how did your restoration actually begin?
Well, it all started when a few months after we got married, I had a hard time due to a heart condition that began on the honeymoon. Then due to this, I began to have panic attacks. I started with some therapy they offered at our church and they later referred me to a psychologist who was a Christian. At first, she seemed to help me a lot, but at that time I couldn't focus on anything but me, which they encouraged during these sessions, so I began to spiral down. I only thought about myself and was sure I would die from my heart condition. I was so scared when something went wrong, and I thought something would go wrong at any moment. That's when my marriage just began to crumble. I was angry at everyone and everything. There were times when I did not want to leave the house for anything because I was afraid of everything, everything. My husband gave me the strength to get out of the house sometimes, but, all throughout, I was forgetting God and stopped going to church. In the beginning, my husband took me to church, but he was also weak in faith due to watching me deteriorate. Then everything changed when he fell in love with someone.
How did God change your situation, Josephine, as you sought Him wholeheartedly?
I was starting to fall apart, mad at myself because I was losing my marriage completely with no hope. Soon after he left my husband changed radically with me, and I started having dreams of betrayals and my heart was no longer just for me and my "problem." I started to feel something or someone warning me, trying to catch my attention. Now I know it was God calling me, but still, I had a blindfold covering my ignorance. When my husband left home, that's when God called me. I was seeking God not because He is God but because I wanted my husband back. At the beginning when my husband was still at home treating me badly, I was also seeking God to only change my husband. But I was totally wrong, and it took him leaving for me to change to see I was the one who needed changing.
In this period God sustained me and showed that He has power for everything. He showed me that He wants us to depend on Him. I often had panic attacks that God used to get me to depend and rest in Him, with moments of such fear and anguish. But God, in the period that my husband was in the house of his relatives, made me see that He is in control of all that happens, which was enough for me to trust that He would move this situation. Until then I did not know the real reason my husband had left, and God healed me from this evil of fear and is still healing me. There were days that I woke up trusting only in God, but other days when my husband came looking to hurt me, I wanted to throw in the towel and give up, but then God made me see I'd been unfaithful and He needed to be first in my life.
What principles, from God's Word (or through our resources), Josephine, did the Lord teach you during this trial?
During this ordeal, one day after my husband left home, I heard that there were people saying that God had taken my husband out of my life because God was not for me. So my relatives said that I needed to hear the voice of God.
God spoke for me to have faith and to pray. Often I looked for testimonies on the internet, and then one day I found RMI, and here I read other testimonies that were not like I read before. The more I read, the more I found the strength to continue, and that's when I decided to order the recommended book How God Can and Will Restore Your Marriage, and that's when I realized where I was all wrong. I began to fast and pray and to beg God to change my heart, and for the first time things began improving for me, and I was feeling at peace. But it is not easy to tame the self that is within us, the contentiousness that was bred into me.
This is when I stopped looking for my husband. There were times when he sought me and hurt me too much earlier, so when I read about Letting Go to take down the hate-wall, I was quick to do so. I knew his heart had hardened a lot due to me pursuing him as I'd done after he left, but I knew that the more I began seeking God, and making my HH first in my life, at the appointed time God would turn my husband's heart back to me. My mother decided to help me too and began going through Course 1 with me, which helped us bond a lot too.
What were the most difficult times that God helped you through, Josephine?
God helped me when my husband texted me in the middle of the night with hurtful and critical words. When he called me to find out about bills, he made it a point of hurting me a lot with unkind words, so often it was difficult too; often I cried myself to sleep. Yet, God used this for good, because I learned how to find and embrace and cuddle with my HH. It also taught me the principle of waiting, because I still did not know the real reason that had led him out of the house.
Josephine, what was the “turning point” of your restoration?
The turning point was on New Year's Eve when my husband came to me wanting to “talk,” treating me well, but that he wanted to talk about something very serious with me and that it would decide what to do with our lives.
Tell us HOW it happened Josephine? Did your husband just walk in the front door? Josephine, did you suspect or could you tell you were close to being restored?
My husband asked me to pray for him by text message, saying he had not slept since he left 2 months before. I found it strange because he never asked me this before, but at the time I felt in my heart that it was God speaking to me that my prayers were being answered and that he was coming back. A day later my husband sent me a message saying that he would come over that night to talk to me about something serious. I was distressed and nervous, but I prayed asking my HH to calm me down, so on the day my husband said he'd come, he did not show up at our house.
The next day he appeared, was nervous and embarrassed, and that's when he confessed to me the real reason he left the house, and then said he had another woman he was involved with. He said he felt guilty and that he had gone out with that other person long before we'd separated. So he asked me to forgive him and he wanted to come back, handed me his wedding ring and said to hold onto it, because he needed some time to resolve some sticky issues with the other people involved and with himself.
Today we are together and living in a new house. He returned after 3 days, asked again for forgiveness and I handed him his ring to put on as a sign all is forgiven. I will not say that it is easy, but I give all my afflictions to my Husband because the enemy wants to continue to steal everything from us. But God can and will complete His restoration. It is His will, and He does it at the perfect time!
Would you recommend any of our resources in particular that helped you, Josephine?
Yes, everything you offer has a great teaching value!
Would you be interested in helping encourage other women, Josephine?
Either way, Josephine, what kind of encouragement would you like to leave women with, in conclusion?
To always put God first in our lives!
To pray for God to do His will!
To trust God only and reaffirm your commitment to Him throughout the day.
To confess to God in prayer that only He can restore.
To have an intimate relationship with your Heavenly Husband.
To never rely on people, but on God only, because He will put good people around us and will use everything that happens to us for good if you allow Him to do it.
To help others who are hurting, reaching out to them bringing the light that is our Savior to this dark world!