How did your restoration actually begin Valerie?
A week before my son's father had decided to put an end to our 9 years relationship as a common-law couple (i.e.when living together in a conjugal relationship for three years or more), I had asked God to release me from this relationship. We were not happy and we kept fighting and criticize each other.
God heard me and knew it was time for me to get a reality check.
The 2 years following that moment, there were a few moments when restoration could have happened if it was not for my many mistakes (and for God's appointed time of course).
When I came to this ministry looking for hope, I filled out my questionnaire saying, "I still think that there is hope." And why I was seeking restoration was "Because I think it is the best situation for my child."
And then, when the OW finally got out of the picture, my son’s father started to try to get closer and he initiated moments for the three of us to spend together. We started to have dinner as a family a few times a week and to do activities on the weekend. He told me he wanted me to move in with him so that we could be a family once again. I had to tell him that this time, I would not have any relations with him until we would get married. This was the first time that he seemed to agree with the idea and even if he did not understand why I could not move in with him before the wedding day. This time I knew that I did not have to worry about it happening or not. I really let it all into His hands. I had let go and let God. I did though fear at times that I was still making so many mistakes and my biggest fear was to not be able to please Him at all times.
Valerie, how did God change your situation as you sought Him wholeheartedly?
God changed my situation by allowing so many things to happen in my favor, all that happened at the same time. He gave me work opportunities without having me to do much. He gave me a group of women at work with whom I was able to share a part of my testimonies and His word. He showered me with so many love songs and I have received more a double portion; instead of humiliation. When I've discovered music that suited me, so many things changed in my life. I was able to talk to Him while studying, waking up every morning singing to Him, walking to work and back home with songs in my ears. This music made it possible for me to spend more time with Him while having less time to sit, read and pray – I found a new way and I think that my situation changed a lot at that moment.
What principles, from God's Word (or through our resources), did the Lord teach you during this trial Valerie?
The first principle that still has an effect on everyone around me and that amazes family and friends, is the fact that I've let go of legal and judicial aid and recourse. Being a student in law and having parents and friends who are lawyers, I had to stand firm and the results were enormous.
The other main principle that made the restoration possible this time was the importance of marriage. At first, when I found out about the ministry, I thought that it would be really difficult to end up being married to my son’s father. Because I had never been married, I was wondering if God had just released me from this relationship. It also took me a while before I stopped doubting that I could and should even be part of RMI and that its principles could apply to me. I had to learn from my disobedience and after a few attempts to restore my family without FIRST being married, I had to firmly believe that His ways were the only ways. And then, it all became so simple (in the last stretch at least ;).
My disobedience made my journey longer and that was all right. It allowed me to repent from all other mistakes I had made, and practice being quiet (which I still struggle a lot with every day), to have a gentle spirit instead.
I still struggle with contentment at times and I thank God He is still with me to fight fear.
Valerie, what were the most difficult times that God helped you through?
Apart from the difficulty to see my son hurt (and that was until my ePartner made me realize that it was a trap from the enemy) and to not be able to spend as much time with him, I’ve struggled the most with fear: fear of not doing the right thing, fear of not pleasing Him, fear of fearing, fear of not being ready for restoration, fear of making too many mistakes, fear of still being contentious, fear of the enemy in my house, and of course, fear to disappoint all my family in failing in my restoration etc.
Even today sometimes I need to be reminded that His grace is sufficient and that He has mercy for us each morning. It is the enemy who is making me doubt, he is making me think that I am doing everything wrong. I was also keeping myself from sharing good news with people around me. The enemy was making me think that I wasn’t being humble and that I was bragging, which made me lack complete contentment in the eyes of others who were just waiting to see this miracle.
I know that I still need to stop doubting in EVERYTHING and LET HIM work His miracles.
Valerie what was the “turning point” of your restoration?
I had started to write my testimony before the wedding actually occurred, because this time I knew that fear had to be conquered in order for His will to be done. I was feared sharing the news of the engagement to my son’s father, in case it would not really happen, but through all the summer, all the words I was reading reminded me to fight fear. I even broke my left hand 2 weeks before our wedding, I got really scared that God was telling me to stop. Again, it was fear and fear is the enemy. This feeling was also confirmed when I wrote to Erin (she’s a close friend of our family), I heard Him telling me that of all the people that should learn my news, she deserved to know all the miracles that are due to this ministry. When she answered me, she sent me the testimony link, just like that. 🙂
Tell us HOW it happened Valerie?
