To let go was to let God work.

 

Control has always been, and can still be if not in check, my biggest thorn on my side.  Being an only child growing up in a family with a western upbringing (I live in a conservative, predominantly, Catholic country), I was used to getting my way and getting what I wanted, how I wanted it and when I wanted it.  I was independent and much of what I had, I got because I worked hard for it and I did whatever it took to have it. From the day I started schooling, I was always the achiever, the school muse, the popular girl. And when I was in an environment of people having things I didn’t, I worked hard to make sure that I got what they had or that I would earn the position of value so that we were all in the same level. Nobody needed to motivate me because I was self-driven. My parents did not have to worry about me much because I always had a way to figure things out. I always had a solution and I always made sure everything was in order as best as I can control the situation.  So when I started working, I made it my goal to work hard, achieve all I can and secure my life so that I didn’t have to worry about anything, anybody or my future.

I have had several relationships in my life, some serious ones and some just for fun types. I never really felt safe with any guy I was with until I met my husband Allan.  Allan and I met in March 1998 and it was as the cliché goes, “love at first sight”. I knew from the day I met him that I had met someone destined to be more than just a boyfriend. Something in the way we talked, laughed and kept communicating that set him apart from the other guys I was with. Allan and I met at a club he worked in. He was a manager of that club, and I was an event manager for a known networking company. I needed a place to do an event, and he was the point person to speak to. He worked at night and I worked during the day, so the only time we would meet was when I got off work and visit him or if he went on break at work and see me before I headed home.  Our relationship was a whirlwind of high and low emotions, very passionate and very rushed that before we knew it, we were engaged to be married by July 1998, married in church by October and pregnant with a baby to be born the year after! Suffice it to say that we did not really have enough time to get to know each other well and deeply before we made a lifelong commitment to one another. We just stood by our feelings and the thought that God had “destined us” for each other.

Our first few years were rough – had a baby right away, did not have our own home, did not have a stable job (I made my husband leave his club job because I said it was not appropriate as a new dad – controlling nature coming out now), and I was insecure about many things. For a person whose whole life seemed to make sense and was in my control, I suddenly was living in a world where I had no control over. We were constantly fighting and we even almost separated in the 2nd year of marriage, if we had not thought of our baby. The next few years became a series of ups and downs, successes and failures, love and hate, and the arrival of another baby. Allan and I went into business for 10 years and invested all our time and money into it, until year 2007 when the worldwide financial crisis hit and we had to close shop. It was a very stressful time for us as Allan had to go back to full time work and I did sideline work and manage other small businesses just to make ends meet. All throughout our 14 years I thought we were a pretty normal couple because we fought, we made up and everything was fine again. All up until a day when suddenly something cracked and then one small argument led to the whole world collapsing on our home and marriage.

In 2012, Allan became cold, distant and was always away from the house. By this time, after years of staying away from the nightlife, he took on a job where he was managing again a bar and club just like when we first met.  We fought constantly and he was always out of the house with friends or worked late nights. He removed his ring in the end of 2012 suddenly and declared that he would never wear it anymore because he hated the memories of being married to me the last 14 years.

I was devastated. I felt like the floor under me had given out and I was all of a sudden gripped with a fear I never experienced. I was lost and was absolutely clueless what was happening. I thought we were happy? I thought we had everything under control? I thought things were ok? Why didn’t I see this coming? Why didn’t I know there was something wrong? All these questions kept swirling around my head because for the first time, I had no control over anything!

By the beginning of 2013, in January Allan left the house. I had no clue where he went. He never told us where he lived, who he was with. There was no admission of an OW. He visited 1x a week the kids. He was angry almost every time we saw each other or spoke. I did everything wrong… I cried, I begged, I forced him to seek help, I spoke to his parents, his relatives, his friends… finding ways to convince him to come back home. I cried almost every single day of the year. I thought I was going to die. Many people told me he had an OW. There were “alien sightings” of him and her at a mall, at a beach, at an out of town trip, at a bar, out of the country… everywhere! There was even an instance where the kids and I crossed paths in our cars with him and the OW inside! BUT, I refused to accept this fact until one year later when the OW herself started calling me, harassing me. I went through deep financial problems. I didn’t have a full time job, and though Allan was working, he didn’t support us financially. I was left to provide for two kids, 2 maids and a household. I was tired, depressed, weighed only 99 pounds, and cash-strapped. God gave me a job out of the blue which He blessed me with to provide for everything I needed and more.

