Most women will agree that being married to an abusive man is very difficult. Whether you have lived with it or not, that statement holds true. Most people have a hard time understanding how women can continue to live with a man who is mentally and emotionally abusive. I had a husband that was not only physically abusive, but told me how worthless, stupid, and crazy I was. He once handed me a loaded gun, told me to use it on myself and do the world a favor. Would you put up with that? Well, neither did I in the beginning. It’s easy to fight it in the early stages. As time passes though, you begin to believe the words and also begin to give up that fight.
This is what happened with me. I didn’t have a great childhood and I’m sure that played into it, but the more and more I heard how stupid I was, the more I believed it. Oh, did I mention that he was an Army officer? So again, in my mind (given my childhood), he was an authority figure.
I knew that God had me with this man for His purpose and that one day I would know that purpose. I also prayed that if it was God’s will that I leave this man, that HE tell me when. That day came during our 17th year of marriage. It was not easy! We even tried marriage counseling but the counselor told us that he was amazed we lasted as long as we did! My ex nearly broke both of my wrists during the last month! But, I finally was able to leave.
My daughter had already left the house for college. My son, age 14, was coming with me. I found a quiet little town to live in and was able to put him into a school with some old friends near a military post we were once assigned to. Things seemed to be going well. Then came Christmas break. My son went to go visit his father and that was the beginning of the end. In short, my son did not come back. My mind controlling ex convinced him that he was better off with his father and that I could not take care of him properly. He believed his father and I was crushed.
This is where my faith really, really had to step in!! People told me that my son would “come around” but I knew better. My ex could sell ice to escimos! My son would never see the truth no matter how much I tried to explain to him how his father was. People told me to let him go and ”give it to God”. I tried. Believe me, I tried. But this was my child, my son, my baby! I did not want that man raising him!
It took time, but I put it all in God’s hands and prayed. I asked the Lord to show my son how his father truly was and help him make his own choices. I’ll be honest – sometimes patience is a very difficult thing to have when you are a mother. But, this time, it paid off. It took 4 years, but God is always good!
One day, I got an email from my son. I couldn’t believe my eyes! My son told me that when he was little, he hated hearing me play piano, but now he understood that it was an escape for me. He even asked me to teach him one day. He told me how sorry he was for things he had done and said, how he loved me, how he forgave me, and asked me to forgive him. It was a long email – longer than anything he had ever written. I smiled. I thanked God. I cried. Then, I read it all over again! I showed the email to my best friend (and present day husband). He smiled, thanked God, cried, and hugged me while I cried. I can honestly say that that was one of the best days of my entire life!
God brought my son back to me. But first, I had to have faith enough to let him go.