At the age of nineteen I met my "knight in shinning armor," who turned out to be a wolf in sheep's clothing. I stayed in my abusive situation for more than two decades. At first, I stayed for the same reasons that many women who are battered stay. Through tears he told me how sorry he was and how thankful he was to have me in his life. He didn't deserve my love, he said. Deep down, I felt that I deserved exactly what I was getting. Because of childhood wounds, I felt unlovable and inherently flawed, and my husband reinforced these beliefs with this abuse. Even after the apologizing stopped and there were no more tears of pseudo remorse, I stayed. I was raised to believe that divorce for any reason was wrong. I wholeheartedly believed that God was going to forsake me and remove his Spirit from my life if I left my violent marriage. Then one day everything changed. My husband threatened to kill me, and I could see by the hatred in his eyes that he was capable and wiling to follow through with his threat. Overwhelmed by hopelessness and despair, I made out a will, increased my life insurance for the sake of my children, and waited to die. That is when I started to fell the Spirit of God wooing me to himself, prompting me to tell my secret, and stop living a lie. That was the beginning of a two year flight to freedom. And the amazing thing is God did not forsake me. He is the one who led me to safety. He worked miracles on my behalf, and he loved me and healed me. I discovered that when I told the truth about my life people did not look down on me, as I thought they would. I was so ashamed but they were just sad for me and so happy that I was finally breaking free. My journey out of the darkness was brutal and hard fought. But I won. I am no longer a terrified, helpless battered wife. I am a strong, independent woman living in the freedom and safety that God intended for every single woman to live in. And through the struggle to get free, God healed me from pain that led me to the false conclusion that I was unlovable and that he was looking for a reason to leave me. I now know that I am loved just because I am me. I know that God is faithful and that even though religion sometimes condones the abuse of women, it is never God's will for anyone to be abused. My life is better than it has ever been. I write a blog called jennifer faith - Deliverance, healing, and hope for battered women of all faith's, and I have reached thousands of women through that forum. I meet with women all over my community - sometimes in the booths of fast food restaurants because it is not safe to meet in their homes. I speak life and hope into their situation. Not from the perspective of someone who hopes things will get better for them - but from the perspective of someone that knows it will get better because I lived it. Through my true to life testimony I am giving other women hope to believe that no matter how impossible their circumstance, God can and will make a way out of abuse. I am so blessed to be walking in my calling and I pray that my message of hope will bring light and healing to women all around the world.