But if any of you lacks wisdom

let him ask of God who gives it to men liberally.

—James 1:5

As een van julle wysheid kortkom, moet hy dit van God bid,

en Hy sal dit aan hom gee, want God gee aan almal sonder voorbehoud en sonder verwyt.

—Jakobus 1:5 

What did I do it all for? What was the point? Did I really lose as most people think, or was I really the winner?

Waarvoor het ek dit alles gedoen? Wat was die punt? Het ek regtig soveel verloor soos wat mense dink, of was ek regtig die wenner?

Normally when I begin writing a chapter, I begin with the title. It’s almost as if He’s giving me direction for where He wants me to go as I begin writing. Though I believe I know what I want to share with you, where I’m headed, I am still not clear how to sum it up enough to create a suitable title. Nevertheless, I will set off and simply trust that the Lord will help me share this wonderful revelation with you, title or not.

Normaalweg wanneer ek ‘n hoofstuk begin skryf, begin ek met die titel. Dit is amper asof Hy my direksie gee vir waar Hy wil hê ek moet gaan soos wat ek begin skryf. Alhoewel ek glo ek weet wat ek met jou wil deel, waar ek op pad heen is, ek is nog nie duidelik hoe om dit genoeg op te som om ‘n geskikte titel te benoem nie. Ek sal eenvoudig voort gaan en eenvoudig vertrou dat die Here my sal help om hierdie wonderlike openbaring met jou te deel, titel of nie. 

If you’ve read any of Erin’s books, you certainly must have stumbled onto A Wise Woman, which originally was created for the desperate women who, like myself, had found themselves abandoned or cheated on by their husbands. It was a culmination of what the Lord had revealed to Erin during her two-year restoration journey when she sought God to restore her marriage. From that book, she explains that a smaller book was pulled out to help those women to simply get out of their crisis (once again who had been abandoned or whose husbands had been unfaithful to them), again like me, that was entitled How God Can and Will Restore Your Marriage

A jy enige een van Erin se boeke gelees het, moes jy sekerlik op ‘n Wyse Vrou afgekom het, wat oorspronklik geskep was vir desperate vrouens wie, soos myself, hulle self verlate of deur hulle mans verkul gevind het. Dit was ‘n samevoeging van wat die Here aan Erin gedurende haar twee-jaar herstel reis openbaar het toe sy God nagestreef het om haar huwelik te herstel. Uit daardie boek, verduidelik sy dat ‘n kleiner boek was saamgebring om daardie vrouens te help om eenvoudig uit hulle krisisse te kom ( weereens wie verlate is of wie se mans ontrou aan hulle was), weer soos ek, die titel was Hoe God Jou Huwelik Kan en Sal Herstel

 After using both books, as most of you know, my marriage was restored, and even before it was, I’d begun helping Erin with her books and online ministry. But, when my husband left me a second time, suddenly, after fourteen years of restoration, many women thought that I had lost big time, and I also felt disqualified to help Erin so I resigned! Some women I’d been working with even went so far as to accuse me of being a fake before I resigned, saying that if I had been the wife that I professed to trying to be, following A Wise Woman, and encouraging other women to also follow the principles, basically saying that if I was “practicing what I preached,” my husband would not have left me. 

 Nadat ek albei boeke gebruik het, soos meeste van julle weet, was my huwelik herstel, en selfs voor dit, het ek Erin begin help met haar boeke en aanlyn ministerie. Maar, toe my man my ‘n tweede keer gelos het, skielik, na veertien jaar van herstel, het baie vrouens gedink dat ek groot tyd verloor het, en ek het ook gediskwalifiseer gevoel om Erin te help so toe bedank ek! Sommige vroue saam wie ek gewerk het het selfs so ver gegaan om voor ek bedank het my te beskuldig dat ek oneg was, en gesê dat as ek die vrou was wat ek verklaar het om te wees, en ‘n Wyse Vrou gevolg het, en ander vroue aangemoedig het om ook die beginsels te volg, en basies gesê dat as ek “uitgevoer het wat ek gepreek het,” sou my man my nie verlaat het nie.     

Thankfully, through false accusations and out of his own mouth, my ex-husband actually defended me to our senior pastor as “the perfect wife” and later confessed that he also had (prior to how I handled his leaving a second time) thought I was a fake, but that I was “unbelievably real.” Wow, only God, my dear, only God could have prompted him to say that. And of course, Erin said she knew the real me, and one or two other very close friends affirmed their belief in me. But due to what happened, I began to doubt my calling as a minister or of having anything more to say to any woman.

