wants an epartner
Question: I'd like an ePartner now to help with my Restoration Journey.
How can I apply for an ePartner?
In order to be assigned an ePartner we ask that women go through our RRR Courses, then AFTER your Rebuilding Phase, we are certain that both are likeminded just as Sue and I were (read more below to find out who Sue is) so we are confident that together you and your ePartners are BOTH ready to encourage each OTHER with Rebuilding your Life— through UNDERSTANDING.
Erin and Sue were the first ePartners and met together weekly. Sue had her marriage restored first, but both women had been traveling along their Restoration Journey alone for a long time (Sue for 5 years, Erin for about 18 months). Why? Because the Lord knew they both needed to know how to not discuss any details, nor ask each other for guidance or encouragement. Instead, they met together to search the Bible together and share what He had shown to them during the week, which was what encouraged them both. And they found each other ONLY when Erin was ready to help OTHER women—that’s when the Lord had her look for and find Sue to help. Though Erin was weary herself, and why she asked the Lord to send her "someone" it was in giving what little faith she had left, to Sue, that she became invigorated and encouraged.
So we are confident that when you’ve come through both courses, looking to the Lord fully AND are ready to help others, you and your ePartners will BOTH be ready to encourage each OTHER to look to the Lord ONLY. Though Erin did seek God for "someone" because she was completely weary, it was in helping OTHERS, that she became refreshed for the remaining few months of her Restoration Journey.
Many women write to us wanting an ePartner after reading our books or somewhere early along their Restoration Journey. UNFORTUNATELY in the past when we have assigned ePartners too quickly we saw that we STOPPED seeing marriages restored!
We realized that it is VERY dangerous since women will naturally begin to rely on their ePartner and NOT learn to rely completely on the Lord. Even a prayer partner is not necessary due to Him just wanting you all to Himself and is actually longing to answer every one of your prayers as it says in this verse:
Isaiah 30:18 "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.
The last line explains when God will begin to move and be blessed—when you begin to long for only Him.
Yet due to pressure from women who wrote desperately wanting an ePartner, we assigned ePartners too early, as we said before and Restorations stopped. It was only when we began to assign ePartners according to what He showed us, and do it WHEN He wanted us to assign them— and it WORKED!
For more than 20 years of restoring marriages, once we did it HIS way, we began seeing MORE restored marriages again!
What is His way? His way is for us to first create a strong foundation and see that you're relationship with Him was where it needed to be. That's why we began assign women ePartners only AFTER they began REBUILDING. That's when we see:
#1 that they have established a strong relationship with the Lord, and #2 are well-grounded in the Restoration Journey principles, which we see begins sometime in the REBUILDING Phase 2 of their Restoration Journey— so that instead of focusing on and talking about their personal situation, they were focusing on encouraging one another with the goal to help the OTHER person, because neither of you “need” help for yourselves because all your help comes directly from the Lord!
Phase 2 Rebuild—
Our REBUILDING on the Rock course begins with learning how to rebuild your life on the Rock. By first reading through, then working through A Wise Woman.
On these Rebuild pages it explains: "But to assure your success, once you've completed the RENEW Portion of your RRR Journey." And by the time you've completed the REBUILDING Phase of your Restoration Journey, after completing the Renew Phase 1, by going through our 30 Day Restoration Journey, you will realize that you’ve changed so much that you don't feel you "need" an ePartner— because you'll be at the place that the LORD is all you need or want.
That's when we know it's time to pair ePartners— whose goal is now to help the OTHER person, because neither of you “need” help for yourselves because all your help comes directly from the Lord!
This is the TRUTH we want you to learn and live because this is the key principle and truth you need to apply to your marriage relationship. As soon as you realize that you don't "need" your husband, because you have the Lord who fulfills all your needs, then God knows it's time to return your husband home and back to you.
Because He knows that you will no longer be needy (which men hate), nor vulnerable (which is a breeding ground to being used, abused and rejected)—ALL due to your amazing relationship with Him.
Hope this helps!
