#57: Disappointments, Marriage, and Miracles (part 2)

This is part TWO of two on the topic of disappointments, marriage, and miracles. Learn about what to do when your spouse is not on the same page with you about goals. Discover how rare faith principles can also be applied to concerns not related to money. If you have ever been hurt or disappointed and feel hesitant to dream again, listen to this episode.

Click here for part 1

Originally recorded in Mendon, Utah on Oct 11, 2018

Resources mentioned:

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New Graduate: Stephanie Lee

Desperate for $6000

I’m pleased to present Stephanie Lee as a new Mindset Mastery Honors Graduate!

In the Mindset Mastery program, students are instructed on the laws and principles that activate unseen help. That unseen help orchestrates resources, connections, and/or impressions that nudge the students toward all they need to realize their goal. In Phase 1, they practice what they’ve learned on an inconsequential goal – something NOT connected to anything they’re intensely concerned about. This helps them experience success without undue stress, to build the mental muscle memory they need to apply what they learn to a goal of greater significance in Phase 2.

Stephanie was already a student of the self-paced Mindset Mastery program since 2016, but didn’t quite complete it. So when she had the opportunity to join the Guided version of the program, she jumped on it. And now, here we are just a few months later, congratulating her on becoming an Honors graduate!

Rainbow, Please?

Here is Stephanie’s Phase 1 (inconsequential) goal report in her own words:

8:39 am. Good morning from water-logged Oregon! As part of the Guided Mindset Mastery group, it was time to choose an inconsequential goal. (If you have a chance to sign up for a future session, I HIGHLY recommend it!!)

I decided to not overthink it, and just see what popped up in my head that fit this criteria:

    1. It couldn’t be something I could buy.
    2. It couldn’t be something I had lost (there’s a reason and story behind this one that I won’t get in to here.)
    3. It couldn’t be something that required another person.

So, the first thing that popped into my head was “a rainbow”. That sounded fun, so I did a little journaling around it because I have been consistent in my overthinking/doubting/overanalyzing in the past…:

    1. My IDEAL rainbow is a real one, in the sky, weather related, SEEN IN PERSON.
    2. Bumper stickers of rainbows are allowable.
    3. Any other sort of manmade rainbow counts (I’m looking at you, Pink Floyd album cover…)
    4. Regardless of what kind of rainbow I see, it will stick out like a sore thumb and really catch my attention.
    5. I will log each sighting in a note on my phone.

I was having fun writing this list. …I was being aware of my propensity to doubt the way a thing shows up like I have in the past, because previously, I would only have one vision of how it COULD show up.

[But then I wondered…] Is my list of allowables increasing my chances of seeing a rainbow in a way that is in line with the principles, or is my list a sneaky way of putting demands on the laws that aren’t mine to put there? If I want to see a rainbow in real life, but I allow all the other versions to count, am I lacking faith?

…I decided to sit on the rainbow idea for a day or two, and if I didn’t feel more clarity around it, I was thinking I would change goals…

A few HOURS later…

UPDATE (already): I’m floored. 🌈

Today, at 1:32pm, I was out in the Applegate Valley here in flooding Southern Oregon with my husband. He had called me mid morning at work and asked if he could swing by and pick me up so that I could help him unload some logs he needed to deliver to a job. Here are some relevant fun facts:

    • He NEVER needs my help at his work. We like separate work lives. He’s a carpenter and has always been incredibly independent when it comes to his work. For him to call me after he has his work hat + momentum going this early in the day is so rare.
    • He rarely works with logs that he needs help moving.
    • We rarely go out to the Applegate. It’s not on the way to anything.
    • I didn’t remember this place in the picture existed and I certainly didn’t remember it having a rainbow fence.

So, considering my conundrum below, you can imagine how shocked and joyful I felt as we drove by it. I made my husband pull over across the street so I could get the whole fence in my picture.

🌈The laws are real and alive EVEN IN MY OVERTHINKING. Even sometimes very quickly! This is such a gift to me today and I am excited to keep playing with the laws. 

Desperate for $6000 / Guilt and Shame

Stephanie’s Phase 2 goal was a much bigger endeavor, and pretty big and scary to her. Here’s what she did with what felt like an impossible financial situation:

Initially, the goal was to generate about $6000 to pay my cousin and his wife their share of profits from a rental we invested in together. I had received some incorrect information that stated my cousin could not legally receive a penny of profit until his IRA that financed the purchase of the home was paid back, and that it was only going to get paid back upon the sale of the house. So, I had believed that I wouldn’t have to give him their share until the house sold (in a year or two from now).

The past couple of years brought the darkest times of my life and the hardest financial struggles. I used my cousin’s profits to get us through some emergencies without asking him. I believed I would be able to replenish it easily. Things got harder, and I hadn’t been able to repay him yet.

I learned late last year that the monthly profits COULD go to him. I was so scared and angry at myself. I knew I had used the money for needful things but it wasn’t my money to use. I felt HUGE guilt and shame. I set the goal of generating that money by June 18th this year when my cousin and his wife were here on our land for our family reunion.

