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Life Comes Together After It All Falls Apart

Author Riva Tims shares how God restored her life and ministry after a difficult divorce. Read Transcript


Pastor Zachery Tims had the looks of Will Smith

and the preaching fire of TD Jakes.

With his wife Riva by his side, he

built a thriving ministry characterized

by explosive growth.

And just as quickly, it all fell apart.


NARRATOR: Riva Tims and her late ex-husband Zachery

were the pastors of a megachurch in Orlando, Florida.

With more than 7,500 members, they

were driven to win souls to Jesus.

Riva was devastated when news of his infidelity surfaced.

She tried to keep their marriage together.

But three years later, they divorced.

Then in 2011, Zachery's sudden death from an overdose

broke Riva's heart and shocked the Christian community.

In her book, "When it All Comes Together,"

Riva shares how she overcame betrayal, heartbreak,

and grief, and identifies how we can learn

from any difficult situation.

And Riva Tims is here with us now,

and she has an incredible story.

Thanks so much for being with us.

RIVA TIMS: Yeah, thanks for having me.

In a span of seven years, you went

from this incredibly thriving church to meeting with lawyers

and fighting with them.

And how did you ever imagine it could go so wrong so fast?

I never imagined that it would go wrong.

It just never even occurred to me that that could happen.

And that was what the first book was all about,

"When it All Falls Apart."

How do you deal with that?

And I talked about how you can become better, not bitter.

And let's start at the very beginning.


Everything was going great.

Then you found out that your husband Tim was cheating

on you, and taking drugs, too.

No, I didn't know anything about that.

Oh, you didn't know about that.

I didn't know about that, yeah.

And so during our marriage, when I did find out

that there was infidelity in the marriage, of course

I was devastated.

I'd saved myself fir marriage.

He was the only person I knew, so it was very difficult.

We had four children, a wonderful ministry,

and there was just so much that was taking place

that was great at the time.

But then when that happened, it just--

What did you do when you confronted him

about the infidelity?

During that time, it was just being able to talk about it,

but just never really getting all the answers.

And how did the people in the church--

some of them knew about it, because he

had taken a little leave of absence, right?

And then he came back.

And a lot of people in the church

told you-- what did they tell you?

Just to stay in it.

A lot of times it's just to--

To still forgive him and move on.


But forgiving is one thing.

You can forgive, and God can make your marriage stronger.

But it takes two.

How did that make you feel when people in your church

were saying, just deal with it.

Suck it up.

Move on.

He's a man.

At the time, it was hurtful.

But then I also knew that they didn't know all the details.

And so those are the situations that happen in ministry.

When it's really large like that,

there's often times people don't know everything.

But when you're going through it, it's very painful.

And one thing that you have to realize

is when you're going through a situation

like that, that you have to love both parties

and deal with both parties.

Now you last saw your husband a week before he died,

and he died in 2011.

So you saw him the week before he died.

What had happened?

We were in Puerto Rico on a family trip.

His mom was with us, and we just had a wonderful time.

I believe it was a thing that God allowed for my kids

to spend time with their dad.

And then soon after that, we got word

that he had passed on a Sunday morning,

and that was very horrific for us to hear that news.

I can't imagine.

Now two years after he died, an autopsy

revealed that it was because of some kind of drug cocktail.

Was that surprising to you?

Yes, it was.


You didn't know he was into the drugs?


Man, that's incredible.

I wonder how he did that.

Well, you are actually in Orlando,

and you are a full-time preacher.

Tell us what's the good news?

You're back.

This did not stop you, Riva.

You are back preaching.

You are back ministering.


What are you doing today?

I'm just in awe of God's goodness.

When I wrote the other book, that was three years

into a seven-year journey.

And so now it's seven years, and God has brought everything


And to watch that happen, our ministry

is doing well in Orlando.

We are seven years old now, and we're about 1,500 members.

And it's just a beautiful thing.

We're an outreach ministry, and we're just

seeing God do miraculous things right there in the Orlando


And you're the lead pastor.

I'm the lead pastor.

We started at the church from nothing,

and God has really blessed it.

Did you ever see yourself in that role?

No, never.

I never thought I would--

I didn't even really believe in a single female pastor,

but I heard the voice of the Lord,

and it was almost like a Jonah experience.

You must do this.

You must go.

Your purpose was never wrapped up in a person.

Your purpose is always wrapped up in me, saith the Lord.

So He gave me a call before I even met anyone.

So He says, you're going to have to carry out this assignment

that I've given you.

And the proof is in the pudding.

He is blessing the ministry.

You've said that God doesn't cause bad things,

but He allows them.


And you certainly went through some bad things.

What did you learn from this entire process?

I understand now that life is like a tapestry.

You see the bad, knotted pieces at the bottom.

It looks like chaos.

It looks horrible, but God is creating a masterpiece.

And at the end of the day, He knows our ending

from our beginning.

And because of that, He always gives us a blueprint.

He gives us a glimpse of our future, even in the chaos.

He lets us see pieces and where we're to be, even in the chaos,

when we walk with Him.

And so that's what I've learned with God, that He'll never

leave you nor forsake you.

He's always with you, even at the lowest parts of your life.

You know that God is going to put it back together again,

and that's your hope, that He can redeem

the broken pieces of your life.

There's a lot of people watching right now that

are identifying with your story, and that

may feel like their entire lives have just fallen apart.

Riva, what do you want to say to them?

I want to encourage them.

Just like I said, God will show you where you are to go.

Even though you can't put all the pieces together right now,

try not to make sense of the puzzle,

but make sense of the God that you serve.

And when you make sense of Him by getting in worship,

by confessing the word, by forgiving others,

then you begin to see all the other pieces start

coming together.

So focus on the one that can change your circumstance.

Don't focus on the problem.

Focus on the one who can change the circumstance.

That is good advice.

Well, we've just scratched the surface.

There is so much more in your amazing book,

"When it All Comes Together."

And I'm so excited for you, because it is truly all

coming together for you.

Yes, it is.

And you have a thriving church in Orlando.

So people, you need to check out her church.

What's it called?

Majestic Life Church.

Majestic Life Church in Orlando,

check it out if you're in Orlando.

And you can get her book, "When it All Comes Together--

How God Can Redeem Your Brokenness for His Glory,"

you can get this wherever books are sold.

Riva, thank you so much.

Thank you.

God bless you.

God bless you.


Thank you.


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