When I first felt deep down that my story was not mine alone and I knew I was being asked, if you will, to share my heart and life with more than just my friends, I didn’t fully know what to expect. I knew after ten years of public speaking that there were women who would come up to me after a talk and whisper, “My marriage is hard and I don’t know what to do,” or “You’re the first person I’m telling this too, but my husband…” I knew there were women out there who were hurting, who might gain something from hearing how I’ve walked this road, or at the very least, that they aren’t alone (which, as it turns out, is a very powerful thing to know).
These are just some of the things I’ve heard over the past week:
“I have been SEARCHING for a blog like yours–even prayed, “Oh, Father–if you can just show me ONE woman out there who is having to suffer through this hell, I know I can make it.”
“I will translate your article into Spanish to share it with my daughter so she can read it and try to learn the most she can.”
“Your story has been a source of encouragement to women who have kept silent about their pain.”
“You have refreshed my spirit to actually meet a Christian woman who is willing to be real.”
“An email about your article was in my inbox this morning and I can only believe that it was God’s hand. I desperately needed to read your story.”
“I’m eager to learn and listen from this journey you are in. Thank you for sharing your bleeding heart…”
“My Dear Sister— I came right to your blog. The Lord led me right to it and as I read it…I was moved and I knew it came right on time…I am an adult son of a mother who is really going through the thick of it….my parents have been married for 40 years. I showed her your writing today and she wept and wept…. You are Beloved of the Most High.”
Side note: when I told my daughter this morning that someone was going to translate my article into Spanish for his daughter, she said, “Mom, you’re changing lives…I’m so proud of you.” (Frankly, those are the only words I would’ve needed to hear this week to overlook the unkind ones.)
But there have been more. In fact, for every one horrible thing I’ve seen in the past week, I have probably read five or more stories like this. This hurts my heart because so, so many people are in pain. This encourages me to keep writing because I want to reach out with the comfort I’ve received. And this humbles me, because all of those moments sobbing on my bathroom floor had a purpose. Brokenness turned into freedom. Freedom turned into comfort. Comfort turned into healing. Healing turned into redemption. Redemption turned into helping others who are broken. And the cycle, so I pray, will go on.
If my work has encouraged you and you’d like to partner with me as I reach out to help hurting women, click here for more information.
Thank you so much for writing this article. I have decided to get counceling for the first time about my marriage to an alcoholic. I do a 12 step program but reading today that you had 9 councelors made me make the decision to go. Thanks and God bless you!
I was trying to contact you privately at the address you have listed on your site but it seems to not be working~well, when I send an email to that address it fails to send to you. Can you let me know the best way to contact you to send a private message please? Thank you!
I am glad you are doing this. I made my wife’s life Hell for a long time before she asked me to leave. In so doing, she saved both of us. I cannot speak to your situation, because ours is so different. People ask us how we did it, and I say “We didn’t. You’re asking us how we walked from California to France. God is doing something. If you want to know about it, ask Him. I have no answers.” God is wild and mysterious; often believers sound like Job’s friends, because we so loath the uncertainty of faith. Most of my friends are pagans; they just wanted me to be right. I had to gently deflect them by baring my sin, which was horrible. My wife, however, endured much of what you have gone through, with ready platitudes and a stronger desire for the Bible to be right than to take care of her. It was horrible also. For the sake of everyone in a church that is going through the horror and Hell of a dying marriage, I thank you. Keep up the good work and keep fighting the good fight. Those of us who have been there are proud of you, and value your courage.
Sarah, go ahead and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Will this sound like a broken record? It just might. You have no idea what your words mean in my struggling little life. I breathe God in as I read and I breathe out gratitude in the name of your courage. My marriage, my feeble, failing, sad marriage has been all about endurance. The pain of a spouse with bipolar disorder, a spouse whose had an affair, a spouse who screams, a spouse whose anger rages. It is mine, a hidden mine. God carries me each day. I wait to see how he frees me. I know he will and I love that I have found your story.
Sweet Ann, your faith and courage astound me. And I’m totally using your blog name as my Facebook status today. Much peace to you…
Thank you for your amazing courage and sharing your story. My marriage was also in shambles and I wanted to die everyday, until my husband wanted a divorce. God moved him to release me. God spoke to me and held me close for two years after my ugly divorce, in which I went through a deep depression. Today I am a living testimony of God’s love and grace. May your testimony bring healing to many other broken marriages.
I wonder if I will ever be the woman who is able to write of her freedom from the pain? I can’t imagine ever breaking free? You see, my husband does not know the Lord, and somehow I imagine it’s my place to stay and accept the rejection and emotional abuse, just in case God in His sovereign mercy chooses to redeem him. It’s becoming more and more difficult to accept.
I so appreciate your transparency. I am a never-been-married single mom but I can relate to a lot of what you share. Please keep up the writing. You are changing lives.