Not only did I NOT generate a single penny of that, but I also fell behind in other areas financially. I really had to rely on the lessons in the Mindset Mastery program to help me know how to navigate all that. At one point I had a phone call with Trevan, my Mindset Mastery Program Guide, where he helped me SO much. The time had come where there seemed to be NO WAY the money could be generated in time, but I knew that the months of effort had grown ME in big and important ways. I needed help recalibrating my approach with the goal and what to do if the goal didn’t happen in time. (It involved other people, so I didn’t feel like the pregnant woman analogy quite fit.)

Trevan helped me realize that the goal so far had been incredibly fear-driven and that it would not be accomplished with fear as the force behind it. At least not in a way that honored my journey up to that point, and the growth Heavenly Father wanted for me. Trevan helped me see that the REAL goal was ACTUALLY to maintain a loving and peaceful relationship with my cousin and his wife.

That became my new goal.

I wrote a new vision statement around it. I imagined having the conversation and telling my friend afterwards, “That was the most incredible thing! The conversation was SO easy, and the solution to the money issue worked out in such a surprising and beautiful way that I hadn’t even thought of before!”

Last week, that exact thing happened with my cousin. He and his family were here for our family reunion. The opportunity to talk privately was really challenging to create, with all that was going on. As tempting as it was to hope it just wouldn’t happen, I KNEW I needed this to be resolved. I prayed for a window of time to easily open.

On the last day, when everyone was packing up to leave, it was much more calm and relaxed than usual. My cousin came in my kitchen to chat about something totally unrelated while I washed dishes. My heart was pounding because I KNEW this was the opportunity… I was praying gratitude for the upcoming conversation going well… for it being peaceful and easy, for me to have the right heart about it, for me to offer the solution/idea that came to me just a couple of days before [of offering him the monthly profits to make up for the lump I had spent].

He asked how the rental was going and I just spilled out the truth. But I felt SO at peace. I didn’t emit an energy of cowardice. I didn’t speak from a place of shame. I told him the misinformation I had received about the rental profits and I told him that I had used the money for needful things and that the most important thing to me is maintaining a loving relationship with them.

I told him of the idea of he and his wife now managing the monthly payments and keeping all the profits instead of us from here on out (the solution/idea that had come to me a few days before). I told him that when the house sold, we would give him any remaining money due to him from our profits. He loved the idea. I apologized for not having an envelope of cash to give him and he said with such kindness “Oh, it’s okay. I don’t really have a need for it so I would probably just spend it on something I don’t need to spend it on, anyway.”

It was the easiest conversation I could have imagined having about it. I could write and write and write about all the feelings I have and the lessons I’ve learned, but I will just stop here and say that the goal was accomplished and it gutted me and grew me in all the ways I needed for these principles to become a PART of me… not just knowledge I have outside of me.

Well done, Stephanie. This is a prime example of coming to realize that the REAL goal isn’t the money. We tend to think we need money to get what we really want – but when we focus instead on what we really want – what the money is for – sometimes those things can be achieved in unexpected ways.

I love how Stephanie used the Mindset Mastery principles to navigate from guilt and shame to hope, healing, and growth. And solutions! Her solution truly was only an idea away.

I am also impressed that even when there was no resolution in sight, Stephanie chose to believe. I can feel her faith when she says, “The time had come where there seemed to be NO WAY the money could be generated in time, but I knew that the months of effort had grown me in big and important ways.”

At the conclusion of the course, I was thrilled to receive the following message from Stephanie:

I’m feeling overwhelmed with gratitude at being able to graduate with honors. It represents profound growth and victory that I never could have imagined a few years ago.

Congratulations again, Stephanie! You’ve done an amazing job!

To learn more about Stephanie and her art courses, ebooks, mentoring, and lots of other goodies, visit her website: stephanieleeart.com. You’ll see that her website is a work of art in and of itself. I especially love her beautiful videos showing her process for creating art.

__________________

What’s YOUR story going to be?

I want to see YOU graduate, too!

Learn more about the Mindset Mastery program HERE.

___________________

The Mindset Mastery Program is not to be confused with the Mindset Fundamentals Ecourse.

The Fundamentals Ecourse provides an introductory exploration into the principles that govern success for effective goal setting. It also fills the gaps to give you a basic but complete understanding of the principles, so that you have a solid foundation on which to develop true mastery. 

By contrast, the Mastery Program is focused on the *implementation* of those principles and the *achievement* of your goals. It is full of interesting assignments that take you step-by-step through two experimental goals, challenging your thought processes, helping you experience success, and setting up a pattern in your thinking that you will be able to utilize over and over for effectiveness with all of your future goals. There is a self-paced version, but we also have a GUIDED version if you want to go through the lessons on a weekly basis with an expert guide. View all your options here.

I hope you’ll join me in one of these programs, so I can help you take your understanding and success to the next level in ALL areas of your life!

