Before long, however, the ongoing spiritual battle for my husband’s full surrender to God and the influences of the world resulted in yet another separation. Through the ups and downs of our relationship, I have grown in my faith in ways I never thought possible. God has helped me see these trails as His way of sanctifying me, preparing me to be a godly wife, and preparing me to be a help for those in need of healing in relationships.
My family has experienced five consecutive generations of divorce, and I believe God has called me to keep my vows until death in order to put a stop to divorce in this family and to help others do the same. The following testimony is just one of many examples of God keeping His promise to provide all I needed during a very difficult time.
Since our initial separation, I have rented out an in-law suite which is part of our home. Without the rental income it would be impossible for me to pay the mortgage and maintain our home that was built in 1871 and always in need of repair. God sent a wonderful renter who stayed for four and a half years. I was taken aback when she gave me sudden notice that she was moving just before Christmas. I wondered just what God had in mind, leaving me during the holidays without that income and at the worst possible time of year to find a new tenant.
I felt it was time to repaint the apartment and make some other improvements before renting it out again. A project to pass the time during the cold, dreary months of January and February seemed like a good diversion and a way to remain active.
I tried not to use credit cards for the supplies unless absolutely necessary, but the improvements ended up costing more and taking longer than I had expected since I had a full-time job and was doing all the work myself. By May my funds were running low, and when I received notice that my mortgage payment had gone up substantially due to an increase in taxes and insurance, I was devastated.
I cried and asked God to show me what He wanted me to do. Everything in the apartment was completed except for floor covering that was desperately needed in the kitchen and bathroom. I’d purchased the plywood, moldings and tile, but didn’t have the tools or ability to do it myself and did not have the money to pay someone to do the work.
I prayed for direction and decided to step out in faith and post a “For Rent” sign, even though the floors in those two rooms were splattered with paint. I could show the new tile to any prospective tenants and assure them it would be installed before they moved in. I put a small sign out front at 6:00 pm on a Wednesday evening, along with a box containing brochures that described the apartment and included color photos of the rooms. I even positioned the new tiles over the floors that were photographed.
I left the house for fewer than 15 minutes and returned to a phone message from a caller expressing interest in the apartment. I couldn’t imagine how someone who was looking for a small one-person apartment could have seen my sign at such a late hour and called that quickly.
I thought I’d wait until the next day to return the call, but then felt compelled to call back. The woman said she was recently divorced and was interested in seeing the place that night. I initially thought perhaps God was sending her so I could encourage her to pray for her husband and their marriage or to lead her to Christ. Then she mentioned she was a full-time student and didn’t have a job. At that I became skeptical and felt like I was wasting my time showing her the suite, due to my immediate need for financial provision. I couldn’t take the chance on someone who might not be able to pay the rent, but I told her to come on over.
The woman showed up with a friend and immediately fell in love with the place. She told me that earlier the same day she was walking in the neighborhood and passed my house, commenting that she’d love to live there, and prayed about it. This was hours before I put the “For Rent” sign in the yard, and there was nothing to indicate it was vacant or even had a rental suite.
She then assured me that she’d be no trouble because she was a Christian and didn’t smoke or drink. Furthermore, she said she would not be dating or bringing men into the house because, in spite of being divorced, she was wearing her wedding ring and planned to keep her wedding vows forever! I shared that I was also a Christian who was praying for marriage restoration. I could hardly believe what I was hearing. This woman must have been sent by God!
The prospective tenant then proceeded to tell me how she’d shared her faith and her intention to keep her wedding vows with the judge at her divorce hearing. The story sounded very familiar to me. I quickly recognized that I had heard the same account on a Christian radio program months earlier while driving home from work.
Then I realized that her name and location were the same as the woman on the radio! I had been praying for that woman’s marriage and that God would allow me to meet her since she lived in the area and had a passion to start a prayer and encouragement group for women praying for difficult or broken marriages. When I asked if she’d told about her divorce on the radio, she and her friend were astonished. We immediately embraced like old friends.
But in spite of all these signs, I still had concerns about her lack of employment. I gave her a lengthy rental application to complete and went into my own section of the house to pray and contemplate what was happening. It seemed like a Divine appointment, yet I needed to have certainty that she’d pay the rent on time each month. She’d also mentioned that she couldn’t move in until July because she wanted to give her landlord sufficient notice, which I really appreciated; but I’d hoped to begin to collect rent in June in order to make ends meet. I’d also need money to pay someone to install the flooring on short notice. I asked God for clear direction.
She completed the application and then told me she was willing to pay the security deposit and first six months’ rent at once. God had undoubtedly sent her to bless me with financial provision in the eleventh hour and had used me to provide her with the place she’d prayed for. Before the end of May, I received a security deposit plus six months’ rent. Indescribable!
Ever since our remarriage and even while separated, I made a point of consulting my husband before making major decisions. I took too much control over things in our earlier years and I wanted him to know that God had changed me. I called him prior to giving the prospective renter a definite answer. I told him about the woman who wasn’t working but offered to pay six months’ rent at once. I asked if he thought it was okay for me to rent to her. “Why wouldn’t you?” he replied.
He then offered to install the flooring and was relieved that he would have the entire month of June to do the work. He followed through with his offer and talked about a future together as he did the work. God miraculously provided my need in a way greater than I ever imagined. He also confirmed that my heart’s desire to encourage and pray with others for their spouses and marriages was part of His plan for my life and that my marriage would be restored. My husband returned home three months later.
Nothing is too hard for our amazing God!
What a wonderful story. I had an equally wonderful God-inspired reconciliation, only mine took 15 years. Every story is different. God's timing is impeccable, usually longer than we hope or think will happen, but never late. Reading this is the best Christmas present I could wish for. Thank you for sharing it.