We see countless stories of women who have courageously given years of their life in service to a marriage, only to realize that the abuse is something time will not overcome.
7 years. 18 years. 36 years.
These women often have the same thing in common. They are haunted by years of endless broken promises. Second chances became third chances and fourth chances. Hundreds of chances (and perhaps decades) later, these women often eventually feel that their efforts were in vain. Forgiveness repeatedly gave way to the devastating pain and betrayal of perpetual abuse, and what remained was the hollow shell of a marriage, if the marriage survived at all.
Why does the cycle go on this way? We believe we can help. We choose to see the good in our husbands. We believe in their best intentions. We might even understand the traumas that have taught them to behave this way. But sometimes, it all falls apart and we are left without answers. In turn, this may leave some of us feeling we are without hope. But girlfriend, God’s not done with you.
The Shame of Defeat
If you are reading this post, you already know that often results from this pattern of abuse is the complete destruction of the marriage and family unit. Whether your husband has chosen to leave you or something drastic has occurred that has caused you to seek refuge, letting go of someone you care for and delivering them to their sin is not easy. Either way, it seems that we are admitting defeat, and there can be a great deal of shame that accompanies that after years of personal investment.
When we look back at what being in an abusive relationship has cost us, we feel angst over the seemingly fruitless years that have only resulted in failure. It seems a betrayal to ourselves to devote so many years to something, only to see the outcome unchanged in the end.
It is hard not to feel like the time hasn't been just plain wasted. But God has a promise just for you, mama.
It’s not over yet.
The God of Restoration
Joel 2:25 says, "I will restore to you the years that the swarming locusts have eaten." (ESV) According to the Hebrew, the word used for "restore" has a connotation that means to make something whole. To make YOU whole. To satisfy and sustain you, despite the shame you feel now.
You cannot change the years that have passed. But God promises He will not waste that time. He is using it all to draw you closer to Him. And when you seek Him for healing, He will use what you have been through to make you into the woman He always intended you to be.
And trust me, it feels AMAZING.
Romans 8:18 says “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” Simply put- our sufferings are not worthy of our heart space in the here and now when we savor the thought of the forever joy God has waiting for us.
Forever, girl. Someone say amen!
Our understanding of time is so limited compared to God's vast eternity. What seems like endless torment now is all merely an eye blink in light of the forever joy we experience in Him. And even better still, God has given you the inheritance of a glorious future in Christ that begins blossoming in your life today.
Today you can know His peace. Today you can feel His presence. Today you can know His purpose for you. Today you can live it out, in love and liberty. And we’re here to help you learn how.
What promises do you hold on to when you feel that you have wasted precious years of your life? Join the conversation and spread some hope! Leave us a comment.
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