“Yes!! Thank you so much for this truth...amen!!!! I agree and will continue my Journey as He says...God Bless this ministry!!!!” Toni in Maryland
Do you feel terribly alone?
No one you know seems to understand or care?
Trust me, when I began Restore Ministries more than two decades ago, everyone thought I was crazy and what I was attempting to do was impossible!!
In 1990, after a year of feeling that I was as crazy as people said, I cried out for someone who understood what I was going through—the Lord immediately sent me help. First, He sent me His Word (the Bible my husband had left behind), which guided and comforted me. What He showed me is what is written and documented in our books and videos.
Then, about a year later, once I had a strong foundation of the truth and a close and intimate relationship with the Lord, He brought a very special friend into my life who I found out was living through the same situation I was in! Sue and I became our ministry's first ePartners—an Encouragement Partner to travel with me on my Restoration Journey!!
After experiencing one disaster after another, I knew I would never ever go to another counselor. My husband and I had tried counseling early on in our marriage—and each time we experienced even MORE destruction that weakened our relationship!! None of the counselors had experienced a restored marriage themselves, so no wonder they told me so much that made everything worse!! I had to find out the hard way that "licensed" counselors who were giving me advice had never even applied that same advice to his or her own life or marriage and had a restored marriage! How many times had I made the horrible mistake of following other people's advice that eventually made my life and marriage worse?!?!
I also did not need someone telling me things that were based on psychology and mixed with Christianity—even if the person was a Christian or a pastor! I needed the truth from the Word of God.
Not only were counselors telling me things that were destroying me, but I went to some of the best preachers in our area. I began with my own pastor who had no clue how to help me even though soon after I heard he was heading up the churches of our entire state! This well respected and admired pastor simply sat there in shock that I had any desire to want my marriage restored after I shared my situation with him!! And his advice, which I took but quickly regretted, was to join the singles group at our church—and he knew I was still legally married!!
After the fiasco of the singles group, it took a full year of going it along for me to really feel the need to find someone who did not think I was crazy, but I trusted no one. At the point of having to recover from bad advice, I didn't want anyone else to make my situation even worse than it already was. It was then that I cried out to God for someone, just one woman, who didn't think I was nuts!! He did!
A Friend Named Sue
Article written for Guidepost magazine
by Erin Thiele
It had been a wonderful anniversary dinner. The other couple and we had so much in common. I relived the evening not wanting to wake up. I couldn’t remember being so happy.
I slid my foot across the sheets to touch my husband’s foot, then I stretched my hand across the bed. I simply thought “He must have already gotten up, and so early.”
As I heard the bedroom door creak open, I saw my husband standing in the doorway clutching a small suitcase in his hand.
“Where are you going?” I asked surprised. “I’m going to Orlando” Dave* said coldly. “And when I get back, I’ll be moving into my own apartment.” With that he turned and was gone.
The shock seemed to overtake me. My head was spinning. My faith in our marriage had been so high, what went wrong? Why the sudden change?
It had been seventeen months that I had ridden the roller coaster ride that began when I found out about the other woman. All I knew is that I wanted to get off.
During the first few months of our separation, the more I tried to do, the more I seemed to make things worse. I found myself constantly in my Bible trying to find peace and solace. It was there that I discovered the verses about the contentious woman. After reading about her, there was no doubt in my mind that I was that contentious woman that Proverbs spoke about. So why wouldn’t Dave want to leave me and live in the dessert, or live in the corner of the rooftop? If I just had a little more time to change, time to regroup, but there was no time. He was already gone. I earnestly prayed for God to help me.
Almost a year later, when Dave was still gone, is when I really began to panic. I decided to help God along. I devised a plan and told God about it. I told Him that all I would have to do is get pregnant during Dave’s Christmas visit. Dave loved children, and certainly he would come back to me then. Everything went as I planned. When he heard of my pregnancy, he moved back home. However, what I had not planned for was a miscarriage. The very day he arrived I began to lose the baby. My plan had backfired. He was home, but distant, except for the night of our anniversary. That night I was gloriously happy, hopeful.
