This is a story about a woman who was redeemed by God from a place where she was wedged between a husband and a wife. She is taking a step of faith to have the courage to share her very personal story in hope that it will encourage someone who finds herself in the situation she once was in. Nine years ago, Betta came to know the Lord. The grace she found in Him has led to her heart and life transformation. Now, she is seeking to help others to be made right with God so they may experience the abundant life, amazing love, His freedom, His love, His joy, and His peace that He has since allowed her to experience in her new life, her true life that she would not trade for anything else.
Betta tells God’s story in her life:
“I think every woman has a very, very deep desire to be loved and cared for, to be treated like a princess and someone special, to be provided for, to have security. It’s a real need that needs to be addressed. We look in many places for the solution for that answer of how we can be made complete as a woman, as a mother.
I always thought my life couldn’t be whole unless a man completed it in that manner. I also had a child already. I wanted her to have a family, a father to grow up with and (I wanted someone) to come home to, to be there for matters that I, as a woman, wouldn’t know how to deal with. I wanted somebody to be there for me to share my burdens as a mother, daughter, sister, friend, or even just to share my burdens in the office to help me, guide me. I wanted all that just like every woman does. And I tried to fill that void in my heart by looking at men even if they had belonged to someone else already in marriage. And so when I did, initially, I felt that completeness. It was great to be sought after, treated like a princess in an ivory tower… but after a while, the void was still there; I couldn’t put my finger on it.
I just went on with life until I lost it all. Finally, I was in a situation where I had no one else but God and this is when I met Him and allowed Him to speak to me and move in my life that I slowly came to that realization that that void that I had been experiencing all my life, that yearning for completeness, security, love that is unconditional, faithful and true, that will provide for me and my family… all of that I realised could only be answered by God. I went through a lot of pain and suffering to come to that realisation but I would go through it all over again just to find my God today. I am complete. I am complete in Him. I have peace in my heart. I have assurance of a love that is unconditional, faithful, and true, One who provides not just what I think I need, what I see I might need, but things that I don’t see at all, those needs that I can’t express in words, I’m not even aware of- those needs are provided for.
I’d like to encourage you if you find yourself in a compromised situation where you are not Number 1 or you are not the only one. I want to encourage you to allow God to give that to you because He wants to. He loves you so much. You’re His Number 1. And He wants you to be Number 1 in everything here in this life as well, free from any lack, free from any guilt, or insecurity. He wants to give you that freedom, that joy, and peace that transcends human understanding. He so much wants to give it to you more than you want it. Give Him a chance.
1. FAMILY BACKGROUND
Generally, my life was really blessed with a loving family, a father who provided well and a mother who devoted her years to serving my dad as a wife and us siblings as her children.
2. EDUCATION AND CAREER
I was also blessed to be able to study abroad and eventually work in a multinational banking corporation that put me in Asia, around Asia, North and South America for several years… was very successful in my career. Because of my success in my career, my family and all my friends really admired and looked up to me as a role model in all aspects except the spiritual side.
3. I THOUGHT I WAS A SPIRITUAL PERSON BUT NO LIFE CHANGE
I never experienced Jesus in my life in that degree. I thought I was a spiritual person. I went to church every Sunday. In fact, there were times in different periods in my life when I went to church daily. I even went to a convent thinking that this was what I wanted in my life. So at thirty, I went to the convent in New York where they were training novices. I had a level of spirituality in my life although I still did the same wrong things, even as I attended Sunday service, did my prayers, devotions. My life at that time never really changed. Most of the time when I would go to church, it was not because I wanted to be with my Father in heaven and worship Him and honor Him. It was an obligation so that I would not feel guilty.
Living in very worldly places—the financial centers in major countries—unconsciously, I lived a life where I believed as long as I was not hurting anyone physically, I was providing for my family, providing help for the church and the needy, that I also had the right to be happy in life even if it were at the cost of what I knew was right and what I knew was wrong by God. So I lived this life. I had all kinds of relationships with single men, married men. I could not really commit myself to anyone. As soon as things would not work, I just walked away. I failed my marriage, walked out on my marriage. I met this guy who was married and fell in love with him, allowed him to fall in love with me. After many years of dating, we lived together.
