Day 1 Securing Your Success 1:
"Phones, Texting and Voicemail"
but first a Restored Marriage Testimony
Husband’s Girlfriend Has Dream
One night, I awoke with a desperate feeling to pray for the OW my husband was involved with. I had been desperately seeking help for my marriage and soon after purchased and had been reading and rereading How God Will Restore Your Marriage and the workbook for women. I read how important fasting was, so due to not being able to really eat (feeling nauseous all the time) I began fasting. One night I had the greatest urge to pray the prayers in the Restore Your Marriage book over and over that night until the sun came up. Exhausted, I fell asleep for only a couple of hours until I received an angry phone call from my husband.
He asked why I had gotten in touch with his girlfriend! In shock I said quite honestly, “But I haven't gotten in touch with her, why do you think I would?" Of course as soon as I said it, he of course would think that. I had pursued and harassed him prior to learning how I had been destroying any hope of him caring for me again. Not saying anything more, that's when he told me that his girlfriend had come into his office that morning and told him they “were through!” And then she began mumbling something about him “lying about his wife” me!
He had told his girlfriend that I didn’t want him anymore, which was far from the truth since I was not too quick to let him go. I sat there quietly and then he began saying more. He said his girlfriend didn’t stop with telling him off. She marched in and confessed their relationship to their boss (and it was against office policy for them to fraternize), and then she demanded to be transferred to another office or she would quit.
I was more than shocked and it wasn't until later when I had time to think about everything that had happened, when I understood why God had not let me sleep, but to pray, and also to fast for the past 3 days, which I read was for favor. Fasting may have been partly to break whatever stronghold this woman had over my husband, and maybe for favor so my husband would tell me what was going on (like I was his friend again). But I believe the main reason was so I would say nothing at all when my husband called me. In the past I would have had plenty to say! So even if God were battling for me, I would have shot a hole in anything good He did for me with my big mouth.
My husband continued to talk to me, but neither of us could understand what had happened to prompt such a rage. Finally, my husband heard the whole story from a fellow coworker. It seems that on the very night I felt such urgency to pray, my husband’s girlfriend had a vivid dream!! In the dream she said she saw me “crying because I wanted my husband back.” I wasn't crying that night, wanting my husband back. I actually was crying wanting my heavenly Husband that night! I didn't want my marriage restored any more because I only wanted Him.
So then, when his girlfriend woke up, she was so shaken she didn’t think she could make it to work that morning. However, when she arrived in the coffee room she cornered another woman who had worked therefore a long time and asked if she knew what I looked like. When she began to describe me, his girlfriend began to shake and cry. The description of me was exactly what she saw in her dream! (I am part Asian with pretty unusual features and with an equally unusual haircut.) That's when his girlfriend ran in and told her boss that she was totally “spooked” by the whole ordeal and wanted to get as far away from my husband as possible.
When my husband heard everything from coworkers and his boss, it spooked him too and he shot back to God with a new and permanent “fear of the Lord.” The incident totally changed him and he has changed towards me and the children. He is a man of God, sold out to Him, when not long ago he doubted He even existed.
Thank you for everything, I pray my testimony will encourage other women as much as your ministry has encouraged me! Sorry it took so long for me to send it.
~Bunny in Mississippi, RESTORED
Now for the next testimony that is so incredible I just love sharing it!
Near Fatal Accident Caused Husband to Come Home
My husband had always been a heavy drinker and then began using drugs. My husband had lost job after job, which meant that soon I became the breadwinner of our family. Desperate for money of his own, my husband began dealing drugs. One day I simply had had enough, and told my husband we were through and told him to get out.
After my husband moved out, a friend gave me the book How God Will Restore Your Marriage. After I read it through a few times, I ordered A Wise Woman workbook.
After I threw my husband out EVERYONE had told me that what I had done was the “right” thing. But when I read the Scriptures in How God Will Restore Your Marriage those Bible verses said something else. I looked up every verse and could find nothing that could support what I had done. On the contrary the Bible said to win a husband without a word (and I had said plenty) and also to show him respect. Throwing him out and belittling him is not showing any respect for him being a man and who God told me to submit to. This is far different than anything I had ever learned in all the Bible studies I went to. Even my pastor could not give me any proof for what he was telling me (tough love kind of stuff) even though I begged him for verses.
