Beaten Down and Broken Hearted?

I often receive testimonials from women who complete The Respect Dare book.

I’m always blown away by what I read. Nothing convinces me more that God was the one to write it than their stories.

This weekend, I received another one that blew me away. This woman’s walk of faith is like few I’ve ever seen.

You’ll see from her story below, that things didn’t work out quite the way she had hoped, but God was faithful. And He’s given her a dream. I hope you’ll stick with us to the end, because I have a question for YOU as a result of this lovely woman’s experience.

I’ve invited her to respond to questions today, so feel free to add those, as well. Check back tomorrow as she is a busy mom, so let’s give her lots of grace and time to respond, okay?

Here is her story.  It’s one of betrayal, broken hearts, and God’s faithfulness. It is a story of great faith, great strength, and great love for our Savior. I can think of few things more beautiful this morning than this precious saint’s story. It cost her many tears and great anguish. Her name is Ali.

Dear Nina,

The last time I wrote to you it was at the beginning of the most incredible journey. I’d been separated for several months and on ugly terms. By the time I finished The Dare we were trying to reconcile.

As time went on I continued to grow my faith and slowly surrender each area of my life to God’s sovereignty and control. The closer I got to Jesus the more I believed that He would restore my marriage and bring it to new heights. I expected beauty, joy, and peace. I expected a love like I’d never known. 

When my husband told me that he just wanted to be friends I knew it was because he was afraid and convicted. A month later when he cried, telling me he had a girlfriend, I knew that he was under spiritual attack. He was being tested.

The next three days he did/said mean-hearted things to both keep me on a string and push me away. By this point I’d given God all my walls and was vulnerable to having my heart broken by him yet again. But I kept Seeking and The Lord took my Walk to places I didn’t know existed. I heard God everywhere, felt Him all day and night, and knew Him. I truly began to KNOW my Father. 

A month later, 2 days before our 14th anniversary, they were engaged. But because God showed this to me in a dream the night before my husband announced his adultery with a ring, I handled it respectfully and without being hurt. I was not hurt at all. In fact I saw his desperation and insecurity even more clearly.

That dream was the 2nd of 3 prophetic dreams. The 3rd warned me, in a literal and not metaphorical way, of the very abnormal and cruel way I would receive my divorce papers. But still I turned to God and let Him refine every part of my life, a process that continues. 

I held onto the two marching orders I’d been given:

1. Walk blamelessly.

2. Do not be moved.

The first is much harder than the second, but notice that I wasn’t told to fight for my marriage, just to hold firm in my faith. And believe me Satan bullied, badgered, and bruised me every day in an attempt to get me to move. But Jesus was always there. He came through for me all day, every day. 

I walked in faith when He told me to submit to my husband by taking off my rings. 

I walked in faith when He told me to submit to my husband by not replying to the divorce papers.

I walked in faith, striving in not only my actions but my thoughts and feelings to be blameless and not moved. I believed with all my heart that God would work a miracle in my marriage. And on the day I learned that my divorce was final I was first confused…and then had such peace. It was over, finally. Not my marriage but that trial. 

My heart was not broken, but whole for the first time in my life. My marriage was over but instead my ENTIRE LIFE had beauty, joy, and peace. I had a Love like no other and He would never fail me. My Purpose Statement from The Dare had come true. All of it had manifested even though I hadn’t thought of it in months.

My children were thriving and I was healthy spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically for the first time ever. 

Not only that but the day before I learned of my divorce I received a prophetic word from God through a friend with that Gift of The Spirit:

“You have asked and I have answered. Everything that I have promised is coming to pass right now. Mountains are being moved and the seas are parting. You have obeyed and been patient, and your reward is now here. Fall on your knees and worship me for all I’ve done. Everything is changed, and the fruit is ripe and ready to be harvested. Well done.”

I can’t begin to explain what this means to me. I’m in awe of Him. And then the next day I was divorced. But you see it took my ex-husband 3 months of adultery and thousands of dollars to get divorced, yet it took me 4 days and not a penny. But my divorce is not the miracle. I AM THE MIRACLE. Through this journey I’ve changed completely, learned so much, and embraced my own Gift of The Spirit. All my relationships are different, healthy. And I’ve inspired several wives to do The Respect Dare, watching with joy as their marriages improved and they turned around to share The Dare with others. 

It was one year to the day that my ex moved out that I got baptized. It was not planned that way. And it was one year to the month that I began this journey… that my divorce was final. My life is amazing and I love it! I tell others about The Respect Dare often and I’m happy to share my journey with you. I’m proud of it. And because you invest so much of yourself into this ministry I think you should know when your faithfulness moves mountains in the lives of others. Thank you so much!!!

