Olivia, how did your restoration actually begin?
It all started 4+ years ago, my husband and I had just celebrated our 11-year wedding anniversary. About two weeks later, I started to notice that my husband was acting and treating me completely different. As I looked at him, I thought, “this is not my husband, something has gotten ahold of him; it is not good and it is evil.” He had turned into someone that I didn't even recognize or know. From that moment on, everything turned upside down.
He pulled away from me. He hardly talked to me. I started to seek and pray to God to find any testimonies of God restoring marriages that went through what I was going through. I did not know it at the time but this was the start of my “stand” which later turned into my journey.
About 2 months later (2 days before my birthday), my husband moved out. He told me he was going to stay with one of his buddies from work because he needed space and time away. He did not want a divorce, we just needed to separate for him to clear his head.
It was right before Mother’s Day and I just straight out asked him if he was with someone else. He did not want to answer. I asked again and he finally admitted that he was. It was later in the evening, he texted me that he needed to tell me something else but he was scared to tell me because he did not want to lose me. He confessed that the day he moved out he moved in with and had been living with the other woman. Later, I discovered that she was much older than us (my husband and I).
Needless to say, from then on, everything became utter hell and beyond. The things that consisted or took place were completely unbearable. I had joined the “restoration diet plan.” I had lost so much weight, never wanting to eat. When I was home, I wanted to be at work. When I was at work, I wanted to be home. Thank God for my mom, who helped take care of my sons! I was literally dying. I was depressed and just had no fight in me to live.
I became part of a stander’s ministry. It helped me for some time but every time things started to progress and I took a step forward, it would be soon after that I felt like I went 50 steps back. I started to feel worse about my situation versus better. I started to lose hope. I was crying more. I was becoming more discouraged and I wanted to quit (I tried many times to quit to only have my Heavenly Husband bring me back on this journey). I was just always fighting for my marriage and I was becoming exhausted. I would pray hours and hours and hours of praying scriptures with his and the OW’s name in them (needless to say, many of those verses were really for me).
During this time, our home was sold out from under us (that is a whole other story and testimony) and we were forced to move into our 5th wheel trailer, where we were parked and living in a church parking lot. So, my sons and I moved into our new “home.”
After a little over 2 years, my husband started to stay home more nights. Then, he was home every night. By the grace of God, they had broken up. He was home but he was not committed to me nor our marriage. He said we were just friends, best friends and I was the mother of his sons.
My husband had been home about 11 months, then all of a sudden, he started going out again. He started to work out again. Before I knew it, he was gone once more. This time, as before, news made its way back to me, that she was very, very young, more than half his age. That was a whole new level of emotions to deal with.
One night, I just cried out to God, telling Him that He needs to change this because I cannot keep living like this, something has got to change!!! I need to hear from Him in the next 24 hours in regards to my marriage or I was going to be done and believe that everything I thought I heard was from Him, was really only me telling myself I heard from God.
It was either that night or the next morning, I received a random simple response (from a complete stranger) to a prayer that I had posted for my husband, our marriage and our family on a YouTube video of a restored marriage, that changed my “stand” forever. They simply said, “hopeatlast.com is a good website to check out.” Intrigued, I looked it up. I thought well, I have tried everything else, what do I have to lose, it is just 30 days. This became the start of the journey that changed my life FOREVER! What a Divine Appointment set up by my Heavenly Husband. I never looked back.
How did God change your situation, Olivia, as you sought Him wholeheartedly?
I started the courses at Hopeatlast.com. I read, How God Can and Will Restore Your Marriage, A Wise Woman and poured my heart out in the journals. I read every resource that I could from RMI. I wanted more of my Heavenly Husband. I was finally finding the hope and “thing” that was missing from my life and in my journey.
Wondering or thinking that there has to be more than this to be found, was discovered the moment I started and found this ministry. He began to change me, mold me, and transform me from the woman I had become to the woman I am now. When my husband came home the first time, I did not know that I had a restored marriage. I can also see how I was not ready to have him home yet for I was not “prepared or prepped” like I am now for his return because I was not grounded in my Heavenly Husband or His Truths.
My Heavenly Husband revealed to me in His Word and through these resources what and how a wife is supposed to be and act. What my role was and what my husband’s role was. He taught me how I was to build up my husband, home and raise our sons. I was to build up my house and not tear it down like I had before. I had just as much responsibility for my marriage falling apart as my husband, I would even go as far to say, the majority, if not all of it was MY fault!
