Via Facebook, I received a letter yesterday from Bridget, who wanted to share her story with us. After reading what she wrote, I asked her if I could post it here in hopes of inspiring others.
Here's Bridget's story:
"Sheryl, I read your blog and would like to share a similar story. My husband and I were married for 16 years. He was 17 and I was 16 when we got together. I had already had one son. Yeah, I know, we were young! My husband was very abusive. I tried to leave him a few times, but our five kids would cry and I had no help from anybody. So I’d go back.
As the kids got older, they noticed some of the abuse. They were victims as well. My baby boy, Terry, was my boy with heart. He was an emotional child, but after awhile he did ask me to leave. At his urging, I did, but then he turned against me! The rest of the older kids understood. We had two younger ones as well girls, six and four.
Nonetheless, when I left I tried to talk to my boy, he said he had nothing to say to me. He even told everybody that I had died. We didn’t talk for more than two years. When it was time for visitation with the rest of the kids, he’d leave so he wouldn’t have to see me.
Then after two years, he called and asked if he could come and stay the weekend! I loaded everyone up and went and got my baby. I cried all the way there! We have been close ever since. He is 22 now. He was 10 when this happened.
When my husband and I got divorced, I moved to Ohio with my mom, and I took my kids with me. The courts gave my husband rights to the boys and I got the girls (NOT RIGHT). My baby girl would always say, “Mom, would you go back to Dad?” I’d always reply, “Why would I go back to the abuse?”
For about six years, we transported our children every two weeks to the halfway point between Kentucky and Ohio. I finally decided to move back to Kentucky. In January 2007, a dear friend/uncle passed away, and the funeral was at a church. When I walked into that church, there sat my family, whole but separated. We weren’t allowed to speak to one another because of whom we were with. My husband was with a woman who would not allow us to talk, and I had a man the same way.
In the middle of that church, standing as an unbeliever in God, I looked at my family and saw how we couldn’t comfort one another. For the first time in six years, I knew what was wrong! We were divided. For the first time, I prayed to God to fix what was wrong. I had never prayed like that before because I was an unbeliever. So much bad had happened in my life that I’d convinced myself that God wasn’t real. If He was, how could all this happen to me, both as a kid and a grown up?
As I prayed, I had no idea what was going to happen. But it tore my heart apart as I looked at my family. One son stood in the front of the church with his wife. My baby girl was in the middle by herself. My other son was in the corner with his family, and my husband was with his girlfriend. At that time, I’d actually wished her dead because I blamed her for everything.
My family couldn’t comfort one another. As I said, I prayed so hard to God to fix us because I didn’t know how. I left from there and went back to Ohio. But in three months, I moved back Kentucky and reunited with my husband. My family was back together! But a lot of damage had been done.
In May of 2008, my husband and I were saved and remarried, two unbelievers in church for the first time, saved and baptized. My kids are all grown now except one. She’s 14. I can see the damage all this has caused to our children. But I am a Christian now so I know without a doubt that God will continue to heal the hurts.
A friend told me to write a journal or book about us because it truly is of God that we are back together and I’m in church, despite my sad past. My husband is no longer abusive. Why? Because our then seven-year-old daughter prayed for three years to get her mom and dad back together. And God answered her prayers.
Also, I believe the death of a very sweet man brought us back together because God can use anything, everything, and people, too, to be a light and show us what is wrong and where we need to be in life."
THANK YOU SO MUCH, BRIDGET!!! Yes, God works everything together for His Good!