“Stretch forth thy staff”
The question many of you are asking yourself may be, “Is there life after divorce?” Absolutely! There is a wonderful life after divorce, as long as you keep your eyes on the Lord and seek the abundant life He has for you—with you as His bride.
Here is a note that I from one of our RMI members, who lives in Texas with her three small children.
Oh, how I love Jesus. No other words can express how dear He is to my heart. I know you understand what I am saying—though many don’t. Your life and weekly messages have inspired me to live the life I never thought was possible AFTER divorce!
Tina in Texas
The abundant life is not always (probably never if we are honest) the life that we “think” we want. In my life, I always wanted to be just a stay-at-home mother. I wanted to live a life of obscurity. I loved to stay at home, never going out much. This is the life I tried to hold onto and begged God to have. But His abundant life, the life that you and I were created to live, and not the kind of life we probably tried to hold onto!
I was divinely created to minister to a small group of women, “for such a time as this” and due to this, I have been asked to travel around the world with ongoing invitations to come and speak. Though at a very young age I gave my life to God, and made Jesus “Lord of my life,” I knew I was not my own because He had bought me with a price—He shed His blood so I could live. But though I had said He was my Lord, and obeyed each command, principle, and His leadings, I was still trying to hold onto what I thought would make me happy!
Then as I spiritually matured, I chose to let go of what I thought would make me happy, and instead held on to Who I knew would make me happy—the Lord, my new Husband. Each day, and each new year brings me (and my family) to a higher level of spiritual maturity and more joy into all our lives! And though I know I have not yet “arrived,” I am at least a little farther in my life; I am finally at a place of total and complete surrender. It began with facing divorce a second time, the debt I was left, and the neediness of the women around the world (after starting in my church, then reaching out to my community), to bring me out of my comfort zone and for me to begin to live the abundant life God had for me all along!
And now it is about to be completed after I walk away with nothing but what I can hold in two suitcases and a carry-on suitcase to live in Europe. All my worldly possessions, every person I love, all my belonging—have now been given to someone else, so that I am free to allow the Lord to lead me into a life that He promised when He first showed me that there was an abundant life that He died to give me and you!
God is now giving me the desires of my heart that He placed there, but they are not the same as what was in my head, which I had placed there for years. And your future, the one that He puts in your heart, is so incredible that it would seem just “too good to be true” and certainly “not you!”
For the rest of my life, who knows, I may be traveling (something I always hated to do), but my heart is filled with joy that wants to overflow! My children will be miles from me (on the other side of the world), but I know that their heavenly Father is watching over them, since He is my Husband; therefore, He is their Father and is always with them. And forevermore He will always “surround us with favor” just as He has done in our lives since I first began to seek Him above all else.
“Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever” (Psalm 23:6).
And because of my obedience by surrendering my life to the Lord, specifically by traveling when I am a simple homebody, the showers of blessings (financial and opportunities) are opening up and pouring down all over my family, my ministry to women, and on me! The same will happen with you as you surrender your life and expect blessings that He has stored up for you. “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).
Once a divorce goes through, so many of your friends and family members will try to encourage you to “move on.” Those who love us or who believe they know what everyone else is supposed to do are going to keep pressing you. So rather than setting yourself up for more pressure from well-meaning friends and loved ones, I would encourage you to “agree” with them and move on by developing a more intimate relationship with the Lord! You never know what He has for the two of you up ahead.
When asked, you don’t have to be specific, but a relationship with the Lord is the only thing that will make your future bright and heal any pain or loneliness you have.
Most people today (family, friends and coworkers) believe that it is important to find “yourself,” or take time for “yourself.” Yet, the way to find real happiness, and joy— joy that no one can take from you, is to really discover who you are in your relationship with the Lord. To learn what a joy it is in being His bride, not just a wife to someone.
