ON THE ONLY ROCK!
(The Judy Rousseau Story)
By: Judy Rousseau
If you would like to view Paul and
Judy's testimony on video, you can click on the following links:
700 Club Testimony
Precious Testimonies: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4
After twenty-two years of marriage, my husband turned to me and said, “Judy, I need to tell you something, I just don’t love you anymore.”
Admittedly, our relationship wasn’t perfect but I didn’t think our marriage was in any danger so I pretty much ignored what my husband said hoping his feelings of dissatisfaction would just go away. In the months that followed, our relationship deteriorated to the point that our home became a war zone and the stress level accelerated to the point that I asked my husband to move out.
Paul moved in with a friend of his. We were both hurting and yet we stubbornly clung to our belief that we were right and the other was WRONG. At the time, it seemed more important to be justified in our anger than it did to try and work things out. Surely I didn’t deserve to be treated so poorly after all I’ve done for Paul, I thought. (I hope you can detect the self-righteous attitude, because believe me … I certainly had one.)
Paul and I were now living about 40 minutes away from each other.
Neither of us had anything good to say so we simply said nothing. My husband wasn’t getting any positive attention from me and became vulnerable to the affections of a very attractive, divorced coworker.
When I learned about the affair, I decided that it was time to draw up divorce papers. For some reason, I thought a divorce was the answer or at least what was expected of me under the circumstances.
The weeks went on and my lawyer seemed to be dragging her feet.
Eventually she told me, “Judy, I have to be honest with you. I walk with God; and, because I do … I can not proceed with your case. I will not be party to burying something that isn’t dead. I believe if you will be patient, your marriage can be saved.”
Never Have I Felt Such Despair...
Never have I felt such despair. What would I do now? I had no lawyer and I certainly didn’t want to go through providing all that information to someone else. I have to admit, the time that I was pursuing a divorce were some of the blackest, most hopeless days I’ve ever lived. I had no peace.
I sought help from a beloved Christian friend who had known me for some time. She asked me, “Judy, if God Himself were standing right in front of you and asked you what you would like Him to do for you … what would you tell him?” The words came easily as my eyes filled with tears. I said, “I would ask Him to bring my husband back to Himself and back to our family. I would ask Him to heal us and use our family as an example that nothing is impossible with Him.” My friend, Jeanne said, “Well then, we know how to pray … don’t we?”
Suddenly, everything seemed so simple. Within a few days God spoke to me and said, “Yes, Judy. You do have grounds for divorce and I will permit it if that is what you want. However, if you are willing to walk with me through this time, I will bring you great victory. But … it will be very difficult.”
These many years later as I look back on what the Lord said, I am also greatly moved by what the Lord DID NOT SAY. According to the laws of the State of New Hampshire, I did have grounds for divorce. However, God’s word says that He hates divorce and since he hates divorce I would choose to hate it too.
Even though it was going to be difficult, I desired the great victory the Lord promised. At first, I expected that my husband would be home any day. I was convinced that God was going to strike Paul with a “lightning bolt” and correct everything that was wrong in his life. Boy, was I wrong. God began to change me. He taught me so much as I waited on Him, allowing me to see that the love that I had for my husband was not really love at all. He showed me that He loved me in spite of my imperfections, unconditionally. Could I offer my husband any less? God’s truth and mercy exposed my selfishness and I sought His forgiveness.
When I called my husband to tell him the “great news” that I wanted to get back together with him, he was not impressed. Paul told me that nothing had changed, he still was not in love with me but rather caught up in an exciting new romance with the woman of his dreams. At first I was crushed by Paul’s rejection. However, I chose to continue waiting on the Lord to bring me the great victory He had promised. Now I was able to identify with the suffering and rejection Jesus experienced. Yet, our savior chose to love anyway. He did not throw stones at the adulterous woman but rather offered her mercy and forgiveness. As His follower, I would have to treat my husband the same way.
People thought I was crazy. Why in the world would I hold on to someone who obviously did not want to be with me? Certainly, God does not expect me to suffer in this way. Even Christians counseled me to get a divorce … they seemed to think that God had someone better for me. Over and over again, God gave me the grace to put more faith in His word than the words of other people.
The majority of my free time was spent in prayer and searching the scriptures for promises to underline and claim. I was also given several faithful prayer partners who walked alongside me and kept me accountable to the decision I had made to stand for our marriage. I could write an entire book on these prayer partners and their ministry to me, but for now I’d like to get back to telling you our marriage restoration story.
The Wal-Mart Story...
