♕Today's Promise: "Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her!” Luke 1:45
Josie, how did your Restoration Journey actually begin?
My restoration journey started when I asked my husband for a divorce at the end of April. The previous 6 years had been quite challenging for us. We married in 2000, as believers but carrying a lot of baggage from the world. We had a good marriage but it was never what either of us had dreamt of. I was unsubmissive, independent, argumentative, proud, passive aggressive, etc. My husband responded with anger and irritability. I didn't realize how my behavior caused so many of our problems and is what led to me feeling unloved.
Also, although I knew the Lord as my Savior, I hadn't fully submitted myself to His will. At the end of 2013, I became rebellious against God after a big fight where my EH (earthly husband) told me to find someone to do all the things I was complaining about. I used that as an excuse to accept the advances from my manager at work and soon began an adulterous relationship. I was mean, angry, and unloving toward my husband at that time and he suffered a lot of pain while trying to save our precious family.
I reluctantly agreed to stop contact with my manager after just a few months and moved to a different work location. We tried to move forward with our family and marriage but I still hadn't learned how to be a Godly wife. I grew tired of my EH (earthly husband)’s pain being directed at me through his anger and I moved out in August two years later. I soon started to date another manager behind my husband's back and he found out again. During that time, I was depressed and full of anxiety. I had no peace and I knew I needed the Lord's help.
Finally, around June about a year after that, I cried out to Him to help me. I had just filed divorce because I thought that's what I had to do but didn't feel any peace about it. That same month, God removed the OM (other man) by showing me the truth about him. I was in such turmoil that I cried out to the Lord again. This time, I heard Him tell me "Humble yourself and go back to your husband!" A few days later, I was having a panic attack and asked my husband to come over. I confessed everything and asked if he'd be willing to take me back. Although he'd been hurt so much, he agreed!! I was so relieved and thought we could put all the past behind us.
Well, neither of us changed much and we just kept making the same mistakes. Fast forward to April of last year when I asked him for a divorce again. Once again, I fooled myself into thinking that was the answer to all my pain. Well, I was soooo wrong! My husband tried desperately to change my mind but I would not listen. I felt that nothing would change and I made sure the kids knew he was being emotionally abusive. Of course, I was blind to my own abuse of him and all I’d put him and the kids through. The Lord even tried to warn me by saying "Don't take this too far!" God KNEW I really didn't want a divorce but I was desperate for relief.
My EH (earthly husband) gave up trying to convince me and decided to give me what I asked for so around our 20th year anniversary in May he agreed to give me an immediate release from the marriage. He was serious. I wasn't and was just being prideful so I went along. He'd started to talk about dating but I convinced myself that he wouldn't do that until AFTER the divorce. I was so prideful!!
Just a couple of weeks later, in June, I began to suspect he was seeing someone and looked through his things to confirm. I confronted him and things just went downhill from there. From then on, it was in my face. I was convicted by the Lord instantly once I realized my foolishness and I tried desperately to make things right. I asked for forgiveness and begged my husband to end things with the OW (other woman) and save the marriage. He refused and, really, who can blame him? He was so distraught by everything I'd put him through that he just gave up on everything: God, our marriage, our kids, and even his own safety and wellbeing.
How did God change your situation, Josie, as you sought Him wholeheartedly?
From the very point that I was convicted for my foolishness, I knew God wanted to save my marriage. I KNEW that He had a plan and He needed me to trust Him. I just had no idea how to go about doing that. I had always made God fit into my plans so I didn't know how to surrender my will to Him. It was very difficult in the beginning. I was so heartbroken that I could not eat or sleep. I lost 30 pounds in a matter of days. I did almost everything wrong in the beginning: I talked to everyone who would listen hoping they had answers for me, purchased a psychology-based Christian marriage program, purchased a couple of astrology-based books, studied astral charts, pursued, begged, and cried to my husband to take me back, confronted the OW (other woman), forced myself back into our bedroom after I'd moved out against my husband's wishes, snooped through his things, played holy spirit by telling him how he was sinning, etc. I soon started to realize that none of those things were helping so I, finally, turned to God completely.
I asked Him "What is the Key to restoring my marriage?" and He answered "Unconditional love." I began to apply this principle and started to see immediate results. My EH (earthly husband) was being kind to me despite all we were going through. We started being intimate although he was torn about doing that with me while being involved with the OW (other woman).
I started following other restoration ministries but I felt something was missing. I asked the Lord to send me some practical biblically-based advice that I could apply to my situation and help me change. The Lord had been showing me so much about myself and the type of wife I'd been. I was torn over my sin but full of hope. I was determined to submit myself to His will and to be obedient no matter what it took. Then, in the beginning of November, I heard about the RYM book through another ministry. I bought it and began to read it right away. The first chapter had me in tears of gratefulness to my Lord for answering my prayer. THIS was the answer!! THIS is what I'd been looking for. This book was talking to me. It was written about me. In reading the book, I found out about the lessons online which I began in November.
