That is what our hearts seek when we know the love of the Father. We seek to be truly transformed into His image…into His heart…into His desires.
It is truly breathtaking to be a part of someone else’s transformation. It is an honor we are truly unworthy of. And this last class that just was commissioned at The Rock School of Ministry really brought us to a place of true awe in the mighty, loving hand of the Father and His guidance for those who choose Him and seek Him.
If you were able to be present or to watch the commissioning ceremony “live” on Facebook, you would see some of the evidence of what He did in the lives of a few of the students. I just want to highlight one story that literally shows the heart of the Father for restoration.
In the beginning of the term I meet the women that I will be mentoring and one of them hit my heart. Her name is Trina and she was like a kid in a candy store. So hungry and excited for what God would do in her life. And yet what surprised me the most was that she had recently filed for divorce with her husband and was happily waiting for it to be final. She came into the marriage with two sons and her and her current husband had a daughter together. If you would meet them and ask if they were Christians they would both say “Yes, no doubt.” He went to the same church as her, just a different service. And Sunday was what qualified them as Christians. Other than believing in Jesus, there was little lifestyle change or heart change because Sunday was enough. And they both came into the marriage with hurt from others and then hurt from each other. Without dealing with the past pain and unforgiveness, these roots of bitterness lashed out like sharp swords at each other and at their children. So they took what seemed to be the easy way out. Divorce.
To be upfront with you all, I had really no idea how to approach this. You see…divorce isn’t really talked about in churches I’ve gone to. So this issue was a heavy one and not easy for me. As I dug into His word, what I first looked at was “law” in the old testament and what Jesus said in the New Testament. And it still left me wondering…what is His heart? Last year Aaron and I were super blessed to attend our first marriage retreat and the key speakers were Montell & Kristin Jordan (yes…he sang “This is how we do it” back in ’95…) The conference was INCREDIBLE! The absolute most down to earth, raw, unfiltered, God-centered marriage talk ever. And the one thing that stuck with me was that after all he had done with so many women, she heard the Lord and dug deep into His heart for true forgiveness. It was painful…but wasn’t the cross way more painful? And after they both walked through it they saw the heart of God in the Old Testament. His heart is all over scripture that He is the restorer of ALL relationships. His heart is absolutely for marriage. And so Aaron and I committed to take any possible idea of divorce off the table in our marriage, no matter what. To really seek His heart and reflect Him in our marriage, this decision had to be made.
So every week as I met with Trina and the other women stuff came up. As she began to heal wounds from her childhood and re-define the image of God as Father. Her heart was growing in enormous ways. She was becoming more tender, yet still refused to call him “husband” and still refused to place him above her two sons and their daughter. It truly felt like each week the Lord would give us scripture that hit home and began to minister to her heart. Then we had a one day marriage event at church…and one of the main speakers just so happened to be…Montell & Kristin Jordan! WHAT? Trina went with us! Oh how we wanted her husband to come…but God knew. I loved how when a word came from the speaker directly to Trina she just laughed her loudest! The Holy Spirit was moving and we just got to be along for the ride. Just saying yes, I’m all in for these children of yours Dad! What an honor to see!
And then a few weeks later we hit the halfway mark for our students. It seems that that has often been where they feel like they are in the valley and things just get tough. But it’s so so good to be in that valley. So at the end of our mentor meeting, out of the blue, Trina says “I’m done. I’m so ready for the divorce. I will be so happy when it’s over.” It shocked us all! After so many heart to heart conversations and seeing her finally praying for her husband it took me by surprise. Even after seeing her understand the truth about marriage being a higher priority than her kids…I couldn’t believe she was done.
So I looked at her and just said with all the love He gave me and restored me with, “I can’t be excited for that. I just can’t. His heart is to restore. And He placed you in this ministry, at this time when you’re about to get those papers done, not by coincidence.” I believe that I would have been a bad reflection of Him if I just said “I’ll pray for you” or “I hope you have peace in that choice,” leaving her without truth.
He desires to restore…EVERYTHING. And He clearly says marriage is a reflection of our relationship to Jesus…so why wouldn’t I fight for that relationship to stay together? How powerful and anointed our marriages should be? How absolutely special is it that He shows us how to walk faithful to Jesus and yet we think we can just stop trying to restore our marriages. Jesus never gives up on us…ever. We talked a while and then after class she met with another team member. They talked for over an hour and the Lord gave them both a sweet vision from Him. And literally…when they got done praying Trina said she would cancel the divorce!!! JESUS!!!!
When I got the call that she decided and was firm that she was done with the divorce I couldn’t stop freaking out. It was like watching someone find the loving, free forgiveness of Jesus Christ for the first time. Still makes me cry. As the school continued she came wearing her wedding ring and calling him her husband just melted my heart. I can only imagine how joyful God was looking at this amazing testimony that reflects His love for us. So, this story I’m sharing with you could only end with a beautiful outward commitment to each other. So at our commissioning ceremony, Trina’s husband was a part of the ceremony and pinned her on stage and said that he loved her.
Since then, Aaron and I have gotten to hear how he felt when Trina came home and said she was canceling the divorce. He was shocked. And he was so grateful. They both are a beautiful couple and we’re so stinkin excited to see all that they both will do for His kingdom together. This is not the end of their story, God is redeeming their family now and we believe God is going to use their story of marital restoration to heal countless others, their testimony is so powerful and it will not be wasted!