The abuse I endured years ago left me with more than a broken nose and bruised ego. I had a broken spirit.
That fragility later morphed into a core of resentment and callousness I only recently disowned.
I recall sharing this pain with a stranger for the first time. When I worked in customer service, a young lady called to talk about how messed up her marriage was. As she explained the details speckled with flecks of self-loathing I sighed, rolled my eyes, and almost said, ” I am not your counselor. However, I remained quiet considering her rant would have to cease at some point, right? When the young lady mentioned how she’d been cursed out, cheated on, and constantly berated by her husband, I involuntarily allowed my wounds to breathe. As five minutes grew to ten, she finally slowed her momentum, I suppose realizing my silence. It was merely a speed bump. She posed the question, “I mean what would you do in my shoes?”
I had no desire to answer, but shocked us both with my response, “I’ve worn your shoes. I walked in them for years.”
Her question became my alarm. I’d been sleep-walking and it was time to wake. This was when the shell of who I thought I needed to be for acceptance began to break. For the next several minutes, I disclosed how God delivered me from that toxic existence.
I recalled to her the prayer as if it had just been uttered. It began, “Lord, just make him leave,” and ended with “Thy will be done.” Before my prayers had been a broken record of sorts with a constant rambling of, “Lord, heal my marriage.”
I imagine as much as I tired of saying those words, God tired of hearing them. I truly wanted a way out of the choice I’d made. However, I felt like it was not the “godly thing to do” since I’d been divorced once before. The truth is I knew immediately after I said “I do” to my now ex-husband I would not fully be able to say the same to my God. God never agreed with the union. Still, I tried to justify my decision and the resulting pain with cool logic.
But on that night I was finally honest with God and myself. Tears soaked my daughter’s bed as I’d knelt to pray there. I collapsed at her bedside as if I had no energy left to stand. I wonder even now if Kayla understood what I was going through. She was five, ready for bed, and was supposed to have been kneeling with me, but that night she stood beside me instead.
The following week my now ex-husband announced his plans to leave. Initially, I objected, saying, “you’ll regret it,” only to pause for 30-second reminder. “God, You heard and answered my prayer.” I quickly amended my statement, with, “No, this is the best thing for both of us.” Even before he left the room that evening, a weight had been lifted from my head and heart.
After sharing my experience, the caller asked, “Well, what would you do differently if you were given the chance again?” My response to her then mirrors that of my now, “Nothing. It was necessary.”
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