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The Pendant

I received an email from one of my readers and I just HAD to share it with you. Check this out:

Hi Leslie,

I have been following you for over a year now and I can’t tell you how much these principles have meant to me and changed my life, AND the lives of those around me…

[Here’s my] experiment with the laws of thought over the past 4 weeks:

It is written in letter form to a girl who came to play soccer with us one Saturday and lost a special pendant from her necklace on the field.

The Pendant

As soon as I heard you had lost a piece of jewelry, I immediately wanted to help you get it back. Knowing from my past when I’ve lost necklaces or other jewelry that has meant a lot to me, I know how sad it can be, but I’ve also had enough experience of finding things miraculously that I knew it had to be possible to get this back for you. I went off to a corner of the playground and started to pray. I realized I had been a bit snippy in some of my remarks on the field earlier, so I quickly re-centered my heart and made myself right with God. Then I expressed my desire to help find your pendant and get it back to you. I knew it was on the field somewhere so I asked for His guidance to help us find it. I could feel that God really loves you, and wanted to give you your pendant back, so I was confident that we would find it!

I recruited my 5 year old son and my nephew, David, who had played soccer with us and told them that we were looking for a teardrop pendant that had been dropped somewhere on the field. They immediately got on their hands and feet and started prowling around “like tigers” (in their words 😂). It was seriously only a few minutes before David jumped up, saying, “I think I found it! Is this it?” We were all so excited and grateful, we immediately dropped to our needs to say a thank-you prayer for helping us find it so quickly. I knew it had been a miracle! But that was only the beginning…

Heading back to the car, we had been picking up some litter on the field and I noticed more trash in our car so I decided to do a little bit of cleanup before leaving. After gathering all the trash out of our car and throwing it in the trash bin next to the field, I got back in the car. As we were getting ready to pull away I all the sudden realized I had no idea where the pendant was! My stomach sank and I thought “I can’t believe I misplaced it this quickly.” But I knew I had just had it and it couldn’t have gone far. So I quickly prayed again, knowing that if God helped us find it once and I had it in my hand only a few minutes earlier, he could help me find it again. Immediately the thought came to check in the trash can. Sure enough, in my effort to clean up the trash, I had accidentally thrown the pendent away with the rest of it, and after searching in the trash can for a few seconds, there it was sitting at the bottom. Again I breathed a sigh of relief and gratitude, and, slightly reprimanding myself for letting something so precious end up in the trash can, redoubled my efforts to take good care of it. In the meantime, I texted a few people to let them know we had found it and to ask how to get it back to you. Eventually, I got a hold of Chuck’s number to text him the amazing news.

Later that Saturday as I was at someone’s house babysitting their kids, I got a text from Chuck saying that he would be driving into Nenana that night and could pick it up and bring it to you at first-day school the next day. Just as I was about to text him back, thinking that would be perfect timing, my stomach sank again as I realized I had no idea where it was to give it back to him. 😱 I had no recollection of where I had put the pendant when I got home. Thankfully, since I honestly wasn’t home to look for it, I thought I could buy myself some time by letting him know I wasn’t home that night but to let me know when the next available time to meet up could be. I went home and, this time much more frantically, prayed to find it. This time there was a total mental block of anything that happened when I got home from the soccer field. I could not even replay anything in my mind; it was like my memory was completely gone. At this point I was tempted to feel really guilty. Guilty that I had been so careless. Guilty I had disregarded the previous two miracles and felt unworthy to ask for it a third time. Guilty that it had been my fault and result of my carelessness that the pendent was lost, and how embarrassing it would be to have already said we found it and then for me to have to go back and admit that I had carelessly misplaced it. But I KNEW I wasn’t careless, I cared a LOT! I couldn’t explain why I had been so absent minded, but I KNEW my heart was definitely in it and I cared a great deal about getting it back to you! I had had enough experiences to know that these self-critical thoughts were tricks of the adversary to shake me from my faith that it was possible to find it once more and return it. It was really tempting to give in to those feelings of unworthiness to ask a third time, but knowing the goodness of God, I admitted my fault of not consciously taking better care of it, and plead for grace, knowing that God cares about the details in your life and mine. I held fast to the vision of being able to give it back to you and even though it seemed like all was lost, I believed that it must still be possible.

I searched, and searched, and searched again, but still nothing. I thought, “Man, there really must be something special about this pendant, because if God already helped me twice, there has to be a lesson behind what’s happening now, because I’m really doing all within my power to find and bring it back.” Two days passed and I went to Wellness meeting. Chuck was there. My heart sank knowing that I still didn’t know where the pendant was, but I knew I had to be upfront and honest with him about what had happened– there was no hiding here! So after the meeting was finished, I told him everything that had happened, but expressed my faith that it would still turn up, I just had to be patient, and asked if he would pray too. Chuck was so compassionate and affirmed his belief as well. He told me that it indeed was a very special pendant, and that you had been so sad to lose it. That just redoubled my desire and commitment to exercise my faith that it would show up again. Chuck recommended that when I found it, I should type up the story to give it to you, so that’s what this is for! I went home and searched, and searched, and searched some more, again to no avail. It really was in God’s hands now, but instead of getting discouraged, I let myself feel peace, trust, and confident in God’s love and timing.

