Founder’s Updated Testimony
God deserves so much praise and honor because the way He has worked in my heart and life since establishing this ministry is nothing short of miraculous, so it’s long past time to update my testimony as FAMM’s founder! And even though this is “the Reader’s Digest version,” it’s important to convey that the most significant thing I’ve learned in all that God has revealed and taught me over the past eight years is how ABSOLUTELY faithful and mighty He is to uphold EVERY Word that comes from His mouth—why Jesus reminded us that we don’t live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4)! We tend to just think of that in terms of the “good” things and the things we particularly want and hope to see manifested in our lives and circumstances, but it literally means EVERYTHING written in the Bible and there are no exceptions! Therefore, regardless of what we or anyone else might believe, think or understand or not concerning God and His Word (especially regarding marriage, divorce and remarriage in our particular circumstances), in the end, ALL of our lives are literally governed and predestined according to His written Word. Yet we don’t often realize or consider that we’ll always have consequences for our own sin and disobedience (such as the demise of our marriages because we failed to be the spouses God’s Word instructs us to be), as declared in Scriptures like Hosea 4:6 and Luke 6:46-49. There are also many encouraging and reassuring Scriptures declaring that when we get and keep things right with the Lord, God will turn it ALL around for our good and His glory–such as Isaiah 55, Genesis 50:20, Romans 8:28 and 1 Thessalonians 5:18, and that’s where my focus is today!
Thankfully, I’ve also learned how God uses even our greatest mistakes and sin for His glory and to accomplish His plans for our lives and in the lives of others when we truly have repentant and yielded hearts and lives! Joseph’s life/testimony is a great example of that since his pride (boasting) led him right into a lot of trouble; yet Genesis 50:20 illustrates how God INTENDED and used everything he experienced to accomplish HIS plan and purpose and as we all know, Joseph was very blessed and highly favored in the end! Perhaps I so relate to him because I can now very clearly see how God used my own sin and disobedience in remarrying after my first divorce to lead me to the work I’ve been doing in FAMM, which has been the most rewarding and exciting time and experience of my life!
So skipping over the many long and drawn out details of my personal testimony, including being physically blind and starting this ministry while standing for the restoration of an adulterous second marriage (after my first husband had divorced me and remarried), my updated testimony begins with the restoration of my non-covenant marriage right before my second husband went to prison. We had re-established communication with each other in 2005 After nine years of absolutely no contact (soon after which I started this ministry), and other than brief periods of time over the following few years, we pretty much stayed in touch with each other. Then after an unexpected and unexplained extended period of complete silence (close to a year), he called out of the blue in July of 2009 and told me he was facing time in prison. He also shared that his subsequent (also non-covenant) marriage had fallen apart in a matter of weeks, which he hadn’t revealed over the years. Yet I sensed that things weren’t going well since he was obviously depressed in many of our communications, which were almost entirely via email. So as his pending divorce and sentencing hearing approached, we reconnected with each other over the thousands of miles that separated us for several months and then saw each other in person for the first time in fifteen years!
Meanwhile, as God ALWAYS manages to do in order to accomplish His plan, I finally responded to the prompting I had felt on many occasions to have an attorney review my divorce paperwork and get a legal opinion about whether or not the final order of the court re-enforcing our settlement and separation agreement set aside our divorce as I believed it had. The lawyer was astounded when she reviewed it and said it was “very bad lawyering” on the part of everyone involved and that they obviously didn’t bother reading the terms of our settlement and separation agreement before ordering, writing and signing the order to re-enforce it! So it was her opinion that my second husband and I were indeed legally separated and not divorced as a matter of law! Then God orchestrated a lot of unexpected and significantly timely events and circumstances that led to us being together the last few days before he reported to prison. First, without a request to do so, the judge extended his report date because of a mix up about the order regarding where he was to be incarcerated, which meant his divorce was final before he went into prison. Then he was assigned to a prison in the middle of nowhere several states away and couldn’t get there by plane or bus and was strongly advised to report directly to the prison instead of surrendering to the federal marshall’s office. So his attorney had to get an emergency court order for him to come to my home so we could drive up to the prison.. I had mixed thoughts and emotions about all of that at the time, but had no doubt that it was the hand of God moving in my life and circumstances since it was too incredible to be anything else! So I just prayed to be a blessing in my husband’s time of need and NOT to make things about me. I still didn’t see what God was up to, but it wasn’t long before I realized that things had to happen EXACTLY as they did for God’s plan and purpose to be accomplished in my life and ministry.
God changed me so much over the years since my non-covenant husband and I were married and separated and HE knew the ONLY way I’d ever fully understand the significance of that was to actually cohabitate with him again. So I believe God orchestrated that to show me how different we are regarding the most important things to me (and to him) since that’s when I first started questioning giving up my work in ministry as my husband clearly wanted. And if he hadn’t gone to prison, I would have done that in what I mistakenly considered obedience based on Ephesians 5:21-24 and 1 Peter 3:1-6. Fortunately, realizing that FINALLY made me see that we can NOT apply God’s Word concerning His Holy covenant of marriage to what His Word repeatedly calls adultery and expect to get HIS results in our lives and marriages! And even though I was aware of the conflict in my heart and spirit at the time, I didn’t fully grasp it all until God started removing the blinders and showing me the truth of His Word concerning marriage and what He really meant by calling me to take a stand for His Holy covenant of marriage. God’s ways and thoughts truly are so much higher and different than ours (Isaiah 55:8-9), which is why it’s SO easy for our woefully deceptive hearts (Jeremiah 17:9) to misunderstand and be led astray regarding His will and plan when we’re not well grounded and rooted in His Word!