However, there is one prayer partnership that I really need to tell you about because it is such an awesome story. One day, my two youngest boys and I were headed to Wal-Mart. For some strange reason that I didn’t know at the time, I chose to go through the center of Milford, New Hampshire rather than take the bypass. There in the center of the Milford oval was a traffic rotary which was completely bottlenecked … no one was moving. I casually looked to my left and saw a motorcycle headed in the opposite direction only a couple of feet away from my car.
I was stunned; it was my husband with his girlfriend’s arms tightly wrapped about him. Out of impulse, I tooted the horn and waved. He dropped his sunglasses and sheepishly waved to me and within seconds the traffic moved him along the highway and he was gone.
I took a deep breath and told my boys that they needed to help me pray.
(I’m sure they rolled their eyes thinking that their Mom was crazy.) I began to pray a prayer something like this … Lord, what just happened here has to be something that You arranged because even if I tried to meet Paul at this precise spot at this precise time, something would have gone wrong. There is absolutely no reason for Paul to be here right now. He usually works Saturdays, he lives almost an hour away and the timing of this meeting today is too perfect for it to be anything other than a miracle. Of all the millions of people in this world who aren’t my husband, You put him right there at the exact moment when I could not miss seeing him. Lord, Your word says that You will work all things together for good because I love You and am called according to Your plans, so Father, I ask You to work good even from this difficult situation. Take hold of my heart and make me the person You desire me to be. Encourage my sons to trust You that You will one day bring their father home. For all these things I praise you in Jesus name. Amen.
When I arrived at Wal-Mart, I heard the Lord speak to me once again. He said, “Judy, today I am going to raise up someone in Wal-Mart who is going to pray for you and your family.” Hmmm … I wonder who…I thought as I locked up the car. I gave my boys their instructions and asked them to meet me in an hour in front of the checkout. I then began to question the Lord about how I would know the person. He responded, “You will know.”
I stood still for about a minute and a half in front of the lawn and garden department and then a young man passed by. His shirt read, “The Lord’s gym– His pain, your gain." As the man walked by, the Lord said, "That is the man." I followed him beginning to rehearse what I would say to him and found him kneeling down looking at fishing equipment in the sports section of the store. I uttered a silent prayer, took a deep breath and tapped him on the shoulder.
"Excuse me, I said, I’ve never done anything like this before but today as I got out of my car here at Wal-Mart, the Lord spoke to me. He said that He was going to raise up someone in Wal-Mart who was going to pray for me and my family. When you walked by, the Lord told me that person is you." The man jumped to his feet raised his hands in the air and said, "Praise the Lord."
"Yes!! I thought … this is the right guy." Can you imagine what would have happened if I’d picked the wrong person. Security probably would have put me on permanent lay-away!
The man asked how he could pray for me. I introduced myself and told him that my two boys and I had just seen my husband on his motorcycle with his girlfriend but that I was believing God to restore him to Himself, and then back to me and our children.
The anointing of God came over this wonderful brother and he spoke, "Judy, you keep your eyes firmly planted on the word of God. Don’t look to the left, don’t look to the right, don’t listen to man, don’t listen to woman, but keep your eyes firmly planted on the word of God. For I want to tell you, Judy, your husband’s relationship with this other woman CANNOT and WILL NOT PREVAIL AGAINST THE WORD AND WILL OF ALMIGHTY GOD!!!!"
Wow!!! I was so overwhelmed I nearly fell over backwards. I felt as if I was face to face with an Old Testament prophet. The words he spoke ministered such hope to me that I thought on them many times during the remaining days of our separation. Several times the "prophet’s" words reminded me not to heed the advice of well meaning friends, but to focus only on the Word and Will of God.
After I recuperated from the impact of what he spoke, I asked him his name and a little bit about himself. He told me that his name was Adam and that he and his wife, Dorothy, lived nearby. He then allowed me to talk for a few more minutes giving him details and Paul’s business card to remind him to pray.
Adam waited for me to completely empty all the words I had to say and then this patient man said that he had something to tell me. He proceeded to tell me that he had been praying that the Lord would use his life to help others. He admitted to me that he had observed God’s supernatural workings in the lives of his friends but had never really experienced such a move of God himself so he had included a special request in his prayer that someday the Lord would touch his life in a supernatural way. He closed his prayer with a typical amen and then went into Wal-Mart to buy some fishing equipment. Suddenly … this little lady who he has never seen before taps him on the shoulder and tells him that he is the one that God had chosen to help her pray for her family. So, when Adam jumped to his feet, he did so because that supernatural prayer of his had been answered.
Not a Coincidence...
