Boldly Walking Forward From Domestic Violence
I didn’t recognize abuse in my life until it was all around me.
Growing up, there wasn’t physical abuse prevalent in our home, but there was an underlying degree of disrespect and manipulation as my stepfather tried to control my mother’s money, time, activities, and relationships. It caused a great deal of destruction in the relationship and my mom pulled away from him and turned to other friends for emotional support and love. This infuriated him and sent him off the deep edge!
I lost my mother to murder, with my stepfather committing suicide afterwards. I can only imagine the fight she put forth for her life.
When It Became Me
The next year of my life, I dealt with sleepless nights filled with fear, nightmares, anguish, heartbreak, and pangs of sadness that encompassed the deepest recesses of my heart!
I then found myself in an abusive relationship that was controlling, manipulative, verbally abusive, and occasionally physically abusive. It happened slowly over time and when I finally understood what it was and broke off the relationship, he attacked me physically in my apartment.
I was hit, thrown on the ground, attacked with obscenities, and thrown up against a wall. I lost my eyesight for some time, but when I came to, I ran until help arrived. I pressed charges and then began a healing process from two tragedies that took years to heal from.
I’m Not Alone
Unfortunately, my story is not rare.
The state of South Carolina is No. 1 in the nation for deadly violence against women, according to a 2013 report from the Violence Policy Center. Our state is facing a crisis as more and more women are being murdered by men! This is horrific and against all principles of how God designed relationships between a man and a woman. We need to raise awareness of this ever-growing epidemic in hopes of truly saving lives!
Beauty from Ashes
God calls husbands to love their wives, to not be harsh with them, and to cherish them (Colossians 3:19, Ephesians 5:25-33). When this begins to falter, it needs to be addressed in the home immediately just as any other sin that is prevalent. As God created woman from the rib of man, she needs to be loved, protected and cherished. The further relationships slip away from God’s teachings and “go their own way”—sin—the closer tragedy can strike!
God helped me understand that the abuse wasn’t my fault, for I was “fearfully and wonderfully made” in His image, with a purpose and for a purpose (Psalm 139:14). I was not made for someone to manipulate and control, but to love and to be loved. I had to learn how to trust God and His promises that He would never leave me nor forsake me. I had to believe Romans 8:28, that ALL things work together. As my faith and trust increased, Jesus gave me the strength and hope to endure, grow better not bitter, and make a difference in helping others do the same.
A woman of courage has to be a woman of great faith, filled with hope and strength to trust God completely. I want to be THAT woman!
I came to a point where I was actually able to forgive both my stepfather and my ex-fiancé, not because what they did was alright, but because I understood God’s love and wanted to be free from bondage!
A woman of courage has to be a woman of great faith, filled with hope and strength to trust God completely. I want to be THAT woman, and I want the same for you, too.
If you’re in a dangerous situation, please ask for help. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, talk to someone in the Care Room after a Sunday service, or call 911 if you’re in immediate danger.