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Rushing Reconciliation is Rarely Rewarding

by | Mar 11, 2016 | Articles, Boundaries, Emotional Abuse | 36 comments

How many times have we or someone we know said, “I’m sorry” and expected that to solve world hunger? Saying “I’m sorry” sounds good, but it’s just words. Words mean nothing if there is no change in behavior. No action to back it up.

This is part three in our blog series about reconciliation, inspired by Patrick Doyle’s video called How Reconciliation Works. In part one we talked about the first step in the reconciliation process: conviction. Part two focused on the second step: repentance.

Today we’ll talk about confession.

Confession is owning our sin. It’s being honest and admitting the crappy things we do. Without confession, there can be no reconciliation.

I think the keyword here is honesty. Think about it. Can you have a healthy relationship where there is lying, covering up, pretending, overlooking, and ignoring? Does that foster intimacy? Of course not.

Healthy relationships are grown in the soil of vulnerability and safety. When two people are open and honest, they can get close and experience authentic acceptance and love. Anything less is dysfunctional in some way.

This means that both partners should be able to go to the other one and safely say, “when you did such-and-such, it hurt” or “please don’t do this-and-that anymore, and here’s why it’s a problem for me” or “I really wish _______ problem could change” without experiencing kick back, reviling, blame-shifting, excuses, denial, and mocking.

When you are in a loving relationship, the other person may feel defensive at first (this is human nature), but if they care about you, they will be willing to look at the offending behavior and change it most of the time.

If only one partner is willing to be respectful and follow-through, then it’s likely an unhealthy or even potentially destructive relationship. This is why you may not feel safe, loved, or heard. Because you aren’t.

CAVEAT: it is common for a destructive partner to use the moments in which you confront him to turn the tables on you and say, “When you said _______ (confronted me), that hurt. You were mean. You didn’t say it nice. You had an attitude. You had a tone.

And maybe you did. You can own your tone. But that doesn’t mean you were wrong to say something.

And for him to select that moment to turn around and confront you tells you something. It tells you he isn’t interested in hearing what you have to say. What it doesn’t say is that you are the destructive partner. Okay?

This is important because it’s easy for abuse survivors to constantly second guess themselves. They want to make the relationship work and are willing to do whatever it takes. They are willing to look at their stuff and own it. That’s why they are easily manipulated by someone who can’t do that.

So the thing you have to keep telling yourself is this: “I will own my stuff. I will NOT own HIS stuff. When he consistently doesn’t own his stuff, that tells me he is the destructive partner.”

And by the way, just because a person pretends to own their stuff (a generalized “I’m sorry!” with no change in behavior) doesn’t mean they do.

So the example of confession that Patrick Doyle gave looks like this: “When I lied to you about x, y, and z, I was wrong, and I want to know, will you forgive me for my sin against you?” 

They can’t say, “I’m sorry for everything I’ve done in our marriage to hurt you.” That’s not a confession. That’s not owning specific behavior. Do you think anything is really going to change when they can’t even define what it is they’ve done? Probably not.

Patrick Doyle goes so far as to say he would question their Christianity if they are claiming to be a Christian but are unable to practice confession of sin. He points out that if someone is a Christian, you will see it lived out in “how they handle people, how they own their sin, the insight they have into their hearts.”

I’ve heard him repeat this in several videos: the Holy Spirit has two jobs. He convicts us of sin and He comforts us. You will see these two things happening in the life of a person who has the Holy Spirit. Anyone can fake the fruits of the Spirit temporarily. But the inability to admit wrong is evil. It is pride, plain and simple.

“…the utmost evil, is Pride….it was through Pride that the devil became the devil: Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind.”     C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

When someone has truly come clean and confessed and repented, this opens the door for reconciliation. But what if the offended party doesn’t believe the confession and repentance? Patrick says that is sometimes the price the offender has to pay for years of lying, blaming, covering up, minimizing, rationalizing, and refusing to change. If they really “get it,” they will realize the offended party needs time.

The thing is, if you have experienced this kind of relationship with someone, you know how tricky it is to get caught up in the cycle. The destructive person is mean. The offended party says so. The destructive person is meaner. The offended party shuts down. The offense is filed away, unresolved. The destructive person is nice. The offended party warms up and hopes. The destructive person is mean.

And around and around and around we go. Where we stop—nobody knows.

Until the offended person decides enough is enough.

