Forward

It’s both exciting and rewarding to see this book finally becoming a reality. Michele and I have had a long lovely friendship for years soon after she helped me with editing and proofing our RMI books. Our working relationship developed into a true admiration for Michele, which now has led to the honor of writing the forward to her first Real Life Novel.

You’ll notice that we have given Michele permission to use portions of other RMI books and also testimonies submitted and sent to RMI. These confirm what Michele is saying that I’m certain will both motivate and encourage you to seek God for wisdom as she has done and also to make the Lord your most prized and cherished relationship as she exhibits throughout this amazing book.

Don’t read this book just once, make sure it’s your go to when facing any litigation to stay moving along that narrow path that leads to live—the abundant life He died to give us.

Erin Thiele
Founder of Restore Ministries International

God is Looking to Reward You

And without faith it is impossible to please Him,

For he who comes to God must believe that He is

And that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.

Hebrews 11:6

You may have gotten this book for a friend, for a family member, or for yourself, but whomever it is who is facing divorce—they are probably just as shocked or surprised as I was—even if this is the second or third time a divorce was filed against them.

No one can honestly say that when they married that divorce was something that entered into their mind, at least not seriously. So when it does happen, we all are a bit shaken and can’t help but think “Not me” or “Not her” “Not him” or “Not them” even though divorce is rampant in our society.

For each one of you who has been hit with divorce, this book is written just for you. God had you in mind from the very moment that I began typing, and He has you on His mind still. If you take nothing else away from this book, please be sure to take this: He is not angry with you, He is not disappointed in you, and He does not think you are a failure. If this is the way you are feeling, or the way someone has spoken to you—it’s not from God. I promise.

“If anyone fiercely assails you it will not be from Me. Whoever assails you will fall because of you” (Isa. 54:15).

His timing and purpose in my life (and in yours), is well beyond what we are able to comprehend. His ways clearly are higher than our ways!

“‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ declares the LORD. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts’” (Isa. 55:8–9).

Though this may not have been your idea or your plan, trust that the Lord has it in complete control even though you feel someone else may be—like your spouse, the “enemy” or the other woman or other man in your spouse’s life. But God says differently… “The mind of man plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps” (Prov. 16:9).

When my husband came into our bedroom to “talk” to me, this time, to tell me he was on his way that afternoon to file for divorce, again, he said that he was leaving me and planned to “find” someone else to marry (though he was already involved with his high school sweetheart). I was able to quickly apply each and every principle you are about to read. Even though I had no clue to what was happening right under my nose, God knew and was ready to help me.  The same is true for you and your situation!

That’s why you are now holding this book, God wasn’t shocked or surprise by your divorce either. He knew about it and was way ahead of you. He led me to write this book to give you the help, encouragement, and tell you about His love that you need—right now.

What He decided to do, just to help you, was to send me on ahead. He knew that some of it might be a bit frightening for you, some of the way may seem a bit too narrow, too steep or the chasm a bit too wide, so He sent me on ahead to build a bridge for you.

 

The Bridge Builder

by  Will Allen Dromgoole

An old man, going a lone highway,

Came, at the evening, cold and gray,

To a chasm, vast, and deep, and wide,

Through which was flowing a sullen tide.

The old man crossed in the twilight dim;

The sullen stream had no fears for him;

But he turned, when safe on the other side,

have crossed the chasm, deep and wide -

Why build you the bridge at the eventide?"

The builder lifted his old gray head:

"Good friend, in the path I have come," he said,

" And built a bridge to span the tide.

"Old man," said a fellow pilgrim, near,

"You are wasting strength with building here;

Your journey will end with the ending day;

You never again must pass this way;

You There followeth after me today

A youth, whose feet must pass this way.

This chasm, that has been naught to me,

To that fair-haired youth may a pitfall be.

He, too, must cross in the twilight dim;

Good friend, I am building the bridge for him."

 

So now there is no more need to worry, fret, or even for you to feel badly about what’s up ahead. He told me to tell you that your future looks bright!

“‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare [wellbeing, happiness, goodness, and safety] and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope’” (Jer. 29:11).

It may not look like this right now, and it certainly may not feel like it, but will you trust someone who has just come through it and is happier than ever?