 

“Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this:
He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun.
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.
Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil.
For those who are evil will be destroyed, but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.” Psalm 37:3-9

 

This was the year I started STANDING. There were no forums or FB pages or groups to support one another. I only had a BIBLE, books, a few website reading and GOD. I stood alone and prayed warfare prayers daily for my husband to be set free, and for God to remove Allan from his sinful life with the OW.

By the 2nd year of Allan being gone, I was slowly moving forward with my life. I have learned about standing and what I needed to do to take my eyes off my spouse and onto God. By this time, God had totally removed “worldly” people from my life, and I was left with my pastoral heads at church community, my counselor, and my prayer journals. I spent half of this year just focusing on reading my bible, learning about God and Jesus, and why I was in this situation I was in. While spending half the year with God, I was being blessed in the area of work and finances. God grew my sources of income and allowed me to provide for most of what me and my kids needed even without my husband’s help. By this time, Allan was now going through devastation on the other side of the mountain. He lost his job, lost all his money, lost some friends, was completely dependent financially on the OW, was depressed, and was always fighting with the OW. While I was moving forward with the kids and accepting the wilderness journey that God placed me in, Allan was being placed in a position by the Lord that pushed him to make unexpected decisions.

By August 2014, Allan SUDDENLY came back home… BUT unchanged, unrepentant, unremorseful and stinking of sin. He came home angry, clothes in the car, saying he was only home for the kids and took residence in my son’s bedroom. By this time, I have found FB groups on standing. I sought counsel and guidance from other restored standers in different countries. Having my husband home apparently was WORSE than having him away. It was mental and emotional torture every single day. He was still seeing the OW, living with us, and hated every bit of me. I caught him out on dates with her several times.

By the 3rd year of my stand, Allan stayed home, played video games and was jobless still. He was angry, and I was fighting being angry because I felt like I didn’t deserve to be treated that way. I worked all day, every day, I provided financially for the household and the kids, AND he still treated me like rubbish. Like I didn’t matter, like I was just someone who brought home food or paid bills. He was still very much emotionally attached to the OW and made sure he made me feel like I was nothing, and I was hated. There were even days were he made sure to let me and our kids know that ” we will never ever get back together again”, because he “doesn’t love me anymore”, he doesn’t want to be a “husband to me anymore”, and doesn’t want to have to live “the hell life had again in the past”. And… he made sure that he said that to me at least 4x a year in case I would have any hopes or fantasies of us ever getting back together. He would always say “IMPOSSIBLE” because “I would never allow us to be together again if I can help it”. God by this time had answered one of my longest prayers. I prayed that he separated my husband and the OW completely. Take her far away from my spouse. It was then that the OW migrated to Canada. Allan became depressed, angrier and more hateful towards me.

By the 4th year I was exhausted. We had 4 false starts where Allan would be angry, leave, come home then get angry and leave again. By this time the enemy got hold of me and my anger grew as well. While Allan lived with my in-laws and visited the kids weekly. I, on the other hand, went through a crisis with the Lord. I rebelled because I was sick, tired of being sick and tired. I wanted out. I wanted an annulment. I wanted to cut him totally out of my life. I wanted to start a new life, believing that maybe I heard God wrong. Maybe I was meant to be with someone else. Maybe I was making a mistake standing for a MISTAKE. I moved away from God BUT I continued to read my bible. I rebelled by not following God’s instructions on how to stand, BUT I still prayed and journaled. By end of 2016, God called my attention and pushed me back to stand. Within a week of my wrestling with God, out of the blue God sent Allan back home again. This time for good. And as I went back once more to standing, actively praying again for my marriage, warfaring against the enemy and its hold on my husband, is when I actively participated in our local standing support group here in our country called RMP. As I sought solace from fellow standers as well as help minister to the new standers, God and the devil had a major battle over our family.

