♕Today's Promise: "In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God concerning you." 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Natasha, how did your Restoration Journey actually begin?
My earthly husband, Christopher, left after only three months of our marriage. I was truly the 'wife forsaken in her youth' like it says in Isaiah 54:6. To say I was devastated doesn’t even come close to how I felt. All my dreams and plans crumbled around me so fast. I couldn't see a future anymore. Christopher didn’t just leave, he even moved overseas. So I felt truly abandoned.
For the first six months after Christopher left, I blamed him entirely, but then the Lord broke me....even literally! He took friend after friend away from me, and the last straw was when I fell in my house and badly broke my arm. I couldn't drive for six weeks, and that’s when God finally had my attention! There was no one left to run to except the Lord. At this point, I was finally willing to surrender and see things His way.
How did God change your situation, Natasha, as you sought Him wholeheartedly?
Once I surrendered I was suddenly able to see all of my sins and it humbled me. No longer could I blame Christopher for my problems or my selfish ways. I could see my contentiousness and lack of submission. I truly repented and cried out to the Lord for forgiveness. I even repented to Christopher in tears and that’s when he told me he loved me and that we could try again. I was so happy! I thought my horrible trial was over!
However, just a day later he rang in the middle of the night and said he had changed his mind! So in deep pain and rejection, I ran to the Lord’s arms and received comfort from Him, which was the beginning of Him teaching me so many things including me taking Him as my Husband. Step by step over the next few years, He molded and grew me more and more.
What principles, from God's Word (or through our resources), Natasha, did the Lord teach you during this trial?
Over those few years, the Lord taught me that Christopher is my head and that I am to submit to him, even when it is scary...because the Lord is the head over Christopher and He is in control of everything my husband does so I can trust the Lord to keep me safe. Once I had to submit during our separation to some very hard things, but the Lord was faithful to work them out and bless me in the process because I trusted Him!
The Lord also taught me to let go of my husband and to focus on Him instead. The Lord taught me not look at Christopher’s sins but at mine. He taught me to pray and trust that He would heal us and our family and restore our marriage and family. I couldn't fight in the flesh but had to walk in the spirit. Another principle He taught me was to thank and praise Him for EVERYTHING, good and bad, because He works ALL things for our good. He showed me the importance of being a keeper at home so I gave up my university degree at Christopher’s request. All I can say is that I feel so much freer now and for the first time I know I am in God’s will. (God also provided a way for me to be a keeper at home while my husband was away which was a miracle). Lastly, He showed me that nothing is impossible with Him; if I would just pray and trust Him, then He could move mountains.
What were the most difficult times that God helped you through, Natasha?
The lessons the Lord taught me were not at all easy. The most difficult times was when Christopher, on several occasions, became double-minded in the 18 months before he came home. It was like riding a roller coaster and it felt like it would never end. Then God used a crisis to bring my husband back home. It really is true that it gets really bad, maybe even the worse than it's ever been, just before your restoration is due. So don't give up.
Natasha, what was the "turning point” of your restoration?
The turning point in my restoration was when I truly let go of Christopher, and even let go of wanting my marriage being restored. It was when Jesus was enough for me and I knew I would be okay alone and content with Him, even if my husband didn't come back, that I saw the start of God turning Christopher’s heart back to me. This isn't a 'method'; it can't be faked to get a result. You have to truly let go and have truly found the Lord as all you want and need. Reading the lesson Finding Your Heavenly Husband can help.
Tell us HOW it happened, Natasha? Did your husband just walk in the front door? Natasha, did you suspect or could you tell you were close to being restored?
Christopher had been telling me he wanted to reconcile for at least 18 months, but like as I mentioned, he was very double-minded. So God used a crisis (that we are still facing) to bring him home. The crisis intensified and so SUDDENLY..Christopher was on a plane flying from the other side of the world to come home...after years of separation. It was not how I expected Him to do it, but God alone knows what we need and what our husbands need to obey Him. And it was through this that Christopher changed overnight and never once again was double-minded. He was fully committed to our marriage and every day tells me how much he loves me!!
Let me also say that everyone in my life had given up on our marriage and I praise God for that because HE GETS ALL THE GLORY! Our situation was so impossible that only God could have restored it. The Lord was even so kind that at the start of 2014, He told me Christopher was coming home that year and to PREPARE me for it. Ladies, Christopher was being double-minded at the time and had 'ended' our marriage again after months of close communication. It didn't even seem possible he would come back that year for so many reasons...BUT GOD is not a man that He should lie, and Christopher DID miraculously come home this year!
Would you recommend any of our resources in particular that helped you, Natasha?
For women interested in restoring their marriages, I would highly recommend How God Can and Will Restore Your Marriage. It helped me so much. I still read it to this day and will continue to read it. Also the online courses helped immensely. They showed me a lot of things I was doing wrong and were so practical as were the Be Encouraged videos. I listened to them almost daily at times and often fell asleep to them. By Word of Their Testimony was so encouraging. Also A Wise Woman is also invaluable and I read that to this day too. I'm also reading Workers@Home now that Christopher is back. But most of all it so SO important to know His word.
Would you be interested in helping encourage other women, Natasha?
Either way, Natasha, what kind of encouragement would you like to leave women with, in conclusion?
Just as RMIEW says all the time, don't listen to others if it does not line up with God’s word and don't trust your marriage and life to anyone but the Lord, He alone knows you and your husband (and children if you have them), and only He can direct your every step in your Restoration Journey. If you listen for His voice only and do what He says, you will make it through. But if you listen to others you will be lost.
So seek the Lord with all you've got. He will be a Husband to you and He will heal and bind every wound. If you humble yourself and acknowledge your sins, He will change you into His image bit by bit. This process will never end and when God restores your marriage, it is a new part of the journey and in many ways is harder, so learn everything now. All I can say is the Lord is kind and merciful and faithful. He has all the answers for you. Just remember once you are restored that you haven't 'arrived'. It is a wonderful blessing but it is not the end of the journey at all. We need to keep following our Lord and seek Him daily.
“For the LORD hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God.” Isaiah 54:6 KJV
“Lover and friend hast thou put far from me, and mine acquaintance into darkness.” Psalm 88:18 KJV
“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.” Ephesians 5:22-24 KJV
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 KJV
“In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”1 Thessalonians 5:18 KJV
“To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.” Titus 2:5 KJV
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9 KJV
“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.” John 16:13 KJV
“But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26 KJV
Want even MORE Restored Marriage Testimonies to study and learn the linked principles to encourage you?
There are even MORE testimonies available to read in By the Word of Their Testimony Full Series Packet: 10 eBooks or by purchasing them in paperback By the Word of Their Testimony Full Series COMBO Packet: Paperback & eBooks.