Dankbaar, deur vals beskuldigings en uit sy eie mond, het my eks-man my eintlik  verdedig by ons senior pastoor as die “perfekte vrou” en later gebieg dat hy ook (voordat ek dit gehanteer het hoe hy ‘n tweede keer geloop het) gedink het dat ek oneg was, maar dat ek “ongelooflik” eg was. Wow, net God, my lief, net God kon hom aangehits het om dit te sê. En natuurlik, het Erin  gesê dat sy die regte ek geken het, en een of twee ander intieme vriende het hulle geloof in my bevestig. Maar as gevolg van wat gebeur het, het ek in my beroeping as ‘n minister begin twyfel of om enige iets meer te sê te hê aan enige vrou.    

Once the dust settled, and the initial crisis of the second divorce, additional lawsuits he filed, and the initial financial ruin had died down (of course I never defended myself), then I, too, had questions like “What was it all for? Why did I learn to be that “perfect” wife if I was to have no husband after all? What would I do now since my testimony was gone, who could I ever minister to that would listen?”

Toe die stof gaan lê het, en die aanvangs krisis van die tweede egskeiding, addisionele hofsake wat hy geliasseer het, en die aanvanklike ondergang bedaar het (natuurlik het ek myself nooit verdedig nie), toe het ek, ook, vrae gehad soos “Waarvoor  was dit alles? Hoekom het ek geleer om daardie perfekte vrou te wees as ek na alles geen man sou hê nie. Wat sou ek nou doen aangesien my getuienis weg was, aan wie kon ek ooit minister wat sou luister?”  

Revelations

Openbarings

Fast forward. It’s now been about a year and a half since the divorce was final, so I have been living without a “husband” for many months now. During my many days and hours of traveling around the world, the Lord has since revealed to me many answers that I believe many of you are struggling with as well. Those of you, who like me, began this course of action to restore your marriage, but you, like me, are without a restoration or a husband in the home and are wondering: What was the point? Even worse, you are feeling as if you are a failure. Because come on, aren’t those women who write their “restored testimonies” the winners? Doesn’t that then make you, and now me, the losers?

Vinnig vorentoe. Dit is nou al ‘n jaar vandat my egskeiding finaal is, so ek lewe vir baie maande sonder ‘n “man”. Gedurende my baie dae en ure van reis rondom die wêreld, het die Here sedertdien baie antwoorde aan my openbaar wat ek glo baie van julle ook mee sukkel. Diegene van julle, wie soos ek hierdie kursus van aksie om jou huwelik te herstel begin het, maar jy, soos ek, is sonder herstel of ‘n man in die huis en wonder: Wat was die punt? Selfs erger, jy voel asof jy ‘n mislukking is. Omdat kom aan, is dit nie daardie vrouens wat hulle “herstelde getuienisse” skryf nie die wenners nie? Maak dit dan vir jou, en my, die verloorders?

Today, let me dispel this myth and reveal to you the truth that will set you free—free to rejoice and be glad! 

Vandag, laat ek die mite verdryf en aan jou die waarheid openbaar wat jou sal vrystel—vry om te verheug en bly te wees! 

We not only did not lose, darling, we won!

Ons het nie net nie verloor nie, liefling, ons het gewen!

The very purpose of this transformation He made in us wasn’t to be anyone’s wife, but in order for us to be His forever bride—a bride of a Prince—the Prince of Peace! Doesn’t that mean, then, that you and I are a princess? Yes! And this means that for eternity you are promised (by Someone who is unable to lie) to be treated and cherished like a bride who is loved beyond imagination. “God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams!” (Ephesians 3:20 The Message).

Die doel van hierdie transformasie wat Hy in ons gemaak het was nie om enige iemand se vrou te wees nie, maar vir ons om Sy vir ewig bruid te wees—’n bruid van ‘n Prins—die Prins van Vrede! Beteken dit dan nie, dat jy en ek prinsesse is nie/ Ja! En dit beteken vir altyd word jy belowe (deur Iemand wat nie in staat is om te jok nie) om behandel en gekoester te wees soos ‘n bruid vir wie wat bo verbeelding bemin is. “God is so magtig en sterk. Juis met daardie krag werk Hy ook in ons. Hy kan en het dinge vir ons gedoen waarvan ons nie eens kan droom nie!” (Efesiërs 3:20 Die Boodskap).