Over the next days I still battled with the thoughts that I had blown it, that I was believing in something unrealistic, that this was “too good” of an outcome to really be true, that this was expending too much emotional energy, and that you didn’t know I had found it yet (Chuck told me he had only let your parents know so it could be a surprise for you) so maybe I should just let it go. But I couldn’t. I had faith that if I prayed for this pendant to be restored to you, and I had already felt peace about it, AND had found it twice that IT WASN’T OVER YET. Just because it seemed like my prayers had already been answered twice and it was too late to ask again, perhaps my original prayer hadn’t been fully answered yet because the process wasn’t complete, and that this experience was PART of the process, just several obstacles that needed to be overcome to make the reward that much more sweet. So I kept holding on to that vision, and my confidence just became more sure that it was going to show up.

Last Friday evening as we were cleaning our house to have some guests over, my husband held it up and asked “is this it?” I can’t even express the emotions I felt as I saw that pendant again. Gratitude, awe, relief, amazement, confidence, peace, and more gratitude! But most of all, I felt the significance of this experience and what it taught me: that just because the battle seems lost, doesn’t mean it’s over. That self-disparaging thoughts will shake us from our belief of what’s possible and are a tool of the adversary to get us to feel unworthy of going to God with our needs, desires and worries. That God is faithful to bless his children with the sincere desires of their heart because he loves them so deeply we cannot comprehend! And lastly, the power of faith, of seeing it done and holding onto the hope of the final outcome and being guided to the next step of the process to overcome the seemingly impossible challenge. God is all about accomplishing the impossible and delights when we give him our faith to join Him in the process. Thank you so much for allowing me to have this precious experience by lending me your pendant. May this story add even more value to this already precious pendant. It has meant everything to me ❤️.

Isn’t that such an amazing and powerful experience?? Thank you for facilitating that for me… [and for] thank you for being such a powerful conduit for God’s principles to work in my life. These principles have quickened me and my life mission in so many ways!

Love you so much, Amie V. 🥰

Thank you for taking the time to share this, Amie! 

I love how intentional Amie was in thinking “in the certain way” throughout the challenge. And that includes getting back on course when she felt herself getting off track. It’s not an easy thing to do, but there is really no better way to understand how this all works than by simply practicing the principles and exercising that rare faith muscle. Keep up the great work!

Do YOU have a story to share? Let me know!

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#54: Dare to Dream

Looking for this? – Debra Woolley’s Graduation Spotlight is HERE

Podcast is below:

I waited 10 years to share this story.

This is the podcast I mentioned during my Facebook Live.

After experiencing success, then tremendous failure, I describe my family’s journey as we tried to put the pieces of our shattered life back together. I reveal details of what it took for us to dare to dream again, and the play-by-play results of my first major experiment meant to regain my confidence.

This audio was recorded at a live event called Master Creator by Eric Bailey, where I was a keynote guest speaker.

Resources mentioned on the audio:

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Third Option

Before I get into my message today, this must be said first:

If you are in an abusive relationship, get safe immediately. Get your children safe. Pray for your spouse from afar. You can still hold the image of a happy marriage and apply whatever you may find useful in the article below, but get away NOW, get HELP and let God do with your spouse what he will.

Now on to my message:

For nearly twenty years, it has been my passion to simplify and show people the true power of effective goal achievement. And like I said in my earlier post What You can Learn From a Locksmith, there are a finite number of “tumblers” that need to fall into place before a person “gets it”. Each book you read, each mentor you learn with, each challenge you conquer brings you one dial closer to having your lock spring open.

So, challenges are part of the process.

And there is one challenge that seems to be universal, specifically for those who travel the “goal achiever’s” path with a spouse.

At first, I thought I was the only person to struggle with this particular challenge, which I will explain in a minute. But now I’ve seen it so many times that I’ve come to the conclusion that it is just one of those “life packages” that gets delivered when a person decides to strive for the next level of understanding or achievement.

You set a certain kind of goal, and here comes the package.

Related: How to Know if You’ll Reach the Goal

I’m not going to define which kinds of goals trigger the delivery of this package, because I don’t have that figured out. I have my suspicions, but I don’t have enough data to say either way, because most of the time I only hear about the person’s struggle. I’m not always privy to the goal that triggered it.

All I know is, that in my case, it showed up after:

  • I had a belief and understanding of Rare Faith
  • I had had some success with it
  • I felt a calling from God related to it
  • I was ready to use the principles again to make a change
  • My spouse wasn’t ready to make said changes

I’ve seen this so often with so many people, the outcomes have also become predictable:

The person hits a point where they feel forced to choose between their relationship, and a God-given calling to pursue a certain goal or carry out a “life’s purpose.” For whatever reason, it feels like these two directives cannot be followed at the same time:

  1. Stay married: “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder,” (Mark 10:9) or
  2. Bear good fruit: “[G]o and bring forth fruit… that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you,” (John 15:16).