I’m using this story as a springboard to tell you about the next stage in my life: stewarding singleness. I have a 13 year old daughter who was Saved just after my divorce was final. She’d walked my journey with me and saw the joy that grew in my heart. And when the smoke cleared and the joy was still there, and I was still in love with Jesus, she handed her life to Him.

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So at this stage I take all my actions very seriously. My example, how I conduct myself as a godly, single woman, directly affects her not-so-far-off future. Not only her, but other single moms and young ladies at church are watching me. It’s pretty obvious that I’m not a beaten down, broken-hearted single mom. And as these ladies try to begin godly relationships with men I find myself in an odd position. This teaching is so needed in this world where young women are taught to be loud and aggressive. They miss out on so much and the books about purity just aren’t cutting it. They don’t speak to the root of the problem- godly femininity. I believe a respect dare for single women would fill that gap, and this is a ministry that I’m called to as I Steward Singleness. 

We love this idea of a book for single women, single moms. We own the trademark for The Respect Dare, and so are considering it, along with several other things (parents, teens, abuse survivors) we have in process right now. If you have a story, we’d love to hear it – you can submit your testimony of what God has done here.  We’d LOVE to hear from you! What do YOU think of her idea?

What was most amazing to me, however, is her relationship with God in the midst of everything she was going through. What about you?  How has your relationship with Him impacted your walk through trials? Dare you to share in the comment section below.

Also, if you have questions for Ali about her journey, feel free to ask them. She’ll be around off and on this week, so subscribe to the comments. She’s a single mom, let’s give her some grace and time. Respectful comments about the above are also welcomed.

So glad you are on this journey with us!

Love to you,

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Comments

  1. Missy says

    I just want to thank you for sharing your testimony., what a beautiful example of how God brings beauty from ashes. I will continue to be in prayer for you and your daughter!

  2. says

    I am encouraged that you “dared to share” your story. Having been through divorce myself I know how hard it is to admit divorce AND claim Christianity at the same time. People instantly judge and often do not listen. You will be an inspiration to others going through that devastating time. I LOVE your idea!

    • Ali says

      It’s very true that when we were first separated I faced a lot of judgment from the members of my church. And it really hurt. But looking back now I can see that they were not judging the choice to leave my husband, so much as my obvious lack of Fruit of The Spirit (not that they should judge at all but no one is perfect). It was a clear sign to the godly people in my life that I was not following Jesus. The bible says ‘you will know them by their fruit’ (Matthew 7). As I began to have true joy and peace the negativity fell away, even though I told almost no one that I was trying to save my marriage. When my actions and intentions aligned with God’s will His other followers aligned with my life too. I have 10x the friends at church that I used to and people gravitate to His love in me. They seek me out. For an introvert like me, it’s a phenomena. I’m blessed to have such a wonderful church family!

      • Beth says

        Ali, so thankful you did not allow bitterness to make you negative toward church family. It sounds like you are reaping the rewards from that right choice, also. It’s humbling to submit ourselves to God. But like James says, God gives grace to the humble! I’m learning to experience this more in all my relationships, and it brings joy :-)

  3. says

    Thank you for posting this letter. I have not read the Love dare. I have walked the divorce walk though and like her I too have allowed God to lead. people are watching how we as divorced women conduct ourselves. Being a Christian means trusting God with everything and conducting ourselves like the princesses we are. I will have to find your book. Thank you again for posting this letter and thank you Ali for being an example of how a godly women should act.

    • Ali says

      Thank you, Melinda! I encourage you to read The Respect Dare as a divorced woman. There’s a certain closure that comes from knowing where your fault lies and what mistakes you’ve made. You can’t fully heal without it. And now I know that in any future relationship God may have lined up for me, I won’t repeat the past. I’ve asked my ex for forgiveness of my actions and I know that God honors the righteousness of that humility. All good things come from God and The Respect Dare is one of those things. It’s very healing, even for a separated or divorced woman.

  4. Beth says

    So encouraging, Ali. As a single woman who has struggled with not being married, I can echo what you said about God giving wholeness, joy, and tremendous beauty to a life apart from marriage. Been thinking lately about Scripture’s statements . . . our life is like a vapor that is here a little while, and then vanishes away. I know marriage is God’s pattern for man and woman, and is a beautiful gift, but God gives us Himself! What could be more beautiful than Him? And this union with Him lasts forever!

  5. Donna Head says

    Thank you are sharing. I could have written that story. God was faithful. Even though I didn’t want the divorce, he had other plans and sent a wonderful man in my life. One that needed me as much as I needed him. It has been a hard journey at times but a beautiful one and I am forever grateful that God brought good out of something bad.

Got thoughts?