One May my mother sent me a little wallet card with my name and a Bible verse that read: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding" (Proverbs 3:5). I was amazed and touched. My Mom had never sent me anything Christian before. I kept the card with me and pondered its meaning. A month later, I got a greeting card from a friend that included the same verse. I knew it wasn't a coincidence. I knew God wanted me to focus on the verse. "I trust you, Lord" was my heart's response, "Help me to trust you even more."
About a week later or so, my whole life changed. I turned a corner and saw my husband choking our five year old son. It was as if a curtain had risen and shown a terrifying tableau and my denial shield fell to the ground. I knew I needed to save my children from my husband's violence. His storms against me was one thing, but our children needed to be safe. I knew our marriage could not continue as it had been up to that point. I went to a shelter and began taking a women's class on domestic violence to try to figure out what to call the last 14 years of marriage and what to do to change our home. The first day of class I learned that I was an abused wife with a husband who used many forms of abuse to control me.
Many things good and bad happened over the next 6 weeks. A friend who had no idea what was happening in our home, stopped me at church, handing me a card and saying, "I saw this a few days ago and thought of you. I think God might want you to have it." It was the same verse again: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding."
I gripped it tightly. I knew I needed to trust God wholeheartedly during this traumatic time.
About two weeks later, I was praying late into the night, asking God for help. I needed God to show me what to do. I was horribly stressed, confused, and frightened by how threatening my spouse had been that evening. The tension was high and I knew his next angry explosion would happen soon. Suddenly, I heard the loudspeaker version of God's voice saying loud enough to rise above my frantic thoughts, "It is time to leave, Tanya. After he leaves the house for work, you need to take the children and leave."
My thoughts churned. "Leave? Where? Where can I go? For how long? What kind of leaving are we talking about?"
"Trust me, Tanya, and lean not on your own understanding."
Suddenly my mind stopped whirling. I had an assignment from God and I was going to obey. I would leave with my children. More details slid into place in my mind. I knew where we would go, a friend's home in another state. I knew I would need to pack quickly and lightly as soon as my husband went to work.
I got up an hour early and mopped my kitchen tile floor, killing time. I was still in shock, but I was clear headed just the same. God was leading me and I did not need to fully understand where he was leading me.
After my husband left for work, I called three people to let them know what I was doing and why. Then I wrote a note to my husband letting him know that I needed to think and that we'd call him in a few days. I knew as the kids and I put backpacks in the trunk, that I didn't know how long we would be gone. I wondered if my husband would finally come to his senses. As I buckled my youngest child into his carseat, I longed for a better home, one without anyone trying to control others, a safe home for everyone under the roof.
I put the car in reverse and backed out our long driveway. Just as I pulled out of the driveway and began driving forward, I looked back at my home--and the rear view mirror fell down onto the floor. "So much for that. No more looking back," I thought, driving off into a new, completely unknown future. I was trusting in God alone. It was enough.
- Abuse recovery (13)
- Action for Domestic Violence Issues (6)
- Anger (4)
- Author Interview (4)
- Boundaries (15)
- Coping (16)
- Damage from Abuse (24)
- Devotional (5)
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- Doormat Thinking (17)
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- God's Healing (39)
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- Trust (9)
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