No, I don’t believe in divorce. I would never (not in a million years) choose divorce for my children or for myself—but maybe like you, you had no choice in the matter. When that day did hit, I made a decision that I would like you to make. My decision was to walk through it as a TRUE believer. If I could trust God for my eternity, the moment that I died, then couldn’t I trust Him with here and now? What about you?

So I chose to walk through it this time without fear, and without taking the tiny baby steps that I took last time because way back then I had thought that at any moment I was about to fall off a cliff!

This time I knew that God was calling me to not just apply the principles I learned and lived the first time around—this time I was going to follow them enthusiastically—and the results were astounding!

Not only did they work, but they worked in direct proportion to how enthusiastically I applied them! Within 24 hours of responding to my husband’s plan (of leaving me and filing for divorce) enthusiastically, my husband’s heart instantly turned back to me and he dropped the divorced, but that’s not all. He went on to praised me for the incredible wife I was, and told me he would be a fool to leave me!

However, if it had ended there, where would you be? Miracles do happen, but for most of us, God calls us to walk through those valleys that feel like death—doesn’t He?

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me” (Psalm 23:4).

God had a bigger plan for my life (and yours) so He has chosen me to experience the reality of divorce in order to help you. God’s plan may be to stop your divorce, or He may be calling you to go through it so you can help at least one other man or woman—are you willing to trust Him?

Even though my husband’s heart wanted to stay with me (and our children), he had fallen into the deep pit of adultery, once again.

“For the harlot is a deep pit, and an adulterous woman is a narrow well. She lurks as a robber, and increases the faithless among man” (Prov. 23:28).

Even though he wanted out of his plan, very soon the “cords that had him bound” pulled him back—so sad.  “His own iniquities will capture the wicked, and he will be held with the cords of his sin” (Prov. 5:22). So, as you walk through this keep this in mind… things will look or appear strange because there is a spiritual battler going on that you cannot see. If your spouse is involved with someone else, he or she may want to be with you, but just like every sin: like drugs or drinking; though they may hate it and want out, they are held by the cords of their sin.

So, though he wanted to stay with me, he was already in too deep, so very soon the divorce pursuit was back on, but that’s what the Bible says so I knew it was going to happen.

“But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death” (James1: 14–15).

When divorce or any other tragedy happens, do you know that God has a much greater purpose? “That when the wicked sprouted up like grass and all who did iniquity flourished, it was only that they might be destroyed forevermore” (Psalm 92:7).

Knowing God’s Principles

All the verses that I have shared with you so far are just the beginning of the principles that I want to share with you in this book. These principles are the truths that have set me free! Set me free from worry, from pain, and have led me toward the abundant life that Jesus died to give each of us who are willing to trust Him.

One of the greatest components to my being able to follow the principles “enthusiastically” (my voice was excited, happy, without fearful trepidation that I had the first time my husband divorced me), was because of the testimonies from other women that I had been compiling for this book—two in particular helped me tremendously. They were from women who shared how the Lord had given them the faith to actually “sign” the divorce papers when their husbands asked.

Although one shared how her hand was shaking in the attorney’s office, and that tears welled up in her eyes, it was because of her faith that I was able to go and sign my divorce papers without my hands trembling (even a little) and with a smile on my face because I had joy in my heart!

“And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death” (Rev. 12:11).

So many women wonder why I had to go through divorce again. I believe it’s because the Lord wanted me to learn and experience divorce once again just to help you! The first time I went through divorce I was in incredible pain due only to so much fear!

You must believe this… God knew that on this very day that you would be facing divorce and He wanted you to have the faith, the principles, the knowledge, the understanding, and the courage to face it enthusiastically since He has a wonderful plan for your life!!

“But just as it is written, ‘THINGS WHICH EYE HAS NOT SEEN AND EAR HAS NOT HEARD, AND which HAVE NOT ENTERED THE HEART OF MAN, ALL THAT GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM’” (1 Cor. 2:9).

If you embrace His principles and the love He has for you, then you, too, will be a “walking testimony” of His love and His power when facing any foe, trial, or tribulation because of your facing divorce testimony!

Right up front let me tell you that God does have a plan for your life.

“‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope’” (Jeremiah 29:11).

These verses tell us that His plan if for good things, not for calamity or disaster as some love to tell you. So wonderful are His plans for you that He says… neither your eye has seen, nor your ear has heard, not even anything that you could have hidden in your heart is as great as what He has prepared for you if you love Him!

