It was back in 2011 and I had just finished reading The Purpose Driven Life. I knew the irony of me, a domestic violence victim, reading a book by someone who publically disagrees with divorce, yet I couldn’t put the book down. My book is underlined, tabbed, and highlighted. I was absorbing every word.
At the time, my take away from the book was this: everyone needs to be in a Bible study. Okay, seems reasonable, I thought. Off I went the next weekend to find myself a Bible study in the large Methodist church I attend in eastern North Carolina.
Faith and Domestic Violence
Long story short, there wasn’t a Bible study for domestic violence victims. There wasn’t a Bible study about boundaries, lies women believe, or any other tools I could use to assist me in understanding why God allowed this to happen to me and how I move forward from my abuse.
Not willing to take no for an answer, and feeling a little empowered, I asked the lead pastor (who later wrote the foreword to my book.) Embarrassingly, he agreed that his church didn’t have a Bible study for me. At this point I am starting to get a little mad; I met with the associate pastor in charge of Bible studies. He listened to my questioning confusion very patiently. He agreed there should be a Bible study but, in all honesty, he couldn’t think of a Bible study that would fit my requests. “That’s unacceptable” was all I could say.
The associate pastor recommended I write a letter to “the church” expressing my concerns and frustration. We agreed to meet the following week.
I worked so hard on that emotional letter to “the church” expressing my concerns, frustrations, and gigantic feelings of being victimized by the church. The retired LTC snapped into me and I was on a war path to saving something!
Yet, when we met the next week, he didn’t really read the letter. Instead, he asked me what I thought about writing the letter. Hesitantly, I told him that while writing the letter, I heard this faint, but subtle nudge in my heart to write a book. It was a whisper; soft and faint, but definitely there.
Oddly, the associate pastor didn’t laugh off the message that was placed in my heart. Instead, he encouraged me to go for it. His message was so crystal clear: if God told you to write a book, then write a book.
Here I am now, hundreds of hours of writing later, and I’ve published a book. And started a blog. Connected with hundreds of women on Facebook who are in some part of their transition from victim to survivor. I’m currently preparing for three speaking engagements within the next few months.
Honestly, if someone had told me years ago I’d be doing all that God has placed in front of me, I never would have believed them.
But, that’s not what God asked me to do. What He asked me to do was take a step; follow Him in doing what He was asking me to do. He didn’t open the doors until I was ready; He didn’t overwhelm me in the big picture until I was prepared to respond.
All God did was ask me to follow the whisper He placed in my heart. The rest of “my story” in following His guidance is coming together years later.
So, I wonder, what has God placed on your heart that seems so outside your comfort zone? Is there something He’s been whispering that needs to be prayed about?
Blessings to all,
ps. Click for more posts about faith and domestic violence.
Hi, I'm Sue
Welcome to my blog! I served twenty-one honorable years on active duty, living a double life of capability and accomplishment in the service while enduring brutality and abusiveness in my twenty-one year oppressive marriage. Today I'm happily married and have three children who are my inspiration and motivation.
My goal is to help combat the lies of abusers with the truth of God. I hope you find my words to be healing and helpful through your own life experiences.
Being separated from my abusive husband didn't make me a domestic violence survivor. It surely didn't release me from the grip of his brainwashing control and the innate power he had on me.
Read the full raw story in my new book, Rock Bottom and Faithless.