Under a horrible heavy cloud of conviction, I knew I had to reconcile with my husband. I left the church to get closer to the Lord, and repented to my husband who told me it was through my kindness toward him, that, he said (my kindness by reading your books) he wanted to voluntarily go into a rehabilitation treatment center. I was more than in awe of how powerful the principles worked because prior to this no one could convince him that he even had a problem let alone choose to get treatment.
Things went well for a time while he was in treatment, but soon, would you believe I stopped reading my books and slipped back into my old habits? It didn't take long before my husband began falling back into his old habits of using drugs and drinking. It makes me sick to say it, but this time it resulted in him committing adultery.
One day I came home to find my husband packing his bags. He was leaving me for another woman! The shock of his cold statement was more than enough for me to go running back to God, His Word and my How God Will Restore Your Marriage book, which I knew was filled with all of God’s principles I stopped following. I know too that my husband began being where i had once again turned my focus and heart toward. At first it felt so good to be so close to him again, adoring him like I used to. But then he became less interested in me, and then I began finding fault with him again and correcting him like I used to.
It took a lot of fasting and renewing my mind and finding my true Love again to complete the change in me—but suddenly God finally moved on my behalf. One night my husband had a near fatal car accident. It shook him up so much he went running back to God and back to me and his family again. This took place over five years ago. My husband and I are happily married and my husband is also active in a local church.
~Natalie in Louisiana, RESTORED
We have heard of more than one "near fatal" car accident to get the attention of a wayward husband. And many, many more testimonies of things that it took to get the women to stay faithful to HER Beloved Bridegroom too.
A Divine Appointment
One Sunday morning our pastor read some praise reports. The first one he read said, "A marriage was just restored after three years of believing and praying!"
In the altar room (where we would pray with new believers) a woman tracked me down and told me that this was the woman whom she had brought to meet me six months earlier. The night I met her was after a Wednesday night prayer meeting, and I will never forget how she had stood there crying and so horribly broken. She couldn't even speak except to say tearfully, "My husband has been gone for two and a half years living with someone else."
That night I shared just a bit about what God can do, and made sure I said that NOTHING was impossible with God. I suggested she get the How God Can and Will Restore Your Marriage book that was in the church bookstore. Then I remembered that I had brought a book for a woman who was supposed to meet me there that night. So since we were standing there alone (since the other woman hadn't showed up), I said, "This book must have been for you. The Lord prompted me to bring one from home. I thought it was for someone else, but I guess He wanted it for you all the time." Her tears dropped onto my hand as I held out the book to her.
Six months after, I was told this woman had been blessed with a restored marriage, another praise report was read about another restored marriage, and I turned just in time to see a woman standing only a few feet away looking at me. I recognized her — yet it was joy that covered her face this time.
After the service she approached me and said she had to let me know first that the praise report of the restored marriage that day was from her ePartner! She also told me that her husband had accepted the Lord the previous Sunday, and that he had been there for both services that day (hearing messages I knew had been "perfect" for him!). She told me that she had been a part of our Restoration Fellowship (since I didn't know her name I had no idea) and she said that right after she had just gotten her Encouragement Partner, who was wonderful, her marriage was also suddenly restored!
That's when her husband walked up. Her face showed a slight panic, not knowing what I might say. But I simply introduced myself and told him it was nice to meet him and introduced him to my husband and my oldest son who had walked up. We all chatted a bit and then he said, "I guess we should go." As they walked off TOGETHER, she looked back over her shoulder, and her face was beaming.
GOD IS SO GOOD!!! He had two divine appointments and two restored marriages six months apart — He is never late and His plans are always perfect!!
~Jodie in Missouri, RESTORED
How Jodie found her ePartner in her own church was due to her sowing hope. We have had "Hope Cards" for years and we used to put them into our books (this was when we warehoused and shipped our books). Jodie bought several books and put them in several libraries (public and church libraries). Her ePartner got one of these books and went online to apply.
