A cry for encouragement…

OK friends help me here because I’m struggling.

I know that the enemy is working overtime against me, as I sit here at my children’s soccer games in my wife and her lover’s city of residence… I know that I’m struggling because I have to watch my kids cuddle with my now ex-wife, her lover, and his mother while I sit here, alone in a strange place. Either way, the spam from hell is rolling in. I know it’s lies, but I really need some encouragement. All I have here is discouragement. Even my closest friends and mentors have given up on my stand. I have recently had about five very mature brothers in Christ pretty much tell me that I am not going to be restored. One even told me that the Holy Spirit told him not to pray for restoration for me. I asked God for a sign of encouragement (Covenant Trucks), and He gave me the opposite sign (Payne Trucks) about 18 times in the last two months, and not one Covenant Truck.

Then, today, on the way to the soccer game, I see two Covenant Trucks, one of which is the painted over variety. I feel like a wave blown and tossed by the wind. I don’t want to be double minded. I want to be standing or not standing. The thing is, if I’m not going to be restored, I’m not going to stand just out of obedience and self-sacrifice. Unless God sends an angel into my bedroom to tell me I must stand in lieu of restoration to be a light in these dark times, I want to stop being lonely and miserable.

I’m an educator, and for better or worse, my whole life revolves around data. We don’t use a technique in the classroom unless the numbers back it up. So, here is my struggle. I can’t bring to mind one single testimony of a prodigal wife turning around without seeing her husband move on to someone else and becoming a stander herself or without contracting some terminal illness and coming home to die.

Seriously, if anyone has any data on this please reply here. Is my faithful stand doing a darn thing? Are there any numbers to suggest that women are not consumed with so much pride that they simply don’t come around without some drastically negative stimulus?

Help me out here peeps. I mean maybe I missed something. I did, after all, stop reading Saturday testimonies, from Rejoice Marriage Ministries about six months ago, when I started to realize that roughly .04% of testimonies were about wives actually coming home. A lot of times, I would see a man’s name and get excited, but it would just be something about how he was able to be a testimony or some such thing. It was never, “my wife came home and praise God, we’re restored and happy”. Perhaps men just don’t share testimonies. I can tell you that if God brought my wife home, I’d be shouting it from the mountain tops and glorifying His name in blogs, tweets, podcasts, profile updates, and everything I possibly could.

The thing is it’s been almost two years… I know, some of you have stood for much longer. Maybe you got a promise of restoration. I never did. Maybe you’re good at doing life alone. Maybe you don’t whither when you are are left without companionship for long periods of time. Maybe this wasn’t your one worst nightmare, the thing you told God you could never ever take, coming true. Maybe you’re just a bad ass and you can take severe emotional and spiritual punishment like a champ. I am not that strong, and the Holy Spirit has stopped providing my “strong-stand-juice”. The divorce is final. Everyone I know has stopped praying for my restoration. I can’t name one personal Christian mentor in my real-life circle (not online friends) that is not encouraging me to “move on” (A.k.a. find somebody else and stop being so darn miserable).

Come on peeps. Give me some encouragement. Flood the comments with stories of women who came home to their husbands without seeing their husband move on to someone else or contracting a terminal illness. Don’t bother if all you have to say is that I’m saving my wife from burning in hell (I’m a bit of a Calvinist, so that argument is meaningless), or that my stand is going to make my children better people, or that God is going to bless my obedience in the afterlife and be disappointed in me otherwise. I don’t need guilt. I need encouragement. If the only reasons to stand are negative ones, then what is the point?

I hate my life. I hate waking up. I hate going to bed. I hate eating. I hate silence. I hate music. I hate television. I hate reading. I hate everything I used to love. Hanging out with my kids is even bittersweet. Almost every moment and every conversation reminds me of her and how she was stolen by another man, with whom I am going to have to share those precious children for the rest of my life… I am tired. I am tired of hating everything. I am tired of living a life washed in gray. I am tired of not sleeping. I am tired of being tired. I have told God that I am willing to be willing to give this all to Him. I have asked for His help to let this all go. I have asked for Him to help me love Him so much that He is all I need. I don’t think He meant for me to live this way. So please, no pat answers or Bob Steinbeck quotes about how I need to suck it up for the sake of her soul. Send me some real testimonies. Give me some hard data. Give me some real encouragement that this does happen in the wild. I want to know that real wives do come home.

Someone help me.

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31 comments

  1. Well, I can’t give you any word of encouragement except that I prayed for you today at the altar. I also think the way you do. I am sure it is the enemy bringing us down. That is his objetive.
    I don’t know what my future is but I know it is the hands of the One who made me.

    This isn’t about us. It is for His glory. May the Lord change us and work out His purpose in our lives.

