Kopano, how did your restoration actually begin?
Before I actually begin I want to tell you that I was the foolish of the foolish, and many people often feel pity for me because I am so tiny in frame (often mistaken for a teenager) that when I was faced with marital problems and divorce, people felt such pity because as small as I am, and what I was going through, to others, looked like too much trouble for such a tiny person!
1 Corinthians 1:27 NIV
"But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong."
My husband and I first met by chance over the lunch hour in the area where we both worked (different organizations but same area). It would be about 2 months after that that we began dating. Upon return from our first dinner date, I texted my best friend at that time, "I think I've met my husband" and shortly after, my husband (then boyfriend) texted me, "My life has just become beautiful."
3 months later I was pregnant with our first daughter, he proposed and I accepted. We were married 5 months later.
Now, I had given my life to the Lord 6 years earlier while at university in South Africa and had had such a wonderful relationship with Him while at university often telling my friends that I couldn't even imagine having a boyfriend because my Lord occupied every area of my life that there was no room for a boyfriend.
I had asked the Lord not to send me back to my country when I completed my degree, but He did and that had made me so angry that I told Him outright that I was angry and I began to backslide. So my being pregnant here was as a result of my having backslidden and began living in immorality.
I knew however that this was wrong, and this was the first point of difficulty with the relationship and what would become one of the main issues throughout the relationship thereafter. Although I was engaging in sexual relations with my husband (boyfriend at the time), I battled with knowing I was living in sin and was never at peace with this. My husband, though he believed in God, did not have a personal relationship with the Lord and could not understand why I would always be talking about how bad it was that I was doing this and it just made the whole thing unpleasurable for him. I confused him because I'd say I shouldn't do what we were doing, and the next thing, I'd be the one leading him to it.
Even after we got married, where now I should have been freer to do that, we both were never free about it because of all the history and so this contributed to the suffering of our marriage.
Why did I begin by saying I was the foolish of the foolish? Because my husband never cheated on me; he was devoted to our family, he always made sure I knew where he was without me asking. He was loyal to me first before his family (he had really left and cleaved to me), he spent his earnings for our home and not for anything else. In short, my husband never really did anything that should have led to where we would later find ourselves.
I on the other hand LOVED to analyze every little situation and was so controlling and critical; e.g. if my husband was not reading the Bible with me, it was bad for the marriage. If he was not praying with me, it was bad for the marriage; if he was not calling my mother as often as I thought he should, I'd give him grief about it, and on and on. I carried on with criticizing him at every turn. I again had absolutely no respect for any authority, not my husband, not my superiors at work, not anyone. I was the MOST CONTENTIOUS WOMAN EVER, all my life growing up, I was known for being argumentative and contentious, and I knew it. Everyone knew it and spoke about it, but we all thought it meant I was assertive. I thought I was the most intelligent woman ever and thought my husband should actually be happy about my intellect etc. And to top it all, I was a judgmental, hypocritical pharisee who spent much time studying the beliefs of all various denominations and religions and then spent more time criticizing them saying how they either were cults or didn't know how to interpret the Bible. Can you believe that all that I'm saying I was, my husband had time and time again pointed out to me and I said to him that I didn't see anything wrong with it!
My husband warned me of the following throughout my marriage:
1. I need to be careful with my words, he said this exact sentence, "words are very powerful. Choose your words carefully".
2. He warned me that I was not submissive and that I needed to allow him as my husband to lead me. I told him plainly that no, I would never do it.
3. He warned me that I was contentious and argumentative and that it made him withdraw from me. I said to him I cannot just agree with everything he says if I didn't believe the same things.
4. My husband even went as far as lovingly telling me to find an older woman to teach me about being a wife, but I flat out said no and said he should find an older man to teach him how to be a husband!
So, I'm pointing this out to show you that I was the foolish of the foolish because unlike many women who say that their husbands just upped and left them without warning that it was actually THEY that were the problem, I was plainly warned and if I had been wise, I would have cried out to God to help me, but no, I was very prideful. My husband didn't jump into adultery, instead he tried to teach me these same principles that I have now been learning through RMI but I was a fool and never listened!