Your Phone Rings.
Should you always answer it?
Before you were in your current marriage crisis, you would never think about purposely not answering your phone.
But now things are a bit different and until you are restored, you must use wisdom by acting cautiously. "Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour"—1 Peter 5:8.Until you have slammed the door shut against the devourer through tithing, you need to be sober.
Sober doesn't just mean "not drunk" instead the true definition is "clear thinking." It means realizing that the enemy is going to try to trip you up and send you back to where he once had you! He will steal your peace, kill your hope, and destroy any chance of a happy life if you are not watching for his schemes...
"so that no advantage would be taken of us by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes"—2 Corinthians 2:11.
It's not that you need to protect yourself from someone else (God will surround you if you stay close to Him). You need to protect others from you and your emotions that can easily spill out and destroy the progress you have already made!
That's why we want to talk to you about not answering your phone. Instead of answering your phone, begin to use the voice message system more often, since almost ALL of us have voice mail on our cell phones. Just be sure you keep it CLEANED out of any OLD messages (there is nothing more frustrating that promotes anger, than when it says that there is no more room in voice mail). Also be very careful you don't abuse not answering—using it as a way of manipulating or playing games. God searches your heart and He is the one who will turn hearts towards or against you. (Look up Psalm 88:8 and 88:18 and also Proverb 21:1 in your Bible.)
1. Making a new and very simple message. There is no need to ask anyone to "leave their name, number and when they called" because that's all built in. And if your message is short, then it won't irritate people as easily.
I simply have "Hi, this is Erin, leave me a message!" I don't say when I will get back or any more than this. Another benefit is that the beep to leave a message will happen sooner.
Your message should also have a "light" and happy tone to your voice. Some people sound angry, or too *business-like and this sets the mood. So keep doing it over and over again until it sounds like someone who is filled with joy!
If, of course, you are using your phone for business, please make your message according to what you need.
2. When your phone rings, if you see the caller is someone whom you are concerned could potentially cause issues in your restoration, simply let your newly made voice mail answer it.
3. Then, call out to GOD and ask Him to help steady you for what the person might be calling about.
4. Very often people simply say WHO it is and "Call me back," which doesn't always help, but it will still give you time to quote these very POWERFUL verses that helped me during my restoration.
I "will not fear evil tidings; [my] heart is fixed, trusting in the LORD"—Psalm 112:7.
"The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the defense of my life; Whom shall I dread?"—Psalm 27:1
5. And before you call back, get to a place where you will not be distracted. Then to prepare yourself even more, repeat this verse, "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger"—Proverbs 15:1
6. While the person is speaking, LISTEN. Proverbs 18:13 says, "He who gives an answer before he hears, It is folly and shame to him."Don't interrupt, take time to think before speaking, then think about this,"Even a fool, when he keeps silent, is considered wise; When he closes his lips, he is considered prudent"—Proverbs 17:28.
Learn to say things like, "Wow, I don't know what to say." Though most people who are angry will try their best to get you to say more, even going so far as to say you are making them angry by not saying anything or even for not fighting, the truth is this:
Who you want to please, always and forever, is the Lord, who promises: "When a man’s ways are pleasing to the LORD, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him"—Proverbs 16:7.
And something else, if you do choose to say something, almost ALWAYS, you will see it causes tempers to flair! Why? "For lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whisperer, contention quiets down. Like charcoal to hot embers and wood to fire, so is a contentious man to kindle strife"—Proverbs 26:19-21.
Where it says "no whisperer" means not telling anyone what was said. Not only will it get back to someone else who will use it against you, but God is listening, and again, you want to please your heavenly Husband now, right?
If this seems like a lot to have to think about, a wonderful way to respond and be able to respond immediately is to send a quick TEXT saying simply "Got your message, in the middle of something, will call you back as soon as I am free."
Basically, you are (hopefully) in the middle of speaking to the Lord to get HIS answers. And what you need to be free from is fear or any other EMOTION associated with what the person is saying.
You just got...
a text or
Emails, a text and a voice message can either move you forward in your restoration, or send you back to the starting line!