5. I THOUGHT I WAS HIS SAVIOR FROM A RELATIONSHIP THAT WAS BROKEN
He was still living with his wife. Where that marriage was, now that I know what God means is His purpose was for marriage. I can say right now that I played God. When he and I came into that relationship, I chose what I wanted to believe in so that it would justify my actions. I thought I would be the savior, bail him out of a relationship that was broken. So I played God. I judged it. I played God and said “This is good for him, it’s good for me.” And that’s why I said I allowed him to fall in love with me. I didn’t try to dissuade him. I knew I should have, I tried with little attempt and with shallow determination because I really just wanted to have him. So yeah, I played God. So he left his family to be able to continue seeing me.
6. I WANTED THAT RELATIONSHIP BLESSED
I didn’t feel trapped in the relationship because I really wanted that relationship to be blessed, to be solid. I wanted to be married in the eyes of God to this man. Of course, I did not push him one way or the other. I was free. I think he also wanted to put things in place. But it wasn’t happening for him. So we couldn’t get married. But it was between me and God. I said, “Lord if you bless this relationship then help him with the annulment”. But it didn’t happen.
7. I THOUGHT I HAD EVERYTHING
I think I was trying to make believe that I had a good life without God. I had everything I wanted: a big house, nice cars, my children were in good schools. My partner, he’s a wonderful guy too. But there was something lacking I couldn’t put my finger on. Now I can of course (God was missing). But the joy, the peace that I have been so blessed with in these last nine years is nothing close to where I was before when I thought I had everything. I was so far… so far away.
8. LIFE AS A THIRD PARTY
I was already living with my partner who was a married man. I had a child with him and I had my child as well (with my first and only marriage). We were comfortable. We had a nice house. He was working and providing for us. I had not been working anymore by that time. I thought I was in the best place anyone would have ever wanted to be. But as I go back to see, was I really happy? I can tell you now… No. There was always something way, way, way at the back of my head. Deep, deep, deep inside me there was something there that I was not at peace with. I just managed to bury it so deep to flush it out and just live with what I thought I wanted in life at whatever cost as long as I was happy. I was dead wrong.
II. TURNING POINT
9. I SAW WHAT JESUS DID FOR ME
What changed my life…when the movie of Mel Gibson came. I watched the Passion of Christ thinking that I was just going to watch another Jesus Christ movie… as soon as I sat on my chair and saw what Jesus went through, it really hit me like a brick. I was so moved. What I saw Jesus do for me to the point that I heard Him while He was at the cross and the devil was trying to tempt Him to just get off the cross because Satan knew He didn’t have to do it, Jesus was God. I heard Him so audibly “I have to do this for Betta” in my heart and in my mind,. At the end of the movie, I was so shook that at the end of the movie, I just went home… and for the first time in my life I went down on my knees and said, Lord, if I am not in the right place, You have to change it because I don’t know how. My prayer is that not a single drop of blood on Jesus’s body or a wound would be for nothing because of me. And that’s all I said because I really didn’t know how to talk to God at that time.
10. A TRIP TO THE BOTTOM ON THE WAY TO THE TOP
Life went on the next three months without my knowing that God was already moving. I thought that He was going to grant the annulment so my partner and I could have gotten married at that time (because he had already filed for annulment). But what happened was He took the relationship away. I went into a downward spiral. Suddenly he was just gone. Right after that, my best friend who was the only one who supported me and who knew what was going on in my personal life died almost in my arms in a fluke accident followed by my cousin who I really cared about died suddenly of a heart attack. In less than three months, my youngest brother who I’m very close to also died of a massive heart attack. So my friends and my family were so distraught. I was so broken. All my support systems were gone… no one to turn to. I didn’t have a job… my partner was gone. There was no one left for the first time in my life. I found myself at the bottom of the bottom. My doctor told me I had to take (anti)depression tablets. She medicated me. I though I was going further down in a hole. I couldn’t feed the children. I couldn’t go to the grocery. I just couldn’t function. I didn’t know if
they were coming or going. I just lost it.
