I was sent to prison in 2011 for a probation violation, federal system. When I got out, my husband was gone. I had no money. But because I'd gone to a facility with great medical care, my body was finally on the mend. I was depressed though. I was lost and afraid. And I was lonely. Those aspects caused me to grasp at whatever was in front of me and that nearly cost me my life.
For 3 years, I dated an abuser. He abused me emotionally and physically. He cussed me, called me every name imaginable. He cheated. He lied repeatedly. It got so bad that I actually ended up stabbing him in self-defense during a pretty bad fight. And for this, I'm still going back and forth to court, facing up to 15 years in prison for defending myself. That, ladies and gentlemen, is called a storm. My life was torn up, though for all public accounts, I was okay. My career was on an upswing and my name was as good as gold. But my personal life was a catastrophe. So, how does a minister, a coach, a business owner, an empowerment personality end up where I was?
It was loneliness and fear of facing this world all alone. But more importantly, it was a portion of testimony that I needed. Somehow, though I had been unfaithful in past better relationships, I managed to stay true to this guy. Somehow, I was changing rapidly for the better while being treated like a mangy dog. And while I experienced pain at this man's hands like no one else, to the degree of him blaming me for being molested as a kid and raped, even with all that, it felt as if I was trapped. I had no money. I had very little income even with a business. I had very few clients. I had no one I could trust to say, "Hey, I need help!" So I suffered and suffered and suffered.
It took me 3 years, but finally as I began to step more into my business and calling, as I began listening to the testimonies of those I was coaching, I was able to walk away. I didn't walk away wealthy or even comfortable. In fact, I spent several nights sleeping in my car on the hospital parking lot. I didn't walk away into the arms of another man. I decided to trust God. After all, I had been unprotected, unloved, disrespected and mistreated by this guy. God had been my saving grace even in that mess. And so my light came on and I decided to drop the fear, the stories and the pain. All that existed was me, a creation, and God, the Creator. Then instantly, and I do mean instantly, I saw a path open before me. I saw what freedom looked like.
Don't let your story stop with loneliness and fear. And don't submit yourself to ill treatment out of fear that God will fail you. Sometimes, free people endure hardships. Sometimes, you can get so hungry for whatever that slavery seems more advantageous. That is the lure of the enemy to keep you in bondage. He can only bind you with your own permission. I took my freedom back, praise God. What will you do?