October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. I am sharing some of my story, hopefully to help others. I lived in denial of my abusive situation for many years, one of the reasons, I did not want to be divorced, ever.
I opened Facebook and there was another “it’s final” post, along with the often asked question, “Will this hurt go away?”
I asked that same question over twenty years ago, when my divorce was final. I thumb through the pages of my journals, and that question appears in different forms over several years. As time went on, the question was replaced with more positive emotions and successes, but I hurt, on the first day of my divorce and for a long time after, and I could see no end to it.
The hurt was founded on several issues. My life partner was not willing to compromise anything to make our marriage successful. Because of abuse and all the issues with it, I was blamed, and I accepted blame at times. I was lonely. I was afraid. I struggled with feeling that I had failed.
Divorce was not my goal, healing and restoration of my marriage was. Unfortunately, we find ourselves in life situations that we cannot fix or control, with people who choose their own way and wills over what we would like or what would appear to make good sense. I had to come to terms with my mistakes, but divorce did not mean I was a failure. The fact that my partner would not make changes was not my fault either.
God redeems bad situations that are beyond our control. Don’t confuse this with “He will make it easy and turn everything into roses.” I don’t find that in my Bible, and I haven’t found that in life. However, He walked with me through all of this and brought me through to the other side. It just took time.
Daily time in Bible study and prayer helped me stay grounded. Going through the motions, even when some days that was the last thing I wanted to do, kept me moving forward. The love of family and friends reinforced my worth. Forgiving my partner and myself kept me from bitterness. Celebrating my successes made me stronger. One day, the hurt wasn’t the first thing I thought of in the morning or my last thought before sleep.
So much of life is filled with things that we are in a hurry to get past: terrible twos and teenagers. We are told by those wiser than us that this too shall pass, quicker than you will know. We tend not to believe them while it attempts to drown us, but it is true. Waiting for hurt to go away is this way, too. But, as we pass through these times in life, abide with Jesus. He has comfort and love for you, and as you spend time with Him, you walk out on the other side with endurance and strength you didn’t know you were capable of achieving.
Just as the Father has loved me, so I have loved you. So abide in my love. John 15:9
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you are involved in various trials, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. But you must let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing. James 1:2-4
Will this hurt go away? Yes, quicker than you will know.
Father, there are those like me, who would irrationally stay in a known harmful situation, rather than deal with the fear of the unknown. I pray now that you would come alongside the one who is struggling in abuse and with fear of the unknown, lead them to wise counsel and fill them with wisdom and right choices.