  2. I will comment in great detail when I get off work. But for now, know that I’m also a stander. I know exactly how you feel although, I’m a childless stander, we do share joint custody of our 11-yr. boxer, Massie. The state sees us as divorced as of Oct. 2013. From our separation January 2013-the divorce we have had maybe 6 conversations after a decade of closeness and an amazing friendship. Anyways, I know your pain

  3. Are you familiar with Covenant Keepers ministry?

    They have CD sets you can purchase. There are several sets you can buy from them in their gift store (or bookstore). In the first set (the set is collectively referred to as ‘Been There, Done That’), there is a couple by the names of Charles and Rita Holland. Charles was the stander in this scenario. They give their marriage healing testimony in that first CD set of the BTDT series.

    You may purchase a copy of this from the Covenant Keepers website (covenantkeepersinc.org). Theirs is a fantastic marriage healing testimony. I especially like it because of the fact that, obviously, in my own case, I being the man am also the stander. You don’t hear many marriage healing testimonies where the man was the stander. Usually most of them are the other way around.

    Seek out Charles & Rita Holland’s testimony of the healing of their marriage. It will bless and encourage you like it did (and still does) for me.

    1. So, what, may I ask were the circumstances of her return? Did he stand for like 9 years? Did something extreme and tragic happen, or did she just decide to listen to Holy Spirit and come home?

      1. I’m going to have to hear it again and get back with you on this topic. Now that you mention it, I am starting to wonder if you might have been right regarding your initial question in the first place (are there actually any verifiable examples of prodigal wives who have come back home without something tragic happening to bring them back home). I realize now that I’m the Holland’s example, Rita had remarried and was being verbally abused by her 2nd husband. Not only this, but I do believe that there was also something going on with a close family member of hers like her mother for example.

        I’m starting to wonder if you may be right to a degree. Maybe I shouldn’t have shared that example with you. But now that you mention it, it’s kind of got me bummed out to, regarding my own situation.

        But I can definitely relate with you in terms of everything you said in that most recent blog post. Except I don’t think I’ve been waiting as long as you have. It’s always very encouraging to hear other standers tell me that they have been waiting several years. Actually it isn’t encouraging at all. I am being extremely sarcastic. I have been waiting less than a year, and I want my suddenly to happen yesterday, like everyone else.

  4. Hi, I came across your post today and I hear your pain and feel your pain. I will keep you in my prayers everyday until your suddenly comes.

    Rejoice ministries is starting an online bible study. Here is the link for facebook to join. and the study starts on Monday. Please join in and surround yourself with others that are in this fight.

    Taken from the email I received after joining.

    “If you are interested in joining the Facebook group please click this link and request to join, we will be adding everyone on Sunday. https://www.facebook.com/groups/1491954951105040/

    I hope this will encourage you that you are not alone in this. You have found other prayer partners.

    God is fighting for us.

  5. I am new to the site but not to standing for Manifestations of Restoration of my marriage. I am also a stander for 11 months. I do want to encourage you with a word, see when you can be fully persuaded, (Romans 4:21) fully convinced that God is not a man that should lie (Numbers 23:19) and his arm has not waxed short (Numbers 11:23)and nothing is too hard for him (Jeremiah 32:27) and if He said he will do it, (Numbers 23:19) then why do you still question Him? All of Gods promises are Yes and amen in Him unto the glory of God by us. (2 Cor. 1:20)

    We have to walk by Faith not by site (2Cor. 5:7) Faith is the substance of things hoped for (marriage restoration) and the evidence of things (manifestation of restoration of your marriage) not seen (Hebrews 11:1). Faith is the master key it opens every door, it access every promise, it gets you the other side. Faith is a spirit, you don’t feel it. You stand in faith knowing without a doubt that God is working in your behalf and you will get to your promise land. Don’t be like the Israelites, who stayed roaming in the wilderness for 40yrs., and never entered into their promise land, because of their grumbling, complaining and not being fully persuaded or committed to God.

    See, we call things that be not as though they were. (Romans 4:17) We live as if our prodigal spouse is home. I live everyday expecting. I keep things in stock like food he likes to eat, I have his favorite beverage (coke) his favorite snacks, because when he returns not if but when, he will see we have been anticipating his return.

    I leave you with this thought…Jesus never lost a case.

    1. I’m not even sure what to say here… I know all of this. If you’ve read my earlier posts, you know that I do. I’m just having trouble spanning that distance between my head and my heart right now, which is why I asked for some encouragement. Thanks for the scripture whipping, though. Perhaps it will motivate me to pull myself up by my spiritual bootstraps…

      Incidentally, in response to, “if He said he will do it, (Numbers 23:19) then why do you still question Him?”, he never made a promise of restoration to me. In fact, I point blank asked Him, and He told me, “no” 18 times (see above). I know that standing makes one rather dogmatic and legalistic and rigid. It did me, for at least a year and 3 months… I’ve begun to realize, though, that the only thing we are actually promised in this life, from a new testament perspective, is suffering. I certainly have that in spades, so I am living the dream as it were. I will continue to hope for my wife to be sitting in my driveway every day when I get home.