When I finally got up out of bed, our four children were still sleeping. I went downstairs staring out the window at the misty pasture behind our townhouse. Through my tears I pleaded, “God, You said that ‘Nothing was impossible with You’, You said that ‘if I had faith I could move mountains’, You said You would ‘never give me more than I could bear’!”
That morning as I read my Bible, I noticed different occasions when some of the Biblical characters got through some tough situations with the help of another. The apostle Paul needed help in prison, King David and Jonathan, even Jesus Himself looked for his seven apostles to accompany Him through the streets of Jerusalem. I bowed my head and prayed, “Lord, when Dave left this morning what little faith I had left too. Please send me someone, anyone, who will help me to see this situation through. Someone who doesn’t think what I am doing is crazy.”
My mind jumped back when I first began to believe that God wanted me to restore my marriage. Everyone I spoke to told me the same thing, “Erin, it’s hopeless. It’s Dave’s will to leave you. Dave’s happy. Just move on with your life.” Some even gave me suggestions to get his attention. All had ended in disaster. But somewhere deep inside there was still a small spark of hope—maybe God will send someone to help me.
A few days later, as I was ironing, a face of a woman came into my mind. She was a woman that I had never met. She was in a women’s Bible study that I was attending. Instead of waiting for the following Wednesday morning, I called my teacher and asked for her phone number. She said her name was “Sue” and she said that she had already called for my number!
My heart was beating out of my chest as I dialed the phone. What would I say? How would I bring up the subject? When she answered, I simply asked if she would join me for dinner the next evening.
We sat across the table and I began, “Sue, I believe we are living through a similar situation in our lives.” I began to tell her how my husband had recently left me again and my prayer for someone to help me. Sue smiled, but sat quietly. I wondered whether I had made a terrible and embarrassing mistake. Then she finally spoke up. “Erin, my husband left me five years ago. He lives in another state and I believe he is living with another woman. I still believe that there’s hope but I was beginning to feel weary. Just last week my daughter got married and my husband came to the wedding. While in the receiving line he leaned over and asked me quietly for a divorce. I told him that it was hard for me to think about it right then, could we talk about it later.” It was that evening when I too prayed for someone to help me.
That evening in the restaurant we spent hours talking about all the Lord had brought us through thus far and compared notes. It was incredible the similarities in our situations. We both left that night encouraged and planned to get together the following week at a local fast food restaurant.
From that night we met together every Friday evening and it was the highlight of my week. We brought all the Bibles each of us owned, and pored over the Scriptures to find the answers for all of our problems and our many questions.
About a month of Fridays passed when Dave called to tell me he was coming over on Friday rather than his usual Saturday. It caught me off-guard and my heart sank. Spending time with Sue and our Bibles brought me the only peace for each week. When I didn’t answer immediately, then stammered, “Oh, okay” it made Dave suspicious.
Normally after the children were in bed Dave was quick to exit and get back to the woman he was living with. But on this night, instead of leaving he turned to confront me saying that he knew I was seeing someone! That was why I hesitated when he wanted to come on Friday night. He told me that I didn’t even look the same—that my face was glowing. Dave said he could see I was in love.
It took me a while to say anything, which led to him never truly believing my explanation. The “love” he saw was not for any person, but for the Lord, whom Sue and I both turned to for help throughout our week. We not only began to pour over the Bible, and we no longer were concerned with our husbands as we once had been. Instead we shared how real the Lord was becoming in our lives, comparing notes, and realizing the neediness was no longer there. We no longer were desperate for our husbands to return; we had found love that honestly had “cast out all fear.”
When I finally answered, it was with a slight chuckle, “I don’t meet a man on Friday evenings” I said with a grin, “I meet a friend. Her name is Sue.” Immediately I could see jealousy, which was so odd since for months, once the truth came out about the other woman he had been involved with and were now living together, he had told me countless times to move on and even to “find someone.” If he honestly wanted me to move on and to find someone, why was he questioning me? Why didn’t he simply breathe a sigh of relief?