I let go of my church, which was ironic as we lived on the premises. He taught me how to tithe. I became faithful to tithe and the miracles that come from that alone changed the conditions of the way my family was living. I learned to truly surrender, let go (this was the worst for me), trust, and bring it all before Him. He became my everything. I started to have a gentle and quiet spirit and I held onto winning without a word (this was one of the hardest for me). I was different. My Beloved was all that I wanted, needed and lived for.
What principles, from God's Word (or through our resources), Olivia, did the Lord teach you during this trial?
My eyes were opened pretty wide during my journey. I learned that I was the one who tore my house down and my marriage apart. I was self-righteous, prideful, contentious, outspoken, argumentative, disrespectful, a Pharisee, and the list goes on. I shared too much with others. I talked way too much when I should have prayed, sought the Lord, then spoke. I should have backed my husband up when he would discipline our sons or be the head of our household, instead of correct him on how he did things. I knocked him down, making him smaller and smaller instead of building him up, disrespecting him and not allowing him to lead me and our children, like God made him to be and do. I opened the door, welcomed and let the enemy right in the door of my household, he did not even have to knock.
What were the most difficult times that God helped you through, Olivia?
Needless to say, with it being a 4+ year journey, I went through countless times of difficulty and the list is extremely long. I have seen and been through A LOT! But to name a few, attending our sons’ activities and games alone or with him on the phone not even watching; the holidays were so tough; knowing he went on trips that I dreamed of with this OW, and with her purposely planning them on days that had significance to me so he would be gone, like my birthday or Mother’s Day.
One of the hardest difficulties that just about broke me is when this OW bought my husband a wedding band and he would wear it on his wedding finger, there were a few times he had forgotten to take it off before he came over as he was trying to hide this. She also was pushing him to get a divorce. She even went as far as being willing to pay for the divorce and all that came with it. A few times he had come by to tell me he had an appointment that day and it was to meet with the divorce lawyer. He then called me to ask me what day I was off so we could go to the courthouse to sign the papers and get divorced that day (as if it happens like that). There was even a day that we had to switch vehicles and I saw the papers filled out. I kind of laughed because the papers were not even correct, he did not even fill it out right but I could tell by the nature of the writing that he was angry as he was filling it out.
Another moment was when he brought the new (other) woman to our older son’s game and knowing our son said to not bring any women to his activities. He introduced her to me and our youngest son and because we did not give her the welcome he wanted, they left early and he called to cuss me out and say he was never speaking to us again.
Taking my own thoughts captive and getting out of my own head. Knowing the age of these other women was so difficult for me. Knowing he was being intimate with these other women. I struggled to let go and surrender, truly surrender so I could be set free. I doubted my Heavenly Husband would do it for me, like He had done for others because it had been taking so long.
Olivia, what was the “turning point” of your restoration?
When I started to actually let go. I struggled for years with this as I would let go but just take it right back from my Heavenly Husband because nothing was happening in my timing. I played “junior holy spirit” a lot. When I no longer desired my will to be done but His will to be done.
After coming to this ministry, I really started to apply these lessons and principles to my life. I was no longer obsessed with wanting my marriage restored. I wanted and was thirsty for my Heavenly Husband. He was starting to bless my life more than I could count or keep up with. I was starting to become free. I was light. I was enjoying my alone time with my Heavenly Husband. I was meeting my First Love for the first time and it was better than I had ever experienced before. The concerns of my husband and this OW were not the forefront of my being any longer. In fact, I started to become overly joyful saying goodbye to my husband and he was starting to get mad because I was not sulking as he left. I had a new pursuit for my heart and it was my Beloved.
I started to see my husband become dad again. He started to come home more. He started calling me more, especially when he was going on test drives for work, he would call me. He started to text me more. Whenever he got a chance, he would come home to be with us. He started to pursue me. We were becoming intimate again. We started to take family trips and go on family outings. We were beginning to become a family unit again, one that was built on the solid Rock of His Word. My Heavenly Husband was working it all out for my good, even when it felt like nothing was happening; especially because it seemed like everything was so great “over there,” and it was paradise for them.
Tell us HOW it happened, Olivia? Did your husband just walk in the front door? Olivia, did you suspect or could you tell you were close to being restored?
No, he did not just walk through the door. It was actually ironic. This year on Easter weekend, my sons and I were house sitting for a family member. My husband had been there for the day but as it was nearing later in the evening, he “had” to leave. So, he said bye and left. I had not missed my husband in a long time and yet that night, it just hit me and I missed having him there at night. I cried and I did not sleep all night, I was wide awake and just talking to my Beloved.
