The very first time I went to a Her Journey session, the topic was about submission vs. oppression. I am a woman of faith and my desire was to honor God. However, I had been told by my ex-husband, pastors and church friends that I was to submit to my husband.
But the Her Journey lesson showed me what some call “Submission” is really oppression. Oppression is really the opposite of submission. In my marriage, I had been abandoned, rejected, physically, sexually, and psychologically abused by my husband. I was married 21 years and had every intention of honoring my marriage vows, but when I saw the abuse begin to extend to my young daughter, I vowed I would not let it happen to her.
Leaving the marriage was scary. I had no idea what my husband would do. Yes, he had physically hurt me before, raped me, and he had told me a couple times that he would kill me. My young daughter witnessed physical abuse and the police intervening, but what scared me most was not the abuse her dad did to me, but how he might use my daughter as a pawn in the divorce process…. and he did.
Through Her Journey, I was constantly reminded that God is in control. I knew God did not want me to hurt anymore even after leaving the marriage. I was often reminded through the study and through the leaders that my story and my daughter’s story were not finished yet. The real story is the healing that has come in my life and the healing that is still to come in both my life and my daughter’s life.
My heart is healing from the physical pain, the rape and the emotional abuse. This past year has been a year of redemption. God has placed me in a loving church community, started the reconciliation process with my daughter, and brought a loving, godly man into my life who treats me with love and respect.
Over six years ago before I walked into an ARMS Her Journey class, I did not think that any of this would be possible, but healing and the redemption process is possible. I love the song “Redeemed” by Big Daddy Weave, because it is my story….The song states. “I am redeemed, You set me free, So I’ll shake off these heavy chains. Wipe away every stain, now I’m not who I used to be.” I am grateful that I’m not who I used to be. I’m thankful that ARMS was there to help me and others move beyond the pain of abuse.
ARMS is an organization that has helped me see that I am loved, cherished and uniquely created by God. I want to thank those of you who have and will support ARMS. Because of your support, other victims of abuse may someday be freed from the chains of abuse, find healing and the support they need to lead healthy and happy lives.