My first husband was abusive.
After we split, life became very difficult. He stalked me. He would somehow get into my house when I was gone and steal pictures of our son off of my walls. Sometimes, I would be sitting at the dinner table with my son, and he would call and say, "How is that spaghetti you're eating?" It was really scary....especially since my blinds were CLOSED. He would say, "That's a nice pink shirt you have on....is that new?"
It was horrible. And so very frightening. I also worried about my son, and I feared that somehow he would take him from me.
For years, when he would call on the phone, I would hear his voice and my hands would turn ice cold. I would shake all over. Sometimes, I would curl up into a fetal position and just sob.
But God is good.
One day when he called me, I started falling into the same pattern of fear and oppression. Then, it was like God just gave me a boldness that was truly from Him. I spoke with power and conviction....no fear....and said, "I am no longer under bondage to you. God has set me free from that prison, and I come against you in the name of Jesus."
For the first time since I'd known him, he was speechless. God took the wind right out of his sails.
It took me FIVE YEARS to climb out of the pit enough to be able to be that bold....that SURE of the grace of God....to say those things to him.
There were times that he tried to intimidate me after that, but MY reactions were never what they had been before. God had set me free from that overwhelming sense of fear and oppression.
Today, I am married to a wonderful man. I have six more children (adopted) and although life is hard sometimes, I am so utterly blessed.
That doesn't mean I never feel fear.
That doesn't mean I don't ever get stressed or depressed.
It DOES mean that I have come out of THAT pit I once was in. I sometimes start to slide into another pit, but God has been faithful to send people my way when I need a helping hand to climb out.
The ironic thing is that quite often, we are the ones who are digging these pits.
We MUST stop digging these pits for ourselves. It only adds insult to injury to realize that WE are the ones responsible for digging these terrible dank, dark pits that we find ourselves in. Our decisions--our choices--are ultimately what bring us to the brink of the pit.
After all, the view is amazing from the edge, isn't it? Who can resist peering into the depths below? However, just like curiosity killed that unfortunate cat, all it takes is one slip--one misstep--and over the edge we go. As we are sliding down the slope, we realize too late that we got too close to the edge.
Stuck in the mire and muck, with the top so far away, we ask ourselves, "Why did I get so close? Why did I tempt fate? Why did I stray from the path that I knew was safe?"
It's simple. We did it because we are human.
We are fallible. We make mistakes. Big ones. Sometimes, the mistakes seem so HUGE that we can't see a possible way out. However, as I heard so many times growing up, God can make a way out of no way.
And you know what? He created us, so He knows how screwed up we are! It's a good thing He loves us enough to stand at the edge of that pit and reach down for us.
That's one of the wonderful things about God: We can't slip so far into that pit that He can't reach us anymore. We might not be able to see the top. We might not be able to climb that slippery slope. But God...our All-Knowing, All-Powerful Father...the King of Kings...the I Am...the Light in the darkness...His reach is infinite. He knows no bounds.
When we can't reach the top, He CAN reach the bottom. I believe that one day YOU will be able to look back at this time in your life and declare that you have climbed--or been lifted--out of this pit.
You will be able to testify to someone else to give them encouragement.
You will be able to boost them during their climb.
Hang in there. Trust in God. He is there....even when you doubt it. His presence will become evident with time. Not our time, but His.
More than once, I thought about suicide because I thought it was the only way to be free from the the pit I was in. However, I couldn't leave my son with my ex-husband as his only parent. I am so thankful that I didn't give up.
To come from that dark, forboding place to where I am now.... Well, it's like going from the longest, darkest, and coldest winter night to a beautiful, sunshine-filled warm spring day with blooming flowers and singing birds.
Remember that sorrow may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning. You may be in the middle of your night right now....but morning will come. The sun will shine.
And along with that sun, joy will arrive also.
As odd as it sounds, I think I am writing this to myself as much as I am writing it to you. I have been feeling down lately....and a bit sorry for myself. I needed a reminder of where I came from so that I can open my eyes to see the blessings around me.
Wishing you all comforting peace.
You are not alone.