This is Part 5 of a series on surviving abuse.
If you are being abused, please contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline on their site or by phone at 1−800−799−7233.
I prayed for my abusive spouse for over a decade, but things became slowly worse until they imploded at the end. Not everyone will agree with my decision, and that is fine because I know I bathed my decision in prayer and fasting.
I believe that God blessed me with the children I have to protect them with my life, even if that means stepping between them and their earthly father. I finally left and took the kids with me.
Leaving took planning and a ton of prayer and so much help from my support system. I am grateful to God for His protection and provision. Now, as a single mom, I pray every day that He will show me how to lead these kids in a way that brings glory to His name. I pray for their relationships with their earthly father to one day be healed, as I focus them on their Heavenly Father.
For me, when I made the decision to leave, I needed to be ready to lose everything, and maybe even my kids. Our legal system is a mess and does not protect the ones needing protection. Hindsight is 20/20 – it would have made my life easier later to call the cops when my spouse did what he did. But, you know what, it would have made my life worse at that time had I called the cops when he did what he did. I chose not to call the police and yes, that made it more difficult from a legal perspective on the back end. But when you are afraid of what will be done to you and your kids, the police are not always the first call you make. When the abuser is in control of everything – bank accounts, cell phones, cars, etc – it is not that easy to “just leave.”
I have learned there is life after abuse:
- Tell your story.
- Find a way to help those still in abusive situations – donate time, money, a car, professional services, etc.
- Remember, God is love. He will be your Protector, your guide, and hold you when you’re alone or scared.
- Focus on your relationship with Him; this needs to be your priority.
- Don’t give up on love.
- Don’t give up on trust.
- Find someone who loves Jesus more than you (some of the advice I gave my kids came from learning things the hard way with their earthly father).
- Find someone who does not care whether your bank accounts are “joint,” which may become a foul word to you.
In addition to being an abuser, my spouse was a narcissist with an incredible talent to hide who he really was to everyone not living with him. In next week’s installment, I discuss why I needed to forgive him.
“We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.”
1 John 4:16 NLT