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Rated: 13+ · Essay · Spiritual · #2066122
A Spiritual Account of Freedom from Emotional Abuse--Originally written in 1997
There was a time when I thought the abuse would be a normal part of my life. Or at least until one of them died. "It's just emotional", I'd tell myself. "No use in trying to get help. No one would take it seriously, it's not "physical" abuse."

It was around that time that I started reading the Bible for comfort. I stayed in my room after work. No one seemed to bother me there. There in the privacy of my new "world", I learned about God's promises.

For God who said, "Let light shine out of darkness" made his light shine in our hearts, to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. (2Cor. 4: 8-9)

My Bible reading reminded me that there was light at the end of the tunnel. After ten years of verbal and emotional abuse, I had no idea how I would reach that light, but I knew it was there. That's why I never left. I hung on, hoping things would get better. The more I read, the stronger the hope. I always had a keen sense that the "end was near".

Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (2Cor.4:16-18)

Once I opened God's book, I understood that this was a temporary situation. No matter how long in earthly terms it seemed to take, I knew the day would come, either here or after I died when it would end. I was willing to wait for the eternal glory promised.

There were times, however, when I did lose heart. Satan has a way of getting to us as our relationship with God grows. Learning to recognize these times, I was continually renewed by God's word. I also learned about God's will for me and although at times it was difficult to comprehend, I always knew His will was better than anything I could ever have imagined. I knew this from experience, too. Looking back, there were countless times when a situation that looked bleak turned into something beautiful. Fixing my eyes on the unseen was becoming easier.

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. (Heb 11:1)

Although uncertain of how God would deliver me from this peril, hope for a better life persisted. It's a strange sensation to feel grateful before something happens, but I guess that's what faith is. As soon as I realized that God was working in my life, I felt less and less like a prisoner and became more active outside my home.

I became closer to the women from a support group I joined and we began meeting on Thursday evenings. Spending time with them, and honestly sharing what was going on in my life, gave me a sense of belonging. A more active role in my church led to my becoming ordained a deacon and helped restore my self-esteem. Once an introvert at work, "minding my own business", I worked at getting to know my fellow employees better and in the process made some wonderful friends.

Do not change yourselves to be like the people of the world, but be changed within by a new way of thinking. Then you will be able to decide what God wants for you; you will know what is good and pleasing to him and what is perfect. (Romans 12:2)

As I continued my Bible study, I was aware that the situation at home never changed. I did. God was giving me the strength to focus on His will for me regardless of my circumstances. Still feeling that persistent sense that the end was near, I continued living the life I knew he intended for me. I loved Him so much that I was willing to do whatever He asked--I would go wherever He led me.

Lord, even when I have trouble all around me, you will keep me alive. When my enemies are angry, you will reach down and save me by your power. (Psalm 138:7)

On March 29, 1997, the day before Easter, I woke up fairly early and began to plan my day. First a trip to the bank, then to the store in preparation for the holiday. When I arrived home from the bank, I noticed the teller had given me $50.00 more than she should have. Upon returning home from the second trip to the bank to return the money, I saw fire engines turning down my street. Before I even got there, I knew. God's wrath had taken over all the hatred and abuse in that house. My son and his friend were playing with matches and as unfortunate as that was, there was no doubt in my mind this was part of God's plan.

Looking back on that day, I remember being in awe of God. Not only did I no longer have to live in that house, but the person I was having the most problems with woud be placed in an apartment separate from ours. The first week was spent in two different hotels. But even through all the turmoil, I felt liberated and free, saved by God's power.

God will do what is right. He will give trouble to those who trouble you. And he will give rest to those who are troubled....(2 Thes.1:6-7)

The weeks following the fire were both troublesome and wonderful. Troublesome to the people God had delivered me from and wonderful and peaceful for me. It turned out that there were problems with the way the insurance policy was written and although the building was insured, most of the personal property was not.

The outpouring of love from friends, co-workers, church members and family was overwhelming. Within a week after the fire, I received clothes, household goods, money and most of all love from many people; some of whom I had never even met.

It's been almost three months since the fire. I'm living in a wonderful apartment away from the abuse and pain. When the house is finished, I'll be staying here--on my own for the first time in many years. Friends and family keep asking me if I'm afraid and despite their joy for me, they're wondering how I'll make it. They don't realize that "this captive, now set free" can take hold of God's promises to take care of her.

Right up to the end, I never lost hope. I knew the day would come when I would be delivered from a lifestyle that was not in His plan. His mercy was never-ending. Even when He knew I couldn't leave, His plan was already in the works. He loved me so much and as I grew to know Him, I know He felt my trust.

How do you say thank you to someone you can't even see? By sharing your experiences with others, by living a life that's nothing less than Christ and above all by making a promise to Him:

This is the day the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it. (Psalm 118:24) I can do everything through Him who gives me strength. (Phil 4:13)

(What I experienced was emotional and verbal abuse. If you are reading this and you are going through physical abuse, do not hesitate to get help immediately.)
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