I spent nine years in that physical abuse. He was in and out of jail. He was in different relationships with other women. He was either in a treatment center, in jail, or on the streets. That’s how I lived my life for nine years. I didn’t realize that I was settling so much for what I thought was love was very much a counterfeit.
In the midst of that relationship, there was a young woman who lived in the apartment complex right behind us. Our bedroom walls were adjacent. She would be aware of the abuse that went on, the name calling, and that kind of thing. She would try to witness to me. She and her husband were newly married, and all I could feel was jealousy that her relationship was much much different than mine. I was cordial to her but I would not engage her, if you will.
One night in the midst of the madness, my ex-husband was in the middle of abuse. I ran to her house for safety. She was there with her husband of course, who wanted to go over and beat up my husband, which, at the time, I thought was a great idea. That was not what God had planned for me. She sat me down on her couch and asked me if I knew how much Jesus loved me. My first thought was, “Why are you talking this Jesus stuff in the midst of all this drama? Let it rest.” Somehow at that moment, I really was wanting and needing to answer that question. Of course, the answer was no.
It was as if my whole life and scenes of my life flashed before me, and I realized that I was just about at the end of myself in what Angie thought that she was capable of doing, and the wants and desires that were so selfish within my own heart, thinking that I could meet them, or some other person could make me happy. I was at the end of that. The tears flowed and flowed from a place so deep within myself that I didn’t know existed. In the midst of that madness, I was saved, and my life really did change.
Over the two years that my ex-husband husband was incarcerated, I listened to Christian radio and had people to come around me who would invest in my life and to love me with the love of Jesus. I grew, and I changed, and I began to understand that I was truly loved.