Here is something I read on Facebook.
Yesterday was pretty gnarly for both Daniel and me, so by the time he got home from work, I had already planted myself in the tub for a good 30 minutes, and it was clear neither of us felt up to cooking.
We piled the kids in the truck and drove to the local Mexican restaurant for some much needed sustenance.
We were quickly seated in a booth, and about 10 minutes into the chips and bean dip portion of the meal, I couldn’t help but hear the conversation of the women in the booth behind us.
They had their Bibles out and were scouring Scripture together. I was honestly trying super hard not to eavesdrop, but I kept hearing really familiar key words of their conversation. “Affair.” “Abuse.” “Praying for a miracle.” “Pastor says God hates divorce.”
It became quickly clear that one woman was mentoring the other through the devastating wilderness of leaving an abusive marriage. I started praying under my breath. I was intimately familiar with this lonely terrain.
Then I heard the mentor prescribe Isaiah 54 (my life Scripture passage) to this poor woman, and I was just so deeply encouraged that I decided to say something in agreement.
“I’m really sorry to interrupt, and I wasn’t trying to eavesdrop, but I just wanted to say that Isaiah 54 has been so deeply healing for me, and whatever you’re going through, please know that God wants so much more for His daughters than to settle for abuse.”
I got to share my story and point to Daniel and say, “God restores the years the locusts have eaten. Here’s what He’s done for me. Don’t settle.”
The women welcomed the conversation. Their hearts were so evidently bent on faithfulness to Jesus, but the mentor looked concerned. “You know you’re exactly right,” she said. “But do you know where you don’t find the advice you just gave?”
It made me so incredibly sad to be able to answer her question so quickly: “The pulpit,” I responded.
She nodded in silent agreement.
Friends, I’m not church bashing. I love the church. I’ve been blessed to be a part of some churches who knock this stuff out of the ballpark. Praise God for that.
But if you’re reading this post and you’re stuck in an abusive marriage and are sitting around suffering waiting for your miracle, please consider this: Miracles are immediately and thoroughly recognizable to pretty much everybody. There will be no doubt if one has occurred.
Do not mistake a tiny insignificant gesture for the real thing. If he says something nice to you or half apologizes for an offense, it might feel like a miracle, but it’s not one. Draw your line and settle for nothing less than the full enchilada.
In the meantime, seek God’s face. Pursue health in spirit, mind, and body. Create necessary distance between you and your abuser. Stop accepting table scraps when you were designed for a feast.
There is nothing holy about remaining in abuse. In fact, it’s actually enabling sin, and it’s wrong. I’m sorry if you never hear that from a pulpit, but it’s the truth, and the truth always sets you free.