This is a continuation of a series every Friday where I will be highlighting the growth and healing of one of my readers, a new reader each week. These, my sweet ones, are their brave and vulnerable stories. Take heart…you are not alone. -Elisabeth
It seems that all my life I’ve been suffering. When I was in school I was the smart one, so I was always picked on. My notes were never in my locker. People tried to cheat off of me during tests. I was so glad to be finished with grade school and high school. When I went to college, I finally felt like I belonged. No one there knew me, so it was a fresh beginning. It was a difficult curriculum, so everyone was smart. In college, I really blossomed to become a person that I really liked. I was active in several clubs and was enjoying life. I had a lot of friends and never felt alone.
After graduating, I returned home to work. I had been casually dating someone and by September he asked for my hand in marriage. We didn’t get married for over a year, so our dating continued. I didn’t see him as an abuser. He was amazing. He left notes in my car at work, called frequently and was a perfect gentleman. The day we married, it was like a switch. He suddenly owned me and controlled everything I did. Through the marriage I was abused physically, sexually, financially, spiritually and psychologically. He even abused our children. My abusive marriage lasted over 20 years ending in a brutal divorce.
During that marriage, I suffered infertility and three miscarriages. He was not understanding or compassionate. I felt very alone. We eventually had 2 children. I felt like a single mom taking care of the kids, plus working to support the family. I became very depressed and contemplated suicide. When I spoke to my husband about this he laughed. Again, no support.
“Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Romans 5: 3-5
As I look back, I realize that my suffering was a gift from God. A tool that He used to draw me closer to Him. When I was in school, my dad would sit down and pray with me. In his wisdom, he knew that I would grow from this trial. In my marriage, I was on my knees praying for help from God. I was in the word and talking to a friend to cope with issues. Again, the suffering brought me closer to God.
When I miscarried our first son after 8 years of infertility, I had a difficult time turning to God. I spent nights just crying. Why Lord? Why did you do this to me? After all of the years or infertility, why did you give me hope? It took me several months to stop being angry and bitter at God. I really don’t know what turned me around. It must have been the Holy Spirit. When I finally grew from this trial, I realized that I could use my experience to help others going through miscarriage and infertility. Twenty years later, I am still supporting others suffering infertility and miscarriage.
My marriage was confusing. I would use scripture to try and guide him to be the husband he was supposed to be. He would use scripture to make me even more submissive. I went back and forth in my mind as to what I should do. We spent years in counseling, but he didn’t change. I spent years reading books, talking to counselors and asking for guidance from fellow Christians. When I decided that I needed to divorce for the safety of myself and my children, he turned on me. Suddenly, I was the enemy. He did everything he could to try to hurt me. I continued to lean on God and the friends I made in Elisabeth’s “A Place for Us” Facebook group. During my divorce trial, I spent time giving it to God each day prior to entering the courthouse. It was painful, because my husband never accepted responsibility for the destruction of our marriage. He continues to try and abuse me and blames me for everything even today.
I want to tell you that you might feel like a victim right now, but give it to God and become a survivor! Each trial that you face will produce endurance. As you develop endurance, you will grow in character. As you turn to God, he will give you hope. Not hope like a maybe. Hope from God is a definite! Hope is that feeling of God’s great love, knowing that He is handling your situation. Remember that God loves you unconditionally. Give yourself and your suffering to God and feel His love!
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation be constant in prayer. Romans 12:12
If this sweet woman’s post resonated with your heart, please know that you are not alone. Here are a few resources for you:
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If you would like to join my closed Facebook group called Hope & Healing, you can find it here.
If you’d like to receive my free e s-book, You’re Going to Make It Through, you can get it here.
If you need a nudge in your healing, I would love to work with you! Join me for one of my coaching courses.
If in a difficult marriage: Surviving in a Difficult Christian Marriage is available as a PDF/e-book: www.elisabethklein.com/books
If separated/divorced: Unraveling: Hanging onto Faith through the End of a Christian Marriage is available in paperback/e-book: http://tinyurl.com/phowp95
If a single mom: Moving on as a Christian Single Mom is available in paperback/e-book: www.elisabethklein.com/books
YES!! and AMEN!!