Darin’s Testimony Part 4

 

The first sign of life came for me while I was sitting in a hotel room in Louisiana. Far away from my family while I was all alone. This was the first time I said I need to change and I’m going to actually do it. I was scared to do it though, I was scared to talk to her. I was just afraid, I was terrified to do it. I felt it though, I felt I had to do it. It was a huge risk, so risky for me to tell her I wanted to try again. “I cant afford to be wrong here” I said, I was afraid to make the mistake of trying, and not totally giving it my all. Failing again and being even more pissed about it. “I can’t do this to her again” I thought. My mind was in a battle field moment by moment in that hotel room, I was in deep emotional turmoil. I did not have the words to even speak to her. How was I going to do this? I picked up the phone, just staring at it, breathing hard. My eyes welling up. My life was about to change, and I was terrified. I mustered the energy to say it to her, “Julie remember when you said I could come home for any reason, even if it is only for Macy, our daughter and not for you? Do you remember saying that?” That was the best I could do, barely hanging on to each breath in disbelief in the step I was taking.

The first sign of life manifested it’s self! Fueled by the loud but still small voice pursing and calling me. There was no bright light, there was no angelic singing, there was no great weight instantly lifted off my shoulders. There was only me hanging up the phone and sitting there wondering how am I going to do this. Now it was real for me, almost like it had been written in stone, soon I was coming home.

Expectations!

They could have and would have killed me!

They would have drown me, like a water funnel round, round, and round till I plunged down into the drain maybe gone forever!

Expectations!

Prolonging, stumbling, and stalling a potential “Come to Jesus Moment” but in this case it was a “Come to Julie Moment”.

Thats what expectations can do you know? Barley able to pick up the phone in fear and trembling of what I was about to do, I was able to do it because SHE HAD NO EXPECTATIONS OF ME! “Whatever it takes”, I remember her saying to me. God says; There is no Fear in Love, Perfect Love Cast Out Fear and she was willing to live that out. It opened the door for me, there was not a crack to look through, the door was not ajar where I could not see what was on the other side. No, the door was wide open.

Friends I say this with great conviction:

You probably have no idea how God wants your restoration to look like. Does it have to look like you want it to? Does it have to follow the guidelines you set forth? What does God want it to look like? Marriage is planned and beautiful and takes place in one night. Restoration is a process and unpredictable. Ask God to help you leave your expectations behind you. Ask him to help you set boundaries that might be needed in the restoration process. Boundaries are very important sometimes. Seek Him…what does he want you to do?

 

Proverbs 4:23

Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.

 

Boundaries can protect your heart, expectations can infect it.

 

To be continued:

Jules

The “New Normal”

 

God spoke to me many times out of Proverbs 24 regarding my marriage.

In 2008 God used verses 3 and 4 to give me courage by showing me the benefits of not just knowing his word but understanding it.

In 2008 again, God used verses 5 and 6 to remind me of how important and necessary it is to have Pastors, qualified counselors, and faith filled friends in your life when you’re engaged in battle.

Later again in 2008, only this time it was in November, God used verse 27 to tell me it was okay to leave Oregon and move to Michigan.

It was not until I started writing my blog in January of 2011 that God showed me the verses below.

 

Proverbs 24:11-12

Rescue those being led away to death;

hold back those staggering toward slaughter.

If you say,”But we knew nothing about this,”

does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?

Does not he who guards your life know it?

Will he not repay each person according to what

he has done?

 

So what I am saying is this:

Darin and I and our two girls are grateful to God that he himself gave us the courage, ability, strength, and PATIENCE to not accept what is now become the “new normal” regarding marriage. Divorce. And also, we would be in big trouble with God if we did not encourage you to ask God to help you in the same way he helped us.

I know there are many of you that God is asking, like he asked me, to stand, wait, and trust, that He alone can fix things. I believe he  is going to use you to make a difference in this life! You can’t make much of a difference in this world if you don’t have the understanding and authority difficult experience gives you!

It is one thing to say God can do the impossible but listen to me…he really can!!! I have seen it with my own eyes! Darin and I should not be married right now let alone have a good marriage!!!

I used to think our personalities and love for God would get us far in making a difference in this life but I was sorely mistaken. It has been the deep difficult dealings of God that as made Darin and I difference makers…real difference makers!

