Before the age of 28, Deborah was divorced three times. She had no idea that failure can lead to success at that time. And, after her third divorce, for the next 4-5 years, she was mad at life and men.
Then, she started listening to God. Part of her restoration was "Hope for the Family," created by Dr. Marlin Howe, which was the seed that has grown GR8 Relationships. Below, Deborah tells us the rest of her story.
A Part of Deborah McCurdy's Story
God Uses Others' Failure
After going through the Hope for the Family series about five times, I saw relationships differently. At that point, I had no idea that relationship failure can lead to success. Then, I had the opportunity to begin working for Midland Bible Church in 1990 and took it. At that time, and even now, marriage became something I wanted to understand - it became a theme in my life. I didn't hang out with singles. Instead, I hung out with good marriages to learn how they worked.
Then, I experienced Hermann and Louie's marriage crisis. Everything I knew about it made me expect it to end - most Christians would expect it to end. But I watched as they went through that crisis, which became a real turning point for me. I saw two people go through a very difficult relationship issue, and I was changed to believe that if they could get through that difficult situation, I could, too.
If you have not seen their testimony, click here to watch it.
While the family system is a big help or big hurt for us, please recognize that divorce is never a requirement, even with adultery. It is an option, but a bad one. Neither I nor GR8 Relationships advocate divorce!
God Used My Failure
God can take what we mess up and raise us up. He is all about taking our messes and turning them into something good. Failure can lead to success in God's system.
Even though I have never remarried, God has used me to help others stay married. In 2001, MBC started a church planting program in Africa, and I became part of a women's ministering team. We've spent many years helping ladies in Malawi, Uganda, Zambia, and other African countries. When you are there, you see that they have the same problems we have, the same issues.
But Beware of Wrong Thinking
A question often comes to my mind is, "How is it that I am doing this coming from the life I led?" Satan would like me to keep my story silent and get me to think that I am not qualified or inadequate because of my past. But God works all things for good for those who love Him (Romans 8:28).
We all need to beware of that thinking - "I am a second-class citizen because I fell into sin's trap." That is a lie from Satan, but God has a different approach. He takes our bad decisions, all of our mistakes, and REDEEMS them to help us and minister to those we come in contact with. Our failure can lead to success, but only by God's grace.
Often, divorced people think we are damaged or maybe second-class citizens. Don't let the "What if...?" cause you to lose sleep. God does not play that game. He takes all of the mess and REDEEMS it. He takes failure and turns it into success. When those thoughts arise, take them to Jesus to deal with them (2 Cor. 10:4-5). He is the I AM, not the What If. What if disrespects God and you fall into Satan's trap.
God's Failure to Success Tools
God has restored me, but the consequences of divorce are far-reaching. It affects me, my child, parents, friends, and everyone watching. No one brings up the "What if" to me, only my mind. It can happen when I compare myself to what I see as a successful marriage or when I allow myself a pity party.
If you have the consequences of divorce, God is available. While that sounds like a scripted answer - IT IS NEVERTHELESS TRUE. He is the only real answer. Keep getting into His Word and seeing how He asks us to pursue the best for those around us and not make life about ourselves. There is no doubt with Him that failure can lead to success. There is great reward in doing what He wants.
Two Critical Tools
And please remember the two critical tools you need to deal with the consequences - Forgiveness and Confession. How easily you can get into bitterness, which adds to the consequences. Forgiveness is a way of life, not just a tool to use every once in a while. In fact, Luke 17 states that it is our duty to forgive. There is no freedom for you or the other person when forgiveness is not part of your life.
ONE LAST THING - Divorce is not a sin; the things that lead up to it are the sin. Trust the Lord that He can REDEEM your past. You can still have a significant impact on people for the glory of God.
PURSUING THEIR BEST - Freedom in Relationships