 Each day and in every new season of my life, I am learning this truth in amazing ways!! May I share with you the most recent?

Elke dag en in elke nuwe seisoen van my lewe, leer ek hierdie waarheid in wonderlike maniere!! Mag ek met jou wat heel onlangs gebeur het deel?

The Lord told me in late March of this year that in six months, which would be September, that my life would be totally different. To confirm this, He told me “something totally unbelievable would happen the following month,” April. Sure enough, instead of us, RMI, publishing their own books, they were picked up by a huge publisher, a secular one, who will be printing and distributing them. This is incredible due to the destroyed books I mentioned in the previous chapter, so that wherever I was, anywhere traveling around the world, I could simply mail anyone a copy of any of the books that changed my life!  Also by trying to stop part of my ongoing income (of selling RMI books), which I believe he’d destroyed to cripple me financially in order to take custody of my younger children—God had a bigger plan for allowing this.

Die Here het my laat Maart van hierdie jaar vertel dat in ses maande se tyd, wat September sal wees, my lewe totaal anders sal wees. Om dit te bevestig, het hy vir my gesê “iets heeltemal ongelooflik sal in die volgende maand gebeur,” April. Seker genoeg, in plaas daarvan dat HMI, hulle eie boeke publiseer, was hulle opgetel deur ‘n groot publiseerder, ‘n sekulêre een, wat hulle sal druk en uitgee. Dit is ongelooflik as gevolg van die boeke wat vernietig is soos wat ek in die vorige hoofstuk genoem het, sodat waarookal ek was, enige plek wat ek rondom die wêreld gereis het, ek eenvoudig vir enige iemand ‘n afskrif van enige een van die boeke wat my lewe verander het gepos het ! Ook deur deel van my voortdurende inkomste te stop (om HMI boeke te verkoop), wat ek glo hy vernietig het om my finansieel te kruppel sodat hy toesig van my jonger kinders kon kry—God het ‘n groter plan deur dit toe te laat.    

If you’ve followed the history of RMI, Erin has explained that years ago when their first publisher could not keep up with the demand, they tried unsuccessfully to get any Christian publisher to print even one of their books! Over and over again they were rejected due to Christian book publishers believing they were too radical—and as we know, the only books that speak and share the truth! So that’s why RMI began to self-publish their books. So to have a secular company “publish ten titles to start with” is truly remarkable.

As jy die geskiedenis van HMI gevolg het, het Erin verduidelik dat jare gelede toe hulle eerste publiseerder nie kon bybly met die aanvraag, hulle onsuksesvol probeer het om enige Christen publiseerer te kry om selfs een van hulle boeke te publiseer! Oor en oor was hulle verwerp as gevolg van Christelike boek publiseerders wat gedink het dat hulle te radikaal was—en soos ons weet, is dit die enigste boeke wat die waarheid praat en deel! So dit is hoekom HMI begin het om hulle boek self te publiseer. So om ‘n sekulêre maatskappy te hê wat “tien titels publiseer om mee te begin” is werklik merkwaardig. 

“Now glory be to God, who by his mighty power at work within us is able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of—infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, or hopes” (Ephesians 3:20 TLB).

“Aan Hom wat deur sy krag wat in ons werk, magtig is om oneindig meer te doen as wat ons bid of dink, aan Hom kom die eer toe, in die kerk, deur ons verbondenheid met Christus Jesus, deur al die geslagte heen tot in ewigheid. Amen” (Efesiërs 3:20 Afr. 83).

“Therefore the LORD longs to be gracious to you, and therefore He WAITS on high to have compassion on you. For the LORD is a God of justice; how blessed are all those who long for Him” (Isaiah 30:18).

“Tog is die HERE gretig om julle genadig te wees en WIL Hy Hom oor julle ontferm: Die HERE is ‘n God wat reg laat geskied, en dit gaan goed met elkeen wat op Hom vertrou” (Jesaja 30:18).  

This new turn of events, that affected me as much as it affected Erin and RMI, made me wait with great expectation for what September would hold. Funny thing is (and we all do it) I imagined exactly how I was going to be blessed. I was sure it had to be in the area of my finances since surely He had to show up there! So that’s what I was waiting and anticipating until October 1st arrived. For the next week, I tried to make sense of it all. I often thought of writing a chapter about how Lazarus and his sisters must have had difficulty waiting for Jesus to arrive until it seemed it was too late (but how God had set them all up for a greater miracle by letting him die—but that’s another chapter). Since, instead of my finances increasing, my finances are in fact still dying a slow death. Nevertheless, I have been reminded by the Lord (often enough) to ponder the story of Lazarus when I speak to Him about how bleak my finances look. So it may be the Lazarus chapter is coming.  However, this is not what this chapter is about, nor for how my life was going to change.