You will not believe what God has in store for you and your family! But you have to persevere!!!

Don’t settle for the “new normal” regarding your marriage!

Please know Darin and I know this is hard! We know this but you can do it!!! God needs you! He is going to use you to affect change in situations you have only dreamed about!

Don’t accept normal!

And besides normal is ordinary and who wants to be ordinary!

If Esther, King David, Daniel, and Gideon chose to go with whatever was “new normal” in their day they probably would not have even been mentioned in the Bible and even worse many many people would have lost their lives!

Be a difference maker!

 

Jules

I Will Not Be Ashamed!

Romans 1:16,17

I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the Gospel of righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “the righteous will live by Faith.”

Many many times I cried out to God…please let me not be put to shame as I stand on what your Word is telling me to do…as I walk it out in Faith let me not be put to shame!!!!

Please know we are praying!

Jules

My Cake is Not as Bad as His Cake

This is in response to what I have been posting on facebook today 4/7/2014.

You can go to my page and see what I have written

it is public.

You can also request to be my friend and I will accept it.

I remember one of the times that I had to humble myself during our struggle. Darin and I were separated at the time. The circumstances, apart from God’s intervention, were completely and totally hopeless.

Anyway we had special speakers come to our church this one particular weekend. It just so happened that the special speakers were a couple that I went to Bible College with and they were at our church to speak about marriage of all things. Now normally this would have not been a big deal for me even then but the problem is I went on a date with this guy before he and his wife dated and got married. We never seriously dated but when you attend a small college going out with someone its always big deal.

What I now know is God was setting me up for later! He does do that you know!

I believe I led worship that night. If I didn’t lead I was still on the platform on the mic supporting whoever did lead because that is what I did. I remember it so clearly. I walked of the platform and sat down in the back as my friend began to share about marriage.

The whole service would have gone off without a hitch for me except for the fact, that my friend had a prayer time afterwords and asked anyone struggling in their marriage to stand up and he would pray for them. I was sitting there talking to God, looking up at my friend, I was saying to the Lord…are you serious? I have to respond to  an alter call that my friend, who I went out with is doing? No Lord come on!!!! This is just not right! Have I not stood in Faith like a champ? Have I not overcome all kinds of evil with all kinds of good? This is ridiculous!

But I knew in my heart that I needed to humble myself and admit before God that I needed His help.

This was humiliating.

You see I wanted to sit there and eat my cake.

My Cake was Pride and Self-Righteousness and still is by the way!

 

You see I believe as I humbled myself that night at church something began to shift in our marriage. Had I not done some of these things that were very hard to do I might be still standing for my marriage today. The Bible says in 1 Peter 5 that God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Listen to me I NEEDED GRACE! You ask anyone who knows me back then and they will tell you I NEEDED GRACE and according to the Bible there is only one way to get it! When you are standing for your marriage you don’t want God resisting you or opposing you! Come on now!

I am praying for you that you will humble yourself and ask God to begin a work of grace in your life and trust him for your spouses life! You worry about your cake let God worry about theirs!

 

 

Jules

The Dreaded Shed

I don’t think I will ever get tired of

Seeing something in God’s precious Word

That I never ever saw before

Although I have read

And heard this verse literally

Thousands of times

When I was a District Manager for Aflac I use to go to meetings and have meetings. Basically I said the same thing to try to convey what It takes to be successful in the business over and over again. I worked with all kinds of personalities. Some wanted to learn it on their own and others wanted me to show them. Like I said all kinds of personalities. Because of this I had to say the same thing but present it in a different way to make sure my agents could grasp what I was saying.

It was the same in my own business. I had a significant shift when I had a management change above me. My new manager explained things differently and suddenly I got it and I attribute much of my success in my ability to listen to the “new guy”.  I loved the “old guy” but to be successful I had to adjust and listen to the “new guy”.

I realized this morning that Jesus does this for us. He says the same thing over and over and over again. He is relentless.  He is after our hearts and He will not give up on you and me changing. He will  just try a different angle to reach us. He has a lot more angles than I do to reach you. He has a lot more angles to reach your wife than you do. He has a lot more angles to reach husband than you do. He has a storage shed filled with ways to get to our hearts! All of our hearts!

 

Hear me on this…

He is after your heart my friend.

