My Mission
To empower Christian women to heal from domestic violence by renewing their minds, reclaiming their identity, and rebuilding their lives.

Hi Sis!

My story may not be what you expect. I didn’t have a childhood filled with violence, abuse or addiction. I grew up in the church, had loving parents and extended family members, and was a straight-A student. My childhood was pretty great.

Where it All Started

Young, wild and free.” This phrase often comes to mind when we think of a young and lively 19-year-old. At 19 I had just finished a year of bible college, was working part-time, enjoying my friends and family, and was planning my next steps. The world was my oyster! It was also in this season that I met my ‘prince charming’.

I was captivated by his charismatic personality, adventurous spirit and charm. We were both Christians, and had similar dreams, goals, aspirations and more. A couple years later, we got married, and I excitedly embraced the new adventure set before me. 

The Red Flags

However, our first year of marriage was littered with hardship. I noticed that over time, he began to treat me with increased disrespect, secrecy and restrictions. The name-calling increased in vulgarity and frequency. He would yell at me daily, play mental games, and then somehow portray himself as the victim. It never failed. I remember one of the most hurtful things he ever said to me was:

You should feel lucky to be with me and that I love you because no one else ever will.

Those words became branded on my heart, and eventually, I believed him. My first year of marriage wasn’t “rough”. It was hell. 

Years of Abuse

During the five and a half years we were married, my mental health, self-esteem, and positivity whittled down to almost nothing. By the time our five year anniversary came, my marriage had evolved into consistent name-calling, blaming, yelling, gaslighting, mind games, isolation from family and friends, threats of divorce, and the discovery of his inappropriate relations with other women. 

People often underestimate the deep wounds that emotional and verbal abuse can have on a victim. I remember one day he got so enraged with me, he screamed, “You are the reason I have to take medication!!!” These words just affirmed to me that ‘I was really that bad.’ My heart just ached and throbbed with confusion, fear and defeat. 

The physical abuse progressed as well. It turned into him blocking, shoving and kicking me. Then he started punching walls inches from my face, throwing objects at my head, restraining me in both private and public, and recklessly driving with me in our vehicle. I remember many of the fights in our truck would start with him driving extremely fast and irresponsibly down the highway, to the point where I was crying and begging him to stop. Then when we got home he would take pride in being the one to ‘comfort’ me. 

I didn’t know how to deal with this. I remember praying and asking God,

Please send someone into my life who understands the insanity that I am living in!

I felt negative emotions such as anger, shame, grief and isolation 90% of the time. There were times I would resort to self-harm and drinking just to feel some relief. I felt like God had abandoned me.

I felt like God had abandoned me.

The scary thing was that I didn’t recognize this as “abuse” because it had become my “normal”.

abuse is not okay
Photo by Engin Akyurt

This is one of the reasons why a lot of women don’t leave. I had come to believe that his anger was a product of my own wrongdoing. I was the problem

Self Doubt and Shame

I blamed myself for being a bad wife, because why else would I deserve such treatment from the person I vowed to love, honor and cherish for the rest of my life? So I became devoted to improving myself as a wife, hoping to appease him and stop the abuse. Unfortunately, the abuse did not stop, and I was getting desperate.

During these years, I spent time in counseling to improve my marriage and myself. I tried to get him to come to counseling with me, but he would give every excuse in the book to not go. I did meet one female counselor, whom I saw maybe 3 times, tell me, 

“He is a narcissist, and this won’t stop. You need to decide how much longer you are willing to live like this.”

 I was shocked. My mind screamed as I felt this CHRISTIAN counsellor was introducing the option of leaving my husband. As a Christian, I didn’t believe in divorce. So, what were my options? Lifelong suffering? Misery? Again, I prayed to God to help me and to send someone into my life who understood this pain and this battle. It took a few years, but He did.

My Awakening

Christmas 2014, I met a dear friend whom I immediately hit it off with. I found out we had a lot in common, including both experiencing domestic violence (however she had been divorced for years). After talking with her I realized that for years I had blamed myself for not being enough, for feeling unworthy of love and for feeling like I was the reason my husband was so angry. It dawned on me that I was being treated horribly and I deserved so much better. 

I deserved so much better.

The man, who was supposed to protect and cherish me, was in fact treating me the opposite. In reality, I was protecting myself from him.

When Things Began to Change

I went home shortly after the New Year and I had it set in my mind and heart that I would not live this way any longer. I left my husband on January 19, 2015. I packed everything that I needed that was mine, left my dog and cats and that empty shell I once called home, and have never looked back.

Freedom and Healing

I have been free from domestic violence for 8 years now. The healing journey has been both amazing and painful. Many women who are survivors of domestic violence think that they can leave their abuser, and within a few weeks or months they will be ‘fine.’ I tell victims that it has taken them a “X” amount of time to enter, survive and then leave the relationship, so realistically they should expect that healing and recovery will take longer than they want and expect. Unfortunately I experienced sexual violence in 2016, so this only increased my trauma and therefore my recovery as well. 

how to leave an abusive relationship
Photo by Jack Ward

I’ve had to intentionally rewire my mindset, to recreate a new normal that was no longer filled with violence and abuse.

If you are a survivor of domestic violence, please know that you need to heal your mind, body and spirit. This takes intentional hard work and effort, and you cannot do it in isolation. You need a reliable support network. What has helped me in my healing is my faith, years of counselling, my positive family and friends, writing, working out, eating right, and renewing my mind. What also helped me was setting goals and a vision for my future, which created hope and motivation to move forward, especially in the seasons where the pain was greater than the joy. 

God has been my source of strength and hope during the abusive years, in the healing years and in my thriving. His promise to repay what I have lost, and to give me a good future is what I hold onto. I feel called and honoured to support and empower other women who have walked, or are still walking, a similar journey. Despite all I have been through, I am still a Queen and a daughter of the King.