If (and that’s a big IF) a destructive person finally sees the cycle for what it is and how they’ve played an abusive role in it, they will understand why the offended party needs to see, over time, whether or not the cycle has really been disrupted.

If they insist on immediate reconciliation and empathy from you while not giving you the empathy and time you need, you will know they still don’t get it. Back to square one: the need for conviction.

I know I’m repeating myself in different ways, but this is how we get better. This is how the pieces start to fall into place. We have to see it and hear it and read it over and over and over again because the deep ruts in our brains keep sliding us back into former ways of thinking. We really do need to be deprogrammed from years of brainwashing.

That’s what we do together in the Flying Free Education and Support Program.

Rushing Reconciliation is Rarely Rewarding

I chose to separate from my husband in 2014. I couldn’t catch my breath between “incidents,” and my focus was constantly on recovering emotionally from the latest crazy conversation.

I was becoming sarcastic. I was swearing. I was yelling. I was literally going to my bedroom and pulling hair out of my own skull. That is how insane I felt in my relationship.

When I began counseling and realized I had choices as an adult woman, it still took me a long time to exercise my right to make my own choices. To choose to get away. To choose to pursue healing and wholeness.

Even then, it was a long road to healing. It took a while for me to feel relief from deep, roiling anger over years of injustice. I could eventually have a conversation with him and excuse myself when he began to use verbal abuse tactics without feeling like I was going to choke to death in disbelief over the insanity involved.

I could hear the accusations and lies and tell myself (and believe myself) that they were just accusations and lies. He was pretending to know me and define me.

But accusations aren’t true just because someone else believes them and says them over and over. It doesn’t matter if the whole world believes them. God knows, and I know. Now I know.

But I wasn’t able to begin that healing process while I was still living in the middle of the storm. Back then it was just mental and emotional survival.

When a person is trying to survive, they aren’t able to be or do much else. And maybe that is part of God’s plan for a while, but I no longer believe that this kind of mind-altering relationship is God’s life-long destiny for anyone. It is a result of sin.

Some Christians teach that suffering is something to embrace because it makes you like Jesus. In one sense, this is true. God USES suffering in our lives to burn off the dross, sharpen us, bring us nearer to Himself, and so on. But does He really want us to stay stuck in suffering?

When we lose someone we love, are we to stay stuck in the grief process? Or are we to walk through it, heal, and come out on the other side a new person?

When we become aware of child abuse or sexual abuse, do we say to the people involved, “It’s all good! This will really shape you as you grow older! I’m sorry your parent is abusing you, but that’s God’s choice, and it will all work together for good!” Or do we advocate for them and work to get them out of that abusive relationship where they can be safe?

And what about Christian prisoners? We don’t send them a letter saying, “Hey Bro. Heard you’re in prison. God be with you, you lucky dog. You get to be more like Jesus now! We’d try to help you, but we wouldn’t want to interfere with God’s plan for your life, and that’s obviously unjust imprisonment. Rejoice and be glad in the Lord, you saint, you!”

No, we fight to see them freed.

We do what Jesus was sent to do:

The Spirit of the Lord GOD is on Me, because the LORD has anointed Me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and freedom to the prisoners;

Isaiah 61:1

Some suffering is inevitable, and yes, God uses it to shape us and mature us. We are told to rejoice in these outcomes (Romans 5:3-5). However, other kinds of suffering CAN and MUST be ended.

I believe domestic abuse in all of its forms falls under this category, and to the degree Christians rise to the task of exposing evil and turning it out of homes and churches, our homes and families will be healthy, and our world witness will be effective.

It doesn’t seem like the church is ready for that yet. I have rarely heard stories of pastors and elders and church members actually seeing things as they are and advocating for the victims. On the other hand, I’ve heard literally hundreds of horror stories of survivors begging for help and being ignored and blamed. That has been my personal experience as well.

But I believe God is doing something right now. I believe He is in the process of exposing the evil in our pews and beds. And children of God, you are part of this work. Your stories need to be heard.

So raise your heads. Raise your voices. Raise the truth. Aslan is on the move.

Rushing Reconciliation is Rarely Rewarding

36 Comments

  1. Jessica

    Have you blogged about step 4?

    Reply
      • Debbie

        Please blog step 4! This has been a breath of fresh air to read. It has showed me the ways my husband has failed and how I have failed to be convicted, repent and reconcile. I have a destructive partner, but in the 20 years I’ve been surviving it, I’ve also participated in some destructive behaviors. I’m ready for true reconciliation, and will pray he finds this series too.