11. HEALING THROUGH THE WORD (From 00:58)
One morning, a friend of mine just called me, invited me to attend a bible study. I had nothing to lose at that point in time. I was so desperate. I was willing to go anywhere to try to get help. And so I went. I met these women. I just saw something different in all the women who were there that I didn’t have. I wanted to know what it was. In that first bible study, I just felt a certain healing in my heart not knowing yet where it was coming from and I just wanted more and more and more of it. I come religiously to every bible study. In fact by the third bible study I asked the leader, “Can we do this twice a week?” because I was starved. I was like in the desert looking for an oasis. I found it my bible group and the women all there were just so supportive. They didn’t know what was going on in my life at that point in time but they didn’t need to know because they just showed so much care, concern, support. The healing that I was receiving was indescribable, inexpressible, there are just no words to say …and I just wanted more. After a month of that, I found out there was a movement that met every Sunday where they did service in a different way from what I was used to. There was a lot of singing and then bible study again. So I went. And I loved it. I was just spiritually starved and I needed all that nourishment from this group that I had just met. After three succeeding Sundays of going there by myself, I finally brought my children who were then two and thirteen years old. We went. As soon as the service ended, both my kids looked at me straight in the eye and they said “Mom, this is where we belong. We keep coming here.” It’s almost difficult to say how can a thirteen year old and a two year old know the meaning of what they were saying. That to me was like a direct word from above and so we started going there and we continue to do so today. When I came to know who my God really is and how much He really loves me and how He relentlessly, unceasingly just kept running after me all my years until I finally came to a place where I can hear Him, He just revealed Himself in an amazing way that was no longer difficult for me to understand, comprehend, experience, encounter. It just happened. I fell in love with Him and I fell in love with Jesus. And I surrendered my life. He had to be the one to change my life. I just couldn’t. I had no job, no partner. The children didn’t have a father. My family was distraught…the grieving, the losses, the deaths. But He revealed himself in a magnificent, very personal, intimate way. In three months, I just felt I was completely healed so much so that our first Christmas without all these loved ones in the family— my family was still hurting badly—God allowed me to be the pillar of strength for that first Christmas. He just gave me wonderful ideas on how to make this Christmas really special even in the absence of three of our loved ones.
III. NEW LIFE WITH GOD
12. FATHER TO MY CHILDREN
And He just took on my daughter. My daughter walks with the Lord passionately. She’s now in a Bible College in Australia, finishing a program where she hopes to be able to counsel youth and children particularly of families that are broken. She’s familiar with that kind of experience and was able to come out of it triumphantly by God’s grace and so she’s hoping to do that also the rest of her life. My son is also walking with the Lord. He’s now eleven. And it’s nothing because of what I said nor what I did. It’s all because of what God did. God did for me at the bottom of my life and He did for my children at the same time.
13. MY HOMESCHOOLING PARTNER
I homeschool my son so I said, “Lord, I don’t know how to do this (homeschool) but You do. You said in Isaiah that You, The Lord, will be the teacher of my son and my son will learn from You and live a peaceful life. And I just hold on to that promise of God every day, every moment that I have a struggle with my son, challenge with him in homeschooling. I just cling to that verse because His word is faithful. And so today I’m in my fourth year of homeschooling and I’m excited to do it next year.
14. MY EXCEEDINGLY ABUNDANT PROVIDER
I still am a single mom. I have not had a job or work for eight years. But God has, in His love and His great passion for me and my children, He has provided me exceedingly abundantly overflowing. I’ve never been in want. My children continue to go to the best schools, there’s always food on the table. We get to travel pa. It may not be the same luxury that we had before but we’re not even looking for it.
15. FREEDOM AND PEACE
When you turn to God and you ask Him for wisdom because you want to do something for Him, He’ll give you the peace that transcends all understanding. He gave the peace in my heart. I experienced a freedom that I never experienced in my life— freedom from any guilt, from any shame, from any doubt where my future’s gonna be (not just mine but my children’s as well). I can sleep better (I’ve never slept so well, I sometimes sleep nine hours). I wouldn’t change my life where I’m at today for anything in the world. I just want more of Him.
16. SHARE THE JOY, PEACE, LOVE THAT IS NOT IN THIS WORLD
I would like to bring as many people who are in the place where I once was, bring them to where they can find that joy and peace and love that everyone is just hungry for but don’t find it in what the world can offer because it’s not there. I’ve tried it all. I didn’t find it there. It’s only in God.
17. MY STORY TO HELP OTHERS
If God will allow my story to be used to help women and men in situations where I once was nine years ago, then I would bring it with joy, humility, and courage. If God could use a donkey to change people’s lives, He can use me. And He can use you also.
IV. IN HINDSIGHT
18. DIFFICULT TO LEAVE
It was very difficult because my children had already gotten used to the situation in the family. I hurt a lot of people who I loved most. If it were up to me, I would have never done it (leave) because I wouldn’t have been able to do it. I would not have left, I would have stayed on in this ungodly relationship. So I think God really saw the sincerity of my heart that I really wanted to be right by Him more than anything else. I love how God surprises us with His ways so that it can happen.
