One of the more important principles Sue and I learned and faithfully followed was:
James 1:5 says, "But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him."
This means rather than speaking to anyone else, who can easily spread gossip and create a worse situation in your marriage —be sure that you find a "like-minded" ePartner who will encourage you that true comfort will be found ONLY in your prayer closet with the "God of all Comfort" your HH.
2 Corinthians 1:3-5 says, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God."
Only this truth will keep you moving forward in your Restoration Journey. And they only way to be like-minded is to send your friend or family member or woman you meet to HopeAtLast.com. Encourager her to fill out the MEQ. Then encourager her to do oneCourse 1 lesson per day and then agree to meet once a week to share praise reports and to search for answers to any particular crisis or trial either of you are facing. You may also want to focus on just ONE Restored Marriage Testimony—discussing the different principles and truths you each notice that will help you be in the position for GOD to restore your marriage!
Rather than offer any advice, agree that as ePartners you not only seek the Lord individually and together but that you will be there to lift each other up when one falls. Because "Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up"— Ecclesiastes 4:9-10.
Sue and I were not asked to apply this principle with each other, because my “fall” happened later on when my restoration suddenly “happened” —then only a few weeks later, my husband left again when I lost all hope.
It was then that the 4 women who had been meeting with me, women I poured out all that I learned into, who became the 4 women of faith who carried me to Who could help me. Just like the Paralytic in Mark 2:1-12 who was carried and laid at the feet of Jesus, these four women, whom I had taught and encouraged, were spiritually strong enough to carry me to the feet of Jesus. A month later my marriage was fully restored and my ministry also began to expand.
This too is the pattern we’ve set up for you. Once you’re far enough along in your Restoration Journey, that's when we encourage you to also consider joining Restoration Fellowship that is the most suited to a unique group of women who you can most relate to.
"But Moses’ hands were heavy. Then they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it; and Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side and one on the other. Thus his hands were steady until the sun set"—Exodus 17:12
"For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst"—Matthew 18:20
I found it impossible to find anyone in my church who believed as I did. Soon after we met, Sue confided that she didn’t go to the church where we met each other and had stopped attending her church due to the gossip and the “advice” that her pastor gave her. Her pastor told her Sue’s husband would never return AND that it would be “indecent” of her to even want her unfaithful husband home.
Something similar had happened to me when my pastor sent me to the singles ministry (you’ll read more about the details later in one of the Rebuilding Lessons). So for a time, I too, stop attending church, but it’s when I began my fellowship helping other women— until a pastor who heard what I was doing, asked me to come and build my ministry for women in his church.
We’ve found over the years of ministering, that very often women who made the mistake of sharing too much, feel it necessary to leave their church. So for women who see the benefit of letting go of their church, please consider joining Restoration Fellowship where you'll discover YOU are His church, His bride, and you'll see yourself growing spiritually and emotionally like never before.
Matthew 7:13-14— “Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter by it. For the gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find it.”
So many women look to their friends and groups that openly talk about their relationships, which is the broad and wide gate that leads to destruction. Choosing the narrow gate means a Restoration Journey traveling alone with and getting to know your Heavenly Husband. It's what will heal you while ultimately preparing for your restoration because you'll need you HH even more after your marriage is restored. :)
Now that you're one of the few who found the narrow gate, the way to find your ePartner is to ask God to show you where she is in order for you to encourage each other.At almost the exact same time, both Sue and I ask God for someone to encourage. Click here to read A Friend Named Sue. After Sue's marriage was restored, she continued encouraging individual women she met or knew, which is what He was calling her to do. For me, as you know, He called me to begin helping more and more women like you! Who knows, maybe He's calling you to have your own ministry. Whether it's big or small, in your community or online—there are millions of women who are being abandoned and cheated on every day. Women who are then being told destructive methods, more poisonous lies and solutions, that make their marriage worse.
Do you still feel terribly alone?
No one you know seems to understand or care?
Trust me, when I began my Restoration Journey decades ago, in 1989, everyone thought I was crazy and what I was attempting to do was impossible!!
In 1990, after a year of feeling that I was as crazy as people said, I cried out to God to send me just ONE person who understood what I was going through—the Lord immediately answered my cry.
