For over a year now I have felt God telling me to start my own blog and eventually write a book about the things I have gone through in life. It has been so easy for me to blog about other experiences or encourage others, but my past is a different story. I have fought God for a year, and tried hard to find every reason not to write about my personal past, but this weekend at DFL conference it was like He had the neon flashing lights up telling me to get up and move by the different messages that were spoken. If that was not enough, there was a very sweet girl that stopped me with tears in her eyes and thanked me for the blogs I had already written and asked me not to stop. So I silently told God I surrendered and as hard as it would be I would move forward being transparent with my past. The thing with God is you might as well do what He asks you to do right away, because you will end up doing it eventually.
You hear all kinds of stories of how people have survived cancer, came out of addictions, but you rarely hear the stories of the people that survive domestic violence. For the ones of us that get out of domestic violence, it is so much easier to burn that chapter of our lives and move forward acting as if it never happened. For domestic violence survivors it is not as easy to tell our stories as we deal with a lot of issues beyond flashbacks of the verbal, mental and physical abuse. We deal with the judgment of others, questioning how anyone could ever get themselves in that situation. We deal with looking over our shoulders when we are walking in parking lots alone for fear of what could happen to us. We deal with the fear of letting anyone get close to us because we do not want to get hurt. We deal with so many insecurities because of the horrible things that were said. I desperately want to never look back and remember the things that have happened to me, but God does not want me to do that. He wants my story told. He wants me to be very transparent with you and let you know if you are walking through this you are not alone and you can get out and have the most amazing life far beyond what you ever expected.
My second marriage was a living hell on earth for close to four years. I look back now and can see the signs and know what to tell other people to watch for. However, at the time day by day I thought I was making the best decisions I could considering the threats that were made to me and to some of my family.
I spent those four years surviving severe beatings, sleeping at night with one eye open terrified I would not wake up the next morning, and I spent many days and nights wanting to end my life. The verbal and mental abuse in the end was probably worse than the physical abuse. The one thing that kept me from ending my life was my beautiful daughter. She was the only reason I kept going. On the weekends she would go to her dads, those were the times I took the physical beatings.
I grew up in the church and all my life I believed in Jesus, but things got so bad I denied that Jesus even existed. I would scream and yell at Jesus with all I had. If Jesus did exist, why was I going through this?
My best friend was aware of what was going on and lived not far from me. We had a plan that she would come and get my daughter and I out the next time it happened. However, the most severe beating I took, the one I was certain was going to be my last day on earth, she was out of town and he knew this.
Fortunately the bruises were so bad that when she got home a week later they were all still visible. We made a plan that the next time I was hit, I would call and she would come and get me. Every day was terrifying. Two nights in a row before the next violent attack I dreamed my grandpa was standing up and talking to me, he said the same thing both nights. ” Everything is going to be okay, I promise” Two days later when it happened I called her and she did exactly what she said, she walked down and got my daughter and myself out.
Since then my life has been the most amazing experience I had only dreamed about. I love life and I love Jesus! I rededicated my life to Jesus, and was determined to live full on for Him. I can look back and know that Jesus sent my grandpa in those dreams for me.
October is Domestic Violence Month, The local harmony house is turning thousands away a year because there are not available beds.
I was terrified to get out for the fear that he would end up killing me for leaving and I had a safe place and a warm house to go to. I cannot for one second imagine finally getting brave enough, making the decision to go to harmony house for safety only to be turned away.
You see, as little girls we do not dream that someday we will grow up get married and be abused. None of us dream that and none of us deserve that even if we make decisions that we look back on and regret.
I was even one of those people not understanding why people would take abuse, why they would not just get out of it. Then I was somehow living in the middle of the abuse I said I would never put up with.
My prayer today is that if you are reading this and you are a victim you will know you can get out and have an amazing life. If I can help with any other information or parts of my story, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Everyone reading this knows someone in domestic violence right now. 1 in 3 women are victims in domestic violence.
The link below is to the Harmony House in Springfield, Mo. If you are reading this and can donate anything to this amazing organization please do so.
I alone know the plans I have for you, plans to bring you prosperity and not disaster, plans to bring about the future you hope for. Jeremiah 29:11 (Good News Translation)
He never changes. No one can oppose him or stop him from doing what he wants to do. he will fulfill what he has planned for me; that plan is just one of the many he has. Job 23:13-14 (Good News Translation)