I met him the day he got out of prison! A friend of mine introduced us. She gushed about how great he was, and I was drawn in by his charm. I didn’t think about the fact that he was fresh out of confinement. I didn’t ask why he went. I just wanted to know more about this “bad boy.”
I was a good church girl. I grew up in church and got saved at 12. Church, school, shopping, and home were my main destinations growing up. I was in gifted classes and made great grades but all that changed in college. My focus was more on my blooming social life and newfound freedom.
When I met him, I was retaking the final class needed to graduate. I wasn’t working in my field, but I had a job and a car. One would say I had work to do, but the potential for greatness was there. I almost lost everything because of this relationship, but God’s grace covered me.
Our relationship moved quickly, and within months we moved in together. There were warning signs, disrespect and deception. I also learned he was selling and using drugs. He stole money from my purse, asked if a friend could move in with us and then had an affair with her. He did all of this while still being legally married and not telling me. It was too much to take. I was naïve and blindly trusted Him when I shouldn’t have. I slowly lost myself, my voice, my sense of worth, and my values. I became a shell of my former self, going through the motions of a relationship destined for destruction.
During this time, my connection with God wasn’t healthy. I still professed Christ, but I wasn’t actively pursuing a relationship with Him. Instead, my focus was on this man who didn’t love or understand me.
When I found out about the affair, it was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I had put up with so much for so long. I had reached rock bottom in my heart and my spirit. I still didn’t fully understand my worth, but I knew I deserved better than what I was receiving. I knew it was time to leave. When I made plans to leave, I didn’t just move out of the home we shared; I moved to a new town. You would think that would solve the problem, but that decision lead to a moment that almost ended my life.
One day I was making my last rounds saying goodbye to the numerous friends I made in my college town. I went home briefly to prepare for church with a friend that evening. He was upset because he and his lover were at the house with no way to get something to eat. I was the only one with a car. I told him to take the car and hurry back. Crazy, huh? Even after everything that went down with us, I felt obligated to be nice and help. Well, that wasn’t enough for him. He got in my face and yelled at me. I pushed him away and asked him to get out of my face. He did it again, and I pushed him again. But this time, he snapped. He lunged at me, wrapped his hands around my neck, and squeezed. I thought my life was over. This was it! But, by the grace of God, he let me go. There was no reason why he should have let me go. I wasn’t strong enough to fight back effectively. He was so angry that he was out of control. Only the Lord allowed him to remove his hands from my neck. Only the Lord saved me that day.
When he let me go, I came back to myself. I found my fight, voice, and hope. I had another chance at life, and I wasn’t going to allow anyone to take that from me. I yelled, screamed, and demanded that he leave. When he refused, I left. I made my way to church and told my friend what happened. She helped me find someplace to stay that night, and I called my father to pick me up the next day.
In hindsight, it wasn’t a coincidence that I would find help and solace at church after such a traumatic event. I had lost my way and connection to the Father, but His house is where I cast my cares that night. It was in the comfort of my friend, who was full of Godly wisdom that I found the strength to move forward.
The transition to a new town with new people and experiences was difficult. Finding my way back to God and His love required pulling back the layers of low self-esteem and figuring out what lead me to that situation in the first place. It took years of digging deep, prayer, and surrender.
When I got tired of being tired, I asked the Lord to release me from the dysfunctional relationships I had encountered. I asked Him to break the soul ties I created from intimacy with people who were not my spouse. I cried out and purposed to wait on Him before entering my next relationship. I wanted the man He had for me, not one I chose out of my misguided feelings and desires. I was willing to wait 5 or 10 years, but it only took a few months.
My husband and I met and married the same year and have been married for 15 years. The pain of my past prepared me for my present. Because I knew what I didn’t want, I was able to recognize God’s best for me. Don’t feel discouraged by the difficulties you have faced. God’s grace abounds for you and me.
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If you are in an abusive relationship, there is hope. Don’t suffer in silence. Contact the National Domestic Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) and start your journey to healing. If you have ever suffered from low self-esteem or questioned your value, remember God loves you. His love is unconditional and always available.
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Sherry Speaks Life, LLC
Author, Speaker, Podcast Host, Coach
Sherry Speaks Life, LLC teaches you how to speak life and make it a lifestyle. Through my work, I help you understand how your words impact every aspect of your life, facilitates self-love, and empowers you to be a change agent in the world around you. I incorporate the practical application of Biblical principles to demonstrate the power of speaking life.
Visit my website: https://sherryspeakslife.com/