Thank you for the opportunity to testify. My testimony is to encourage women who have been physically and emotionally abused by their fathers and/or their spouses.
Growing up, my father verbally abused me on a daily basis. My mother was overprotective and always stood between us.Â I remember him beating me with his fists on one occasion. That incident shattered my life. When I was in my teens I discovered that he had sexually molested my older sister. Then I understood why my mother had been so protective. She didn’t know that he had attempted to approach myself and my younger sister on a couple of occasions, but was unsuccessful.
Without appropriate fatherly affection, I began looking for that love in all the wrong places. I didn’t value who I was, and it didn’t matter who the boy was, as long as he showed me some positive attention. I gave my virginity to someone who had no real interest in me. One relationship after another, until I became pregnant. I married the father. He became my abuser and was unfaithful to me on several occasions.
I had heard about Jesus since I was a child, even though I didn’t attend church with my parents, my mother sent us down the street to attend Sunday School. I remember the “love” I felt there. That’s what I was really searching for all my life.
I was a prisoner in my own home. With two children to take care of and no friends. When my abuser was not at home, I began reading the Word and started attending a Home Bible Study I found out about at a church just up the street. These ladies prayed with me and for me every week.
My husband wouldn’t let me use the car except to go to the grocery store or my mother’s house. I believe he was afraid that someone would find out how he was treating me. One night, when he went out to party with his friends, I was somehow able to keep the car and drove to a Billy Graham Crusade. That night I made up my mind to serve God. I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior.
It didn’t get easier right away, but I got stronger. My mother had passed away and I no longer had her to lean on, but I had Jesus. Eventually, I convinced my husband to allow me to take the children to church. I grew closer to the Lord. He even came for a while, but he didn’t commit to the Lord with his whole heart. The abuse and unfaithfulness continued until he decided he was in “love” with someone else.
We separated for a year. During that year I learned what the real “love” of a father was like. My God came through in a way that astounded my estranged husband. The peace and joy I felt even through the crisis was like nothing I had ever felt before. I had peace beyond human comprehension. I would worship and spend time with the Lord like he was right there in the flesh. He showed me favor at every turn. My husband made the decision for divorce. I couldn’t stop it. I just put it in the Lord’s hands.
I was single for 11 years, the same amount of time I was married. Now, I was married to Jesus. The Lord restored my innocence through celibacy. I remarried someone who is kindhearted and gentle, and have been happily married to him for 15 years now.
God restores lives no matter how damaged they are. I like to say, “He brought me out of the miry clay” because I was stuck in a situation where there didn’t seem to be any way out.
I’ve learned to forgive my former husband. He has sincerely apologized for how he damaged our relationship and thanked me for raising the children in a godly fashion. I still pray for him and his spouse that they will serve the Lord with their whole hearts one day. My children are both saved, and my grandchildren are being taught in the ways of the Lord. Hallelujah!