These situations typically play out in one of two different ways:

  1. Leave spouse. The person gets so frustrated with the lack of progress that “living the principles” becomes more important than preserving the relationship, and they eventually leave their spouse. Don’t be shocked. It’s more common than you may think, and socially acceptable. Divorce is at the other end of the stick they pick up when personal progress becomes more important than a marriage covenant. Personal progress feels good! A stalled marriage feels horrible! They know God wants them to grow, so if they can’t grow with their spouse, they believe the marriage needs to end. It’s not a quick process. It typically takes a number of years before the fractured relationship becomes permanently broken. Of course, there are usually a number of other factors that play into the disintegration of a relationship, but a large part of it can be pointed back to the person feeling “unequally yoked” with a partner who doesn’t want to move forward at the same pace, or at all. Or…
  2. Give up on dreams. The person gets so frustrated with their spouse that they eventually give up on their dreams to keep the covenant. They accept the fact that the growth and progress they desire cannot be theirs, and they come to terms with it, but secretly resent their spouse for not being willing to run with them toward a better life. This is probably more common, but in its own way, equally devastating.

So, the package shows up. Maybe it’s showed up for you. Is there a better way than the choices described above?

Is there an option #3?

What else can you do?

I hate that this is a thing. I haven’t wanted to write about it, because I wanted to pretend that gaining an understanding of the principles isn’t at the root of some broken families. Granted, some people have have already decided to divorce before finding this work, and then are grateful to discover it because it helps them get out and even thrive, which may have previously seemed impossible. If a marriage really does need to end, then I’m grateful it helps, I guess. But I never set out to help marriages end. How can the principles I teach lead to such a thing? I don’t want to play any part in creating the collateral damage that can come with divorce.

So when I had yet another conversation with a woman who was at a beginning stage of this dilemma, and she said, “I thought I was the only one to struggle with this,” I knew I had to shine a light on it.

I may not save any marriages, but if I can help people become conscious to a third option, then maybe at least one person can make their decision more fully informed.

Since the package has been showing up to so many people so predictably, and since the outcomes are predictable too (depending on how the person responds to them), I’m convinced the adversary is just following some kind of a playbook for destroying families. But if we’re conscious of his strategies and deceptions, then we can make our decisions more soberly. Marriages may still need to end, but if they must, let the parties involved at least make their decision from a place of total truth with the lies fully exposed. It’s my hope that I can help someone catch the deception before it’s too late to pick up the other stick instead that lets them keep their family in tact AND still enjoy the progress they crave.

It’s not the easy way.

It might not even yield happy results in the short term. But a third option does exist.

I’ve heard people talk about how grateful they were they found the courage to get out of their dysfunctional marriage, and how happy they are having found someone else more equally yoked. They have no regrets because it turned out well, and the children seem to be fine.

But some people choose to terminate their marriage and never find someone else to marry. That may not matter though, because most people leave their marriage because—no matter how it’s going to turn out, and whether or not they ever find someone else—anything different will be better than what they’re leaving.

So the message that follows is not for people who have already decided to divorce.

I acknowledge these decisions run deep and are never taken lightly. Nobody knows the kind of suffering you feel, or the way you feel it. I do not intend to minimize anyone’s pain, or judge anyone’s decision. What I want to share next is for the person who desperately wants his/her marriage to work, and who also wants to feel the soul expansion and joy that comes from personal growth, and fulfilling a mission.

There IS a third option. It takes humility, patience, long-suffering, sacrifice, belief—and perhaps the biggest dose of rare faith you’ve ever had to muster.

Remember, according to Boyd K. Packer, this is the kind of faith that moves people, and sometimes moves things.

Note: I proceed on the premise that my readers have already obtained a hope in Christ. That I’m speaking to the person who already believes that salvation or exaltation is more important than worldly success. That the Rare Faith principles are revealed to us so we can use them to further the Kingdom of God, and to bring joy and relief to our families and to others around the world.

“And after ye have obtained a hope in Christ ye shall obtain riches, if ye seek them; and ye will seek them for the intent to do good—to clothe the naked, and to feed the hungry, and to liberate the captive, and administer relief to the sick and the afflicted,” (Jacob 2:19)

After ye have obtained a hope in Christ, then have some hope that he has the power to lift your marriage. He has the power to heal the emotional and physical wounds that are at the root of your marital conflict. Hurt people hurt people, and a lot of times, a person comes into the marriage already hurt. So you must also hope that Jesus Christ also has the power to heal your spouse of the baggage he is carrying that causes him to behave the way that he does. (Or she. I’m going to stick with one pronoun for consistency but these ideas are applicable for either gender.)

