An abusive marriage, the strength to leave and the gifts ‘in’ God’s grace.
In 2003, I met a man who stole my heart. He literally jumped into the fiber of my being and put my heart in his hand and from that point on, I was completely his. We dated for a couple of months and then he proposed! It was a whirlwind, to say the least. I hardly knew him but who cared?! I LOVED him! My mother hated the idea of me getting married so quickly. She begged me to wait a few more months but I just couldn’t. I was completely smitten and I was ready to start my life with this man of my dreams. He and I didn’t go to premarital counseling, we skipped all advice from anyone and everyone who told us we were crazy, and with a spirit or rebellion, we became husband and wife.
We got married based on infatuation. It was the kind of love that depended on our feelings. When things were good, they were great. But when things were bad, they were horrible. Our relationship was volatile, never constant. We were up or down.
Three months into our marriage, we found out we were pregnant. Seven months into my pregnancy, I was mouthing off to my husband, as I often did when I was frustrated with him, and he came over to me and smacked me across my face. I was completely caught off guard as many victims of abuse are the first time it happens.
Our son was born three months later in October. He was beautiful! He was everything that I ever imagined my child to be. He had a head full of brown curly hair and the biggest, darkest eyes I’ve ever seen on a baby. His nose and lips were perfectly crafted. He had all 10 fingers and 10 toes. He was just precious.
As I left the hospital with my son and my husband, I cried. I cried all the way home. I didn’t cry because I was sad. I didn’t cry for any other reason than because I was completely terrified. I felt so alone. I had a baby to raise with a man who I couldn’t trust to love and support me and I felt like I couldn’t tell anyone. I was overwhelmed and I wept and wept.
The marriage went from bad to worse. After our son was born, my husband started looking at pornography on the computer, staying out later with his friends, talking to other women, and the rage started to become more severe. If you’ve ever been a victim of abuse, you know that it gets worse and worse. I don’t even think that the abuse bothered me as much as the other women. He broke everything that was sacred to me and with that, he completely destroyed my heart which he had possessed.
It was late afternoon, early evening and my friend and I were going to go to an art walk. My husband and I were fighting and I felt like I had no other choice but to call the police. You can imagine the scene: my husband leaving the house, the police coming, my friend is showing up at the same time, while my neighbor is watching my son as I talk to the cops. It was a picture that I never thought would fit into my life yet here I was in the middle of it.
That day, the police officer gave me a number to get help and he said to me “you’re lucky you’re still alive to call us. Many women aren’t. It’s not going to get any better unless he gets help.” That day, I knew my marriage was over. We had tried to get help but we couldn’t even make it to the counseling office without fighting. There was no help that could help. It was over. And I knew it that day. I filed for divorce soon after.
After my divorce, I felt such shame. I was so embarrassed that I had gotten divorced. I grew up in church as the “good girl” and now here I was…divorced. I just knew that God was so disappointed in me. In fact, I felt like He didn’t even love me anymore. I didn’t know then what I know now which is that Gods love for us isn’t based on how good we are.
Since my divorce 8 years ago now, God has shown me His grace over and over. His grace truly covers a multitude of sins. God has shown me that He still loves me and in fact He showed me that at my lowest point in my life, He carried me along the way. After the divorce, I found myself drawing closer to Him daily as I struggled through grieving the loss of my marriage, of my family, and while raising my son as a single mom.
To my surprise, God had so many greater things in store for me. Four years ago, I remarried and since then, we’ve added two more children to our family! Everything I grieved, God restored and today, I’m living a life that I never thought would be possible for me. My latter has absolutely been better than the rest.
God loves us, He gives us His grace and mercy, and He never leaves us- no matter how bad we think we’ve messed up. He paid the price when He died on the cross for this purpose- so that we may live life freely and experience His grace daily.
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