I spoke with no emotion. The facts of the past few weeks tumbled out of my mouth as if the story belonged to someone else. The increasingly horrid events were recounted as if it were normal for a spouse to grab his wife by the hair, jerk her head up, and quietly order her through tightly gripped teeth to smile as if things were normal as passersby curiously glanced in their direction. Or that all wives lie in bed pretending to be asleep to avoid confrontation, only to be jarred to reality by their husbands harshly slapping the mattress just beside their head. Or that all husbands threaten their wives and children to avoid certain rooms of the house when arriving home – unless of course they wished to permanently retain he image of a messy suicide deeply embedded in their memory. Then there were the increasing threats to reveal my mistakes – indiscretions clearly orchestrated by his own repeated requests.

As I continually cried out to God, He was beginning an awakening in me. A dear friend insisted that I seek professional counseling. With my permission she made the first appointment for me. To help alleviate my fear, she even met me there. I will be forever grateful to this woman. Her spiritual eyes saw past the public image of this man to the troubled person lurking behind the façade. She was the angel in disguise who, because of her spiritual boldness, saved my life, the lives of my children, and quite possibly, the life of my ex-husband.

Over time as a result of my opening up to a licensed professional counselor, the hidden secrets became less threatening. For the first time I truly began to see the pattern of increasing mental and verbal abuse which was quickly heading toward physical abuse. I became increasingly impressed with the urgency to find a safe time to leave. I was not sure what we would do or where we would go.

I was ashamed to involve my parents. Pride told me that I got myself into this mess, I should get myself out of it. Whatever my next move, God was at work awakening my spirit which had been slowly dying over time. I craved so much more for my children than to live life in this way. I slowly began realizing the danger and neglect they had endured as a result of this whole mess. But God was at work, awakening me as I waited.

“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:37

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” Hebrews 4:15 ESV

“After saying these things, he said to them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I go to awaken him.” The disciples said to him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.” Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that he meant taking rest in sleep. Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus has died,” John 11:11-14 ESV