Another benefit to agreeing is that as long as your ex-spouse has any inclination at all that you still want him/her, and you still have not let go of your marriage, you will see your spouse more committed to the man or woman your spouse left you for! And even if that relationship ends, they will stay angry and mean towards you. And as I said earlier, if you pursue the Lord, your ex will begin to pursue you, and allure you, instead of the other way around! I know.
This happened just days after my divorce was final; actually, it really happened even before that! When I think about it, it actually started the day after we both had signed the papers for the divorce to go through.
My husband began telling me how beautiful I was, running errands for me, and following me around the house when he was there to visit the children. He even set up his laptop (that he can use anywhere in the house) right next to me all day!
Because of my financial situation, and because his pull (the cords that have him bound) was still very much for the AW, he was forced to move hours away, moving in with his mom (in the same state as the AW). “His own iniquities will capture the wicked, and he will be held with the cords of his sin” (Proverbs 5:22) God moved him away for a reason, and part of it was the anticipation (or should I say, dread?) of moving away from our children, and even me! Imagine that!
The day before he was to move, I was flying to speak to women in another state, and he would be gone before I got back. Knowing he would not see me again, he called later that morning to see if we could go out for lunch. I joked, “Oh, a lunch date?” and he said, “Yes, a date. I will come pick you up so we can have more time to talk in the car.” Again taking the offensive position, rather than cowering in a defensive position, I asked if he had something serious to “talk” to me about. He assured me, no.
However ladies, you and I are painfully aware that most men are not on the same playing field emotionally as a woman is, and also they are not able to “understand” how things can be painful to us. That is why the Bible admonishes men to realize this. In 1 Peter 3:7 it says, “You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.”
It is only when men live “by the spirit” and are led by Him, that they will be able to treat women with “honor as the weaker vessel, since [we] are women.” For us to expect this from a man who either doesn’t know the Lord, or has not made Jesus truly Lord of his life (the way we have done) is simply setting ourselves up for hurt and disappointment.
So with this in mind, even though he “said” that there was nothing he seriously he needed to speak to me about, I knew to prepare myself. The Holy Spirit, too, was ahead of me since I was led to fast that morning. When he arrived, he came into my bedroom to see if I was ready, when he pulled out an envelope that I recognized right away, since he always kept it safely in the top drawer of his dresser. It was the first letter I sent him, along with my picture he kept for 24 years.
As I mentioned previously, I again took the offensive so as not to fall apart, and said enthusiastically, “Oh, thanks! I will put these pictures in our family photo album. The children will probably like to see them some day. But I don’t want the letter I sent, so since you don’t want it, I will just throw it away” and I walked over to drop it into the trash. Instead of being hurt, the pain fell on him and pierced his heart, not mine. I know that he had hoped that I would save it.
My intent is not to hurt anyone else. My goal is to make sure I continually walk in God’s perfect will and to enjoy the abundant life Jesus died to give me. When we walk in His perfect love, it casts out all fear and we experience no more tears and no more sorrow.
Just about a week later the Lord spoke to me that for each incident there is just ONE set of hurt, one set of pain, one set of shame. If we are willing to take the pain or shame—it is ours! But if we, by the leading of the Holy Spirit, refuse to take it, then it will fall where it needs to be in order to bring about a change in the other person: our husbands and even the OW.
The first time around, I was more than willing, to take it all!! All the shame, pain, guilt, you name it—I took it—every negative emotion. The result was my cowering in pain in my tiny townhouse, afraid to go out (lest I run into “them”). I that made me a prisoner of all those hurts! This time, praise the Lord, He has set me free!! And now my heart is to set each of you free!!!
It is not just so we can be free from the pain, but the Bible says that sinners need to experience “Godly sorrow” without regret, that leads to repentance! “For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death” (2 Corinthians 7:10).
Our goal is to work with God and be aware of how He does things; it is learning to understand the principles of spiritual warfare, which too many Christians have no idea how to fight correctly. It is not simply shouting at the devil; it is living the principles and spiritual laws that the universe was created by.