To this day, I don’t know what made my husband so angry, but through trying to plan a surprise for his first birthday in prison, at which time I was planning to visit him, I said or did something that made him very angry with me. So I cancelled my visit and we agreed that we wouldn’t be together when he got out of prison. And then, as only God could have orchestrated, less than an hour after making that decision, my first (and covenant) husband called me for the first time in twenty years!!! He’s in his third marriage now and had recently experienced a life threatening health crisis and was obviously taking a trip down memory lane. (He still contacts me on occasions such as my birthday, and even called more recently to acknowledge our fortieth wedding anniversary—the first time he’s done that since our divorce!) Needless to say, I was totally stunned when I got off the phone, especially by the unbelievable timing, which I knew was ALL GOD’S DOING! That’s when God first began removing the blinders and showed me just how serious He is about HIS Holy covenant of marriage—and that certainly got my attention! I pulled the plug on email communication with my second husband soon after that because I didn’t like dealing with his anger, but he sent a letter the following year asking to set up another email account because he didn’t like not being in touch with me. So I agreed to that and we stayed in constant contact with each other until his release from prison. Since I know it’s really tough being incarcerated without help “on the outside,” I wanted to be a blessing to him in whatever way I could because I’m so blessed and know that FAMM wouldn’t exist if not for the way God used him in my life. So I sent him information when he requested it, ordered books and magazines for him and even sent a few more as gifts over the years, along with a little money on special occasions, and we emailed each other almost every day for about two and a half years. Well, God is indeed good beyond measure because that season in our lives has come to an end, and after almost four years, he left prison today and was reunited with his family!
When I look back at some of the things I sincerely believed and even wrote BEFORE God started showing me the truth of His Word concerning marriage (and how it SO CLEARLY states that ANY marriage to another person while a first spouse lives is adultery based on Mark 10:10-12, Luke 16:18, Romans 7:1-3 and so many other passages of Scripture), it’s hard to believe how blinded and deceived I was. But over time, God has also shown me why He allowed and actually used my deception to further His plan and purpose in my life and ministry and how things had to happen EXACTLY as they did. Despite my ignorance of the Scriptures concerning marriage, divorce and remarriage while a first spouse lives (especially 1 Corinthians 7:10-11), after my first divorce, GOD had written on the tablet of MY heart that I was to remain single and I was set on doing that. But just as soon as I fell for my second mister, that went right out the window and I was more than willing to accept the false teaching received from the divorce care program at my church after my first divorce, which I had previously totally rejected. Of course, we just have to read Romans 1:18-25 and beyond to see how and why God allows that! But it ALL became crystal clear when in response to God’s prompting, I reread the testimony I wrote and posted here when first establishing the ministry and couldn’t believe the level of deception that was at work in my heart and mind to even think of “standing” for the restoration of a marriage I said wouldn’t exist “if I knew then what I know now!” After acknowledging that I wouldn’t have remarried based on what I had since learned about God’s Word, how could I ever think or expect God to bless what I knew His Word called adultery! That’s when I realized how Romans 1:18-25 had been manifested in my heart and life as the result of my disobedience in choosing to remarry when God had put it in my heart to remain single; thereby exchanging the truth of God for a lie, and worshiping and serving the creature rather than the Creator–thus reaping the inevitable consequences of my own disobedience and rebellion! No matter how ignorant or deceived we are, God’s Word concerning marriage DOES NOT apply to what His Word so unambiguously calls adultery!
In light of all the Lord has revealed to me personally, along with being blessed to see Him work so mightily and miraculously in the restoration of over a hundred marriages, I know how serious God is about upholding His Holy covenant of marriage–and finally understand His call to take a stand for it! And now that the FAM Fellowship is only available to those standing for the restoration of a first marriage for both spouses (except after death), we really are taking a stand for God’s Holy covenant of marriage in accordance with His written Word! As for me, in keeping with the instruction and option provided in 1 Corinthians 7:10-11, I’ve decided to remain single so I can continue to serve the Lord with total devotion and an undivided heart and know that I wouldn’t ever be happy doing otherwise! So it’s my sincere hope and expectation that those who participate as FAM Fellowship members will find the biblical teaching, support and encouragement needed to restore and strengthen their walk and relationship with Jesus Christ, to recover from the pain and disappointment that led them to our site in the first place, and on to the glorious day of sharing their own restored marriage testimonies to encourage those who come after them…and ALL for our Lord’s glory!
Linda Wattu, FAMM’s Founder.
All Bible verses are from the New International Version 1984 unless otherwise indicated.