First, if you stop sending emails, texting and leaving a voicemail, you will soon stop getting them yourself. And when you do, be careful to skim over things (especially things from the OW or if you hear or read things your husband has sent in anger). It's easier to keep your heart pure and full of forgiveness if you have nothing to forgive.
No matter how careful you are, we all get them—those emails from your husband, ex or the OW or a lot of people who are simply asking you something a bit too personal.
But guess what?
We don't need to answer and should NEVER answer them right away.
"The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things"—Proverbs 15:28.
Every day this past week we read women who wrote in their forms with so much REGRET because they said things that destroyed their progress. Why did this happen? Why did they, why do you fall into the same trap over and over again?
Part of the reason is that each time you trip up, it will help you understand and remember how YOU keep "failing" hopefully so that you can have compassion and realize just how difficult a time your husband is having. Your husband, more than likely, does NOT have the same relationship you have with the Lord. The Lord who has promised to help you!
So if you cannot stop, if you cannot change, then stop expecting your husband to stop whatever he has been unable to change.
If you are honestly interested in moving forward in your restoration, and you're tired of finding yourself in one crisis or regret after another. Begin to take heed to how you act, especially what you say to anyone and everyone.
Fasting helps—I know because it was the FIRST time in my entire life I was able to close my mouth and not respond to something unkind that was said to me!!
Try following this EXERCISE before you find your situation much WORSE than it already is.
Each and every time one of "those" emails, texts or voice mails come after you to trip you up:
1. Wait, wait, wait.
If you are in the midst of the conversation, like texting, pause for a minute or two, then ask "Hey, something's come up, can I get back to you?"
What's "come up" are your feelings you can't control and your tongue that is about to say something stupid. And it's not just anger that is stupid—so is pleading, asking questions or pouring out your heart. STOP NOW.
2. Once you're off the phone, what may help is to go ahead and write your thoughts and feelings down.
HOWEVER, send whatever you write to yourself—not the other person. Do NOT put the person's email address in when writing, put your own email address in. Because if you aren't careful you may ACCIDENTALLY send something that you can't get back!! Words you can't take back.
Instead, you can put the name of who you "think" you might be sending your email to in the Subject. This again is to prevent you from ACCIDENTALLY sending it.
3. Go ahead, type how you feel, what you'd like to say. Share your feelings with whoever you'd like. The feelings can be how you are HURT or ANGRY, disgusted, frustrated, or full of self-pity.
You may be feeling sorry for the other person or even wanting the other person to "understand" how you feel.
4. End your email and THEN give those thoughts and feelings to the Lord.
5. Finally, end your email with "YOUR WILL be done LORD."
6. NOW WAIT some more!
7. Do NOT do anything until ALL those feelings are GONE—until you can respond the way HE LEADS you to respond, which will NOT have EMOTIONS attached to them.
8. Wait some more. VERY OFTEN, during the wait GOD WILL change the situation and there will be no need to EVER send ANYTHING.
9. Put your email you've sent to yourself in your DRAFTS, until, as I said "there are no emotions of any kind attached to them."
10. Finally, once your emotions are stable, 99% of the time you will NOT need to send anything at all. That's when you need to be careful to DELETE the evidence of your feelings because they are between you and the Lord!
*I have known about relationships that were restored, only to have a spouse find emails that should have been deleted.
Yes, the enemy is not about to give up and say, "Oh, well..." once a marriage is restored. Instead, this is one of the reasons restoration takes a full Journey to complete! Once you have a miracle in your life you are a greater threat to the enemy and his goal to destroy your testimony!
Finally, the more you write, then later DELETE, the more you'll find you don't need to and don't want to bother writing anything at all. You will be farther along in your Restoration Journey and neither you nor anyone else will recognize the new woman you've become.
Remember, the more time you hang around with the Lord, and experience the LOVE He has for you, the less things anyone says or does to you will evoke a negative response or an emotion.
We can't end this lesson without first speaking about Facebook and other social networks. If your goal is to NEVER heal or allow your husband to heal, then remain on Facebook and keep yourself exposed. If however you want to take advantage of God's Makeover and also remain out of crisis, then FAST Facebook until you're finished going through this course.