As long as you are using the rare faith principles to create, I invite you to create a vision of your marriage being happy, fulfilled, and victorious. We’re so quick to create visions of the lifestyle we want, but we hesitate to create visions for our marriage relationship. We hesitate to create visions involving other people at all because of that agency thing, and rightly so. But there is a way to see the end that you intend without infringing on another person’s agency, even in relationship matters.

Here’s the secret:

You create a vision for your happiness together, but remain detached from the timing of its realization.

Work on becoming the best version of yourself while you hold a space for your spouse to become the best version of himself.  And then let go of how quickly it needs to happen. Plan on unseen help doing most of the work on your spouse, as you wait patiently on the Lord. As my friend Cari has to remind me sometimes when I want to tell someone how they should change, she’ll say:

“You don’t have to be the Holy Spirit today.”

At the same time, continue to create a vision for the other changes you want to see in your self and your life. The improved environment. The increased ability to give and serve. The more peaceful relationships with your children. Better health. Increased wealth.

Set the vision for your marriage unity and fulfillment first, and then leave that piece to God while you focus on the other areas of your life for which you have more direct control. You can build that business, you can redesign that room, you can plan that vacation, you can create that family joy. If there’s something you’re building a dream for, which requires your spouse to feel a certain way or do a certain thing, stay focused only on seeing the end result and let God figure out how to orchestrate it. He can soften hearts if that’s what is required. He can deliver alternate resources if that’s a more efficient solution in his economy. He can lead your spouse to new friendships or mentors who will make an impact that you were never able to make. You must let go of your attachment to any particular player doing any particular thing. Remain focused on the end result only, and then do the things you are inspired to do to make progress in that direction.

Related: By small and simple means

We are eternal beings, and this life is just a small blip on our journey. If you cannot see yourself being happy with your spouse now, and if you cannot see yourself being happy with him at the end of your mortal days as old people watching the sunset from the porch, can you see yourself getting to the other side, meeting your Maker, with a completely healed and whole companion by your side, looking back on your life’s journey together and feeling amazed and grateful that you endured through the trials as one? Can you see the victory reunion of that day, with your spouse falling to his knees in gratitude and amazement that you stuck with him when things were hard? That your vision helped him heal from life’s wounds? That your unconditional love taught him what unconditional love looks like? When he was at his worst? Can you imagine the Lord expressing his gratitude to you for suffering long, and being kind, doing what he would have done if he were there, instead of you?

It’s a lot to ask or expect any of us to be like Jesus. To forgive the adulterer. To love the betrayer. To wash the feet of the sinner. To weep with those that weep and mourn with those that mourn. To turn the other cheek. To pray for those who persecute. To serve those who spit on you. I’ll bet nobody in your circle has invited you to stay in a bad marriage, because to do so would require that you be like Jesus, and sometimes that feels beyond impossible. But he set the example. And yes, it’s a sufferer’s path. Society protects us from shame if we choose not to endure the living hell that it could be.

But nobody really talks about the growth, achievement, joy, and victory that might be realized if we live as Jesus lived.

History, however, has provided us with a few examples of people who transcended their circumstances despite their suffering. And like Jesus, their names also went down in history for it.

  • Victor Frankl described his life in Nazi death camps and shared the transcending lessons he learned. He lived through Auschwitz, while his parents, brother, and pregnant wife perished. He said we may not avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose…. By 1997, his book Man’s Search for Meaning had sold more than 10 million copies in twenty-four languages. In 1991 it was listed among the ten most influential books in America. What story could you tell, who might you inspire, what families might be saved for generations to come if you discover how to transcend your present suffering, and write about it? You can ask for help with that. You can seek for that. Seek for ways and reasons to leave and that’s what you’ll find. Seek for ways to succeed in spite of what is, and that’s what you’ll find. Just be conscious about these options.
  • Ammon’s people – (circa 90 BC) After his people became Christians and were forgiven for their sins, they made a covenant, “that they never would use weapons again for the shedding of man’s blood… vouching and covenanting with God, that rather than [break their covenant]… they would give up their own lives… (Alma 24:18)  But when their enemies came against them in war and killed over a thousand of them without resistance, and they realized they “would lie down and perish, and [praise] God even in the very act of perishing under the sword, …[the enemies] were stung for the murders which they had committed” and repenting, joined them in the same covenant. In fact, “the people of God were joined that day by more than the number who had been slain;” (Alma 24:21-27, Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ). Do you view your covenants with the same dedication and fidelity? What miracles might God perform in the lives of others who see you keep your covenant? Would you rather die than break yours? If not, then at least make that choice consciously, fully understanding your options.

Niether Frankl nor Ammon’s people had only two options. They each found a third: the sufferer’s path. But I need to clarify something:

Option 3 does NOT require suffering.

In fact, to choose option three means suffering ends. Let me explain.

As Haruki Murakami put it, “Pain is inevitable; suffering is optional.”

In other words, as soon as you choose what IS, the pain may remain, but you begin to transcend it. Choosing the pain that is, gives you an infusion of renewed strength. It’s turning a corner from being a victim to becoming a master of your circumstance. It’s accessing a higher level of empowerment, growth, soul-expansion, and victory.