        Reply
      • Anon

        I would like to know when part 4 will be available and if in any way you have these blogs translated into Spanish…. it will be very helpful for me and others that are totally confused and mixed up about reconciliation, repentance and forgiveness. You explained so well, thank you.. it has brought me so much peace and relief

        Reply
  2. Y

    Thank you so much for sharing this! I’ve just ended a 3 year relationship upon the realization the man is a sex addict (or something like that). Suffice to say, it was full of breathtaking lies and betrayals.

    He is now claiming to have accepted the Lord into his life, begging for my forgiveness (even behaving obsessively to keep me on the hook), and yet I’ve felt conflicted over how I should respond to this claim of newfound faith.

    I stumbled on your website after praying for guidance, and now see his behavior does not show contrition, rather, it just shows more addiction – more selfishness, more manipulation.

    I think I’ll stay the heck out of God’s way on this, and stick to the motto “it’s not my job.”

    Reply
  3. Tina

    I totally agree word to word. I am in a similar turmoil where because of my husbands beleif, paranoia we are getting a divorce. He blames all his short comings on me. He is holding me responsible for this decision of divorce. Now he is confabulating and making up stories about me and telling his parents and the situation is getting from bad to worse. In the midst of this is my innocent 4 yr old. Only god knows how much I tried and suffered to keep my family intact but everything just crashed. I am just in a mess of emotions and uncertainty.

    Reply
  4. J

    OMG! IN my case, my husband won’t apologize. He won’t take responsibility for what he has done, makes excuses, etc. but then he does what I wanted him to do or does what he thinks will appease me and that’s it. So for example, he finally stopped criticising how I did the chores, said that he realizes now that that stuff isn’t important. But it took many years and and conversations later to stop. He has not said one word of apology, no sorry for the way he treated me, nothing. And he does this with other things. Like when I rolled up my child’s sleeves and velcro’d her shoes, he immediately went and adjusted them in front of my face. I told him that that was insulting, and he could not understand why that would be so and proceeded to tell me that it was my problem for taking it that way. Then as I walked out the door, he shouted that he “didn’t mean to offend” but in a tone that showed he didn’t get it. He hasn’t fixed the sleeves or whatnot since, but he has no clue how he hurts me. There are many, many instances of this. Lots of demands for credit for changes he has made. So yeah, not fun. But he is the direct opposite of this. He WILL stop the behavior. His heart has not changed and he still won’t take responsiblity. It messes with my mind.

    Reply
    • Natalie Hoffman

      It doesn’t sound to me like he’s stopped anything. Words mean nothing. Now, when he never does those things to you anymore – that will be something.

      Reply
  5. Vanessa H. Knight

    Oh my awesome writing!! You spoke what my mind can’t yet place on paper. Yes I was to use my stotyt to set people free! Woo Hoo!

    Reply
  6. Becky

    Thank you for these words. I have always known them to be true but needed the affirmation that his version of “forgive and forget” (he has always forced down my throat with lots of guilt and blame) is not even close to valid, although he continues to persist.

    I tried to leave at 10 years, after books, therapy, marriage seminars, etc. only to have him try and carry through on his threat to commit suicide if I ever left. He suffered a brain injury and I felt obligated to stand by him through a lengthy rehabilitation. For a while, his demeanor changed and I thought this was what would finally save our marriage.

    We went through infertility treatments for years and finally were blessed with triplets (+1 younger.) During this time his anger came back to a boil. Today my kids are 10, 10, 10, and 8 and the angry emotional abuse and fine-line physical abuse still continue.

    Finally I have the strength now and recently filed for divorce. Hopefully it will be completed just in time for our 25th anniversary. So, after all of that I would like to ask you, Natalie, how you brought your 9 (wow) kids through this process as well as how custody ended up for you. That is what I am now mostly afraid of…the “what-after.” Thank you for your time 🙂

    Reply
    • Natalie

      Congratulations on taking that difficult step! I pray God will be near you through that whole process, protecting you and your children spiritually and emotionally and physically.

      My ex and I share custody of the seven minor children. He gets 5 out of 14 nights with them. They’ve been in counseling for a year and a half, and that has helped TREMENDOUSLY. I read several books about helping kids get through divorce before I filed – and regular counseling was one of the top recommendations in everything I read.