And if you really want to move ahead in your Restoration Journey, once you are in the REBUILDING phase of RRR, we will then encourage you to set up a new Facebook account for the purpose of helping others. You and your ePartner will be encouraged to set up your own ministry, basically just sharing how and where you are reaching out to women in crisis by sending them to fill out the FREE Marriage Encouragement.
"Facebook has been a point of contention in our house for a while. My husband didn’t care for the fact that I spent so much time on it. Then my husband started his own page and lied about it, I found he was friends with several women. Of course, I confronted him, and I kept checking to see what he was up to. Reality was I was perpetrating a perfect front for my friends and family to see all the destruction in my life, when it was the furthest thing from the truth. By the time it was suggested to me in this lesson, I already knew it was time. It was hard at first, it had become an obsession, but it really freed up my time and has made my life more at peace. I have time to invest in my God, myself and my family. And I don’t really want to know what is going on with my husband anymore, I don't need the stress. God is working, that’s all I need to know!!
Dear Friend, I know what you are going through, but trust that God loves you and doesn't intend for us to live a fearful life .Pray for faith, and LET GO: of your husband, your Facebook, because it’s freeing and liberating. Let God carry you, He won’t fail you. It’s too exhausting, and we are to wear the world as a loose garment. Believe me, you won’t regret it...
“You need not fight in this battle, station yourselves, stand and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf. Do not fear or dismay, the Lord is with you.” (2 Chronicles 20:17)
~ Beata in Florida
"I have realized in the last week that God has been subtly hinting to me to get rid of my facebook account - but I didn't and then, this weekend I was shown something about my H and the OW that was completely devastating to me emotionally. Last night, after reading it on my phone I deactivated my account on my phone but not on my computer until this morning right after I read this lesson. I should have listened to God so that I never heard the information that I know now." ~Kim in California
After "letting go" of Facebook and then a month later having succumbed to going on Facebook again, I spent endless hours on it, doing the worst of all, spying on my FH and the OW. I hurt myself by the photos I saw with them at my eldest daughter’s wedding. I finally "let go " again, but this time I knew it was different. I had no desire to go on Facebook again, but instead I used my cell phone to chat to people I really had no business chatting to, opening myself up to situations I really had no business getting involved with.
So, this mornings lesson could not have come at a better time or could not have been explained to me in a better fashion. I had been having trouble with my cell phone as the battery was faulty and it meant having the phone almost permanently on charge. Obviously that isn't good for the battery, and then finally this morning the battery had become completely unusable. After reading this message I realised that it was taken away from me, because I had left my church, I was no longer on Facebook, but I was still using my cell phone. And I KNOW I was talking to people I should not be talking to and was talking about things I should not be talking about. I must admit I am somewhat relieved that it happened. This is a way that I can also stop talking, and I don't get exposed to the things I really have no business being exposed to.
~Denise in South Africa
Honestly, Do the Principles in this Lesson Really Work?
"Your testimonies also are my delight; they are my counselors"— Psalm 119:24
"What I Learned" ? Oh boy... this really brought a smile to me. This was an area that I really felt God assisted me in. I was extremely quick on the uptake and would simply have to have my say whether in long text, sms, e-mail or on the phone. It infuriated my ex. Over time I learnt to slow down, back off but it is an area I am still having to work on sometimes. I marvel that through God's grace I am much better at it.
I must just share how God dealt with me on this one. Before reading your books and knowing the principles I really tried to zip my lips but I had to teach him a lesson. God was amazing as always. I really felt him teaching me the principles of patience and self control. I would be so furious and type up a really nasty response and then our server would go down and the mail would not get sent. The next day when I read the mail again ready to send, it did not matter anymore and I never sent it. I would be angry and call my ex and the other woman and through only God's intervention the phone was engaged and I never got through. I felt God personally help me with this and in hindsight I would smile and say to God I know he was teaching me restraint. God really orchestrated so many scenarios so that I did not mess up so badly. So I totally get this and although I'm not where I was before I can still go through some more refining!