First, He sent me His Word (the Bible my husband had left behind), which guided and comforted me. And what He showed me is now what is written and documented in our books and videos. And now He's answered your cry too, by finding RMI and everything we offer.
Then, about a year later, a year into my Restoration Journey, once I had a strong foundation of the truth and a close and intimate relationship with the Lord—that's when—He brought a very special friend into my life who I found out was living through a similar situation I was in! Sue and I became our ministry's first paired ePartners—an Encouragement Partner to travel with me along the remainder of my Restoration Journey!! Though I was looking for someone to encourage me, which ultimately Sue did, with the intimate relationship I had with my HH, He wanted me to be there to encourage Sue, then later, many many more women!
Before explaining, let me back up to explain why it's important that we invest our time seek God to find and encourage other women.
After I'd experienced one disaster after another by listening to so many different people and even those who claimed to be experts. People who wanted to tell me what to do, including going to a certified Christian marriage counselor, which convinced me that I would never ever go to another counselor, ever and be open about telling other women to stay away too! Like many, many, many women who fill out our marriage evaluation questionnaire, my husband and I had tried counseling early on in our marriage—and each time we experienced, even MORE, destruction that weakened our relationship!! Why? Well to start, none of the counselors we found had experienced a restored marriage themselves, so no wonder they told me so many things that made everything much, much worse!! Sadly, I had to find out the hard way that a "licensed" counselor, people we paid who were giving me advice had never even applied most of the same advice to his or her own life or marriage and as I said, none had a restored marriage! I shudder to think of how many times I made the horrible mistake of following other people's advice that eventually made my life and marriage worse?!?! And that most women are still doing the same thing! This is why you learning the truth and having the heart to help other women, is so very important.
Also, I didn't need someone telling me things that I later found were based on psychology and was often, they are destructive methods and have sprinkled Christianity and taken scriptures out of context to prove their theories, which have been proven to be false. Even when the person was a Christian Counselor or a pastor I got the same answers that made my marriage worse. That's when I knew I needed the truth from the Word of God and hear what direction to take directly from Him so I wouldn’t keep going around and around falling into one ditch after another!
This is important to note. Even though you have learned His Word, you (and no one else) is able to direct anyone else along their Restoration Journey. As an ePartner you need to encourage other women, family members, anyone you meet to simply tell God they want a relationship with His Son, in order for HIM to guide them along their journey—to answer the many questions, concerns and calm their fears.
I was shocked when I needed help that, not only were counselors telling me things that were destroying me, but I went to some of the best preachers in our area who completely discouraged me and told me things that were completely contrary to what the Bible says. I first went to my own pastor who had no clue how to help me even though, soon after our meeting, I heard he was heading up ALL the churches of our entire state! This well-respected and admired pastor simply sat there in shock that I had any desire at all to even “want” my marriage restored after I shared my situation with him!! And his advice, which I took but quickly regretted, was to join the singles group at our church—and he knew I was still legally married!!
Why didn't this man of God encourage them to speak directly to Him? Why didn't He explain that I was His bride?
After the fiasco and shock of attending just one singles group meeting (when I was approached by at least a half a dozen men, ugh!), it took a full year of traveling along my Restoration Journey alone, for me to really come to the place to feel the need to find someone who did not think I was crazy, but I trusted no one. And the reason He waited so long was that I had also come to the point of wanting to help other women!
So I was very careful because I had finally come to the point of recovering from so much bad and destructive advice and I simply couldn’t emotionally afford having anyone else make my situation any worse than it already was. It was then that I cried out to God for someone, just one woman, who didn't think I was crazy!! And He did!
Remember, due to us documenting our journeys in the Restore Your Marriage book Course 1 and A Wise Woman, Course 3 —you can get through your Restoration Journey much faster and ask God for your ePartner because you can also point them to HopeAtLast.com so that we can hold her hands up in praise. Exodus 17:12, “But Moses’ hands were heavy. Then they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it; and Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side and one on the other. Thus his hands were steady until the sun set.”