This is so true: I cannot begin to tell you of the unbelievable turn of events due solely to trusting God and doing it enthusiastically because I really believed this one principle. I believed He had a plan for my life, therefore, I could run toward it without fear.

He’ll Give You a Choice

The first time I faced divorce the Lord restored my marriage because that was the desire of my heart back then. I truly believed that my heart would no longer be broken if my husband just came back home and my marriage was restored, which was causing me unbearable pain, and that is why you are pursuing restoration too, I’m sure.

But, because I had no fear of my future, I was able to follow the Lord’s principles faster, and enthusiastically (as I said); therefore, this time my husband’s heart turned back even quicker (as I also shared). But that was not the end of it. AFTER our divorce was final, my ex-husband asked me to marry him again! God had given me a choice.

My choice was, once again, based on the desires of my heart (since I have delighted myself in Him again). This time the Lord won! Both of the men in my life (Jesus and my ex-husband) were alluring and speaking kindly to me. However, as I told my husband when he proposed, who could compete with a Husband like I have now!

“My beloved is mine, and I am His… When I found Him whom my soul loves; I held on to Him and would not let Him go…For I am lovesick.” ( Song of Solomon 3:2–4; 5:8).

Dear reader, the choice will also be yours. Don’t think that just because I chose to remain single you will end up that way too if you follow the principles enthusiastically or fall in love with your Beloved, Jesus, as I have. Like Paul I don’t want to put any pressure on you, but instead I just want you to find (as I did) the abundant life that the Lord died to give you. And that abundant life should start now!!

“The woman who is unmarried, and the virgin, is concerned about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and spirit; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how she may please her husband. This I say for your own benefit; not to put a restraint upon you, but to promote what is appropriate and to secure undistracted devotion to the Lord” (1 Cor. 7:34–35). And as for men, verse 32–34, “But I want you to be free from concern. One who is unmarried is concerned about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord, but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how he may please his wife, and his interests are divided.”

Believe it or not, facing divorce enthusiastically will not only turn your husband’s or wife’s heart back to you (though he/she may have to remain caught in the sin until he/she hates it), but this kind of powerful reaction when your husband or wife files or proceeds through with the divorce, will turn out to be one of the greatest and most joyful experiences that you will experience!

How? Why? Because this just may be the closest to the Savior that you have ever been! And with this amount of intimacy with the Lord, your heart just feels like it will burst due to never experiencing this kind of joy—your heart is overflowing with excitement.

Is there absolutely no pain? Truthfully, there was honestly no pain this time; just a tiny pinch and the pinch actually had a sense of “sweetness” to it. Not only that, but the tears that I shed this time were also very different, since they came come from a heart who was grateful for the presence and love of the Lord, not tears shed from pain or loneliness like the first time.

It is my hope and prayer that my testimony and this book will encourage you to go beyond the level of faith that I gained from Vivian in Singapore, who signed her papers. I believe that if you embrace the truth in this book (the principles and the testimonies) that you will be able to go well beyond what either of us have gone in order to give God even greater glory! Vivian and I love to share how blessed our lives are now, due to our trusting the Lord.

Even more that what you will learn in this book, you must first focus on developing a close and intimate relationship with the Lord. This can only happen when you begin to spend more and more time with Him. It was in my prayer closet that I was comforted, and gained the strength to face what I faced the year of my divorce, just yesterday, what I am facing today, and what I will be facing tomorrow.

Fasting also played a tremendous role in my victory over my “self.” It enabled me to be quiet and not comment when my flesh could have said “something.” Instead it was the silence that really brought the victory in each battle I faced. When I added fasting, as the Lord prompted me, I found it brought even greater joy, greater peace, and greater victory to each trial I faced.

Be sure that along with knowing, meditating, and studying these principles, that you apply them after you develop and foster deep intimacy with your Lord—who is now your Husband and you are His bride if you are a woman. And for you men, well, I am not sure how to describe the feels you will have, but no doubt, they will be just as wonderful. Now, listen to this…

“‘Do not be afraid; you will not suffer shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated. You will forget the shame of your youth and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood. For your Maker is your Husband—the LORD Almighty is his name—the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth. For the LORD has called you, like a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit, even like a wife of one’s youth when she is rejected,’ Says your God” (Isa. 54:4-6).

