Almost a decade.
I have been stalked and harassed and intimidated for almost a decade.
I have cowered in fear, been cornered, and failed to live my life.
I have had moments of triumph, moments of courage when having a voice was more important to me than attempting to keep the insidious waters of his family’s power and abuse calm.
I have settled, at times, for less than I wanted; because it meant momentary peace for my family.
I have advocated and debated and been cross-examined, I have had knees knocking and voice wavering and hands trembling, yet with an officer at my side, I have unflinchingly told the truth, and been awarded with yet another PPO.
I have tried to live in a shadow, under a social rock so that I wouldn’t draw attention to myself or the kids.
Eventually, my passion for others; the voiceless community around me, won out.
My desire for them to find equality in the public arena was greater than my desire to stay “safe”.
He had five years of my life during the hell-marriage. He controlled me with fear, intimidation and stalking for too many years after I left. He skirted the justice system for too many years, got away with attempt to plan a murder, if you will; for long enough.
I dared to be the victor instead of the victim.
I stopped cowering in fear and bowing my life to its control over me.
I stopped allowing my fear to be a defense mechanism.
Despite my greatest fears that he would act out his threats to kill me and/or anyone that I grew close to, I took faltering steps of faith.
I fell in love, and married the man who truly knows me…all of me.
There are still days when divulging more of my past causes me to dry heave, but James isn’t shaken by it. He simply holds my hair out of my face…and reassures me that he is still here.
I am learning that when I get overwhelmed and the momentary panic hits, I can say, “I need to walk; I will be back…I just need a bit of space” as I run out the door. As I power walk, I speak truth. I say, “God’s love never quits!”. I repeat, “God is good, and His Love endures forever.” I remind myself that when all Hell seems to break loose, I serve an All-powerful One, who even Death cannot conquer, whose love for me and you cannot be severed, squelched, or silenced.
You know, there was a time long ago when I did a puppet show for some kids.
The people who set up the stage told me that if the stage fell, your first instinct would be to cover up like you were naked.
I teased them for being a bit ridiculous. During our show, the stage fell forward, and sure enough, I covered up like I was naked, uncovered and exposed.
But I wasn’t naked, uncovered and exposed.
I was fully clothed.
Today, after yet another security breach; after yet another night of interrupted sleep, and an overwhelming desire for target practice at a range so that I can feel more powerful than the fear that rises up like bile in my throat; today
I choose to believe the truth.
He may have gained access to records that are none of his legal business,
his family may have again attempted to silence my voice and steal my happiness.
I am no longer a slave to fear, I am a CHILD of God. My God, the one who is called El Roi; My God is the One who sees me. I claim the blood of Jesus Christ, I am loved by HIM, and
NOTHING CAN SEPARATE ME FROM HIS LOVE.
Romans 8:1-2, 15, 35-38 (NIV) excerpted from Biblegateway.com
8 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you[a]free from the law of sin and death.
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?36 As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”[j]
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[k] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
I am not naked, uncovered or exposed. I am clothed in Christ’s righteousness. Eventually, I trust that the truth will come out. Their schemes will be brought to light, and justice will be served. Meanwhile, I am loved. They can’t change that. Today, this moment, this is my chance to raise my voice and declare, “Nothing will separate me from the Love of Christ!”.
May you also be blessed with the revelation and acceptance of that same love, may you be strengthened by His love to stand in courage and raise your voice. Beloved, be loved…then be love!
Established in His love,