      Meanwhile, the question still stands, do women come home without extreme negative stimulus? I have only seen three testimonies of women coming around. Three. Out of the hundreds of restored marriage testimonies, I have seen three. Two became standers themselves after their husbands had the craps of being lonely and one came home to die. That is not encouraging.

      Does anyone have some encouragement, rather than a scripture whipping?

      1. I am sorry if you took my statement as a scripture whipping. Not what I intended. Gods word is promises to me and no matter what comes against me I stay at peace that surpasses all understanding and at total rest in God. You can’t go by how you feel, you go by what you believe. Which is the Word of God. Crucifying the flesh with the word of God. Regardless….Hope this is encouraging testimony to you.
        Intentionallyyours.org
        A prodigal wife who came home and marriage restored.

      2. I looked all over Intentionally Yours. I found a testimony of Scott coming home to Sherry, but nothing about a wife coming home… I’ll keep looking. If you can link the specific testimony you’re thinking of, that would be a great encouragement to me.

        Meanwhile, I know that faith is not about feelings. My wife left because she wanted to “feel happy”. I get it. I’m just not doing “alone” well, and if there’s no way I’m going to be restored, then I will not suffer for her sin. I am spiraling downward into extremely poor health from a mental, emotional, and physical standpoint. At first this trial was bringing growth. Now the pruning and refining has become wanton destruction, and I can no longer stand up under the pressure. I need relief.

  6. Do three things. First, read the Book of Hosea. Second, study what the book is about. Third, create a Hedge Prayer for Return of a Wayward Spouse. I thought about these three points and the idea of sharing them with you, then I saw my “covenant truck” after the thought. Which means a big YES. If it’s not for you, then maybe it is for someone else who will be reading your blogs. I’m 33 months standing for what it’s worth.

  7. Hi. I’m totally with you. I feel your pain and sorrow. But remember this shouldn’t be your alpha and omega. GOD should! Maybe HE’s trying to get your attention! Don’t hate everything! Find your joy in HIM! Happiness is a condition – but joy is a fruit! Let HIM work on and in you. Let HIM restore you to wholeness and heal whatever is necessary and your wayward spouse. HE doesn’t want two broken people back to each other again. Be totally dependant on HIM as your source of fulfillment, not another person. Be still and hear HIS voice and HE will lead you. Prayers and love and blessings!

  8. I am a woman who left my marriage for another man. That was in January of 2013. The whole time, I know God was speaking to my heart and I was very diligent at quieting it and turning a deaf ear. Let me tell you, as a repenting prodigal wife, God does NOT give His children peace in sin, He knocks softly at first and when we don’t listen He knocks louder and louder. 2 1/2 years into my relationship with the OM, myself and our two daughters had moved in with him and he proposed remarriage. That was 4 months ago. I can tell you, God did not let go of me, even then. 2 months ago, I ended the relationship and am now praying everyday that He keeps me on this path and restores my marriage. My husband’s heart is very hard, as you can imagine and I have no idea how he will ever forgive or be able to trust me again. I do know, first hand, that God CAN and IS working. Even if you can’t see it. He IS! Your wife is doing all she can to turn a deaf ear but there will be a time when God will make Himself so present that even in the depths of her sin and Satan’s schemes, her eyes and her heart will return to Him. It took nearly 3 years for me and I will tell you, it was very sudden and I’ve never been so certain. Don’t give up.

    1. Thank you, Mandy. This is exactly the encouragement I was calling out for. Tell me, though; You say your husband’s “heart is very hard”. Has he, in fact, “moved on”?

      1. Yes, he has. He moved his girlfriend and her 3 children into our marital home (that I left). He has not married or proposed marriage to her and they’ve been living together since June of 2015. I feel your pain as he, too brings her to our children’s activities. I did the same with my OM when I was the prodigal and living a life of sin and waywardness. The difference between you and I is that I’ve been both the prodigal while my husband was standing and now I’m standing and my husband is the prodigal. I’ve been where your wife is and believe me, even if she hides it well outwardly, she has no peace and the more she tries to run from it the heavier that burden gets until she won’t be able to quiet it any longer. This takes time and patience is hard but she will find her way back and out of this if you don’t give up and pray fervently.

      2. Ahh, but you see, don’t you, that is precisely my point. You’ve turned around and been convicted to come back only after he has moved on. The only story of a man standing that I have read where the wife turned around without him moving on, was the one where she was terminally ill and came home to die.

        I almost feel like I have to date someone in order to get my wife to wake up, as sick, backwards, and twisted as that sounds.