      I also had EMDR therapy to work through C-PTSD symptoms I had developed as a result of the long term brain washing and abuse from my marriage and my church. After five sessions, I felt like a new woman. I have a video in the Flying Free group that talks about how to help your children deal with divorce and ongoing narc abuse by their father. Flying Free opens up again in February of 2018.

      God promises to be a father to the fatherless. We pray our children will know the depth of His love for them as they grow up into adulthood.

      Reply
      • Becky

        I just logged on to send this link to a friend and was refreshingly surprised to see that you replied to my post! (I wish I would have checked earlier.) I am so thankful for what you shared.

        I’m still waiting for the temporary order hearing and was starting to feel really desperate, not having the final answers. The friend that I am sending this link to sent me Psalm 27. It is now my favorite chapter of the bible because I can feel the truth and power in it. I believe it!

        All of my kids are in therapy and struggling with having their dad trying to force his way back into their lives. Interesting that he’s finally acting the part of doting father now that he’s losing his family. I will check out Flying Free.

        I will have to look into the EMDR therapy you spoke of. I have often explained my feelings as being similar to PTSD. My husband says that if I would just forgive him, I would heal. HA! Even in his suggested answer to healing does he throw in some guilt and blame.

        Thank you again for being so honest in your sharing. I appreciate it that you din’t cover up the reality of what you’ve gone through, thereby allowing me to sigh a breath of relief that I’m not alone in the ugliness of abuse and divorce. Thank you.
        I will keep your family in my prayers.

        Reply
  7. Sanctifiedsyl

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I actually have a strained relationship with a close family member. Therefore I was able to apply this to that relationship as opposed to a marriage. I’ve been told over and over by my dad that blood is thicker than water so I continued to deal with the emotional abuse and strain that the relationship has caused me for a number of year. The relationship is constantly stuck in the cycle that you shared. I appreciate you sharing that conviction needs to happen but the Holy Spirit and not by anything I can do. It wasn’t until I came across your blog that I was able to identify that the offender in my situation is emotionally abusive. I was never able to put a name or term to what was taking place until now. I’m at peace with letting this relationship go until I see God’s hands in it.

    Reply
  8. April

    What is the final step?? This is incredibly helpful, sadly eye opening, but that’s how things are sometimes. It’s almost like getting permission to accept reality.

    Reply
    • Natalie Klejwa

      Exactly. The final step is realizing there is a fork in the road. You can choose to stay well or leave well (as Leslie Vernick puts it.) I tried to stay well and could not do it. I couldn’t get better. I was just surviving. So after five years of thinking, studying, and praying about it (and this was 20 years into my marriage), I decided to divorce my husband and filed in April of 2016. Our divorce will be final by the end of the year, hopefully. Since I made that choice, I have been at peace. It has been a horrible process to walk through, but inside I have been healing and growing stronger. It was the best decision I’ve ever made. I haven’t met very many women who are able to stay well and get healthy while still immersed in a poisonous environment. But many stay for financial reasons and/or they are afraid of what might happen to their kids if their husband gets 50% custody. So it can often be a timing issue.

      Reply
  9. Jen

    Natalie,
    Thank you for your service and sharing such hard truths. All I have read lately has been used by God to open my eyes some. I’ve been on both sides. I feel at a loss often and not heard but we are still healing from hurt I inflicted on our marriage by my sin. I was reading these last few posts and realized that I was the one looking for my blanket “sorry” to lead to reconciliation not giving him the time he needs. Now one difference is I have changed and was/am truly convicted but not always as patient and I need to be. Please keep on your good work.

    Reply
  10. Leila

    I loved the statement that Aslan is on the move. Just the other day we were once again listening to “The Magician’s Nephew” and had just finished the part where Digory goes to ask Aslan for help with his mother and instead Aslan asks Digory to explain how evil came into Narnia. And afterwards I asked my daughter, “Do you think Aslan knew how evil came into Narnia?” She replied, “Of course he did!” “So why did he ask Digory, then?” “Because Digory needed to admit to himself what he’d done wrong.” That’s so true. I’ve always said, confession really isn’t for God — it’s for the person confession because it is part of the process of the person confessing how wrong he is and how much he needs help. God already knows everything we’ve done wrong – it’s us that have the most trouble recognizing these things. But until we recognize our wrongs we can’t start to change.