Yes, He is after your spouses heart

But He is after your heart too

Don’t miss this

This is critical

 

 

Psalm 139:1-3

O Lord, you have searched me and you know me

You know when I sit and when I rise;

You perceive my thoughts from afar,

You discern my going out and my lying down;

You are familiar with all my ways.

 

We are praying for you all my dear friends!

 

Jules

Should I Believe or Shouldn’t I

There is something that is concerning me and I believe making people’s stand even longer and that is, this vacillating back and forth. Should I stand or shouldn’t I. Should I believe or shouldn’t I.

We have lost our backbone

The Bible says a double minded man is unstable in all his ways…

Please take time to google that verse and read it

Please take time to read the entire passage

You see you cannot truly fight if you have one foot in and one foot out

So how do you get there

How do you know

God wants you to fight

The Word

You go to the Word

Not your friends

Not your family

Not even your pastor

You must go to the Word

You would never go to your pastor and get their permission to fight for your son’s healing

You wouldn’t ask your Mom

Or your best friend

It would be preposterous

Instead you would call them up and say

This is what has just happened

and

This is how we are going to fight this

 

 

I have been really praying about this for all of you and asking God how can I help them with this back and forth-ness.

So this is what I feel the Lord told me:

Don’t ask the Lord if you guys should get a divorce but instead ask Him if you guys are one of the ones He wants to restore.

And then wait for his answer.

 

We are praying friends!

Jules

This Little Light of Mine

Yesterday I was thinking about all the people I know that do not know Jesus.

I was asking the Lord what I could say

To them

Or what I could do

So that they could see

How great knowing Him is

I said out loud in my car

What could I have done differently Lord

What can I do or say now

The Lord spoke to my heart and said this

Just keep the light on!

 

Matthew 5:14

You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

What I have come to know is this:

Just as keeping your lights on in the physical world is expensive, so is keeping your lights on, in the spiritual world, especially when your are in the middle of a battle as many of you are. I am sure you know this! It is emotionally expensive, physically expensive, mentally expensive, and spiritually expensive. You must know and keep in the for front of your mind that there is huge purpose in this fight you are in. As you stand and believe and fight and wage war against the spirits of darkness I am telling you your light is getting brighter and brighter and brighter. This is the truth! This battle you are in is far bigger than just your family. You have to believe me! There are lives at stake here!

I have had this picture in my mind for several days and I want to share it with you:

I see a women on the narrow road that the Bible talks about and it is very narrow, very very narrow. She is looking straight ahead, all by herself and you can tell it is difficult. But way behind her is her spouse and he is just standing there not moving and behind him is this huge crowd of people.

What I believe God is telling me is this:

There are millions of souls at stake here. This battle that you are facing is about souls. As you fight the good fight and war for your spouse many will come to know Christ. This my friends is not an accident! You see if you fight this fight for just yourself and even your family the pain is almost not worth it but think about the souls. The hundreds of people, perhaps thousands and even millions that are lined up behind your spouse just waiting for your breakthrough. Watching you as you walk the very very narrow road. There are people coming up behind you and one day it will blow your mind.

1 Timothy 6:11-12

But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in they presence of many witnesses.

 

So what am I saying…

There are certain people that will not make it to heaven if you give up!

 

 

Jules

But I Do Lack

Psalm 23

The Lord is my Shepherd, I lack nothing

He makes me lie down in green pastures

He leads me beside quiet waters

He refreshes my soul

He guides me along the right paths

For His name sake

Even though I walk through the darkest valley

I will fear no evil

For you are with me

Your rod and your staff they comfort me

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies

You anoint my head with oil

My cup overflows

Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever

 

There are so many verses that have become so common we don’t even read them anymore. This is one of them and yet if we understood this passage of scripture how we handle our lives would be so different and how we handle other people’s lives would also be very different. We wouldn’t handle them we would let God handle them. So hard to do!

We say

If you will stop doing that

I will lack nothing

On and on….we do not really believe what this passage says

We can quote it and sing all about it

But what comes out of our mouth proves we don’t believe it

 

We are praying for us and we are praying for you that we will get the first verse of this passage right!

 

 

 

 

Jules

You’re Not Lying You’re Just Not Talking

A key element in fighting for my marriage and family was keeping my mouth shut!

I have mentioned this several times but when I was in the middle of our battle I picked 5 people to tell everything to. Our Pastors, my counselor, and two friends. I checked in with these people on a very consistent basis. At least once a week but usually more. It was all very deliberate and on purpose!

