Just One Word

Hello again, 

so I woke up in the midnight hour and decided to write this post. This post is about the relationship I had developed and how this relationship not only changed my life but saved it. 

I remember growing up always having to go to church. Even if my mother didn’t go she made sure that my twin sister and later on four younger sisters had a relationship with God even if she didn’t. I truly believe because of this seed of knowing there was a God out there who loved me enough to die for my sins is what has kept me alive for these 23 years and I am not speaking figuratively. 

When I was just 17 years old I started speaking to this guy who later on would be the bases of why I truly came to know the Lord. In the beginning he was sweet, charming, and knew all the beautiful things to say. I had just started fixing my life that was once so consumed with alcohol, pills, and anger that I managed to keep hidden for almost four years. What was so special about this young man who was in a prestigious college wasn’t his title or his money (though those were perks) but his knowledge of the Bible. I had never met someone in my generation who knew God’s Word so well. 

By the age of 18 this guy and I met in person. He was not what I expected but he spent money on taking me out with my sister and best friend. He seemed to care about me other then wanting to be too physical on the first occasion. What started off as what I tried to imagine as a love story after issues of stupid “relationships” where a few were physical and others were just puppy love turned into a complete nightmare. 

The man who knew so much of God’s Word would use that Word to trap me in a physical and mentally abusive relationship for almost 4 years. In this relationship I was isolated from my family and friends, I was in college and working at an Old Navy at the time. I had a car that was bought to keep me trapped because I could only use it to go to school, my grandparents house, work, and back and forth to Annapolis where his school was located. I was forced to dress a certain way, have my hair a certain way, and was not allowed to wear make up. The people who were to protect me only encouraged the relationship because in their words “I didn’t want to end up like my mother. With no husband.” “If I would just listen and stop being so stubborn maybe he wouldn’t have to hit me” and that “If I only trusted God it would get better”. I eventually got engaged to this man who would often degrade me and beat me behind closed doors. My closest friend at the time would be my concealer though ironically I wasn’t allowed to wear a lot of make up. I had ended my relationship with my mentor/counselor because he didn’t feel she was good enough at her job since I was at such a poor state in my life though I was much like every other college student. 

I eventually moved away to get away from this man. After several hundred calls I changed my number and blocked him on all social media. He found me. Convinced me of only wanting to be friends and that he wanted to give me the car which I stupidly fell for. He would later attack me in a hotel room where I was raped and impregnated though he would tell a different story. After which I was forced to have sex with him because he had taken all of my money and placed it into a “joint” account where he could control everything. Including how I would pay my rent, travel, and eat. Through the time I did spend away from him I did the only thing I could think of. I searched for something, anything that could help me get out of such a toxic relationship. I searched for the God I heard about in all of those years in church. Clearly this man wasn’t accurate about the word he was giving to me because 1 Corinthians 13 told me love did not hurt and would do no harm. Where this man was literally bleeding me of my life. So I started to read the word for myself after contemplating suicide because it seemed as if he would never go away. I cried out to God to save me and it seemed as if my prayers were falling on to deaf ears. But I stayed in my word. I read the scriptures I knew which was Proverbs 31, and The Lord’s Prayer. None of those helped me. The day I finally decided to attempt to take my life God lead me to few a scriptures that would forever change my life and He would continue until I had the strength to finally leave. This Word was so powerful and alive that I managed to leave that relationship and haven’t returned. It healed me of the pain I endured and gave me the power to forgive all the wrong done to me and the wrong I have done to others. Though I have a daughter with this man she is the most precious gift and blessing that has shown me in all tragedies God still remains. She was the light along with the Word that saved me from making a terrible mistake. This Word gave me the strength to continue to not just live life but to have the best relationship with a forgiving, loving, caring, genuine, God. And because of this Word I have found a rare love and friendship in a relationship that has purpose. With a man who loves me “the way Christ loves the church.” 
Scriptures that helped me leave and encouraged me the most during that season: 

Dueteronomy 31:6 “Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave nor forsake you.” 
James 4:8 “Come near to God and He will come near to you.” 
Romans 5:8 “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” 

The final scripture that once trapped me would be the same scripture that would ironically free me. Because I stopped putting a man in the place that God should have always been. With this I hope it brings as much joy to your heart as mine. I will close with this Word and I encourage you to search the scriptures for yourself to see that it is EXACTLY what it says it is. It is a Living Word, from a loving God. 
1 Corinthians 13: 4-8; 13 “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no records of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails…..13 And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love. 

GOD IS LOVE, 
Ashley 

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