What principles, from God's Word (or through our resources), Josie, did the Lord teach you during this trial?
The Lord showed me that I had been the foolish woman who tore her house down with her own hands. I had been blinded by my anger, resentment, bitterness, and unforgiveness over past hurts. I was not a good wife although I always thought I was. My heart broke for my husband and our children and all I put them through. I was such a hypocritical Pharisee! I thought I was the spiritual authority but my self-righteousness was as filthy rags. I knew nothing about being a Godly wife. But GOD! In His mercy, grace, and love, He allowed me to become His Son's bride. My Heavenly Husband taught me about having a quiet and gentle spirit, winning my EH (earthly husband) without words, unconditional love, patience, forgiveness, submission, agreeing with my adversary quickly, leaving the church, not playing holy spirit, stepping out of the way of sinners, intimacy while married, wearing my wedding rings, not pursuing my husband, running to my Beloved whenever I was hurting or to celebrate what He was doing, allowing my HH (Heavenly Husband) to be my Defender, letting go of my need to be understood which led to contentiousness, spending tons of time with Him in my prayer room, allowing myself to be loved by Him, letting Him become my Heavenly Husband, and so much more! My Heavenly Husband would speak to me about something and then I would do a lesson that would reinforce exactly what He'd said.
What were the most difficult times that God helped you through, Josie?
The most difficult times in my journey were in the beginning when I was in such pain and shock that I wanted to die. The Lord spared my life by placing a very good friend in my path to speak life and hope into me. Another was living with my EH (earthly husband) while he was seeing the OW (other woman). He'd moved out just one month after starting to see her but spent the majority of his time at home with me and the kids. Just one month later, he moved back in. It was very painful being aware of everything: when they spoke on the phone, when they texted, when he left to go see her, when he came back. Since we were still in our marital bedroom, I would see him when he got back from her house and got in bed with me to cuddle. The most difficult was being intimate knowing what he was doing but I trusted the Lord who'd told me from the beginning that it was His will.
I'd asked what was the purpose of wanting me to be intimate with him knowing how difficult it was for me. My HH told me that it was so I'd know how He feels when we (His Bride) are lukewarm. We have one foot in the world and another in heaven. We have been adulterous and have hurt Him immensely, yet He did not leave us. Instead, He showed us His unconditional love and welcomed us back every time we returned.
He wanted me to see and truly understand what I had done. This was not punishment but an opportunity for the eyes of my understanding to be opened; an opportunity to experience what He goes through every day. I felt so humbled and grateful! I put aside the thoughts of the OW (other woman) and just focused on the gift my HH had given me to love my husband and show him the Lord’s love. Thank You, my Love!!
Josie, what was the “turning point” of your restoration?
The turning point of our restoration was when I started to apply the principles I learned through RMI. As I mentioned, I started the lessons on November 9th. I had learned to pray scripture and prayed some very specific prayers over my situation. My HH is so good to me that He answered so many of my prayers the way I'd asked Him to and I believe it's because it was His will and His Word coming back to Him. On November 27th, I went out of town for a wedding and while away the enemy attacked me with thoughts of what my EH (earthly husband) might be up to. I decided enough was enough and I just let it go. I made a decision to truly surrender and accept God's will.
I want to give my Heavenly Husband all the praise and all the glory He deserves for healing me emotionally and mentally. Many years ago, I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety disorder. None of the counseling or meds ever worked, the ONLY thing that ever worked for me was surrendering to my Lord. Yet, because of my frequent backsliding, I continued to struggle with these things whenever life got tough during the times I wasn't walking with Him. This is exactly what happened when my RJ (Restoration Journey) started in the Summer of 2020. I'd asked my EH (earthly husband) for a divorce and refused to listen to him as he tried desperately to save our precious marriage. I also ignored the Him as He tried to warn me of my huge mistake. I was finally broken down once I found out about the OW (other woman) and the Lord convicted me of my rebellious ways. I knew He had a plan and wanted me to surrender but I had no clue how to do that! I responded the same way I had in the past - through depression and extreme anxiety. I was so used to fixing things on my own without the Lord's help that I tried to do the same and things would only get worse. I was battling suicidal thoughts and had panic attacks. I tried counseling but the counselor told me I didn't need to be there because I kept talking about the Lord, lol. This was Christian counseling!! But she said they focus on the clinical aspect. I finally started to get everything my Lord had been speaking to me and I started to lean in to Him. I knew medication was not the answer, only my Lord could help me. This was a spiritual battle that was attacking my thoughts and my emotions. The enemy was doing his best to kill me, destroy my marriage and family, and steal our peace and joy. But my GOD is greater than the one who is in the world. My Beloved taught me how to surrender my will to His, how to spend time in prayer, how to pray scriptures over everything, how to battle in the spirit, how to trust Him only, how to praise Him when I was angry and just felt like crying, etc. He led me to RMI and He healed me completely. I have such peace and joy now and I laugh so much more than I cry (I cried so much during the hardest months than I knew was humanly possible!). He is my EVERYTHING and I love Him with all that is in me.