“They looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces will never be ashamed”—Psalm 34:5
“Strength and dignity are her clothing and she smiles at the future”—Proverbs 31:25
“You’ll get a brand-new name straight from the mouth of God"—Isaiah 62
Many of you have women you know who need to find the narrow gate that you found and entered, women you know or will probably meet who would benefit from taking Course 1 just as much as you did. You may know they are going through difficulties OR you may not be aware of it at all since many of us keep marriage difficulties (like adultery or our husbands leaving us) to ourselves. But GOD knows!
That's why it's also important for you to be discreet, because very often when the OW knows you're interested in restoring, she'll try even harder to hold onto the man she captured (read Proverbs 5:3-4) and husbands will continue building a stronger hate wall.
This is why the Lord has given you this time, to get your relationship with your HH solid, then to ask God to send you your first ePartner, which is basically betting your ministry started. To do so, it's important to begin using your BNN "Brand New Name" and the name He's given you for your ministry—because all He's asking is that you simply minister and care for ONE other woman at this time.
My ePartner and Who is at the Center!!
This week has been glorious! I have been receiving confirmation after confirmation of my Heavenly Husband’s love for me! I could feel His love, especially today. Today I met with my best friend, who happens to be establishing her relationship with the Lord too. She has been reading the Bible and we have met regularly to talk about the scriptures and what God has talked to and done in our lives.
In the past, since we have been friends for over 9 years now, we used to meet to have coffee and "talk" about our relationships. We thought we were the good ones in the relationship and our EHs were the bad guys. You can’t imagine how many things we shared and how many "good" advice's we gave to each other. Obviously, these talks were more centered in our suffering and our solutions were not based on what our HH plans for wives. But today, it was different!
We met for about 2 hours. We had our coffee as usual and without any conversation plans at all, because He is at the center of our lives now, we naturally started talking about all the wonderful things the Lord had done for us this week. We didn’t talk negatively about our marriages or discuss any personal situations that affected us. On the contrary, the Lord led us to speak positively. Our time together was so different this time! When we weresayinggood bye, I told my friend how happy I was, because we were talking about our HH. We realized it was the first time the center of our conversation was the Lord and nothing else. Time flew and we left feeling very blessed to have Him as our Husband. A Man you can never complain about!!!
“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.” (Proverbs 17:17)
“For I am not ashamed ofthegospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16)
~ Sara in Colón
We have attempted to pattern what the Lord did for me by explaining to our students that an ePartner, an "encouragement partner," is best to find AFTER a woman has had enough time to focus on the Lord. This prevents us from foolishly running to an ePartner for answers, or support, or comfort—or, simply to chat or gossip or lean on. Personally, it took about seventeen months for me to travel my RJ alone, and for Sue, she walked alone with the Lord for four long years! Now looking back, this time was the most precious for both of us. So do your best to ENJOY the Journey because we promise you, it will be the times you look back on as the most precious for you too!
If you believe your HH is truly first in your life, and you've finished Course 1 and Course 2 , and you're ready to begin helping other women, then ask GOD for your own ePartners—another woman you can pray with and ask Him to send you even more women to encourage!!
As I said, it was about a year along my Restoration Journey to restore my marriage that I found my ePartner Sue. I had so much opposition by this point and had never even heard of even ONE marriage that had been restored. And as I also said, the reason for the Lord having me wait a year was so I could find all the principles in His Word—which you are now given immediately along with books filled with restored marriages! AND even more importantly—to make sure that my relationship with Him was first, so I wouldn't make the mistake of being more connected to anyone else (like an ePartner) or foolishly expect her to guide me (or me thinking I could guide her).
Let me share with you how it happened for me to encourage you how supernaturally it can happen for you!
One day while in my prayer closet, after literally crying out to God, I envisioned a woman I had seen, but never met in a Bible study I had taken but had ended.
I had no idea what her name was or how to get in touch with her, but somehow I knew this was someone who understood and who the Lord was giving me as an answer to my prayer who would confirm I wasn’t crazy for believing God could do the impossible. When I asked God to confirm that I was hearing Him correctly, He led me to my old Bible study notebook where I saw the phone number of my bible study teacher. The Lord continued to lead me to call her, and when I called, I stammered trying to figure out how to ask about this woman whose name I didn't even know. I also did know how to explain the reason why I wanted to contact her (because by then the Lord had taught me discretion and I didn't want to tell the teacher about my marriage issues). Even without me saying anything more, my teacher interrupted me and simply said, "Her name is Sue and she has already called asking for your phone number"!! The teacher said nothing more but gave me Sue's number. I said a quick goodbye, and I hung up quickly to call Sue.