Die nuwe omkeer van sake, wat my net so veel affekteer het soos wat dit Erin en HMI affekteer het, het my maak wag met groot antisipasie vir wat September sou inhou. Snaakse ding is (en ons almal doen dit) Ek het my verbeel presies hoe ek geseën sou word. Ek as seker dit moes op die gebied van my finansies wees aangesien Hy sekerlik daar sou opdaag! So dit is waarvoor ek gewag en antisipeer het totdat dit die eerste Oktober arriveer het. Vir die volgende week het ek probeer om sin van alles te maak. Ek het dikwels daaraan gedink om ‘n hoofstuk te skryf oor hoe Lasarus en sy susters dit moeilik moes gevind het om te wag vir Jesus om te arriveer totdat dit gelyk het asof dit te laat was (maar hoe God hulle opgestel het vir ‘n groter wonderwerk deur hom te laat sterf—maar dit is ‘n ander hoofstuk). Sedertdien, in plaas daarvan dat my inkomste vermeerder het, is my finansies besig om ‘n stadige dood te sterf. Nietemin, is ek deur die Here herinner (dikwels genoeg), om te dink oor die storie van Lasarus wanneer ek met hom praat oor hoe guur my finansies lyk. So dit mag wees dat die Lasarus hoofstuk kom. Nietemin, dit is nie waaroor die hoofstuk gaan nie, ook nie hoe my lewe sou verander nie.     

Without ever realizing it, my life did change, dramatically! But would you believe I almost missed it? It was ever so subtle that the enormity of it all eluded me. You know, I think that is what happened to so many of the Jews who were waiting for Jesus, their Messiah, to arrive. He came in with such subtlety, in a manger and a carpenter’s son, so since they imagined Him to coming as a royal earthly king (with all the splendor), many of the Jews missed it, missed Him entirely.

Sonder om dit te besef, het my lewe verander, dramaties! Maar sou jy glo ek het dit amper gemis? Dit was so subtiel dat die grootheid daarvan my ontwyk het. Jy weet, ek dink dit is wat met baie van die Jode gebeur het wat vir jesus gewag het, hulle Messias, om te arriveer. Hy het gekom so subtiel gekom, in ‘n krip en ‘n timmerman se seun, so aangesien hulle hulle verbeel het dat hy as ‘n koninklike koning sou kom (met al die praal), het baie Jode dit gemis, Hom heeltemal gemis.  

What was it? Subtly, suddenly and incredibly, I realized I’d simply become a stay-at-home mom! I woke up one morning to the fact that He’d given me the desires of my heart that I had wanted since before I had my first child. Throughout my marriage, I had either worked part-time or had helped my husband with him in his profession and even when he’d become a pastor. So you ask (as I did)—how is this possible when I am a single mom of so many children, with no child support, and certainly not independently wealthy?

Wat was dit? Subtiel, skielik en ongelooflik, het ek besef dat ek eenvoudig ‘n bly-by-die-huis mamma geword het! Ek het een oggend wakker geword en besef dat Hy my die begeertes van my hart gegee het wat ek wou gehad het voor ek my eerste kind gehad het. Dwarsdeur my huwelik, het ek of deeltyds gewerk of my man gehelp in se beroep toe hy ‘n pastoor geword het. So jy vra (soos ek)—hoe dit moontlik is wanneer ek ‘n enkel ma van so baie kinders is, met geen kinderondersteuning, en sekerlik nie onafhanklik ryk nie?

“Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me?” (Jeremiah 32:27). “Ah Lord GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for You!” (Jeremiah 32:17).

“Ek is die HERE die God van al die mense. Is iets vir My onmoontlik?” (Jeremia 32:27). “ Ag, Here my GOD, U het die hemel en die aare gemaak eur u groot mag. Niks is vir U onmoontlik nie!” (Jeremia 32:27).

At first, I could not accept this blessing as real. Certainly I would have to “work”— right? Come on, again, let’s be real here. Yet, over and over again the Lord reminded me of my over 25 years of marriage, how He had trained me to be that “perfect wife,” and this was the reason. I was now not just His wife, but His bride. So would He expect or want His bride to “work”? BUT, what about my failing finances? The Lord asked me one day, “Michele, if you learned not to question your earthly husband about the condition of the family finances, and you trusted him with the solution and the burden, why then are you concerned now when you have a heavenly Husband who has unlimited resources?” Wow, this certainly helped me to see things differently!

