What brought you to RMIEW? Please use this space to briefly let them know what your life was like when you first found us, Abigail, so our readers understand just what a miracle your restoration is.
First, my testimony is a bit different than most because I wasn’t the one who was interested in restoring our marriage. It was my wonderful husband who trusted God and brought our family back from the brink of destruction with the encouragement of my mother-in-law who is a long time member and advocate of your ministry.
The other thing that makes mine testimony different is that ours is a second generation restoration. My MIL trusted God to restore her marriage to my FIL so my husband saw that God could do the impossible. Her example helped my husband have the faith necessary and desire to want restoration as he didn’t grow up like I did, thinking as I did, that divorce and remarriage and having step-parents were “normal.”
Now to answer your question about how it all began. It honestly started for me in my childhood. You see my mother is currently on her fifth marriage. I am the only child from my parents who divorced when I was very young, and soon my mother became unhappy and discontent in her marriage believing it was due to “marrying the wrong man.” My dad. Unfortunately, it was the same with each divorce. And it’s not due to my mom not being able to get along with her husbands. It’s due to what happened to her as a little girl. What her father did to her. The unthinkable that festered deep hurts only God can heal. She does have a relationship with the Lord but not like what is taught here at RMI. My mom doesn’t know how the Lord can be her HH. Getting back to me, it was by my watching my mother’s example that I unknowingly put my husband in the place where he became the one to blame when I became unhappy and discontent.
What was worse is that I told my husband he’d failed to be the spiritual leader he’d promised to be to me, which I know broke his heart. Yet, it was true. But I think that was due to my FIL’s example. It was my MIL who’d come to RMI seeking restoration and when my FIL came home he didn’t really man up. I’m happy for my MIL because she’s clearly His bride and that’s her source of happiness.
Knowing I can’t put this off any longer it’s time to confess that I was who cheated on my husband with one of his closest friends. Then I left him, took our son, and he was devastated, totally broken. He never fought back. He never spoke negatively about me but I was quick and eager to tell everyone my side of the story. Of course, both my parents supported me. What else could they do since they both accepted divorce as the norm, remarriage as the next step? So why not their own daughter?
What I found interesting after I heard more of the details is that my MIL never attempted to talk to my husband, her son. She waited until her son came to her and was ready to share how much he wanted me back.
Abigail, how did your restoration actually begin?
Nothing changed for a long time, not until well after I divorced him. Things grew steadily worse. As I said, my husband was broken without his little boy and me. At one point, I heard after we were restored, that my FIL (who cheated on my MIL), my husband’s own father, had been pushing my ex-husband to begin dating. Thankfully my MIL was trusting God and this never happened.
Finally, things came to a head when I’d been threatening to take my ex to court because he was behind on his child support. Yes, you guessed it, something I watched my mother do. I know it was God who led my ex to ask his mom for a loan to pay what he was in back support. Funny thing is, she immediately agreed but then just as quickly told him, “I can’t.” She told us later that God had convicted her that she hadn’t asked her Heavenly Husband. When she did, He said, “Tell him you’ll buyback your cell phone.”
My husband, being the kind son he is, said, “No, it’s yours, you can have it back, you don’t need to pay me for it!” But she was adamant (because she’d heard from God). And the other stipulation was that he had to tell me he’d sold his phone to get the child support. Something else God told her to say. So he did and it was the first time I knew he hadn’t been lying, which is something I’d learned from my mom, “They always lie when they don’t want to pay up” is what she told me.
Instantly, the moment I heard that he’d actually sold his mom his cell phone to give me the money he owed me, I could feel my heart turning! It was like the blinders had been lifted and I could see my husband as the man I’d first married.
How did God change your situation Abigail as you sought Him wholeheartedly?
The day he gave me the child support things changed a lot. I was civil to my husband and I allowed him to see our son. Yep, you guessed it. I refused to let my son see his father until he paid the child support. So the situation changed a lot with this one act that God orchestrated for our restoration.
What principles, from God's Word (or through our resources), Abigail, did the Lord teach you during this trial?