You wanted growth and achievement, and didn’t think you could have it with your spouse. But option three gives you access to a higher level of growth and achievement that can be realized in no other way. It’s impossible to access that achievement without your spouse. And the more difficult the spouse, the greater will be your potential achievement. (Law of Polarity)

Maybe this was the reason for the new and everlasting covenant, because of how it exalts people if they abide in it.

I have a friend who has been in a difficult marriage for about two decades. She is one of the most wise and radiant people I have ever met. She is well experienced in the principles of Rare Faith, and often feels frustrated that her husband does not believe in himself, or in her dreams. He has fallen into a destructive loop of idleness, discouragement, negativity, anger, illness, and depression, which has plagued their family for years. Her children see it and struggle with it, but they also see how she is transcending above it.

Her community sees the dysfunction and wouldn’t blame her for leaving him. In fact, she’s been advised by well meaning friends and leaders to do just that. They think she’s living a doormat’s life. Yes, it’s painful. Yes, it’s beyond frustrating. And yes, she carries the bulk of the load. But she has chosen to stay, and she is happy.

She said, “People think I’m not happy. People think I’m weak or fearful. But they don’t get it. They don’t understand what the covenant means to me, and what I’ve gained by choosing to stay. I CHOOSE IT, and I don’t suffer.”

Related Podcast: Principles of Personal Freedom

The relationship with God a person can gain by walking the path Jesus walked is impossible to explain. It can only be experienced. We have not been called to love as Jesus loved only when life is easy, we’ve been called to love as Jesus loved particularly when it is hard.

“For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same. And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love ye your enemies, and do good, and blend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: …Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over… For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again” (Luke 6:32-38).

It has become common in our society for people to think (whether they want to admit it or not) that we should do all of the following, as long as it’s not for a spouse in a bad marriage:

“[W]hosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also [except in a bad marriage]…

“[I]f any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also [except in a bad marriage].

“And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain [except in a bad marriage].

Give to him that asketh thee [except in a bad marriage]…

“[B]less them that curse you [except in a bad marriage],

“[D]o good to them that hate you [except in a bad marriage]…

“[P]ray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you [except in a bad marriage]…” (Matthew 5:39-48)

If you think about it, where better to apply Jesus’ teachings, than in a bad marriage??

The marriage covenant is the promise we make, the glue meant to keep us together, when things get hard, so that we’re in it long enough to really discover what it means to love like Jesus through our own personal olive press.

You wouldn’t need a covenant to keep an easy marriage together (if there is such a thing). No, you need a covenant to keep hard marriages together, else what is a covenant for?

The good news is that Jesus Christ already suffered it all. He overcame the world, and every horrible experience it contains. He descended below ALL things, so that when we faced our own crucible, we could turn to him and let him carry the burden for us. As we discover this miracle, our burdens become light, and our suffering is replaced with awe, gratitude, amazement, and a realization that the difficulty was truly a gift because it taught us transcendence. And after you discover and glean the full benefit from that hidden gift inside, you’ll look back with gratitude for the time you were privileged to spend in a bad marriage.

Related: Finding Relief From Heavy Burdens

But again, this path, this kind of growth is not something you will ever be forced to pursue, but you are invited to pursue it. Whether you choose it or not, though, at least be conscious that it exists as a third option.

In Option #3, the victory isn’t in fixing the problem, the victory is in overcoming the suffering we think has to be attached to it.

You want personal growth? You want to feel achievement? You want to have success and happiness? You want joy? Keep your covenant and let God teach you how to have joy in the suffering. You don’t have to stay, but if you do, and if you seek it, you will find the miracle contained in that adversity.

The miracle is that you can be sanctified through the suffering. That you can develop a companionship with God so real and so living that the pain no longer touches you. The miracle is that you can learn how to live in true charity, the Love of God, the greatest of all gifts. The miracle is that you will feel a joy so deep and powerful which can be discovered in no other way than to choose the third option. To lay down your life, your dreams, your desires for another—not permanently—but a willingness to put off your reward until the next life if that’s how long it takes, means the potentiality of more rapid growth, deeper sanctification, and faster progress only offered through the package of pain.

Again, you don’t have to suffer it. Even God understands if you choose not to. He understands your pain and has compassion for you. He wants you to be happy. He will provide the resources you need to escape the destruction, if leaving is your choice.

But he will also provide the resources you need to experience the miracle, if staying is your choice.

Bottom line: You have a choice, and whatever you seek is what you’ll find.

If you choose to stay and find the miracle, you need to know that miracles come in many shapes and forms. Maybe the miracle will be that he brings you both to the happiness you long for sooner than expected. Maybe the miracle will be that he blesses you with the strength and power to minister to your spouse in spite of the things you’ve suffered, so that you can experience that godly joy and fulfillment you seek. In either case, it’s a BIG WIN!! Nobody loses. Choosing option three means pain, followed by a victory, eventually.

That was the choice that Christ made for you.