By the end of the lunch “date,” he kept me in the car trying to build up the courage to ask me what he had really wanted to say before I left the next day. He finally had the nerve to say what he wanted to say; my ex-husband asked me if things didn’t work out with the “other person” (meaning with the AW) would I ever consider marrying him again?
This means that within two weeks of the divorce being final, he had already actively begun to pursue me, but it was God’s plan that he would not “overtake me.”
Just the day before, I had been encouraging another restored woman with an email who was facing the same thing with her husband leaving once again, to pursue yet another woman. So I had advised her to keep telling the Lord how HE was all she wanted, HE was all she needed, and only HE could make her happy.
Since everything I’d gone through was fresh in my mind, I began another “dose” of this prescription myself. So much so, that I found myself in my prayer closet pleading with God to keep it “this way” always! That morning, I was overwhelmed with this burning desire, “Please just let it be You and me Lord, reconsider restoration! I am just so happy with You and me alone!”
So when my ex-husband asked me, without thinking (but clearly led by the Lord) I said, “No, I don’t ever want to be married again.” He sort of chuckled and said (since he was aware of the RMI ministry principles I taught in our church Bible studies) that I was only saying this because he would think I was pursuing him if I said yes. That “no” was what I needed to say, since I needed to follow the principles I taught.
I assured him, no, this is how I really felt; that I clearly was no good at being a wife, and when you are no good at something, you don’t really enjoy it. I said that since this all happened I had never been happier in my life, and that I wanted to instead devote myself to my children, the Lord, and my ministry wherever that took me.
My ex-husband turned away and when he turned back, there were tears in his eyes. While he was turned away, I realized that the Lord had set me up to say just what I had said, and He had set my ex-husband up to hear that the doors were all closed for him. That the only One he could turn to would be the Lord, while things (with the AW) were not working out, which he spoke to me about after that.
Honestly, though I felt a bit sorry for him, the greater emotion was that this was more amazing than anything I could have imagined would happen. I have been in awe of the Lord for years, but this was beyond anything I had ever heard or seen! It strengthened my faith and trust in God like never before, and I could see, clearly, that every promise He had given me would come to pass!
God created men to seek after a woman, and as long as there is a chase, he is happy and is in hot pursuit of her. But once a man has caught the woman, he is no longer intrigued, and will soon seek after something or someone else. As women, our eyes need to stay on the Lord. We were created with an insatiable desire for spiritual things, so our “hot pursuit” needs to be for our Lord. I am not talking about more Bible studies, seminars, books, or conferences. It is the “closet time” alone with the Lord, and spending time in His Word (His love letters to us), on date nights with Him and those special times He has planned for you.
Though spending time with a husband is nice, spending time alone with the Lord is GREAT! Just like I used to “snuggle in the morning” or “talk all night like a slumber party” with my husband when we were married, I am doing that with my new Husband now. Wow!! And this Husband brings no sorrow or pain with it. No marriage is perfect, but some, as I know you know, are down right painful. With the Lord, there is no pain, never any!
Instead of experiencing this kind of married life, today women are chasing men to marry them and have to continue to chase them when they leave them for another relationship. My sons (before marrying) were always facing this dilemma, since the girls were always pursuing them, and that made them totally disinterested! Even the girls’ mothers began pursuing our sons for their daughters. It is a dark and fallen world.
Only as we are willing to let it all go, will we see the salvation and blessings of the Lord. I pray that each of you will do all it takes to find the abundant life God has for you! Pursing the Lord with all your heart may mean restoration, it may not; but it will mean: joy, peace, and a heart that overflows with excitement when you wake up each day.
*For more information or details to encourage you that there is life after divorce, please read the next two Michele Michaels My Restoration Journey True Story Novels: Finding the Abundant Life, and then Living the Abundant Life that she wrote while going through her divorce and what led to way beyond her wildest dreams!
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.