    Several things here again hit home, but most particularly the description of the response of a person who, when confronted, doesn’t want to own his behavior. I think of the time I was told — a day later and walking out the door on the way to work so no time to have a discussion — that I had used an “accusing tone” when, in private, I tried to speak to my husband about an issue with one of our children. I don’t remember the issue but I don’t think at all that I was trying to accuse him of anything — just to maybe show a different point of view or see if there would be a way to resolve the issue without it getting much. And probably were my husband to watch this video he would say that I had offended him — because after all someone else can’t tell us we haven’t been offended. Well, her certainly agrees with that idea. And this sends me into much introspection and attempted analysis of myself — was I really accusing him even though I didn’t know it?

    And another time I don’t think at all we were have an argument. We had been having a discussion and I made an observation that I thought was related and suddenly I was told “Stop that nonsense!” And when I tried to explain why I didn’t think what I was saying was nonsense, I was shut down.

    These things can to mind when I read what you wrote about the blame shifting, denials, excuses, etc. So yes, at this point, though I’ve spent most of my marriage speaking up when I felt concern, I find that I can’t take that anymore. I’m seeing that right now it seems impossible to be heard when I speak up. I’m just accused of being inconsiderate or unloving or not appreciating him or attacking him.

    Thanks for helping me start to get a different view on these things.

    Reply
  11. Katie

    What about families suffering violence at the hands of this with autism or other severe disabilities? This is our story. Thank God diet helped somewhat…with the aggression, not in making her functional.

    But what about that?the trauma these families, especially the siblings, endure is commonly brushed off as God’s will. (I have my own point about the need to paint autism as a good thing in the throes of the epidemic we are in, but I don’t want to get too far off track.)

    I have read many stories worse than ours…Regular ER trips and more.

    It is really heart wrenching. Telling the survivors this is good for them will almost assuredly make it worse. But with these individuals not being functional enough to slimy be asked or told to leave, the family is in a very difficult place.

    Reply
    • Natalie Klejwa

      I’m sorry, Katie. That is a whole different issue that I am unable to address here. You are right – it is heart wrenching.

      Reply
  12. Anon

    I think you are right that God is on the move. This post brought tears to my eyes! When I first found out my husband (then fiancee…) was addicted to pornography I felt alone, scared, and stupid. I reacted with the typical symptoms (what we now know are typical) but was told I had daddy issues, it was just the devil not the man, and that I needed to buck up and be his accountability partner.

    Now, there is a huge amount of research and literature pointing out the betrayal trauma symptoms that mirror PTSD and that women are not just overreacting. Slightly different than the type of abuse you wrote about, but it seems like the church (yes, even the church can learn!) is waking up and I’m thankful God is using you as part of this process.

    Reply
  13. Kaycee

    “The thing is, if you have experienced this kind of relationship with someone, you know how tricky it is to get caught up in the cycle. The destructive person is mean. The offended party says so. The destructive person is meaner. The offended party shuts down. The offense is filed away, unresolved. The destructive person is nice. The offended party warms up and hopes. The destructive person is mean. And around and around and around we go. Where we stop—nobody knows.”
    Yes, yes this describes it nicely. I can go back to the first year of almost 2 decades and say this is my story. Issues NEVER were resolved. I explained, I prayed, I explained more, I sought counsel. One day (over a period of detaching and waking up) I had enough. The cycle changed. Now,almost a year away from the destructive person, I am experiencing some peace. Only some (actually a lot) because there is still gaslighting, still lying, still trying to get his way through covert measures. These people are wicked because what they DO is wrong and they do not see it. My life now is a daily battle to lay down fears, to lay down anger, to lay down depression and to look to my Savior who has been faithful, true, loving and gentle. Some days I do better than others but Jesus is patient with me. He gives me encouragement through bloggers, through others’ stories, and through His word. Then there is the present reality of a more peaceful home, the acts of God to open new doorways, and new friends that are not judgmental of my divorced status.
    As for God exposing the evil in the pews and bedrooms, I pray for exposure daily. I have friends caught in evil marriages who feel compelled to stay, my ex is in a new church working to gain high status to look good, and I want to see God’s justice. I would love to see repentance and reconciliation because that is good but reality (I finally understand) is that evil and people who DO evil, have no desire to change. How the Psalms and Proverbs look so different to me these days. Natalie, thank you for your voice, Sharing parts of your story and the truths God has given you helps this woman in her own pathway of freedom. Yes, Aslan is on the move!

