Encounter with an Angel
I had been in the psychiatric ward because I was suicidal. I had four young kids and told myself I was suffering from postpartum depression. But while I was in the hospital, the doctors told me I was there because of my “domestic partner” and only about 5% postpartum. I told myself they just didn’t know what a “Christian marriage” looked like.
I was assigned to a counselor, after seeing her twice she told me I needed to go to ARMS. I took the brochure and kept it.
Nine months later, my abusive husband lost his job and my life became even more of a living hell. I was NEVER allowed to be alone. I could not go grocery shopping without him and all four kids. He even followed me to the mailbox.
My parents took me to see an attorney, while my boss covered for me, because my husband would bring all the kids to come check in on me at work. I signed the divorce papers but didn’t have the strength to file them yet. I was too afraid to leave. I was convinced he would try to kill me if I left.
I finally came to a place where I figured I would either kill myself or try to leave and he would kill me. My thought was that he wouldn’t get the kids if he killed me, they’d go to my mom. I know this sounds twisted but I was desperate.
I don’t even remember how I ended up at my first ARMS class, but that night it was just me and the leader. When it was over I felt like I had just met an angel. My leader knew exactly what I was feeling and going through with my abusive husband. When I got into my car I sobbed and sobbed because I knew God was watching over me.
I learned so much attending ARMS, the most important was that I was not alone, and it’s not my fault. I realized that my best would have never been enough for my abuser; he wanted me to fail and depend only on him. I learned how much God loves ME, and how precious I truly am. I realized that the only thing I could control were MY attitude and actions not his! And that I am capable of making choices to keep myself and my four kids safe.
I attended the Her Journey program three full times before I finally filed for divorce. Unfortunately my church didn’t understand. I lost my entire church support system. They were the only people my abuser allowed me to talk to! But I kept going to ARMS for 45 weeks, each time I attended a group God revealed more and more to me.
I’m now four years out of the abuse and my life is full of possibilities, my kids are thriving and happy, not just surviving. My life is not all peaches and cream but I am no longer in the abuse. My life has dramatically changed. I am now a leader for the Her Journey program.
Thank you so much for supporting ARMS today, I am so touched by people’s willingness to give so that women like me can find the healing and support they need. I couldn’t have afforded it on my own. Thank God.
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