The next morning, I realized I had forgotten something at home and I needed to pick it up. I debated on going but I felt pushed to go. As I drove up, I noticed my husband’s car was here. I had this sinking feeling, hoping he didn’t dare bring “her” here. I was scared, my mind wanted to run wild. I walked in; he was alone, asleep in our bed. That was it, I did not wake him, I know he knew I came by. I grabbed what I needed and left. This was my Beloved answering my prayer to show me there was trouble in paradise. A little bit later, my husband came to where we were, that was Easter day. A lot can happen in 3 days, right? From that moment on (1 month) ago, my husband has been home. My God, my God, You deserve all of the praise!!! You were faithful to fulfill what you started.
This also happened in the middle of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.
Did you suspect or could you tell you were close to being restored?
No, I really did not. Things seemed to have gotten worse for me. The fire was turned up big time, especially when I joined the ministry and became a part of the ministry team.
Would you recommend any of our resources in particular that helped you, Olivia?
For sure, no doubt about that. I would recommend all of the courses, Finding the Abundant Life, Poverty Mentality, How God Can and Will Restore Your Marriage, A Wise Woman, By the Word of Their Testimony, Encourager and the Devotionals.
Do you have favorite Bible verses that you would like to pass on to women reading your Testimonies? Promises that He gave you?
There are so many, but to pinpoint a few…
“Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.”” Exodus 14:13-14 NIV
“But you will not even need to fight. Take your positions; then stand still and watch the LORD’s victory. He is with you, O people of Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid or discouraged. Go out against them tomorrow, for the LORD is with you!”” 2 Chronicles 20:17 NLT
“For this reason, I will fence her in with thornbushes. I will block her path with a wall to make her lose her way. When she runs after her lovers, she won’t be able to catch them. She will search for them but not find them. Then she will think, ‘I might as well return to my husband, for I was better off with him than I am now.’” Hosea 2:6-7 NLT
Would you be interested in helping encourage other women, Olivia?
ABSOLUTELY!!!! I am His vessel. I will help whomever He brings across my path. This is all for His glory, honor and praise.
Either way, Olivia, what kind of encouragement would you like to leave women with, in conclusion?
The process is tough, hard and impossible the majority of the time but He is the God of the impossible (Luke 1:37). It can be lonely and you, yourself, can be the very thing that is getting in the way of your restoration occurring. Get out of your own way. Take your thoughts captive (2 Corinthians 10:5). Press into Him. Trust Him with the process even when it does not make sense. Lean not on your own understanding (Proverbs 3:4-6).
He will restore double (Joel 2:24-25) for your trouble and make it better than it was before. He has an overflow of abundance (Ephesians 3:20) for you, your husband, your marriage and your family. He will use your testimony and use you for His glory. You only need to be still (Exodus 14:13-14).
Trust the process, even when it does not make sense or like anything is happening. One day just like I have said and so many others have said, and that someday you too will say, “this journey was worth it and I wouldn’t want to change it for anything nor remove it from my life.”
My Beloved, this testimony is all for Your glory, praise and honor. Thank You for turning my life upside down so that I can find and discover You. Thank You for loving me, my husband, my marriage and my family so much that You were willing to cause the insanity and chaos of how we were living to be turned upside down so we can gain and restore all that we have now and make it so much better than it was before. Thank You for making us a miracle and testimony so that we can help others and so that our family and loved ones can see that You truly are real. Miracles do happen. And Your Word NEVER returns void (Isaiah 55:11) and You are actively watching over it to perform it (Jeremiah 1:12). Hallelujah, in Your mighty and matchless name. Amen.
HE LEADS ME
“The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
HE LEADS ME beside quiet waters.
He restores my soul.”
—Psalm 23: 1-3
Are you becoming weary of your "Stand?" "Has "Standing" has become just too hard? Have you been thinking of throwing in the towel and moving on with your life"?
"Your ears will hear a Word behind you, 'This is the way, walk in it,” whenever you turn to the right or to the left.'"
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”
There are thousands "Standing" for their marriages, we are just two that discovered the FREEDOM to let go and LET GOD RESTORE our Marriages. JOIN US!
~ Atarah in South Africa is one of our Ministers in Africa who is filling in the gap between “standers” and truly experiencing a RESTORED marriage and is also heading up our RJ "Restoration Journey" ministry. Embracing her HH, Atarah remarried her husband, and then took an extended Sabbatical but since her return to help Yvonne and encourage us all, she has been promoted due to her ongoing love for her HH!
Read Atarah’s RESTORED Marriage Testimony, “Better for Me Then, than Now”!