The Great Bridegroom suffered it all. He left nothing un-suffered, because of his love for YOU. He endured it all, for you. And what has he asked in return? “That ye love one another as I have loved you” (John 15:12) Think about how he loved. One can only love like him if they are faced with the suffering he faced, and still love anyway.

You’ve used Rare Faith to get the ideal parking spot. You’ve used it to pay your bills, or decorate your home. But there may be no greater purpose for using Rare Faith than to save a marriage. Go ahead and flex your faith muscles in the little things to gain some experience, but don’t shelf what you know when your marriage is on the line.

  • If your spouse isn’t providing, use Rare Faith to meet your needs. See it done, feel the gratitude, and then do the things you’re inspired to do.
  • If your spouse is unkind, use Rare Faith to see the relationship healed. See it done, feel the gratitude, and then do the things you’re inspired to do.
  • If your spouse is lazy, use Rare Faith to see him alive and inspired. See it done, feel the gratitude, and then do the things you’re inspired to do.

But when using Rare Faith in a marriage, and because another person is a part of your vision, let go of the timing.

You’re just creating the possibility, and holding a space for it. It may not happen in this life, and for your Rare Faith to be effective, you have to be okay with that. And then keep calm, and watch what happens. You may be surprised at how quickly the miracles begin to roll out.

So if you do desperately want your marriage to work, and if you also want to feel the soul expansion and joy that comes from personal growth, and fulfilling a mission, imagine the soul expansion, joy, and personal growth that could happen if you make it your mission to save your marriage. With God, nothing is impossible, and with Rare Faith, you now know how to partner with him.

That is all. This is what my post is for—to simply let you know that the third option is legitimate. Nobody seems to be saying so anymore.

The adversary wants you believe that it has to be an either/or. That you have to choose between marriage, OR happiness. Between the relationship, OR progress. But it’s a lie. You will find no greater happiness than to let God show you how to find happiness IN a suffering marriage. Believe it or not, the broken, difficult, frustrating person in front of you is a gift from God. To lose yourself in the service of that person is to discover the greatest secret of all. To experience the greatest potential joy of all. To achieve the greatest accomplishment of all.

Even if mentors or leaders tell you that it’s time to leave, just know that you still have a choice. And in some cases, there is no right or wrong—both are worthy and acceptable, even before God. There will be challenges and blessings hidden behind both doors. Ultimately, it’s between you and God alone, and he knows your heart. Whichever path you walk, if you walk it with the Lord, you can become one with him. Just know that if you put your priority on your marriage covenant, and if you trust that the Lord will make a way for everything else to be realized at the right time, then you will unlock the door to blessings that cannot be realized in any other way.

Just remember, if the relationship is struggling, your spouse is suffering. What can you do to alleviate his suffering?

(But what if I’M the one suffering??)

I hear you. So what can you do to alleviate your spouse’s suffering?

(You’re asking me to do something impossible.)

Believe me, I know. I’ve been there. But it’s the third option that the adversary doesn’t want you to know about. And the gift, the reward on the other side of it is beyond anything else you will ever achieve.

This package of challenges you’ve received is a gift, an opportunity to really learn true charity, the pure love of Christ.

“[C]harity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

“Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail—

“But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.

“Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen.” (Moroni 45:47)

And because of the Law of Polarity, if you choose this path, you will not be left without a reward of equal or greater value than the difficulty you experienced in choosing it.

“Every adversity has a seed of equal or greater benefit” – Napoleon Hill

In other words, the worse your marriage is, the greater the potential benefit contained in it. You can’t access the best blessing without a passage through the worst adversity.

You can end a suffering marriage, and you may be justified in doing so. But what if you’re missing out on the greatest gift God ever tried to bestow upon you? Please, just don’t end a marriage without knowing that this third path is indeed an option. With God’s help you can create something miraculous out of it, even if it takes the rest of your life before you see its fruit.

Nobody else out there seems to dare to declare such a thing. It’s still true that with God, nothing is impossible. A spouse can change, but we ruin it all by trying to change him or her in our way, and in our timing.

As Bob Proctor says it, “People don’t resist change, they resist being changed.”

Surrender to God’s will and let Him teach you a better way.

There’s a path to achievement, and there’s a path to purification. If you put first your walk toward purification, then you will achieve the greatest achievement of all.

I wrote about my own experience with this here: The Hardest Thing I’ve Ever Tried to Write

Finally, a word to those who are already divorced:

If you are already divorced and were never truly conscious of the third option, God will never deny any particular blessing to the person who genuinely and humbly desires and seeks it. Turn your heart to him and let him show you how to get from where you are now to where you want to be. Like I said, life is an eternal journey and today is just a blip. No matter where you are today, God is there to walk the rest of the path with you, and to show you how to inherit his greatest rewards.

#rarefaith #thirdoption

UPDATE: Wow! Thank you for all of your comments. I encourage everyone to read the additional input below – some important points have been made about boundaries, and what this looks like carried out, submitted by people who have experienced the third option first-hand.

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