Now … some may say that my Wal-Mart story is a coincidence but I think NOT. When I think about what happened that Saturday afternoon, I am powerfully moved by how God’s hand knows exactly where everyone will be and at what precise moment. His hand arranged that I would see my husband and then that I would meet Adam (and he would meet me) at just the right moment. I ask you, what are the chances of this happening all by itself? I just love the way that God can answer the prayers of two strangers through the same set of circumstances.
My pastor, T. Lee Stephens, offered my prayer partners and me the use of our church (Calvary Assembly of God in Jaffrey, New Hampshire) on Monday nights so that we could gather for prayer. The "Monday is for Marriages"
prayer meeting still continues to this day however we now meet in private homes.
As we prayed, Paul experienced a growing restlessness and lack of peace until he reached the place where he could no longer resist the conviction and wooing of the Holy Spirit. He cried out to God for help and then called me to see if I would meet him for lunch. As we sat in a dim corner of the Cornerstone Restaurant in Antrim, New Hampshire, Paul said, "Judy … I’m sorry I can’t honestly tell you that I love you, I wish I could. But one thing I do know is that I FEAR GOD and because I FEAR GOD, I know that I need to come home if you will let me…"
Paul came home that day, April 5, 1995, six days before our 25th anniversary. It’s hard to believe that was over eleven years ago, and so much has happened since then. Not only did the Lord restore Paul and I as individuals, He also healed our marriage and Paul’s relationships with our children.
Here are some exciting things that have happened since Paul’s return home …
In early 1999, our son Mark purchased a computer which he encouraged me to use to explore Christian sites on the Internet. I found PRAYER WARRIORS ONLINE and sent in our testimony. That same day, I received an email from them asking for permission to post it. Within two days, I received similar requests from other ministries. Now I’m not even sure how many sites have posted our testimony.
Since that time, we’ve received thousands upon thousands of emails and phone calls from men and women all over the world seeking prayer and counsel for their own marriages. In the spring of 1991, Norm and Kathleen Rasmussen of Precious-Testimonies (www.precious-testimonies.com) came to our home to film approximately 5 hours of testimony on video. (Precious-Testimonies is a Michigan-based ministry that encourages Christians to film and write their testimonies as a means of building up the Body of Christ. They also distribute these testimony videos to Public Access television stations where they receive free air play. Please see the viewing areas their ministry broadcast is currently playing.)
We are also frequently invited to tell our story and share our music at nearby churches or Christian retreats.
In January 2001 our three sons, Paul and I made a 10-song Christian music CD which serves as powerful evidence that the Lord has healed our children.
A couple of years ago, GOSPEL TODAY magazine featured a summary of our testimony. Although I don’t remember what issue it appeared in, I do remember that T.D. Jakes was on the cover.
In the fall of 2006, Family Life Ministries out of Arkansas is going to feature our story in two parts. At this point I’m not sure what that will look like, but keep watching this site for details.
I’ve also written a book about what the Lord has done for us. At the moment, I’m praying for direction and favor with a publisher.
In June of 2006, a prayer partner, Jon in Oklahoma, volunteered to convert a cassette tape of a talk I’d given weeks after Paul’s return home in the spring of 1995 to an 80 minute CD. It’s likely that the CDs I have on hand now will soon be gone so I’m hoping to have another 1-2,000 made in the near future.
On the personal front, our family has grown. We’ve celebrated three weddings, the birth of three grandchildren and the adoption of a grandson from Korea. On our 33rd anniversary, a few years ago, we renewed our vows before a congregation of tearful family and friends. To God be the Glory!!!
Paul’s life has changed so much since his return home. In June of 2006, he was water baptized AND appointed to the Board at Calvary Assembly of God Church in Jaffrey, New Hampshire. (This is the same church that stood in the gap with me and prayed him home.) We also serve on the worship team there.
I spend much of my time writing messages of encouragement, answering phone calls and taking care of grandchildren.
God has been soooooo very good to us. Because of His goodness and what He allowed us to go through, we have an increasing burden on our hearts to serve as a living example of what our mighty God can do. He does hear and answer prayer.
To God be the glory great things He has done!!!!!I pray that this testimony brings you hope, peace and encouragement. What God has done for us, He can and will do for you.
God bless you and thank you for taking the time to read my testimony!
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Hope for Hurting Marriages is a ministry of encouragement for men and women who are praying for the restoration of their marriages and families.
If you are struggling in your marriage, and would like to contact Paul or Judy, they also would be more than willing to talk and pray with you and for you. Because of what they've been through, God has placed a call on their hearts to reach out to hurting marriages. They welcome you to email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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