19. GOD HELPED ME AFTER THE BREAKUP
When my partner and I broke up, I was thinking about him 24/7. I couldn’t sleep at night. I cried out to the Lord and said, “When will you take this away? I don’t want to think about him anymore. I just want to think of You” I prayed that every day, every night. I don’t know when it happened but it happened.
20. SHAKEUP HELPED ME FIND GOD AS WORLDLY SUCCESS CREATED NOISE
I think in my situation because I was very capable, independent, very successful as a professional, I could provide for my kids on my own, I was well respected in the market… I think a lot of that I credited to myself. I wasn’t arrogant either. I was a nice person. I wasn’t rude or distasteful. People liked me, respected me. I was a decent person. And so I was crediting it all to my ability and upbringing. God must have been whispering in my ear earlier, earlier on but I just wasn’t listening. There was just so much power, money, worldly success that was noisy in my mind. I would say yes, I needed that kind of a shakeup (to help me find God) because the gentle whispers were not working.
God has just taken over our lives. He’s also given me the humility and wisdom to make amends with those I’ve hurt in life. Eight years ago when I met Christ, I also just embraced that humility and wrote a letter to my former partner’s wife to ask for forgiveness from her, and the children, and my children, my whole family…one by one. God gave me the strength wisdom, boldness to just go and make amends with those I had hurt.
My biggest regret is that there were five beautiful children who innocently and involuntarily were thrown into the situation. And they were thrown out just as quickly as they were thrown in. I can not make up for that. God knows how much I would want to do that, sort of go back to the past and change everything. I pray for them everyday, no fail. And I know that God is answering my prayers.
V. LESSONS LEARNED
23. INSIGHT WHY EXTRAMARITAL RELATIONSHIPS HAPPEN
In today’s world, there’s jus so much ease and (materialism) that has unconsciously and unintentionally really has crept into our value system, our moral standards: movies, TV shows, game shows, exposes us at a very young age to a way of life, particularly relationships that is appealing to our passion, lusts (whether for food, drinks, sex). It appeals and we want instant gratification and so we just go with the lustful desires we have and satisfy without thinking anymore what it does to other people’s relationships, feelings, what it does to our spirit. It kills our spirit. But like with me, I shoved it aside. I just want to satisfy my body desires, my physical desires. I just killed my spirit. And I think that’s what causes a lot of relationships to fall. It’s not just between husband and wife, parents and children, inter-office relationships, friends. Because of what we’re exposed to today and the desire for instant gratification.
24. HOW TO ADDRESS INNER NEEDS
We need to take more time to just quiet our soul and go away from the “noise” in this world and find that spirit that’s drowning in us. Just listen to that spirit again that’s hungry to come out. I didn’t hear a voice condemning me, pushing me to further guilt. It was a voice telling me “You’re a beautiful creation. You are a child of this wonderful Creator who loves you passionately. It’s a ridiculous love. How does He love me? Why? You search, seek, what the spirit is speaking and you find God. Finding God is in spirit. It’s not the mind or body that finds God; it’s the spirit. Once you find God then your mind comes to an understanding. Your body gets comforted. Your mind receives that peace. Your body gets nurtured. You’re sort of flipping everything around: from a worldly physical, mental, emotional kind of world and your spirit is down here (gesturing like a sphere). You have to flip it around (gesturing to flip the sphere). When you address the spirit in you and finally find your peace with your spirit, your emotion and your mental capacity as well as physical is all lifted up as well (gesturing bringing up everything to the top where the spirit is) whereas prior to coming to know the Lord, it was my physical and and my emotions and my limited mental human understanding that was here (top) and my spirit was drowning (bottom) and there was no way that I could satisfy whatever I wanted here (at the physical, emotional, mental level). There was always something lacking. There was a vacuum in my life and I couldn’t figure out what it was until I realized and I came to know that I was missing God. Our DNA has a godly DNA in us that needs to be satisfied to have that relationship (with God) and understanding for one to be able to live a full life, a meaningful life where you are not only running after things that don’t really mean anything, things that when you die, you can’t even take with you. Relationships. the love you have with your Creator, family, friends. Relationships you take with you because it’s in your spirit. So you don’t get that rest which your spirit is so hungry for. Spirit is a very integral part of our existence. We have four dimensions: body, soul, mind, and spirit. You can’t have 1, 2, and 3 and not 4. You need all four.
