Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Courtship Story Regarding Future and Yet Unknown Husband

Ok - for my friends and family.... I will be posting a series of Courtship stories - yep, the true saga of how the Lord brought Mick and me together back in 1985.... the healing, stretching, tears and laughter... this is the first story - God is SOOOO good!!!

Courtship Story Regarding Future and Yet Unknown Husband
1 Corinthians 7:15 But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases. But God has called us to peace.
I was being put back together, piece by piece. My husband was having an affair. He decided to leave our marriage and me. The Lord Jesus picked up my shattered, broken parts and was placing them together better than they had been to begin with, not overnight I might add. All hopes of us getting back together were gone when I found out he had a girlfriend – yes, this wife (me) was the last to know. He filed for divorce. Actually, I was better off dealing with a “given” than wondering: Is it over? Is there hope? Will he get counseling? Why??? The “given” of the divorce was pretty concrete, she had a first and last name.

I was devastated losing his family. His parents actually drove over two hours in a blizzard to bring me a Christmas gift later that year. They took me to lunch and blessed me as they traveled in weather that merited no traveling except for an emergency. I guess I qualified as their emergency and  will never forget that day.

After the divorce was final, I found myself doing something that any counselor will tell you is crazy. I left my home church, my job of ten years, my friends, the place I’d loved for seventeen years….. sold my furniture, gave my cat to my sister and her family. Right now you are probably thinking “crazy lady” to leave all of her support team.

I had prayed and prayed, the Lord started doing incredible things.
Soon, I was packing up to go to Texas. No, I didn’t have any relatives there. No, I didn’t know a soul there. Oh, I’d wanted to go to get training for short term missions in Oregon, not too far from my parents at a Youth With a Mission (YWAM) base there. God slammed that door closed, to the point where the school I was interested in, which started in January was cancelled. They always had a January school. It had never been cancelled. Hum…..

OK, Texas YWAM was my 2nd thought. All the doors opened wide open. The Lord began somewhere in here having me pray for “whoever he was, wherever he was”. This was dismaying as I didn’t even want to hear the word “husband”, ever – never - again. I was not relating to men at all. Not even very much to Ed, who had been like a brother to me, for years and years. Not guys at church. Nope. Women were just more than ok by me for friendship and I didn’t need anyone else.

At YWAM, I met many younger men. I was one of the older gals in our group of eighty. Most members in the group were eighteen to twenty-eight. I was in my later 30s and some of the youngest were the age to be my kids! Our Jesus saw fit to place me on a kitchen crew with a nineteen year old and a twenty one year old of the male variety. Why? So I could begin to realize that all men were not my ex-husband. That some could make me laugh, some were thoughtful, and others were trustworthy. All of this, with guys young enough to be wonderful little brothers, who taught me so much about God’s love.

Pretty soon, at church, I began to hear Godly men preach and teach. On occasion, I’d check out the wedding ring finger. One who didn’t have a ring seemed to be the most incredible and Godly man. Then I found out he was married, just not wearing a ring.

I talked to the Lord not knowing if He’d even release me to remarry, time to get down to some serious business because I was allowing myself to be a bit distracted. I decided to pray and fast – there was a little closet with a light in it under the stairs where the vacuum cleaner lived. That looked like the perfect place to get away from three roommates and pray. I did. I am sure the gals in the living room were wondering what in the world took me so long in a 3X5 foot vacuum closet. I stayed until I “heard”. The Lord laid it on my heart that in training, I was there to figure out who I was in Him and learn more about Him to be able to share with others. I was not called to YWAM training to have a deep relationship with anyone but Jesus. “You are not released to a romantic relationship while you are in school….” was the impression which rang clearly in my heart. I popped out of that closet with a big grin on my face. That was what I needed to know for that point in time.

Later when I was finished with the training and on staff at Twin Oaks, still praying for “whoever he was, wherever he was”, I felt the Lord laying the following on my heart:

"Child, you are my beloved daughter, you do not see behind the scenes but only get a vague impression in your spirit. This is good for now as the great I AM works out the details – too much, too soon is unprofitable – know My timing is perfect. He shall know that too as I’m moving on him. Die to speculation. Put your hand in mine and walk. He is my delight. The two of you together are My joy, so stay yielded and surely I shall bring your union to pass for My glory and purpose. Rest and know that I will give you a peace. A GREAT peace – no doubting shall enter in. I shall reveal, but not ahead of time. Pray in the Spirit every time you are tempted to wander/wonder/ “what if” and I will turn it into victory for My glory. I love you child – daughter, both of you – Selah."

At this point I wasn’t searching. I was actually doing things with about three brothers – going to dinner occasionally, getting a few groceries, grilling on a picnic at one of the lakes which was on the ranch etc. They were all good friends. We prayed together and had a good friendship but nothing more. Not dating but relaxing in the presence of a male. I’d come a long way in that year. God was healing me through teaching on forgiveness, openness and brokenness. I was beginning to feel like a human being again.

I had my eyes and ears open but wasn’t thinking “long term relationship” with regards to any of the guys. Of course, I was still avoiding Mick. Bearded red head that he was – been there, done that as my ex-husband was…. how should I put this delicately… a bearded red head. I would see Mick at the mail boxes and say hi while flying out the nearest exit. Is there more to this story? I think there is. GRIN And if anyone ever tells you that God doesn’t have a sense of humor then they do not know my Jesus!

(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved.

To be in an upcoming book called Journey with Jesus, My Incredible Lord.

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