"She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future." Proverbs 31:25
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
"This is what the Lord says: “Restrain your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears, for your work will be rewarded,” declares the Lord. “They will return from the land of the enemy."' Jeremiah 31:16
Tell us HOW it happened, Josie? Did your husband just walk in the front door?
The day after I returned home (Nov 30th), my EH (earthly husband) had a talk with me. He said he'd ended things with the OW (other woman) and that he’d lost interest in her because of me. He said he loves me this way (with the changes my HH (Heavenly Husband) made). I thought he would say he’d like to try again and ask for forgiveness for hurting me.
Instead, there was a lot of anger from him. He said he felt it was all a trick and that I would just hurt him again so he still needed to move forward with the divorce. I simply replied, “okay”. He said other hurtful things and that he would just find another girl. Again, I said “okay”. He couldn’t believe I was so calm and asked what was I doing? I simply said that I was not willing to try to manipulate him or try to make him be with me if he didn’t want to. I would not stand in his way and if he wanted a divorce, I would not fight it. I said I understood why he felt the way he did and I was sorry.
I also said that even if he found someone else, I would continue to love him. For some reason, however, I also said that if he started dating someone, I wouldn’t be intimate with him because I needed to be safe. This shocked him and I think it may have served to show that I wouldn’t use sex to manipulate him (he’d made several comments about me being intimate with him to try to win him back). Honestly, I would have continued to be intimate if he still wanted me. Later, he came to me, hugged me and said he wouldn’t date anyone else and that he is just afraid of getting hurt.
Josie, did you suspect or could you tell you were close to being restored?
I could tell we were close because he was at home more often and for longer times. When he did leave, he would leave a lot later than usual and come back much earlier. Then, he stayed home for the first Friday since our journey began and I knew something was happening. This was one of the many specific prayers I mentioned; that the first Friday he stayed home would serve as a sign that his heart was turning back to me. I’d also asked my HH to prepare me for what’s coming so I felt it in my spirit and He also gave me several dreams back to back.
Would you recommend any of our resources in particular that helped you, Josie?
I strongly recommend the RYM book and the courses. They were very impactful for me and I’m still working through them. I plan to finish them all and continue the other lessons available. I’m also looking forward to reading the Wise Woman and Workers at Home. I also strongly recommend the Testimony books and the Encourager blog. Those kept me going during the most difficult times. It was so encouraging to know that I was not alone and that nothing is impossible with God. If He could turn around so many other marriages, then why not mine?
Writing scripture on 3x5 cards really helped me and I still read them often. I also highlighted a lot of verses in my Bible. Praying scripture was a life-changer for me and so powerful! Finally, the Encourager Videos were a tremendous help in putting concepts together for me. I felt like Erin was in my living room talking to me. She has become like my Spiritual Mother.
Do you have favorite Bible verses that you would like to pass on to women reading your Testimonies Josie? Promises that He gave you?
“Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her!” Luke 1:45
“Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives.” 1 Peter 3:1
“… in reverent fear of God submit yourselves to your masters, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh. For it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God. But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God.” 1 Peter 2:18-20
“Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers.” Psalm 1:1
““Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:18-19
“Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear.” Isaiah 59:1
All of Psalm 37
Would you be interested in helping encourage other women, Josie?
Either way, Josie, what kind of encouragement would you like to leave women with, in conclusion?
Dear Brides, do you know that our Lord is no respecter of persons? That means that what He has done for me, He will do for you. He wants your whole heart so surrender to Him completely and then trust Him for the outcome. He knows what He's doing and He wants nothing but the absolute best for you. Make up your mind to be radically obedient to Him not caring what anyone else may think or say about you. Learn to pray His Word in every instance and you will see your faith grow and the enemy flee! His Word says that "God is not a man that He should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent" (Num 23:19) and that He "watch[es] over [His] word to perform it" (Jer 1:12). That means you can trust every Word that comes out of His mouth. Remember: God wins!
Find more Testimonies of Emotional Pain & Suffering Healed! ★★★★★
Want even MORE Restored Marriage Testimonies to study and learn the linked principles to encourage you?
You'll find this in By the Word of Their Testimony (Book 10): "Blessings will Come and Overtake You"
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