 

“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9

 

My career soared, finances improved… while Allan’s life grew weary. He lost his job again and became angry and miserable once more. He was worse than ever now and we became more and more distant from him because we built a higher wall now around him. My son started to grow angrier and resentful towards his dad, the tension became thicker at home and sparks flew almost every single day. One fateful August evening in 2017, the devil started an attack that sent my h in a rampage. My husband went ballistic on me and my kids, which set my son packing and running away from home. I decided that night that I had had enough. I was adamant to end the marriage. We fought till wee hours of the morning until my h left the house to search for my son. It was the worst night of my 5 years, and yet it was the TURNING POINT of my stand. Just when I declared that night: “LORD, FORGIVE ME, BUT I HAVE HAD ENOUGH. I NO LONGER WANT TO BE MARRIED TO ALLAN. I AM FINE IF I WAS TO JUST BE ALONE WITH YOU AND THE KIDS. PLEASE SET ME FREE.”... God had other plans. At 3am my husband came home, ran to me, hugged me, wept and fell on the ground crying for forgiveness for ever hurting me, for ever saying things to hurt me, for leaving us and for all the years that he caused us pain.

 

The scales fell off his eyes.

The cloud lifted.

He had an epiphany.

 

This was the beginning of God’s hand in our restoration because that fateful night where the whole world seemed to completely fall apart, was when the world was being pieced by God together.

Allan said he was ready to go to a marriage restoration retreat. He was tired of living the life he has been living. He was tired of being angry at me. he was tired of being away from our friends and removed from church help and support. He said God has been calling him to make the marriage work again but he didn’t know where to start or what to do because honestly — he still did not love me, still did not feel any desire for marriage. But he said he wanted to obey God this time and see if this step would make things easier and clearer for him. This was a make or break for my h because if after the retreat we still didn’t connect, he said we would most likely have to accept that we would not and should not be together anymore.

Long story short — we attended the Retrouvaille marriage restoration weekend retreat plus 8 weeks post sessions counseling, and by the end of the whole thing, God rewarded my Allan’s obedience and placed back in my husband’s heart a desire again for our marriage and he put love back in him… SUDDENLY.

 

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9

 

Today we are 1 year and 7 months restored. God has wiped the slate clean and has given my husband a new heart. Allan, who SWORE he would NEVER EVER come back to the marriage ever again because he says he “will never make the mistake of being in a position of getting hurt again” and because he “no longer feels love” for me, now hugs me and kisses me on the lips everyday and says I LOVE YOU again. Words I never thought I would ever hear from him. We had our renewal of marriage vows in 2018 in the presence of friends and family, had gone on 2 honeymoon trips in Japan and Paris, and he took care of me early this year in the hospital after I underwent a major surgery. What seemed hopeless and impossible just one year before became jaw-dropping and amazingly incredible to think about today.

Why do I “boast” about all these? Because only God could make all these happen. ONLY GOD. God changed my life, changed my children’s lives, and now change my husband’s. He turned us all back to Him, and now He is fulfilling the promise He made to me 5 years ago. That He WILL RESTORE. I held on to that promise in faith — kicking and screaming at times — but never giving up till the end. And now Allan and I see just how amazing God can be to restore our lives when we are faithful to obey Him, trust Him and wait on Him. And all

the people around us have witnessed as well how God is healing and restoring us completely, and they have found renewed hope in their own lives. Because they saw mine to be impossible, yet God showed them how possible it was through Him.

This is what makes our stand BEAUTIFUL. And it is with His grace that I have endured, that I have stood and waited still, and that I claim complete victory over my family and my marriage! If God did it for me, He will do it for all of you!

 

Just:

BE STILL

SURRENDER

TRUST

OBEY

WAIT

 

To God be all the GLORY always!

PEACHY C. MARASIGAN / Stander from Manila, Philippines