Valerie, how did your restoration actually begin?
Today I am here writing my dream testimony, in fact, I could have written it before, but I confess that I was afraid because I was still very lost after my restoration. Until I received a study from RMI that alerted me how important submitting a restored testimony was (even if things weren't perfect) in order to move forward with my journey now that I'm restored. Then because I still hadn't submitted it, I heard from a very dear sister who confirmed to me that God wanted me to write His praise. So now I realize that I failed to give the honor to the One who is worthy to receive the honor and the praise for what He's done for me! And once I did, everything began to change and become better.
Yes, there were trials, but as I put Him first, as I remained close to my HH, everything began to move forward again. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
So, it all started in August more than 7 years ago. I decided to accept a marriage proposal from my daughter's father. We had a beautiful ceremony, a wonderful wedding reception, and we were sure we would be very happy—living happily ever after.
How did God change your situation Valerie as you sought Him wholeheartedly?
But like so many marriages, as soon as we got home and were alone, just ourselves, something started to change. I was always very jealous and contentious, in fact, I had not forgiven the mistakes from my husband's past. My jealousy was possessive, I fought with him about everything. I always wanted to rule over everything and make all the decisions. My husband could not be the man of the house because I— I was already doing his part and I only began recognizing it when I got to the bottom of the pit. In fact, the turning point was when I found the book How God Can and Will Restore Your Marriage and my eyes opened to all my mistakes and it was then that I started to change.
What principles, from God's Word (or through our resources), Valerie, did the Lord teach you during this trial?
Of course, my husband also had his mistakes, but I learned that a wise woman builds the house and the fool tears it down. How many times did he ask me why I acted like a crazy woman towards him? But it was the way all women acted, I had no idea where I was headed. Yet it was clear my marriage was growing cold, and I did not understand why. After all, we were in the presence of God when we said our vows. We had planned for a future together. But more and more my husband became distant, moving away from me, until one day five years ago, just after celebrating our 2nd wedding anniversary, we had a disgustingly ugly discussion, that turned into a horrible fight, and that's when he said he did not want the marriage anymore. I could not believe it because before we married, so many times, he had said that same thing but always took it back. Not this time, this time it was for real! After a week, he left home, and I did not know where he was. I did not know anything....
Not until I found out that he was with an OW, a "friend" from his work. A woman who had become his confidant, someone he could talk to who would listen and let him be a man. That day, he moved out of our home and in with her.
What were the most difficult times that God helped you through Valerie?
So I began to seek God with more intensity than before. That's when I really knew the Lord personally for the first time in my life. I found Him as my HH after taking a course someone suggested, the Finding the Abundant Life Course. Before finding Him as my HH, I cried a lot, I suffered a lot, I went through all kinds of humiliation, all because of who I was, but His love began to change me.
What hurt the most was when I saw my little girl suffer so much. To add to that hurt, so many people told me to give up, to live my life, live my life just as my husband had and find someone new. They said I was stupid to think that my husband would ever come back. The enemy would scream in my ear, asking me just how many times I'd heard my husband say that he did not love me anymore, and then say that he was planning to ask me for a divorce? But the Lord told me, He would not allow it and to trust Him.
Over the course of the next year, when I became His bride, my EH began to tell me that "someday" he would come back. But just after giving me that encouragement, he'd disappear again. In truth, my EH came back twice but left again after only a few days. He'd also dropped the first OW but then would quickly get another. Each time I would turn my attention to who was there to love me, my true Husband, and each time I found myself falling more and more in love with Him.
Valerie, what was the “turning point” of your restoration?
Anyway, as I said, each time I let him go without saying a word, and then I started to focus on my relationship with the Lord, my HH and each time I strengthen myself in His truths and by helping minister to other women. But the moment I began helping several women, things got really horrible.
Yet, that was the turning point. At the moment when I really thought I did not want my marriage restored, the moment I ignored what was coming against me, the moment I focused on helping other women. Literally, in a blink of an eye, my husband came back to me with a changed heart! After years of wandering in the desert, my husband said he wanted to try again and that I could trust what he said because he had lost everything. He said he wanted our family to put God first and that he would try to be a good spiritual leader if I would let him. Wow!
Tell us HOW it happened Valerie? Did your husband just walk in the front door? Valerie, did you suspect or could you tell you were close to being restored?
Now you must be thinking why, only now, after almost two years I decided to submit my testimony. It's because I was thinking that everything should be perfectly marvelous, and it was not quite like that. So, I thought I should share my testimony when things were perfect.
I thought, once everything is smooth, the way I thought "restoration was supposed to be" then I would do it. But because my husband still had some struggles because of the enemy's still trying to destroy our lives, maybe even more because everyone was in awe that he was home and faithful to me, the more I reasoned I should wait.
Yes, we had other trials that came at us—but nothing like when it was adultery that was coming against us!
One trial that came that almost took our marriage down, was when I was tempted to undo what God did! At one point I saw myself returning to the contentious, controlling woman I'd been. But thanks to Him, thanks to His love, thanks to my HH, I had the strength to let that woman die. Today I am harvesting what I sowed with such joy!!!
I've helped several women seek restoration and become His bride. My husband says that he loves me, takes with me to church and has strengthened himself in the presence of the Lord. He is truly our spiritual leader. I stopped being contentious and we lived in perfect peace. His relationship with our daughter has improved a lot (she was hurt because he'd introduced so many "new mommies" to her) but today my husband is a dedicated father. They have a newfound love as father and daughter. (I have attached a picture of them at a father daughter dance she invited him to.)
Today I just had to praise the Lord for everything, for He has never forsaken me, never left my side and has given me a love that I am able to pour out on my husband, daughter and so many hurting confused women!
Would you recommend any of our resource in particular that helped you Valerie?
Would you be interested in helping encourage other women Valerie?
Yes. I have a local ministry for women that helps many continue on their journey to know Him.
Either way Valerie, what kind of encouragement would you like to leave women with, in conclusion?
Remember one thing, “The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the LORD; He turns it wherever He wishes.” Proverbs 21:1