Sue and I agreed to meet for the first time at a nice quiet restaurant, and though at first, we both felt awkward, we soon opened up and shared why God brought us together. Sue said her husband had been "working" in another state for the past 5 years, coming home only every few months for a weekend visit, but she suspected early on there was another woman. Unlike the mistake I had made, Sue had wisely never confronted her EH or even asked anything about what was going on. This showed me she could be trusted and would help me stay on the narrow road I was called to travel on.
When she finished, I shared my situation and made it a point to also “boast” about all my blunders and mistakes (read 2 Corinthians 12:9 to see this powerful principle). It felt so good to confess to someone who I knew didn't judge me, would not dole out foolish and destructive “advice” but instead, was someone who I could see understood that He could do the impossible. That night I was about to birth my own ministry. That night, together we prayed and I asked God to send me other women who also needed the encouragement we had found.
After we prayed for each other (James 5:16), we then agreed to meet every Friday evening. And as I said, I also felt led to pray that if there were any other women who needed encouragement, to please send them to me. *Little did I know that He would bring thousands of women to me, desperate for help, but I still had a lot to learn before He would send any more women into my life. What you now have available to you!!
So the very next Friday night, Sue and I began our first fellowship meeting at a fast food restaurant. For hours we would spread out our many Bible versions (KJV, New American Standard, NIV; I believe we had 8 versions of the Bible in all) and there we would pore over His Word on every crisis or trial we faced. What's so exciting is that now you have all these resources on your computer or phone where you can also pour over to search for and find any crisis or trial you or your ePartner is facing. You also have our Courses to refer to.
We chose Friday nights because we knew it was when many couples had a "date night" and we made a bold declaration that what we started would become a constant event once we were each restored. And that is just what happened—it became a tradition we began together and then later continued with our husbands after we were each restored—having a Friday or Saturday date night. Even my married children have carried on the tradition.
Make the same agreement with your ePartner. Begin encouraging just One other woman. Start by sharing HopeAtLast.com and tell her to fill out the Marriage Evaluation Questionnaire. Tell her to then do one lesson per day and then agree to meet once a week to share praise reports and to search for answers to any particular crisis or trial either of you are facing. You can "meet" by going to each other's homes (if both of you are separated or divorced), or you can go to a fast food restaurant (if you have children) like Sue and I had. If you don't live close to one another, you can now easily "meet" with your ePartner via a video chat.
What's important if you're serious about you both being restored is:
1. NEVER focus or discuss the negative, instead, while you're getting ready to meet, ask your HH to remind you of praises to share to uplift each other. If you can't think of any, share what you read that week on our Encourager blog.
2. NEVER gossip or share intimate details you wouldn't want your EH sharing with his friend. Instead, share about what you learned, new verses that have encouraged you or maybe a new ♥ Love Song the Lord gave you that week.
3. DON'T start meeting for a pity-party that will destroy you both. Instead determine that all crisis and heartbreaks will be discussed in your own prayer closets, with your Heavenly Husband, who will comfort deep where it hurts. Then, you will find you don't have the need to share it with anyone else, and you'll be free to move forward.
Each week, without fail, Sue and I would sit in a freezing, overly air-conditioned booth, confessing faults, poring over our many versions of the Bible we had spread out on the table and began living the principle of discretion.
4. NEVER ask each other the answer to anything or ask each other details. If you begin to ask each other (when neither of you knows where your individual RJ are heading), you'll soon begin to get lost AND more than likely, He will cause you each to loath the other as it says in Psalm 88:18, “You [God] have removed lover and friend far from me; My acquaintances are in darkness.” Psalm 88:8, “You [God] have removed my acquaintances far from me; You have made me an object of loathing to them; I am shut up and cannot go out.”
Sue and I also made sure to NEVER ask each other the answer to anything or ask each other details that we felt we should not reveal to each other (thus covering our husband’s nakedness see Genesis 9:22–25).