The victory is not that a divorce may be stopped, since very often it takes a husband or wife going through the divorce to really see what he or she threw away (especially with the new man or woman you are becoming!). It’s not just in a restored marriage (as it happened with the other women who signed their papers in faith or what happened to me the first time around). Victory is living His plan for your life—the abundant life He died to give you.

Daily we fight our flesh that wants its own way and cries out to be fed (by doing what we want to do). We fight the enemy who is working tirelessly to steal our testimony, our joy, and our miracle. In the book of Revelation, it tells us that the enemy literally sits at the birthing stool to kill the miracle when God delivers it.

“. . . and she was with child; and she cried out, being in labor and in pain to give birth . . . And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour her child” (Rev. 12:2, 4).

“Shall I bring to the point of birth and not give delivery?’ says the LORD. Or shall I who gives delivery shut the womb?’ says your God” (Is. 66:9).

Please do not wait to read this book all the way through or wait to give it to your friend. Even if your husband or wife has never mentioned the word “divorce,” we have to face the fact that one out of every two marriages end in divorce! I had no idea that my husband would walk in and tell me he was divorcing me the day he did! This utter surprise or shock is the same reaction most everyone experiences too. The fact that you are reading this book right now tells me (and it should tell you) that it may be about to happen in your life, or in the life of someone who is very close to you.

This book was given to you by God to get you ready for what is up ahead so that you can benefit, yes benefit, from facing divorce rather than be destroyed by it! “A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand, but it shall not approach you” (Ps. 91:7).

Without the wisdom, the principles, and the testimonies that God had me gather together just for you, destruction and devastation would certainly happen as it does in most cases of divorce. But with these principles, along with the deep intimacy that you will experience with the Lord (and fasting as you are prompted by the Holy Spirit)—I promise that you will suffer no harm!

In fact, you are about to prosper right in the midst of it all—just as I am doing right now! On the very day that my divorce was to be final I knew that God allowed it, because He LOVES me! He allowed it in order to prosper me, and He allowed it in order to give me an awesome future!

“I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for” (Jer. 29:11 Message Bible).

If you choose to focus on this truth, rather than what you have been focusing on, destruction, you, too, will obtain all that God has set aside just for you! However, if you instead choose to believe the lies that other people are telling you, or you entertain the fear that the enemy is trying to put in your heart, then I guarantee that you will fall just like all the others you know who faced divorce either with fear or anger. Remember, “A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand, but it shall not approach you” (Ps. 91:7).

It simply takes faith and believing what God says in His Word versus what you see or have seen. “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1). “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him” (Heb. 11:6).

Take it from me, and the other men and women who have allowed us to use their testimonies for this book—if you have faith in God and simply walk through this ordeal with Him enthusiastically rather than fearfully, you will experience something only few will ever experience in their life—it is the resurrection power that raised Jesus from the dead! You will literally feel that power flowing through you. Dear reader, you have no earthly idea what God has planned for you. You are about to experience what Lazarus and what Jesus felt when God’s resurrecting power raised them from the dead!

For me it was only after my divorce that I began to feel this power, and this power just cannot be described. I will tell you that it is a feeling that I thought could only be felt once I made it to heaven. Marriage, my restoration, and being loved by a man here on earth cannot compare. Resurrection power, which is founded in the Father’s love (and is the same love that sent us our Savior), is what gave Jesus the ability to be beaten and to hang on the cross.

If divorce is the cross that God has placed before you, dear reader, then fear not—God has given you the strength and peace to pick it up and carry it. And just as Jesus’ death on the cross was only the precursor to His being raised from the dead, you, too will see that God has allowed this to bless you, to prosper you, and to give you a future that you never dreamed could happen to you!

If you are ready to make a commitment to GOD to finish the course, by CLICKING on your JOURNAL you've agreed, and are ready to document this next step along your Restoration Journey in your "My Daily Journal" form. Take your time, sit down, grab your coffee or tea, and pour your heart into your Journal. 

As an “Older women likewise…teaching what is good, that they may ENCOURAGE the young women…” (Titus 2:3) you will have the opportunity to speak to the younger women who are still single as part of your ministry.