Encouragement/Devotional, Gratitude, Our stories and testimonies, Purpose, Relationships

Part 3 Criminal Casanova: Restoration After Devastation

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. ~Rom. 8:28

It is so good to know that in the midst of my disobedience and blatant disregard for all of the warning signs the Lord sent me, that He still worked in, through, with and despite my choices. 

February 7, 2017 was a much needed reminder that there is hope and restoration after devastation. In Part 1 and Part 2 , I share about the devastation of a relationship I was in 10 years ago that has led me to this point. It is one of the reasons I am so passionate about this blog.

I thank God that it happened and that despite my disobedience to the Lord, He turned it around for my good and His glory. There were 5 things that came out of this devastation that I want to share here.

1. Forgiveness

criminal-casanova-hope-after-restorationShortly after the relationship ended, as I desperately fought my way back to the Lord and began working on repairing our relationship, He began convicting my heart. I realized that while I could blame Trevor for what happened to me in the relationship, I had to take responsibility for the part that I played as well. Not only was I disobedient, but I damaged my witness to him as a follower of Christ. Yes, he had selfish intentions when we got together but so did I. I professed to be saved, but I wasn’t walking as if I was saved. How could I continue preaching to him about going to church and working on a better relationship with the Lord (which sadly I did), but I wasn’t practicing what I preached. I was sleeping with a man I wasn’t married to and we were living as if we were married. As God began dealing with the condition of my heart, He led me to send an email to Trevor in April 2008 to apologize to him for that and to pray that somehow he would find his own relationship with the Lord. I also told him I had forgiven him. In that moment, I was released from the bitterness and anger that had been stored up in my heart against him.

2. True Love Part 1, I shared my emotional state and how broken I was-not fit to be entertaining any kind of relationship. It had been several months of healing and restoration for me after Trevor. It does something to your psyche and your soul when you are lied to repeatedly. You begin questioning yourself and become suspicious of everyone around you. To make matters worse, the morning of October 4, 2008, I received an email from who I thought was Trevor, but was from someone who had access to his account.  In the email, there were at least 30 different email addresses of other women who had received the same email. It had links and pictures in it about him being a convicted felon, having a warrant out for his arrest for failing to pay child support, being married to several women and having multiple children.  My heart sank and once again, I was shocked.  Yet, I was so glad I was in a much better place at the time that I received the email. Then about a week later, I had a God encounter that has forever changed my life. While sitting in the movie theater after church one Sunday afternoon, watching Nights of Rodanthe, something in the movie triggered a flashback. As I sat there, it was if the movie screen switched to what seemed like a replay of my own life just one year ago. I could feel a very heavy tangible presence in the theater as I began to weep. I felt the weight of the Lord’s presence as He physically wrapped His arms around me in that moment and told me He loved me. I realized that throughout the whole course of my relationship with Trevor, God was still there with me. He was protecting me from Trevor and from myself. I realized then that the situation could have ended much worse. All I could do was weep as this one truth kept ringing loud and clear in my heart: God really truly loved me. It was the first time in the 9 years that I had been saved at the time that I knew without a shadow of a doubt that God’s love for me was true love.

3. Purity I mentioned, the relationship with Trevor left me wounded, raw, suspicious, and even more vulnerable. It took years for me to trust people or even open my heart up to people again. Yet, it was because of this relationship that I have chosen to wait to be intimate with another man until I am married.  It has been almost 9 years, and while at times it has been a struggle, I credit it all to the fact that God, not me, has been keeping me. I almost slipped a few times, but I am even more encouraged now to heed God’s voice and follow His desires for me.

4. A Real Relationship

After I initially saw the post on Facebook about Trevor, I decided to share it on my page and let others know that he was my ex. Some apologized to me for having had to go through that awful experience. While I appreciated their kind words,  I am not sorry that I went through it. I know the Lord better today and more than I would have ever known Him had it not been for meeting Trevor. I would not have the real relationship (not a Pharisaic one based on religion) that I have with the Lord today if this devastation had not happened. It wasn’t good, but it worked together for my good and for His glory. I am glad I survived and am living to tell a part of my testimony so that I may boast in His mercy, grace and His love for me. It will forever be a picture of God’s protection and His incredible grace. I could have been  killed/robbed of everything I had.

But God…

While the Lord allowed this to happen, He didn’t cause it. It was as a result of my disobedience, yet He still covered me. 

5. Purpose, this relationship and devastation led me to a part of my purpose.  Every opportunity I have to write, share or encourage another woman about the benefits of waiting, the beauty of pursuing a real relationship with Christ first and drawing closer to Him, or of putting in the work to become whole while waiting is a blessing. I thank God for my testimony. It has given me purpose. It has taught me how to wait.

Sis, whatever choices you have made, good or bad, whether you experienced devastation as a result of your own disobedience or someone else’s sin, know that there IS hope and restoration after devastation. I am a living testimony.

God chose you and He will always be with you-in your decisions, with your decisions, through your decisions and despite your decisions.

The best decision you could ever make is to choose Jesus. He already chose you!

 Photo credit: WordSwag by CJP
Scripture taken from, NLT
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3 thoughts on “Part 3 Criminal Casanova: Restoration After Devastation”

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