Eerstens, kon ek nie hierdie seëning aanvaar as eg nie. Sekerlik moet ek “werk” —reg? Kom aan, weer, kom ons wees eg hier. Tog, oor en oor het die Here my herinner aan my 25 jaar plus jare van huwelik, hoe Hy my opgelei het om daardie “perfekte vrou,” te wees en dit was die rede. Ek was nou nie net Sy vrou nie, maar Sy bruid. So sou Hy verwag of wil hê dat Sy bruid moet “werk”? MAAR, wat van my agtruitgaande finansies? Die Here het my een dag gevra, “Michele, as jy geleer het om nie jou aardse man te bevraagteken nie, en jy hom vertrou het met die oplossing en die las, hoekom is jy nou bekommerd wanneer jy ‘n Hemelse Man het wat onbeperkte hulpbronne het?” Wow, dit het my sekerlik gehelp om dinge anders te sien!  

The Lord has graciously worked it out, also, I am doing all the things I love to do! Rather than a job to make money, I am free to write, and to continue to minister to women! Even the lack of finances plays a part in it too. If I were drawing a salary, then I would feel too guilty to do what I am doing; however, the little bit that is coming in is just enough to keep my life going. And ministering to me is never work—it’s my passion. And though I believed that my no longer having a restored marriage disqualified me from having a ministry, the truth turned out to be that having a restored marriage only limited my ministering. Every woman alive needs His love and deserves to be His bride! Not everyone needs or wants a restored marriage—so by losing my life (as I knew it) I found my life!!

Die Here het dit grasieus uitgewerk, ook, ek doen al die dinge waarvoor ek lief is om te doen! Eerder as ‘n werk om geld te maak, is ek vry om te skryf, en voort te gaan om aan vrouens te minister! Selfs die tekort aan finansies speel ook ‘n deel daarin. As ek ‘n salaris getrek het, dan sou ek skuldig gevoel het om te doen wat ek doen: nietemin, die bietjie wat inkom is net genoeg om my lewe aan die gang te hou. En ministering is nie vir my werk nie—dit is my passie. En alhoewel ek geglo het dat omdat ek nie meer ‘n herstelde huwelik het nie dit my gediskwalifiseer het om ‘n ministerie te hê, het die waarheid uitgedraai dat om ‘n herstelde huwelik te hê net my ministering beperk het. Elke lewendige vrou het Sy liefde nodig en verdien om Sy bruid te wees! Nie almal benodig of wil ‘n herstelde huwelik hê nie—so deur my lewe te verloor (soos wat ek dit geken het) het ek my lewe gevind!!    

“Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake shall find it’” (Matthew 16:25).

“Toe sê Jesus vir sy dissipels: “As iemand agter My aan wil kom, moet hy homself verloën, sy kruis opneem en My volg, want wie sy lewe behou, sal dit verloor; maar wie sy lewe ter wille van My verloor, sal dit terugkry” (Matteus 16:24). 

So what about you? What was His purpose in your not being a wife right now; besides letting you experience Him as the Husband of your dreams? I believe it is ultimately to give you the desires of your heart—desires that you may have even forgotten over the years! It’s so easy to lose our focus when the journey of our life takes us on a path we thought we would never take. Nevertheless, God did hear and remember each and every one of those desires and hasn’t forgotten one, not one. 

So wat van jou? Wat was Sy doel met jou om nie nou ‘n eggenoot te wees nie; behalwe om Hom te ervaar as die Man van jou drome? Ek glo dit is uitermatig om jou die begeertes van jou hart te gee—begeertes wat jy self oor die jare mag vergeet het! Dit is so maklik om ons fokus te verloor wanneer die reis van ons lewe ons op ‘n paadjie vat wat ons gedink het ons nooit sou neem nie. Nietemin, God het gehoor en onthou ieder en elke een van daardie begeertes en het nie van een vergeet nie, nie een nie. 

So precious one, ask the Lord to show you what He has been up to and what you may have missed. I believe that many of you are actually living the life that your dreams have always been made of.  

So kosbare een, vra die Here om jou te wys waarmee Hy besig was en wat jy dalk gemis het, ek glo dat baie van julle eintlik die lewe lei waarvan jou drome altyd gemaak is.