I began to see things differently, from an entirely new perspective. Being honest, I really didn’t know any other principles from God’s Word, but God was teaching me things that I can now see He was doing to help heal me from things I’d lived through in my childhood.
What were the most difficult times that God helped you through Abigail?
Is it okay to share difficulties that happened after we were restored? Because that’s when God began to change me. Much of the traumatic events that had been buried deeply and ignored, soon began to surface after we were blessed with our second son, about a year after our restoration. I began to experience horribly debilitating fears that prevented me from leaving my house. I could not ride in a car, and even now, I am unable to drive. My husband did all the shopping and would pick up take-out because I couldn’t drive to a restaurant.
All of this means that during my brokenness, my dear husband has been following principles of RMI, specifically Genesis 9:22–25. He’s covered my nakedness and has never told anyone! Most of his family doesn’t know the extent of my fears.
Abigail, what was the “turning point” of your restoration?
Once again, God used my MIL. She’d just moved into a house she was redoing. She’d hired my ex to do the painting for her, and then she asked if I’d be interested in helping her decorate. She said she’d pay me. I’d always loved interior decorating and I felt so good she’d acknowledged my talents, so I agreed. It was a good hour drive, so the second time I was coming out, I agreed to drive with my ex.
My ex and I worked side by side a lot of time, and because we were there a full day, my MIL would make us lunch, with all of us sitting together. Once or twice my mom couldn’t babysit, so we would drive out as a family, with our son, and soon we began to feel like a family too!
Soon afterward, we began dating and my ex began hinting how much he’d been hoping we could get back together again.
Tell us HOW it happened Abigail? Did your husband just walk in the front door? Abigail, did you suspect or could you tell you were close to being restored?
Well, this is when things began to get sticky. I was with who you all call the OM (other man), and I just didn’t know how to get out of it. This, I heard later from my MIL who has studied everything ever put out by RMI, is the test that men go through when restoring their marriages. My ex stepped up as the Godly man he is and said, “Just leave it to me. You don’t have to say a thing, I will speak to him and he’ll never bother you again.” I knew my husband and how he was raised, so I never thought that he’d go see the OM to pick a fight or anything like that.
What happened was that my husband took his brother and one other friend to go speak to his (former) best friend. I’m not sure all that he said to him, but these three Godly men made it clear that what he was doing was wrong, and prayed with him, telling him he needed to “get right with God.” And that was it! I was free to marry my husband again. We had a private ceremony performed by a minister, a mutual friend of ours. Also, as I said, my husband was blessed when I had a second son, giving him double what he’d lost.
Another blessing I don’t deserve but my husband does, was the ring I got remarried with. My mother had divorced another stepfather and she gave me her old ring. So I added it to a diamond necklace my father gave me for my twenty-first birthday, so now I have a gorgeous setting that shows what an amazing man I am married to!
Would you recommend any of our resource in particular that helped you, Abigail?
Though I can’t speak from my own experience, knowing the wise woman my MIL is, I would recommend everything. I’ve sent many people to your ministry, but not as many as I probably should. What I should do is just let people who are in trouble know about HopeAtLast.com because that’s simple enough to do without sharing about my past.
Would you be interested in helping encourage other women Abigail?
I hope to share HopeAtLast.com to help other marriages.
Either way Abigail, what kind of encouragement would you like to leave women with, in conclusion?
Nothing is impossible with God. I did nothing at all to warrant a restored marriage but God in His mercy restored my husband and gave him the desires of his heart. May I also say that I hope that no woman reading this envies me because my husband was the one who restored our marriage because I wouldn’t wish my shame on anyone. Reading over what I wrote, I’ve basically blamed my behavior on my parents, mostly my own mom. I guess this is where I am in my restoration journey.
My MIL has told me there are Living Lessons that teach the truth regarding shame. So I hope to be able to read it. In the meantime, I just want to conclude by saying how thankful I am to be married to such a Godly man who had a mother who supported him and listens to God. Thank you.