      3. Yes, he has. He moved his girlfriend and her 3 children into our marital home (that I left). He has not married or proposed marriage to her and they’ve been living together since June of 2015. I feel your pain as he, too brings her to our children’s activities. I did the same with my OM when I was the prodigal and living a life of sin and waywardness. The difference between you and I is that I’ve been both the prodigal while my husband was standing and now I’m standing and my husband is the prodigal. I’ve been where your wife is and believe me, even if she hides it well outwardly, she has no peace and the more she tries to run from it the heavier that burden gets until she won’t be able to quiet it any longer. This takes time and patience is hard but she will find her way back and out of this if you don’t give up and pray fervently. I’d like to add that I made attempts to come home to him before he got into his new relationship. That was not a factor in my return.

      4. Ahh, that’s not the case though my fellow stander. He is in a relationship now but my attempt to come home came before that. Long story but if you understood you’d see that my testimony is precisely what you’re seeking.

  9. THERE’S A BOOK CALLED I DO AGAIN AND IT’S A WIFE’S RETURN. WRITTEN BY THE SCRUGGS. THEY ALSO HAVE SOME TESTIMONIES ONLINE I BELIEVE IT WAS 4 YRS. PRAYING.

      1. I really don’t think that Justine knows/means to be shouting. I am sure that she is just trying to help, and to pass along some means of encouragement to you. Perhaps you should just say “thank-you” to someone who has taken the time to write, and offer a testimony that you may not have heard about before.

      2. Another book. I think it’s called The Way Home. By Lindsey Cass maybe. Husband name Casey. They used to be in ministry at The Ramp in Hamilton, AL. I have read it. She did not come home with a terminal illness or after Casey moved on. She was convicted by the Holy Spirit. I am a stander as well, and it gave me so much encouragement. It is VERY hard to be the stander. I was good as gold to him. Since he has gotten remarried I have been VERY ugly. I don’t mean to, but they walk all over me. I don’t know. Maybe I have ruined it. Sometimes that is what I think. I am not perfect. At times I feel like God shows me he is coming home without a doubt. Then, I get in ruts. Every time I turn around something happens. For example, just yesterday 15 minutes before he got here to pick up our child I get a phone call that a bill that he is responsible to pay has not been paid in 2 months. All I can think in that moment is he has ruined my life, now he is ruining my credit. I went out there and screamed at him he was a piece of shit. Like I said. Times like this I think God changed his mind. Every time I say I’m done I feel like God shows me a sign. Sometimes I do believe this is all my fault. I just don’t know how this happened to me.

  10. I think you need to die to the situation and trust God let him lead you to where he wants you I think sometimes the enemy uses situation like this to keep us in bondage God doesn’t want you to focus on the problem he wants you to focus on him I honestly believe that the enemy uses situation like this to keep us in a state of depression and sadness I believe as soon as you let go and focus on God you will see a change don’t let someone have that much power over you to where you can’t be happy without them God doesn’t want that he wants you to feel that way about him

    1. True. Now, how can I get that truth from my head to my heart? Do I just keep gritting my teeth and repeating it to myself 15-32 times a day like I do now? I keep crying out ti Him that I want Him to be my all in all, and that I don’t want to desire this so much, but He says, “My grace is sufficient”… So, I continue to suffer deeply.

  11. Are you still there? I’ve read some of your blog and I relate all too well to a lot of it. Always looking for more prayer warriors. I’m going to add you to my prayer list and stand with you as best as I can for as long as I can. God bless you.

  12. Hi this is for a cry of encouragement… Do not give up!!! Keep praying, fast. N worshipping God.. no matter what anyone tells u, no pastor, Bishop, brother sister etc…. God hates divorce!!! U keep seeking god n see what God will do for u. He will restore. God does not operate on emotions. His word is set in stone. He will give u back everything the locust ate, becuz he allowed it…. Don’t look at the situation look at God’s word. His promises. He hears u n he is with u all the way. B encouraged. He will never leave u nor forsake u. Like people do….

  13. I just wanted to share with you our awesome FB group. Covenant Marriage Standers, Restoring Christian Marriage, Genesis 2:24, Standerinfamilycourt,
    Here’s another one that we have that’s based on solid biblical evidence that marriage is for life unless there’s been a death. Since we aren’t Jewish, exception of Fornication which is only found in Matthew….we stand by God’s Word–Paul reiterated the permanence of a marriage as well….
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/566858283433191/

    Anyways, message me back for more details. We have several pastors that have plainly went against our society’s norm and the “new” unbiblical teachings regarding divorce and remarriage–they stand in the gap with us. They love their congregation too much to sugar coat ongoing sins. Anyways, several authors as well are in our groups. I know all too well how much encouragement means to us who are standing. I know we lack day to day encouragment so I hope you join our groups.

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