    Reply
    • Natalie Klejwa

      Thank you for sharing your own story of movement toward release and walking in freedom and safety. We need to keep hearing these stories. It is possible to find hope on the other side. There is such deep fear of letting go and moving forward alone, but we are never alone. Jesus Christ is right here, up close, in our faces. We belong to Him, and though people will fail us, He will never abandon us.

      Reply
      • Silvia

        Natalie, I also lived with a narcissist for 25 years and the church didn’t believe me. I would like you to help me and guide me on how to stop with this ongoing abuse. My church family turned their backs on me and I had been so devastated and hurt. What EMDR therapy means and C-PTSD symptoms. I am in the middle of all this hurt and pain and many times I feel anxiety…. can you please help me… I want to divorce him but I don’t have the resources to pay a lawyer. Help please

        Reply
        • Natalie Hoffman

          We have a private support group that provides education, coaching, peer support, expert workshops, and so much more for women who need that extra help. It isn’t open right now, but you can find out more and get on the waiting list here: https://joinflyingfree.com

          Reply
  14. Sheila Gregoire

    Wonderful, Natalie! I’m loving this series, and my readers are too as I share it with them.

    I want to make a comment on your last point, about how Christians often make it seem like suffering makes us more godly, and thus we should pursue it or be honored when we suffer. I wrote a long post on just this a while back, talking specifically about Debi Pearl and the “Created To Be His Helpmeet” take on suffering.

    Basically, here’s my point: Jesus suffered, yes. But He always suffered with a purpose–to bring people closer to God. Other times He stood up for Himself and for the Father. He acted differently in different situations as the situation demanded, but always with the same goal: to reveal God and bring about the kingdom of God.

    Sometimes suffering does that (when He went to the cross; when Christians are martyred). But sometimes it doesn’t (when it prevents other people from having to face their own sin; when it further allows damage to children or to yourself). Our goal should not be to suffer for Jesus; it should be to reveal Jesus in our daily lives, and quite often the way we do that is to act in such a way that others see their own sin.

    Reply
    • Natalie Klejwa

      So, so true. Great point. You know what I love about you, Sheila? Your blog has a specific focus and executes it with substance and style – yet you also address the outliers in order to keep things in healthy perspective. Thank you for linking the readers here to your excellent article on this subject. And thank you for sharing this series with your own readers.

      Reply
  15. Vicky

    Just want to thank you for this series of posts. Very helpful to me.

    Reply
  16. Friend of a friens

    Thank you for the comparisons of responses we as believers have to other abuse versus how we respond to marital abuse. There was a light bulb that went off for me. I’m supporting a believing friend whose husband is likely not a believer- no fruit born, “stuck” in a pattern of sexual sin, blaming her “faults” for his own lapses, etc– and she is endlessly committed to their marriage vows. He has himself walked away for over a year and refuses to be reconciled, yet will not follow through on his declared intent to divorce her. I feel helpless to “do” anything for her, except listen and pray. point her to Jesus who loves her and does not desire this kind of marriage for her.

    Reply
    • Natalie Klejwa

      It’s hard to watch someone we love suffer. Another way of potentially helping a little is by giving her a book or sending her an article here and there – just to plant seeds that might help her understand things from a different perspective. I think there is some brainwashing involved in these kinds of marriages.

      Reply
  17. LuAnnYoung

    To your comment on suffering – I would go even farther. Christ will honor your suffering when you are suffering for His sake. Suffering for the sake of suffering honors no one and God does not call us to suffer for the sake of suffering. I have been very fortunate. My pastor, church leadership, and church family have supported me as I separated from my verbally, emotionally abusive husband. I am now divorced and in the process of recovery and healing. I have come to understand God’s love in a way I never did before. Blessings to you. Your words help me as I travel this road.

    Reply
    • Natalie Klejwa

      Thank you for adding that point about suffering, LuAnn. And it is always encouraging to hear stories where a church pulls together to support survivors and make their environment adversive to destructive individuals. That’s a place where real believers can worship in peace and safety.

      Reply
    • Anon

      Such a great point I’d never thought of, suffering that honors Christ and suffering that honors the devil’s work….

      Reply
    • Another recovering victim

      Such an important distinction! Thank you for sharing!

      Prayers to you as you continue on your healing journey.

      Reply
  18. Lisa W

    Aslan is on the move!
    I have tears in my eyes, I have never been in this kind of relationship, but it is wonderful to see you have gotten out and are helping others do the same, or at least putting the idea to them so that one day, hopefully soon, they will see they can.
    Thank you.

    Reply

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