On my birthday, after telling my son’s father all summer that I was not going to move in with him, that I was not even going to be his girlfriend without being married, he organized a dinner and just before we got there, he stopped the car and proposed to me. Two days later, I got in a bike accident and broke my hand and wasn't even able to walk for 2 weeks. Our wedding day was in 3 weeks and a week before I went back to the hospital to see how my hand was doing, the fracture had "disappeared"! This was another sign that I should not fear.
Valerie, did you suspect or could you tell you were close to being restored?
Yes, I could.
Would you recommend any of our resource in particular that helped you Valerie?
The How God Can and Will Restore Your Marriage book and By the Word of Their Testimony were what I needed to realize that I should not move on to another life than the one I had started with my family. The RRR online courses made me stronger and Erin's Be Encouraged eVideos were essential when going to bed each night. I appreciate the fact that there is a resource that can be used for any moment or phase of our lives. Thank you!
Even though these are all designed for women who are married, the principles are basically the same even if you’re not. When I filled out my free marriage evaluation, I asked this question: I have been reading the First Chapter of " How God Can and will restore your marriage" and I am receiving the daily Encouragement ("My Beloved Daily Devotional"). I just want to know if God really wants my family together or not, since I am not legally married, but we have a young child together. I am so ready to follow the steps to obedience but since I am not in a situation of Marriage, how can I follow what He wants if at first He maybe did not want us to form a family?
When I got my evaluation back, the part they had highlighted explained something that was key, how I needed to think of my relationship in comparison to the other women who came who were married. It said:
*Keep in mind that you should think of your relationship as a divorced woman—since this omits some of the principles reserved for women would are legally married as His protection over you 🙂 as your Heavenly Father betrothed to His Son, such as refraining from any further intimacy. Yet just about every other principle does relate to you—especially since you have a child together.
So, remember, as soon as your boyfriend’s heart turns back to you, keep in mind what He wants for you, and refrain from any intimacy until you are legally married—thus giving you and your child a stable environment where you both will be able to thrive. Here is a RESTORED Marriage Testimony from Sabrina in Georgia, that will help encourage you.
Valerie do you have favorite Bible verses that you would like to pass on to women reading your Testimonies? Promises that He gave you?
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10 - NIV)
“Give all your cares to the Lord and He will give you strength. He will never let those who are right with Him be shaken.” (Psalm 55:22)
“Surely God does not reject one who is blameless or strengthen the hands of evildoers. He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy. Your enemies will be clothed in shame, and the tents of the wicked will be no more.” (Job 8 20:22 - NIV)
“Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance. And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours.” (Isaiah 61:7 - NIV)
Valerie would you be interested in helping encourage other women?
Yes. I am currently attending law school, but still having time to help with the French / Français translations as I began doing shortly after coming to RMI. I always wanted to help others but I did not know how and who to help. Also, lately I felt like I needed to improve my English so I see this as an opportunity to do both ! : )
I have been raised a Christian and I always been a true believer. Since the beginning of this journey, I have learned to get closer to Him, make Him first in my life and understanding better His word (although I am still learning to do all that better).
Though I’ve always tithed, since I was part of the ministry team (who all tithe where they are spiritually fed), I knew that by forgetting to tithe it would have a bad consequences for everyone, fellow ministers and also on those who come here we hope to help.
Either way Valerie, what kind of encouragement would you like to leave women with, in conclusion?
Dear brides, although, I did fail AGAIN and again to follow the principles and to be His bride, He helped me start again and He will help you too. And although it hurt to have to restart from the beginning and to also deal with human rejection, I felt something more peaceful the second time I started over, something different ins me than the time I failed before. So my message is this, the more we get close to Him, even when we fall, we can experience peace!
Dear bride, don't let fear win. And do not try to do it your own way. The principles are accurate because they are from God.