VI. PRESSING ON
25. CONTENTMENT IN GOD, MY LIFE GOAL
I’m not worried. I’ve experienced in these nine years God’s faithfulness. Where I am today is all because of Him. I am not in want of anything in this life. I’m not needing a new car, a new house, more clothes and shoes. I’m giving away, I have too much. But I want more of Him. I want to see God more. I want to see Him in people’s lives. I want to find favor in Him. All I long for is when I close my eyes to this world and I open them again in His presence is that I will hear Him say simply “Well done, my faithful child.” That’s all I want to hear. That what I live for.
26. UNDER HIS CONSTRUCTION. ALL TROUBLE WILL END BUT HE WILL NOT
I’m far from perfect. I’m definitely a work in progress. But I like to be under His construction. Even if I find myself in the midst of a storm (which I have), I found that I can still praise Him, I can still count my joys and blessings because He’s in my life. All these trouble and all these pains will come to an end but He will not. He will always be by my side.
27. MORE KNOWLEDGE AND LOVE OF GOD MADE MY DESIRE FOR THE THINGS OF THIS WORLD LESS
I loved shopping before. I would just buy anything I wanted and Boom! (snap) But now, I enter the mall, if there’s anything I look for, it’s a place to eat. I don’t know when it happened in these last nine years, it just evolved. As I grew more in the knowledge and love of God and His presence in my life, He’s made that desire for the pleasures of the world less and less and less and less.
28. ENCOURAGEMENT FOR THIRD PARTY
The desire to have what they don’t have is so great that it overshadows the better senses. They overshadow their belief or their hope that there is something better out there than where they are. I would wish and pray that anyone that is in a situation where they are in hiding, can not come out with it, they can not walk with peace and joy in their hearts with someone that they love, come to some kind of understanding and knowledge that the One who made them wants something more for them, wants them to have a life full of joy and peace and love without guilt or shame. I am a mom. I don’t want my children to be hiding in the dark because they’re doing something that’s not accepted by other people. I don’t want them to be in a situation where they’re feeling a bit ashamed, guilty. I want them to live a life of freedom. Freedom from chismis. If I, a limited human being can think in those terms, what more He who created us, who knows every strand of hair in our heads. He counts it all. Why does he count it all? …because He cares for us. It’s important to Him. If that Being cares so much, that very Person will have a better life that He wants for you. The challenge is, will you trust Him? Will you put your faith in Him? And that’s my prayer that there will be an experience in their life, a gentle whisper. I don’t want them to go through what I went through. I would pray that somehow they would respond to a little nudge, a gentle whisper, just give it a try, just give it a try, you won’t lose anything, just give it a try. Just go and seek Him. Find a group that can help you seek the Lord. Say, “Lord is that what You want for me in life that I’m in this situation? I don’t like it either.” Then find Him. Give God a chance because He wants very much to bless the women who are in situations where I once was.
29. ENCOURAGEMENT FOR THE SUFFERING WIFE
I encourage them not to write it off but to find the opportunity to seek God and find first comfort in Him, security in Him, wisdom in Him because only with that will the suffering wife be able to rise to the occasion and when she rises to the occasion with God in her, then she can act with grace, with respect, and with gentleness to the family, to the husband, and it will be in her example that will speak the loudest to the husband and to the children. Only God can do that but He wants to and He will if you let Him but you need to seek Him. Quiet your soul. Find solace in Him. Read His Word. Believe in His promises and wait on Him. Waiting is the most difficult thing to do for a human being, including myself. Waiting on the Lord, waiting on the Lord, waiting on the Lord…but it will come to pass. He will do it.
30. ENCOURAGEMENT TO THE HUSBAND LOOKING OUTSIDE OF MARRIAGE
I’d say the same thing: Give God a chance. He might feel for one reason or another that he’s not happy in the marriage, his marriage is not working, he got into it for the wrong reason and all that… He (God) loves us all. He gave His son for all of us. Give God a chance. Give yourself a chance to listen to the spirit because we have spirit and it’s in the spirit where God speaks. We need to listen to that spirit that is in us.
Lord I am so honored and humbled to be able to use Your story in my life to share with others. It may start like a story that is sad and painful but only You are able to turn that all into joy, peace, and victory. I lay at the throne of Your grace anyone who may be reading Your story in my life. I want to present them to You and ask that You do for them what You did for me. Allow them to experience Your amazing love for them. Allow them to taste and see that You are good and that You are madly in love with them that you pursue them unceasingly and relentlessly. Open the door of opportunity to encounter You in an extraordinary way and live that whole life, a life of abundance and joy and peace that is in You. Make a way to let them know that You want them to be Number 1 in this life as You consider them in Your eyes. I pray this in Jesus’s name, Amen. I’m praying for you.”
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