Because I couldn't see my own sin, but ALWAYS was criticizing my husband, childish in every way, always demanding that he do things just how I wanted him to, never allowing him to lead but wanting to lead him, he withdrew and became very distant and I became so unhappy, believing that he didn't love me anymore and often accusing him of this. He didn't bother to try to convince me otherwise but withdrew more and eventually stopped talking to me ALTOGETHER! I discovered just after the beginning of his total shut down that I was pregnant with our second child and thought surely my husband would now talk to me since I was pregnant - wrong. My husband stared at me blankly with absolutely no response when I told him the news.
About 3 weeks into this silence, I dragged my husband to counselling which he attended only because it was with a pastor he respected, so he didn't want to disrespect him by not pitching up. If it were not for that, he would never have come because at this stage, he had completely checked out of the marriage.
Counselling made things a lot worse as I heard my husband declare that he had clearly married the wrong woman! I was crushed. When my husband had first met me, he had gone around telling everyone that I was THE ONE and had even bought me a perfume called THE ONE! Now he was saying the opposite!
We stopped counselling immediately after that session and I went online and enrolled into a secular marriage help programme that borders on new age teachings for about $1000. It promised to be the ultimate solution and I believed it. When nothing changed, I knew my marriage was over. My husband would still not even say hi to me, though we still lived in the same house and slept on the same bed.
Again, I was the foolish of the foolish, so I decided to move out of our home! I could no longer bear the silence, and I contacted a divorce lawyer to find out if I could legally move out of the house with our daughter. She said yes, so I packed up and moved out to a rented house determined to get a divorce.
About 2 weeks after this, I woke up from my sleep hearing this question right at the core of me, "If you don't pray for your husband, who will?" Again the following night, and what I believe must have been the Holy Spirit filling me with such power and fervency to pray, day and night, even whilst driving.
I didn't know at the time that it would be 10 whole months before God would answer my prayers because it was He who had “removed friend, lover and acquaintances far from me” because I had forsaken my first Love.
How did God change your situation as you sought Him wholeheartedly?
Over the 10 months of my husband wanting nothing to do with me at all, I sought and sought for help. Church couldn't help me; I went to a church where the pastor is also a prophet, but God gave no prophecies regarding my marriage!
I went online, found a popular "standers" ministry and received so much hope for my marriage, but unfortunately it didn't teach me Biblical principles on how to allow God to restore marriage, so my situation didn't improve.
One day, 8 months into the separation, I knelt down before the Lord and said, "Lord, there's no change in my situation at all. I'm tired of being in the same place in the desert, let's move to another phase, another level." 2 days later I stumbled upon RMI and when I read THIS IS YOUR DIVINE APPOINTMENT. GOD HAS HEARD YOUR CRY, I knew it was my answer!
I devoured what I read, non-stop for 2 weeks on my cellphone before I had a computer and before starting the courses. I immediately applied the principles, stopped ALL attempts to contact my husband and did nothing in the flesh any longer.
When RMI said it was the Lord who had removed my husband, I immediately remembered my university days when the Lord was all I wanted and needed and lived for, and how I had left Him and backslid and I knew it was true that He had removed my husband so that I'd go back to Him, my first Husband, as He once had been. And because I'd previously “tasted this and knew that the Lord was good”, I desperately sought Him to revive the relationship we had together at university. I'd pray and say, "Lord, I know what Erin means, I experienced this before, please let's go back there, please." I'd say, and still say to Him, "give me the same type of relationship with You as You have with Erin."
Very soon I was falling so madly in love with Him that I no longer wanted restoration and actually stopped doing my daily lessons! I then felt the urge to fast and seek Him about this and He put me back on the road to restoration by reminding me why He had initially put in my heart to turn away from seeking divorce.
Instead of returning me to my lessons, He led me to purchase the Facing Divorce book, little did I realize that only a few days later I'd be receiving divorce papers!!! So when I received them, I knew just what to do—I fell flat on my face and praised Him. Literally, all that came out of my mouth was praise and this was the turning point in my restoration.
What principles, from God's Word (or through our resources), did the Lord teach you during this trial?
To be quiet. To speak only kindly. To submit to my husband and all authority. To let go of my church and become His church, His bride. To bring the whole tithe to my storehouse (that made such a huge difference in my moving forward) and so many more principles I can’t name them all.
