I am a walking, talking testimony to the saving power of God.
I was in a narcissistic abusive marriage for 6 years. Looking back, there was one red flag before the marriage to how things would change. I ignored it, figuring everybody has off days. We were both saved, both baptized God loving people. He loved my sons as his own. We were blissfully happy and so in love.
Things changed after the wedding, subtly at first. Control and isolation is less obvious in small doses. Soon he was having what I coined “meltdowns,” becoming a totally different person about every six months. They gradually increased in intensity as the years went by. Yelling, name calling, shaming, threatening – it was all common. When he was not in one of those moods, he was the most amazing man again. The man I had married. I clung to God, believing for restoration of my marriage.
It continued to escalate. There were rules my sons and I had to follow. They were not allowed to open the fridge without permission from him. I homeschooled my sons and we were not allowed out of the schoolroom except for lunch from 7-3. He threw our cats outside in the freezing cold, saying I rescued them without his permission and to get rid of them. The house was never clean enough and I was a lazy four-letter word who would never do any better than him. He said he had to scare me into getting a job or trim the fat… i was the “fat.” He loathed my son’s biological father and frequently ranted about him and called him names. (There was much more going on, these are only examples.)
But still I stayed. Because when he was good… he was the man I married. And I still believed God would fix my marriage.
I had the intercessors at my church praying. My church family, my best friends and my mom (who lived in the other half of our duplex) were my lifelines.
Things came to a head one January day; he decided he was done – completely done – and kicked us out. In a change of heart the next day, he kicked my mother out and she moved in with me, my sons, and our menagerie of animals. We ended up living like that for the next year and a half. The verbal abuse and threats never stopped. I sought help from the local abuse center at one point and they were great.
He already had a girlfriend and by the time we divorced, he was on number three. We went to counseling with our pastor; I was still clinging to the small hope that there would be a miracle. After several sessions, my pastor told me I should file for divorce that, in his opinion, it was over.
I clung to several scriptures, decreeing them daily. One of them was Psalm 107:41 from The Passion Translation, “But he raises up the poor and lowly with His favor, giving them a safe place to live where NO ONE can touch them” (my own emphasis added). I desperately needed that safe place.
I did not have a job that would support a family; I was doing a paper route. So I was awake and on the road in the wee hours of the morning. That was my time. I spent hours feeding my spirit. Audible books, teachings from a favorite app (Jereme & Miranda Nelson, Elisha Revolution) and praise and worship music. And during that time, in the midst of the chaos… something amazing happened. I remembered WHO I am. I AM THE DAUGHTER of the KING! I got my identity back. It was also during this time with the Lord that He revealed something to me that again changed my outlook. He said to me, “If I would not have removed you as dramatically as I did, you would not have left. You would have stayed standing for a marriage that was not going to change. The next meltdown he had, he would have killed you”.
There are no words to express how I felt in that moment. God saved my life! Twice! Once on the cross and now again!
All the things I was standing for and needing miracles for at that time (separate testimonies I will not go into detail here, but Praise God He’s SO GOOD!) I needed a home, I needed a job, I needed a new car. I GOT EVERY SINGLE ONE!
I won’t tell you healing was easy. I am still healing. It’s a process. PTSD is a very real thing and triggers can come out of nowhere. The fear of him was very real and very crippling. Clinging to God started the healing process. Listening to all I could from trusted sources, books like “Lioness Arising” and “Girls with Swords” by Lisa Bevere and an amazing support system (no matter how small) was critical to my healing process as well as decreeing scripture daily and keeping a journal. When the doors were open at church I was there. I am so hungry for God! I became a member of the worship team again. The healing went on and on. This testimony is part of healing.
I remember during the process, something would happen to knock me down again. A text from him, words and threats shouted across the yard. I kept telling myself, “Is God any different now than He was before this happened? Is He the same God from then to now?” My answer was always, YES! So I would put my crown back on and remember who I was through the tears.
God is STILL God! No matter what! He helped me break down those walls one… single… brick… at… a… time. The walls of fear, the wall of shame, the wall of worthlessness, the wall of insecurity are all being brought down. I’m a totally different woman. I don’t even physically resemble the woman I was then.
Let me join with you in prayer… let’s remove that first brick. God’s got this. We are all here to help.