~Chantal in South Africa
Over all I thought this lesson was so WONDERFUL!! It was definitely worth my time, and showed me how important "media" etiquette is in your restoration, how crucial it is to remain quite, agreeable, and patient when responding to emails/texts/voicemails!!
Like some of the women mentioned in their testimonies, I have really struggled with self-control when talking on the phone and even in texting. . . I am so ashamed now when I think of that, but NOW I see that really I should just speak/respond to EVERYONE the way I would want to be spoken to and that is in a kind and loving tone!
Well, I will be changing my voice mail greeting (making it shorter and more "chipper", less business like) and will definitely be more careful in screening my calls, seeking the Lord about when to answer and when to simply let it go to voice mail to check later. ~Tiffany in Texas
Submitted by: Lily in Australia; My husband has Remarried, I’ve taken or am currently taking the Rebuilding Wisdom Course.
“God is All We Need”
“May the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ be blessed! He is the compassionate Father and God of all comfort. He’s the One who comforts us in all our trouble so that we can comfort other people who are in every kind of trouble. We offer the same comfort that we ourselves received from God. That is because we receive so much comfort through Christ in the same way that we share so many of Christ’s sufferings.” (2 Cor. 1:3-5 CEB)
“Enjoy the Lord, and He will give what your heart asks.” (Ps. 37:4 CEB)
Praise Lord, He is ALL we need!!
After I let go of “wechat” and facebook last month, I was able to focus on Jesus, our Lord who is the compassionate Father and God of all comfort. I felt so released. God was able to reveal to me that He is the One who comforts us in all our trouble. I used to seek friends and pastor’s comfort and I acted like a victim. I knew I was a sinner, but I never got to the stage to really confess my sins and my wrong doing. I even boasted of myself and mislead others to fight with their husbands. In some stages, I was very judgmental toward those brothers and sisters who left the church. Then I became very judgmental toward pastors and sisters who stayed at church after I left church. All my focuses were on others and this world. So I became very self-righteousness to the stage I thought I was the only one who knew God and was following God’s way. How proud and arrogant I was! I thank God for leading me to this ministry and I thank Erin for teaching me the truth to trust God and seek God in every situation. I now ask God and praise God and pray for God’s Will be done in whatever I do.
Letting go of “wechat” and facebook has given me more time to learn God’s Word and be transformed to His image and to be delighted in Him. He gave what my heart asked – a full time job.
Letting go of “wechat and facebook has enabled me to focus on God. So I know God is all I need. I can boast that nothing in this world can overcome or control me or come against me, for God is with me. He is my Shield, my Refuge, my Comforter, my Healer, my Provider, my Maker and my Heavenly Husband. I have more than I deserve.
Now I also show up for work on Monday mornings which shouldn't be funny but it is, and I roll pretty well with the punches as I enjoy making my co-workers smile, even if at my expense. Because I've been “hidden” from the rest of the world (i.e. de-actived FB a week and a half ago) and don't go many places, my co-workers are really the only ones that see the changes.
I believe that as they see the changes, they are puzzled but are also complimenting me on how “fabulous” I look. I've lost 10 lbs in these past two months working out, eating healthy and not drinking alcohol. I also RADIATE because of the Lord. I don’t say this in a self-praising way, but I totally see it! I'm smiling even when everything inside me is so sad. I make it a point to "thank God" and thank Him some more by loving on someone that needs it. 🙂
~Mary in Arizona
And if you were able to hurdle over this Milestone, #3 Fasting Facebook, be sure to help others hurdle over by submitting a Hurdles Praise Report.
I promise that if you are faithful to do this EXERCISE each and EVERY time you are faced with having to deal with emails, texts, and/or voice messages, I GUARANTEE you will live a life with MORE PEACE and will see your restoration moving forward without the usual 2 steps forward, then 3 steps back!
By the Word of Their Testimony
To complete today's lesson, read one of our restored marriage testimonies taken from our By the Word of Their Testimony Series to glean the wisdom of this once hopeless marriage that GOD has wonderfully restored.