A Journey Through Emotional Abuse
God walked with me for 7 years to help me write a book for abuse victims called A Journey Through Emotional Abuse: From Bondage to Freedom. I wrote the book primarily for women suffering from emotional abuse in their marriages, but the book can be used for men as well. Click here to find the book.
I began writing as a way to heal from the abuse I had suffered in my own twenty-year marriage. Because my husband didn’t beat me, I didn’t realize I was being abused. I only knew I was extremely unhappy. When I tried to talk to my husband about my feelings, he discounted them, and denied any responsibility he played in our difficult marriage. Whatever was occurring was my fault. If I would just be a better wife, everything would be fine.
The problem was, I could never be good enough. What made him happy one day would make him furious the next. The day after that, he would claim the argument from the day before had never taken place. He tried to make me think I was going crazy.
Dealing with his rages was difficult. But, the silent treatment was worse. He became an expert at pretending that I didn’t exist in my own home. At times, he wouldn’t speak to me, look at me, or even acknowledge my existence for a month at a time.
During those years I did everything I possibly could to hold our marriage together. I was determined to NEVER get divorced, NO MATTER WHAT. I wanted to honor the vows I had made to my husband and to the Lord. God strengthened me, and walked beside me every day, PRAISE HIM!! My husband twisted verses of the Bible against me, making me more confused and miserable.
Then one day, he hit me, and I decided to go to my pastor for help. Long story short, my pastor didn’t help, but made things worse. My husband’s abuse escalated, and my pastor didn’t hold him accountable for his actions.
A year later, when I became desperate, I called the National Domestic Violence Hotline 1−800−799−SAFE(7233) or TTY 1−800−787−3224. After speaking to the domestic violence advocate for an hour, I realized that I really WAS being abused. At that moment, I felt the Lord giving me the courage and the permission to finally act.
Within six weeks, I had hired a lawyer, filed for a restraining order, and had my husband removed from our home.
The aftermath of my action was not pretty. There were many difficult months and years ahead for my children and me. During that time, many women I knew from my church came forward and told me stories of their awful marriages. I realized while I had been suffering in silence, many of my sisters had been suffering in silence right down the pew from me!
I became angry, not just for myself, but for them and their children. I knew that my loving God did not condone abuse of His children, and He was even less happy with church leaders who did nothing to help those suffering abuse. I thought back on all the years I had spent trying to understand what the Bible might be saying about abuse, and about a woman’s call to submit to her husband. Listening to sermons by pastors that had never studied abuse surely didn’t help me.
So, I began studying. I read books about abuse. I read what theologians said about marital submission, especially in abusive marriages. I spoke to pastors. And I started to write. I started writing my own story, but I wanted the book to be about much more than my story. I wanted it to be a guide to help others along their OWN journey through abuse, helping them think through their OWN questions, and come to their OWN answers with the help of the God who loves them.
The outcome of my work is A Journey through Emotional Abuse: From Bondage to Freedom. This book is most of all about hope. When I was living with my abuser, I felt hopeless. Because I thought I could never divorce my husband, and he refused to leave, I thought my only way to freedom was to die. But God didn’t leave me in my hopelessness. When I was finally ready to admit I was being abused, and was willing to take action, He came alongside me to free me from my bondage.
I pray the same for every person who reads this book. No one deserves to be abused. I hope each one will see how wide and long and high and deep is God’s love for us (Ephesians 3:17-19), and that
He doesn’t want us to live in bondage. After all, the Father sent the son to earth to set us free (John 3:16-17, John 8:36, Galatians 5:1).
Does this mean that the book will encourage every spouse who reads this book to get a divorce? Not at all. Some abusive marriages CAN be saved, with the help of the Lord. But the victim will have to ACT. S/he cannot remain passive. If so, the marriage won’t magically heal itself. Indeed, it will probably get worse over time.
I invite you to check out the book by clicking here. You can read the first 4 chapters via Amazon.com. Most of all, I pray that the book will be a blessing to any person who is being emotionally abused by someone who is supposed to care for and love them. Please know that God does not want you to suffer in this way. The God of the Universe loves you more than you could ever imagine, as it says in Ephesians 3:17b-19:
And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Question: Have you been led to believe that God would never allow you to divorce your abuser?
May God bless you today,