Valerie is French Speaking, though amazingly reads and writes English very well. So the resources she had were from our French ministry, which Valerie also began helping to translate.
Here are some of our favorite Praise Reports Valerie submitted along her Restoration Journey.
“He Is Taking Care of Us!”
I have to praise Him for all the blessings He has been giving me in the last few months. Before this journey, I was aware of the blessings I was receiving but I feel that through this RJ, He allowed me to see and to notice where and how He acts for me.
I can’t even count every single thing that He did for me since I have started to trust Him with everything. The moment I realized that I could not do anything by myself, that I needed to let Him achieve His purpose, not only did I felt freed, but also I saw my situation take another turn, for the best. I was blessed to get help from a lot of people around me since the beginning of this journey. Although, He showed me to not rest on the help of persons, I could sense that He was using them so that I could see that He was taking care of me, and taking care of my son mostly.
In the last few months, I was able to achieve my university diploma, and to get unexpected loans so that I did not need to ask for any money. A member of my family also started to give me money here and then without me even wanting that money. My parents welcomed me back home with plenty of things. My account was never left empty either and thanks to the help of my family, I had a roof and a whole new wardrobe (after losing a lot of weight, none of my clothes fit). Sometimes I felt that I was receiving too much from people and that maybe I wasn’t giving it all to God while counting on all the help from friends and family. But now I know that He made this happen for a reason.
The greatest blessing was for my son. I always thought that he did not deserve to suffer from the mistakes that I had made that resulted in this situation to happen. Then He showed me that He was covering him with His wings. His dad never stopped taking care of him and wanting to see him. Some people around me were telling me, “you're stronger than you think you are” while seeing how I was dealing with my situation. The truth is that He is making us stronger than we think we are. Before it all started, I never thought I would be able to handle the pain and the trials that I had and still have to face, but with Him and Him only, we can surpass everything.
Without Him, I would have fell into a lawyer war for custody and for money. I would have asked my doctor for medicine. I would have told everyone about everything that I was facing. I would have cried and fallen into bad habits. I would have run after people for help. Never would I have made it. I knew God before, but I would never have known Him the way I know Him now without this ministry. Now, I have a relationship with Him, a relationship that will never fail. I don’t have to be scared to be alone anymore.
"He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart." (Psalm 91-4)
Whenever I felt scared for me and my son, He reminded me that He was taking care of us.
"Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans." (Prov. 16:3)
“Trust God Alone to Deliver”
I praise Him today because He lead Erin to teach us about not seeking the “help” of an attorney and trust God alone to deliver and protect us when a separation occurs.
Today, as a law student (how ironic), we saw in our class how the procedure works when we start working with the judicial system. It is so complicated, it takes time and money and it will for sure weaken’ you to the last. The results are that the final decision is set by a total stranger, who does not know you, your history, your family needs AND your future. The “rules” that you have to follow for share custody are pre-fixed and have to follow the legislation, the rules of men, all it can do to you and your family is only hurtful. It proves that by seeking the help of others (lawyers etc.), disaster is inevitable.
The teaching of the world wants us to think that the law will set us free and that for the sake of our children, it is best to negotiate what we call “an agreement on an amicable basis”, with and through the world’s law… They say that it is the best way to conclude a fair agreement…I felt so sad for all of those who believe in this law, the rules set and established by men.
I feel so much peace and strength today because I see what I’ve escaped from when I’ve decided to let go of judicial aid. Even though I study in that field, I know now that His law is the only law that will set me/us free. Getting a third party to choose on how we should split up would have maybe cost me to spend a less time with my son. It would have brought much more hatred and pain for everyone. The results of letting Him set everything and control the way my separation should go along is much more peaceful.
I have to confess that sometimes, the enemy tries to make me think that if I had continued the judicial procedures, at least everybody would have known how cheap and selfish was my son’s father … this is just a scheme! And like I’ve said in a previous praise report, God has put the will in my son’s father’s heart to do a lot for his son (and even for me) since this RJ.
He, and only He, can protect and defend us. Thank you Lord for allowing me to understand all that before I even started this RJ.