Laughing loudly didn’t help convince Dave I was not seeing a man. What he said that tickled me so was, “Oh sure! A man named Sue you mean!!”—referring, of course, to the country western song.
Five months after Sue and my first meeting, she called me on a Friday afternoon. “Erin, I won’t be able to meet with you tonight.” My heart dropped. Then she said, “Erin, my husband has come back!” My excitement at those words was indescribable! We had become so close as friends that it was as if it had happened to me.
The following week I actually met Sue’s husband briefly at a conference she and I had planned on attending together. Most of the time during the meetings my mind wandered as I watched the two of them sitting together, holding hands – happy. After the meeting they approached me and I met Sue’s husband for the first time. Looking at me with an intense stare he said, “Erin, I want to tell you that even though your husband says he doesn’t love you anymore, he does. And if you are treating him even half as kindly as Sue was treating me, with love, even though I treated her horribly; then he’ll be back. Don’t give up.”
Seeing Sue’s miracle, coupled with her husband’s words of encouragement, carried me through some of my darkest hours. Just months after Sue and I met for the last time, my husband divorced me a week after the conference.
Though it seemed long at the time, it was only five months from Sue’s miracle when I received another unexpected phone call, this time, very late at night. It was Dave and I could tell he was calling from an outdoor pay phone because there were traffic noises. It was Dave. “Erin, if you meant what you said about forgiving me. If you do still love me and you still want me to come home, I’ll come home tomorrow morning.”
As I hung up the phone, I looked up toward heaven, “Thank you Lord for not leaving me nor forsaking me. Thank you for bringing my husband home—and Lord—thank you for sending me my friend named Sue.”
The Role of an ePartner
It was about a year later in my journey to restore my marriage that I found my ePartner Sue. I had come to the end of myself— I found I could no longer "do it alone" without another person who didn't think I was crazy for wanting restoration. I had been to counselors, to my pastor, and each time not only did I walk away with less hope—their advice always destroyed my marriage further! ~Erin
I really felt like I was the only one going through this terrible ordeal and I needed someone who understood what I was going through! Someone I could talk to. The Lord never let me find Sue until I was well grounded and until the Lord knew I was committed to Him. Once I had made it this far in my Restoration Journey, as I was in my prayer closet I saw a vision of a woman I had seen but never met in a Bible study I had taken.
I had no idea what her name was or how to get in touch with her, but somehow I knew this was someone who understood and who the Lord was giving me as an answer to my prayer. When I asked God to confirm that I was hearing Him correctly He led me to my old notebook where I saw the phone number of my bible study teacher. When I called I stammered trying to figure out how to ask for this woman whose name I didn't know, or how I would describe and also a reason why I wanted to contact her. My teacher cut in and said, "Her name is Sue and she has already called asking for your phone number"!! She gave me Sue's number, I said a quick goodbye, and I hung up quickly and called.
Sue and I met the first time at a nice quiet restaurant, and though at first we felt awkward, we soon opened up and shared why God brought us together. Sue said her husband had been "working" in another state for the past 5 years, coming home only every few months for a weekend visit, but she suspected early on there was another woman. Unlike me she had wisely never confronted him about it. Then I shared my situation and made it a point to share all my blunders that it felt so good to confess to someone who I knew didn't just me but understood. At the table we prayed for each other and agreed to meet every Friday evening.
We began meeting at a fast food restaurant for hours (on what was everyone else's "date night" a tradition we began and later continued with our husbands after we were restored). Each week we sat in a freezing, overly air-conditioned booth poring over many versions of the Bible we had spread out on the table.
We came together to seek the truth about everything we had questions about regarding our marriages, our husbands who were both gone, and our children. She had three teenage daughters, I had four: 3 boys ages nine, seven, four, and a daughter two. When we realized we'd messed up, we confessed and prayed for each other and could see that healing took place.
"Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man [or woman] can accomplish much"—James 5:16
We asked God to show us about how to deal with upcoming holidays, with our husbands who visited and when they didn't. We found these verses to confirm what He was showing us, which led to more wisdom.
