There have been times in my life when I felt alone. Never more so than during my first marriage. During that time I not only felt that God was far, but I believed with everything in me that He was punishing me through the cruel words and hands of my husband. Even though I had been saved at a young age, later in life I lived as the prodigal daughter. I made wrong choices and lived with those consequences. I believed that this abusive marriage was one of those consequences.
If you would have met me before this time in my life, you couldn't imagine that I would take the abuse. I was strong, bold, and independent. Something happened to me the first time I took a punch from this man that stood in church and promised to love, honor, and cherish me. Something happened to me the first time he told me that I pushed his buttons and made him do it. Part of me began to believe that I deserved it. I also believed him those first few months when he said that he was sorry and it wouldn't happen again.
I lost myself in this world where I didn't matter and my heart shattered. I stopped praying for God to rescue me. Instead I just prayed that these nightmare moments wouldn't last long. When those prayers didn't get answered, I stopped praying altogether. I began to accept that this was going to be my life.
I was alone. I couldn't share with my family and friends what was happening. Not even when I was in the hospital with injuries would I admit this nightmare that I existed within. I became good at hiding bruises and making excuses for injuries. There was always the lingering threat that if I ever told anyone or tried to leave that my life would cease at his hand.
It all changed a few years later when this man told me with hands around my throat that he could kill me and get away with it. I knew he meant it. I knew he was capable of it. And in that very moment I knew that I wanted to live. I wanted to live a different life. One where I mattered. One where I wasn't scared. And I began to pray again. I cried out to Him with every part of me.
My God did rescue me from that place. But there is so much more in the rescue that just that. He has been healing what was broken and damaged in me. It isn't an easy road and doesn't happen overnight. It has taken years and there are scars. But somehow those scars don't remind me of the nightmare, but instead remind me that I was worth the rescue.
Years later God brought D into my life and we have been married for over twenty years now. Some might say (and have) that I will be punished for divorcing my first husband and remarrying. But I don't believe in that God they speak of. The one who punishes. Not anymore. That's not my God. He rescues and heals and loves beyond measure. That's my God. I am living proof.
I trust in your unfailing love.
I will rejoice because you have rescued me.
What had God rescued you from?