What were the most difficult times that God helped you through?
Going through all 9 months of pregnancy without my husband, with him not even talking to me. The me delivering the baby totally without him taking any interest was by far the most difficult. Yet, by God's grace, my husband is now very involved with our daughter and loves her to bits!
What was the “turning point” of your restoration?
My husband filing for divorce. Thankfully after reading the Facing Divorce book, I was ready and knew what to do and followed the principles. I knew that in these principles lay my miracle so I was very careful to read the Facing Divorce book again to make sure I didn't violate any principles.
So I agreed quickly, did not obtain a lawyer, met with my husband and his lawyer on my own, and although there were untrue things in the papers and I was basically going to be walking away with nothing, not even one car (though we had 3 cars). Instead of saying anything of what I wanted or needed, I exclaimed that the offer they had made me was very generous and I said I was thankful. I think this baffled them both! When asked to sign the papers I signed without hesitation. The lawyer asked how I felt and I said I was happy for my husband because he deserved to be happy.
Tell us HOW it happened? Did your husband just walk in the front door?
After this meeting with my husband and the lawyer, I continued to pray against the divorce, but not too fervently because I really knew that no matter what the outcome would be, I was going to be fine because I have a Husband anyway.
One day it was impressed on me to look up Philippians 4:5 which says, Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Then it was impressed on me to look up four verse in a specific order. I didn't know these verses at all:
Philippians 4:5 “Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.”
Galatians 4:5 “…to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.”
1 Corinthians 4:5 “Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God.”
2 Corinthians 4:5 “For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.”
1 Thessalonians 4:5 “not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God.”
So when I put them together it read:
“Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. To redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God. For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. Not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God. “
I pondered over this and asked the Lord what it meant, but got no answer.
2 DAYS LATER my husband, who loathed me and had not spoken to me for 10 months called and said he was at my gate. He proceeded to tell me to fight for the marriage, that he couldn't believe I agreed to the divorce without fighting, that I needed to consider our small children that they needed an unbroken family and their father. LOL! Unbelievable! I respectfully said, yes, ok.
Daughters Omele and Mercy
A week later he came again (2 weeks before the court date) and asked me to move in with him. So, now I am slowly moving my things to his house and sleep there every night now. It's been just a few days but very wonderful days. I have matured and we are enjoying our relationship and family.
Did you suspect or could you tell you were close to being restored?
Absolutely not. The hate wall was incredibly strong all throughout up to the day my husband came to say he didn't want a divorce anymore. In fact, the night before he'd come to drop off our daughter he hardly said a sentence to me. Other people say they could be intimate with their spouses and I always wondered how because in my situation my husband loathed me so much that could never even have been a possibility of happening. For the entire 10 months!
Would you recommend any of our resource in particular that helped you?
Yes. EVERYTHING! How God can and will Restore your Marriage book. The online courses. Be Encouraged videos. A Wise Woman . Facing Divorce. Then read Facing Divorce again. Though I didn't complete my online courses, I read all of the lessons over and over and the Lord is leading me to redo Course 1 "At Last There's Hope" and work through as recommended in the ministry.
In fact, what I recommend is to daily read at least one chapter of A Wise Woman or How God can and will Restore your Marriage book even after restoration. To continue reading them DAILY along with the daily Bible readings. I still read these EVERY DAY WITHOUT FAIL.
Would you be interested in helping encourage other women?
What kind of encouragement would you like to leave women with in conclusion?
After my experience I know that ANY marriage can be saved. Just believe it and receive it. But above all, take the Lord as your Husband. He is charming!
There's lots more wonderful things He did for me during my RJ but they are too many to tell.
John 21:25 NIV
"Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written."
~ Kopano in Namibia
This Praise Report was submitted by Kopano's as she was journaling Chapter 1 "What Is the Abundant Life?" Finding the Abundant Life Course.
By reading this one chapter, I learned that JOY UNSPEAKABLE exists. I have always admired Michele, due to reading her book Facing Divorce Again. That book blew me away.
But when I read that book, I was on the other side of divorce, I wasn't divorced. Applying the principles in the Facing Divorce Again book, along with RYM, led to a restoration of my marriage.
But soon after, I "messed up" and the marriage ended.