“Come here and listen to me! I'll pour out the spirit of wisdom upon you and make you wise”—Proverbs 1:23. When we discovered this we began reading a Proverb every morning to gain wisdom. We also found this verse that opened our eyes...
“Do not be envious of evil men, nor desire to be with them…By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; and by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches”—Proverbs 24:1, 3–4
We knew He was telling us that it was not time to desire to be with our husbands. Instead He wanted us to be excited about our new friendship, and more importantly—excited about our relationship with the Lord. And to foster our most important relationship, we agreed not to call each other anytime during the week so that we would be careful to run to the Lord and not to each other.
Part of His wisdom we sought to know how to deal with was the "other woman" in our husbands' lives: one we knew existed and the other one we weren't sure, but suspected. Each and every question we took to Him. The verses we found during our weeks together now make up Chapter 14 "First to Throw a Stone" in the Restore Your Marriage book you have already read.
Over the course of the summer the Lord supernaturally, lovingly and patiently showed us one new passage in the Bible that we knew was the truth and therefore followed it in faith. And each time we did, we began to see our restorations improving!!
We began meeting every Friday even in May and by September Sue's marriage was actually RESTORED! I would never have believed it was possible had I not been part of it and had seen it with my own eyes!! After living in another state for five years, who we suspected (and once he was home found out) was living with another woman!! Yet this man returned home even though everyone said it was impossible. Not only did he return home, but they have lived happily ever after!
Shortly after Sue's marriage was restored, God began bringing other women who came into my life, and due to the success of my relationship with Sue, I began pairing these women together as ePartners, since there was no way I could be there for every women myself.
How Our ePartner Program Works
We have tried to pattern what the Lord did for me by giving women an ePartner, an "encouragement partner," once we are certain that a woman has had enough time to focus on the Lord so that she will not use her ePartner to simply chat or gossip or lean on. It took about seventeen months for me to go it alone, and for Sue, she walked alone with the Lord for four years!
Yet knowing what we have learned since the first ePartners in May of 1991, we have been able to greatly speed up the process—as long as women follow their Restoration Treatment Plan, staying on their Restoration Journey.
What we use to do is to pair women two like-minded women together, and just like Sue and I, but now the Lord has led us in a different direction.
We always encourage women to "SG" (Seek God) for wisdom just as Sue and I did. Much of what you and your ePartner need to know and learn will primarily be found in the Bible that are laid out in our resources (books and videos). HOWEVER, when to use and apply them needs you, each, on your own, to SG for wisdom!
James 1:5 says, "But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him."
Rather than offer advice, ePartners not only seek the Lord individually and together, they also are there lifting each other up when one falls. Because "Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up"— Ecclesiastes 4:9-10.
And rather than speak to anyone else, who easily spread gossip and create a worse situation in their marriage situation—their likeminded ePartner is there as a listening ear, while encouraging her that true comfort will be found ONLY in her prayer closet with the God of all Comfort.
2 Corinthians 1:3-5 says, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God."
The best way to get the most out of our new ePartner system is to reach the Milestones we already stated.
1. Complete the RYM Course
2. Continue on to the RRR Course
3. Read the Daily Encourager everyday
4. Follow and apply the principles taught in the bible which the Courses are built from.
5. Move on to the Rebuilding Course.
6. Eventually let go of your church.
7. Make the step to tithe to your new storehouse
With reaching each new milestone you are not only becoming closer to getting the most out of a ePartner but you are developing the intimate relationship that He longs to have with you. And like we said once you have that relationship you no longer will desire or need a ePartner but will have to heart to help other women.
If you are still part of your local church, then there is no need for you to join one of our Local Restoration Fellowships and to do so would put you in a state of doublemindedness, which is spiritually damaging.
“But let him ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that person expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways”—James 1:6–8.
However, if you feel you are ready to let go AND that the women in your church could benefit from our FREE Resources and the principles RMI teaches, then consider applying to become one of our ministers by completing our: