Dear sweet hurting sister,
I know your tears. Down in the deepest part of me, I understand your pain. I’m so sorry for the life you’ve been forced to lead. And though the one who should have loved you most of all has sought to destroy you, I want you to know that your life hasn’t been wasted, that there’s still hope, and that you life has a purpose outside of the endless mind-bending pain.
Even in the midst of man-made cruelties, there are things we can learn. One of those things is just how strong and resilient we are. You are so strong, dear one, do you know that? Do you see your own strength? You get back up every single time he knocks you down. Sure, it might take you a while after the most brutal of attacks, but you never give up—do you? By the grace of God, you get back up and you try again. And again. Again and again.
Through beatings and negligence, your abuser can attempt to destroy your body. Through harsh unrelenting words, he can attempt to kill your spirit. But that’s all he can do. He cannot touch your spirit. He cannot destroy your hope in God. He cannot eradicate your mother’s love—or your love for your family, your friends, or even for yourself. Not if you don’t let him.
You mustn’t let him. Don’t ever let him tell you who you are. Don’t absorb his message. Never let him define you. This man isn’t worthy of winning, of being able to destroy you. He’s your enemy—remember that. No matter how many times he has professed that he loves you, he doesn’t. No matter how kind he can seem at times, he isn’t kind. He’s the opposite of kind. He hates you. He has sought to destroy you. Never forget that. And never, ever, let him win.
The most important thing to learn in this man-made war zone you’ve been forced to live in is the goodness and the greatness of your Lord. He never fails. He is faithful and true. He is good, always and in all ways, no matter what. He loves His own with an everlasting love. He’s the perfect Husband, the mightiest and gentlest Father, imaginable. Run to Him. Cling to Him. Obey Him and serve Him. He’s so very worthy. Even in your pain, He is worthy. He loves you. He cares for you. And He hates what your abuser is doing to you.
Pray. Pray every single day. Pray every single hour. Abide in prayer. Pray without ceasing. Pray to know Him better and to love Him more. Pray for God’s mercy, His wisdom, and His grace to be poured out on you and on your children. Pray that you might grow in Christ-likeness. Pray for provision, for strength, for the ability to make a better tomorrow. Pray for Him to deal with your abuser. No matter what this man has told you, God is most definitely not on his side.
Pray specifically. Ask God for what you need. Pray for your next meal, for the ability to fix your car, for gifts for your children. Pray to know how to make a better life, and for the ability to run far away to safety. Pray that your children may see His goodness even as you abide in the land of darkness. Ask Him for more of Himself—His presence is by far the best present He could ever give you.
Read His Word. Immerse yourself in His truth. The Bible is the only real Truth and that on which all other truths must rest. Read it. Believe it. Memorize portions of it. Build your life on it. Let it sink in and change you. Reading His Word and praying in belief are the very best investments you can make for your future, for yourself and for your children. But that’s not why you should read—you should read because He Is.
God loves you. Not the mushy love some churches like to proclaim but with a love that’s even better than that. He loves you securely. He loves you everlastingly. He loved you enough to send His Son to die for you. There’s nothing changeable, nothing mushy, about His love. Just as He never changes, His love never changes either.
You may have some good times with your abuser. You may have them still. Do not believe them. Unless you’ve seen the fruits of true repentance in his life, he’s setting you up to use you again. He will hurt you again. He will lie to you, take advantage of you, and seek to destroy you again. His kindness is a lie. Everything about him is a lie. No matter how many times he tells you he is changing, he probably isn’t. Most abusers never change; their hearts are simply too hardened against God.
You may want to give up. Don’t. There’s no good that ever comes from not trying one more time. Your abuser may threaten you, may lie to you, may seek to destroy you. Fight anyway. Fight for yourself. Fight for your children. Fight for your future. Do whatever it takes to keep standing one more day.
If you can, leave. Through his abuse, he has broken your marriage vows. You are not bound to him. In the most basic of ways, he has abandoned you. Divorcing him isn’t what will break your marriage. He broke your marriage. Divorcing him simply acknowledges what he has done.
He may try to prevent you from leaving. He may try to make you come back. Don’t listen to him. Don’t feel sorry for him. Ignore his tears. Harden yourself to his pleas. Protect yourself from his threats. Use the law if you have to. You deserve so much better. Your children deserve better. Do all that you can to get to a point where “better” defines your life.
Meanwhile, I’m praying for you.
A sister who understands~