Now on the other side of divorce, I am divorced. So my first thoughts when reading Michele's second book Finding the Abundant Life, particularly the 1st chapter, my 1st thoughts were that though I admire Michele, these bold claims of living the abundant life are being in denial or are make belief. Those were my first thoughts.
But during the week I read through all the chapters that I found available and also put into practice what I was reading, with a slight scepticism though. But guess what?! As I applied the principles, particularly that of talking to my Lord and telling Him He's all I need, want and live for and that if I have Him I have everything, this quickly began to be real to me and I began again to quickly fall madly head over heels in love with Him and I can smell the abundant life coming towards me and I'm so excited!
He truly is ALL that I need. Truly, if I have Him (which I do), then I have everything because He is everything.
This is all in short. I have everything because I have Him.
He is precious. And I am precious to Him. And I'm so in love with Him. My time spent with Him this weekend and especially this Sunday alone with Him has been SO sweet, so lovely and I just feel like singing, "I'm every woman! It's all in me!"
I feel like a woman. A valued one. A loved one. A cherished one. All because of my Love, the Lord of hosts, who is called the God of all the earth.
I also learned that we sometimes don't fully grasp the meaning of scripture and that the best thing to do is to seek God when needing to understand Scripture.
I have already begun to apply telling my Beloved that I love Him and that I have everything because I have Him. This simple step has actually began to automatically then make me let go of things/encumbrances that I thought I needed. The most freedom has come to my MIND because where I used to occupy my mind thinking things through especially about the divorce that has just happened, I now don't think about it. Because I have the Lord and don't NEED my ex-husband or anyone's approval or admiration etc.
So I find that throughout this week my mind has quietened down, so has my heart, soul and spirit. I feel REST I don't think I've ever felt before. Rest, not just peace but REST. I suspect it's the one spoken about in Hebrews in the chapter I've actually never understood about the sabbath day rest etc.
What I'm also beginning to apply from today is to analyse pieces of scripture and seek God where I'm not sure I understand. Like in Jeremiah 15:19 Im seeking God to reveal to me what He means when He says THEY for their part may turn to you but you must not turn to them. Im asking Him whom He means when He says THEY. Who are they that may turn to me that I must not turn to?
While seeking, I felt it impressed upon me that THEY are those Id left the Lord for. The ones I must return to the Lord from.
But who are they specifically in my life Lord? Because I suspect its not jut my ex-husband. My mother? Brother? My children? Career? Desires? Who are THEY Lord that I have idolized? Please show me. In Jesus' name I ask.
"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."—1 John 1:9
If you’ve been struggled in anything, please lift your burden and give it to Him: *
Lord, I know I've put others before You though Your first commandment forbids this; there shall be no other god before You.
Please forgive me my Love.
I have also believed that my shame from the divorce would be lifted by worldly things, such as a better car and looking outwardly beautiful so that people would see that I am doing ok despite the divorce. Lord, only You will lift my shame and disgrace, not anything or anyone in the world.
Write a "Letter to the Lord." You may feel led to ask Him to make the changes in you. You may ask Him to give you more wisdom regarding what you have read. Or you may want to let Him know how you long to get even closer Him. *
Lord, I give You first place in my heart, mind, spirit and soul. Not for marriage restoration (which also I want ONLY if that's what You want for me). You are 1st in my life and I only want what You want. I open my heart and arms to embrace ONLY your desire for my life.
Your word says If I return to You, You will restore ME. I am who You want to restore. Me as a person, not my marriage, not my material things. You promise to restore ME. Back to Your original design and purpose when You formed me. I embrace that and await Your fulfillment of that promise. Restore me Lord, back to the woman You planned for me to be.
I am happy to be Yours only FOREVER. What You want for me is the best and I know if You want singleness for me, then that's where my utter joy will be found and with utter abundance I embrace whatever You want for me. Have Your way. I'm thrilled to come with You as You begin to show me things I have not known before. I am all Yours. Let us go where You want us to go. I leave everything behind to elope with You. I love You my sweet and precious Jesus.
I love also that You don't mind lots of words of affection as human men sometimes don't like. So I can say I love You a million times and You will say it even more back to me. I love You. With all my heart I do. Thank You for being mine and for making me Yours. Come into Your garden and take delight in me. I am Yours.
All my Love,