What I am writing about today is what I told everyone else that didn’t need to know. Although this might have frustrated some people it was something in my heart I knew was important! I began to realize the more I talked about it the worse I felt. It was like peace would leave my body. Not talking about it helped me stay the course.

 

At the very beginning before everyone knew our situation was bad I for the most part didn’t say anything.

I didn’t even tell my family the first year. God specifically told me not to tell them. I did not tell my family until Darin moved out the first time.

When it became very apparent that our marriage was over because we were never together concerned people began to ask me about it.

They would ask me how is it going and this is what I would say:

It is not going well but I am believing for a miracle! Please keep praying for us!

It was a deliberate on purpose confession!

In my heart I would say, ” Oh you wait and see what God does for me!”

I remember a specific time when I was at a party with a bunch of awesome friends I went to Bible College with. Going to parties sucks when your in the middle of this kind of battle. You want your spouse to be there with you and they aren’t. You see all your other friends with there spouses having fun and oh boy it sucks!!! One of my dear friends asked me how it was going. I said, I am believing for a miracle! It’s not good but I am believing God is going to help us!!! Then I moved on to talk with someone else. This one thing I did shut down a lot of drama!

Listen to this awesome verse! Oh it is so so good!!! Like precious food to the hungry desperate soul!

Isaiah 50:7  

Because the Sovereign Lord helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore have I set my face like a flint and I know I will not be put to shame.

You can’t set your face like a flint if you are constantly talking, hashing over, explaining and ultimately defending your position! I quickly learned that that is what I ended up having to do when well meaning people would ask me about it. I had to defend why I was believing for my marriage! You do not have to defend your stance!!! In the end God will defend you! Easier said than done I know but if you don’t talk you don’t have to explain yourself!

Let’s face it I am looking pretty smart about right now! But I promise you I didn’t look to smart in the middle of it. I looked like I was in denial and crazy and I looked like I was willingly putting my life and Macy’s life in danger.

 A question I get a lot is:

If I don’t tell people am I living a lie?

The Bible says in I Corinthians 13 that Love ALWAYS protects!  Telling people, even concerned people, people that normally you share things with is ultimately not protecting your spouse!

Awhile back our Pastor spoke about Esther. Do you know that Esther kept the fact that she was a Jew a secret. In a sense she was living a lie. Had she let the ‘cat out of the bag’ the story of her life and many others lives would have turned out very differently! It’s okay to protect your spouse by not talking! It’s Bible!!!

You’re not lying, you’re just not talking!

We are praying! May God give you the grace and power to set your face like a flint and have the confidence that you will not be put to shame! We are praying that our story will be your story! Oh God let it be!!!

 

 

Jules

The Wound

I had a dream several weeks ago that I want to share with you. Let me stress it was a dream but very real at the same time.

It was terrible.

In this dream Darin and I were married but did not have any children.

We didn’t have Macy or Skyler.

 

My Dream

Darin and I adopted a baby girl. We got her as a baby and had her for a period of time. In my dream it felt like about a year or maybe even two, I know she was walking. As time passed we were out and about and found this other little girl. For some reason Darin and I started talking and we decided we wanted that little girl instead. So we searched and found one of my friends that would take our first baby we adopted so that we could adopt this other baby girl.

My dream ended with us in a restaurant desperately talking with our agency because we had realized what we had done and we wanted to fix it.

I got up the morning I had the dream and said to myself out loud, that was an awful dream!!!

I felt the Holy Spirit speak to me and say Julie you know how to think of someone doing that makes you cringe inside, gasp and grab your heart, you can almost feel the wound that would occur if that ever happened? You can literally feel the deep rejection and feel the deep wound. The wound would be so deep you could not measure it. Even if it was a necessary situation it would still be just as heartbreaking. I said yes Lord…he said that is the closest example I can give you of what it feels like to me when there is a divorce.

I don’t know how to explain what I was feeling quite right but it is as if there is a gaping wound, deep wound in heaven. That when a divorce occurs the pain is actually felt in heaven. The pain actually travels in space from your heart to God’s heart. That heaven actually gasps with sorrow with every single divorce! When you divorced Heaven gasped.

 

Please know we are praying for everybody we know!

 

Jules