It turned out that God set a schedule for shared custody that is perfect right now (it is perfect because He set it out to be like this). I want to repeat this, having to dispute over all this with a third party would have been a disaster.
Now, a few days ago, a friend who is stuck in the judiciary system right now just told me her entire story…I didn’t know what to say. Her story was terrible. She is now seeking for money to be able to pay for her lawyer, for her son’s lawyer as well. In order that she can win her trial, she needs her sons to testimony for her…how sad! Even though her story is not about the same subject we talk about here, the principles apply in any situation. I knew the only thing I could tell her was to let go of her lawyer and to quit the procedures, that she doesn’t need to “win” this battle, that she has to let go and let God make justice for her. Without my RJ, I would not have been able to give her these advices.
“Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints” (1 Cor. 6:1 KJV)
“Therefore, if you have disputes about such matters, do you ask for a ruling from those whose way of life is scorned in the church?” (1 Cor. 6:4, NIV)
“The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated? Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong, and you do this to your brothers and sisters.” (1 Cor. 6:7-8, NIV)
“Just Part of His Plan”
I have much to update on all that the Lord has done in my life! A few months ago, I submitted my restored marriage testimony. Since then, I have experienced so many things that have been so true to what Erin predicts. I have read my Wise Woman workbook and How God Can and Will Restore Your Marriage over and over again even after restoration. The Encourager and the morning devotions have been so helpful, which is why I felt I needed to submit a praise report today! I had been noticing that some of the ladies have submitted praise reports that indicated their husbands had left again and I felt I needed to share more testimony.
When I returned to my home, it was extremely intense with trial after trial. By the grace of God, I was able to apply so much of what I had learned here. I continued to be amazed by how I could maintain peace in the midst of them. My husband, however, struggled. We ended up divorcing last month—but again, by the grace of God, it was almost a supernatural process. I asked God why He restored my marriage for only six months, but so much happened in those six months. My EH and I were able to resolve so many issues, we were kind to one another, we were open and honest, our home was finally a safe place. My EH told me over and over again that he was amazed by the changes he saw in me. When he told me he wanted a divorce, it was because he wanted to go and pursue what I had found. He told me the entire time that he wanted to go on our own journeys with the Lord and come back together if it was in His will. Although I did not agree with the idea of divorce, I told him I could never deny what he thought would bring him closer to my Heavenly Husband.
The divorce went very smoothly as we agreed on everything—it actually went through in one day. My EH asked me on a date right after, actually. The night before I moved out, my EH and I spent the night talking about our future and all that God has done in our lives. I realized that the divorce was probably part of the plan all along because my EH thought it was what he needed to sort out his life, but the Lord, in His mercy, brought me back for six difficult months to plant good seeds and overturn the destruction I had once done with my spiritual pride. I had peace this time around, knowing I was in God’s will and knowing that the divorce was just going to be part of the testimony. Before I left, my EH prayed over me and told the Lord, “help me figure out my life and if it’s in your will, bring us back together again.” We both promised one another that we were going to seek HIM with everything we have.
Since leaving, my FH and I have talked regularly, just growing together and sharing our faith and what the Lord is doing in our lives. One day, he sent me a very long message telling me that he had never experienced the unconditional love that I had shown him since coming back and that one day, he hopes to find it in himself to be able to love like that. It’s only because I’m so wrapped in the love and grace of HIM. It’s still painful, but there is so much peace and I am so thankful that Erin prepared me for this. Even when I submitted my restored marriage testimony, you all sent me an email and let me know that my EH may leave again, so I was prepared for this. There have been many, many other moments and things that I could tell you. But I felt it was important to encourage the ladies who have submitted a restored marriage testimony, only to experience their EH leaving again. If you are following the principles and keeping your eyes on the One who WILL heal you and comfort you, then you don’t have to fear. A divorce going through is just part of the plan. Trust Him, lean on Him, run to Him.
“Come back to the place of safety, all you prisoners who still have hope! I promise this very day that I will repay two blessings for each of your troubles.” -Zechariah 9:12
We can decide what prison we are in during this restoration journey. We can be prisoners of doubt. Prisoners of fear. Prisoners of sin. Or we can be prisoners of hope!
~Valerie in New York