Instead, we would go to the Lord, ask Him our question, and then He would show us the answer by leading us to a passage of Scripture, then to another and another when we’d read it out loud from all the versions of the Bible—until we knew we understood the principle.
Once home, we would each fill one 3x5 card after another to read the principle over and over and over again. This routine and what we learned is what finally became How God Can and Will Restore Your Marriage and A Wise Woman.
The reason we met together was to seek the truth about everything we had questions about regarding our marriages, our husbands (who were both gone), and our children. Sue had three teenage daughters, while I had four small children: 3 boys ages nine, seven, four, and a daughter who was two.
Each of you will have more questions, most are answered somewhere along your journey, but don't miss to take advantage of the amazing opportunity you have to ask God and then have your HH answer you! It's so encouraging while helping you to become closer and closer to Him!
6. Confess YOUR faults, boast about them, but never reveal the sins or speak of others.
"Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man [or woman] can accomplish much"—James 5:16
2 Corinthians 12:9-11, "And He has said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about MY weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.’”
Proverbs 28:13, “He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion.”
After reading about a new principle each week, whenever Sue or I realized we'd messed up, we stopped to confess and then promised to pray for each other. Because of this, each week we had PRAISE to share as we each watched how He was healing, and what He promised, took place in each of our lives!
For instance, one evening asked God to show us how to deal with an upcoming holiday, which He did. Another time we asked Him to show us how to handle when our husbands came to visit and He did. And also, how to handle when our husbands said they would come but when they didn't show up. Each night we asked, He led us and we found verses to confirm what He was showing us, which led to more and more wisdom.
“Come here and listen to me! I'll pour out the spirit of wisdom upon you and make you wise”—Proverbs 1:23. When we discovered this truth, that's when we began reading a Proverb every morning to gain wisdom. Later on, when we both attended a conference we learned the need to read through all the Psalms and Proverbs each month, and we both began doing that too.
From the one truth, we then found this verse that opened our eyes...
“Do not be envious of evil men, nor desire to be with them…By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; and by knowledge, the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches”—Proverbs 24:1, 3–4
We knew He was telling us that it was not time for us to “desire” to be with our husbands. Instead, He wanted us to be excited about our new friendship, but much more important—to be excited about our relationship with the Lord as our Husband. And in order to foster our most important relationship, with Him, we agreed to never call each other anytime during the week so that we would be careful to turn to the Lord and not to each other and to have our deepest conversations with Him.
Part of His wisdom we sought to know about was how to deal with was the "other woman" in our husbands' lives: one we knew existed and the other one we weren't sure but suspected. Each and every question we had we took to Him. The verses we found during our first few weeks together now makeup Chapter 14 "First to Throw a Stone" in the Restore Your Marriage book.
Over the course of just one summer, the Lord supernaturally, lovingly and patiently showed us one new verse after another in the Bible, which we knew to embrace and meditate on as the truth and therefore we able to follow each principle in faith. And each time we did, we began to see our restorations improving!!
We began meeting every Friday evening in the month of May and by September, less than 4 month’s later, Sue's marriage was actually RESTORED! I would never have believed it was possible had I not been part of it and had seen it with my own eyes!! After living in another state for five years, who we suspected (and once he was home found out) was living with another woman—Sue’s husband returned home and became faithful to her alone!! This same man, the same one who everyone said would never come back, what they said was impossible— returned home. AND, not only did he return home, but they have lived happily ever after for years and years and years.
The Lord gave me an opportunity to see Sue and her husband together a few weeks after they were restored, and he took the opportunity to encourage me. He said, “Erin, I want to tell you that even though your husband says he doesn’t love you anymore, he does. And if you are treating him even half as kindly as Sue was treating me, with love, even though I treated her horribly; then he’ll be back. Don’t give up.”
It was shortly after Sue's marriage was restored when God began bringing other women into my life— desperate for help and encouragement. And, due to the success of my relationship with Sue and how we did things, I began sharing the same things with them.
Though each wanted to be my ePartner or have one of their own, I would encourage them to begin their RJ alone with the Lord, until they got to Course 3—to make sure they too were depending on the LORD completely and would not go to anyone else for their answers.
*I knew there was no way I could be there for every woman myself, and neither can you. Besides, Who but GOD knows where each RJ will lead?
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