I came home after a long day at work only to be immediately verbally assaulted, called every name under the sun. I was accused of having an affair, told I am a liar, a cheater, deceptive, that I’d betrayed him, lived a double life, was unreliable, untrustworthy, and crazy. I have been spit on, slapped, stepped on, grabbed around the neck, thrown down to the ground while trying to run. I have been kept awake all night by being reminded of every fault I have (real or not), over, and over and over. He’s trapped me in the bedroom for hours. He’s pinned me down and held me against my will, making me unable to move and unable to breathe. I’d scream hoping someone, anyone would hear me, but no one did. This was my life! I was told all these things happened because of what I did, or did not do, or because of who I was. I lost my confidence and identity. I lost my faith in God.

My abuse left me physically injured. It left me emotionally and financially devastated. I considered suicide, yet I still had children to support. I rose up every day and held my head high, yet inside I was dying. I’ve struggled with why this happened to me? Did I deserve this? Am I really the victim? Did I overreact? Did I bring this on myself? Am I to blame? Is this all my fault? What is love?

I find it ironic because I worked at a Domestic Violence Shelter counseling women and children who had suffered abuse while in college. I also worked the hotline and would go pick up women who needed a safe place to stay. Now many years later, I am that woman.

Her Journey became a safe place for me to shed my tears. I made friendships and felt loved. It allowed me to learn from others’ experiences. Her Journey lifted my burdens. I received powerful prayers. This program has helped me to have hope and faith. It brought me back in touch with God. Now I feel loved and worthy. I learned to trust in God’s plan and know that He has always been with me. Her Journey helped me to understand the cycle of abuse and how this changes our thoughts. At ARMS, I realized that I am valuable and gained confidence. Without ARMS support and that of my family and friends, I probably wouldn’t be here today.

No one deserves to be treated poorly, disrespected or hurt regardless of the circumstances. The Her Journey program has helped me to rewrite the negative script that kept playing in my head. ARMS has reminded me that I need to love myself and know that God walks beside me. Each life experience builds character and has made me a stronger, wiser and better person. I am trusting in God’s plan. What has happened does not define me or determine my destiny but makes me a beautiful soul to carry on the legacy of God’s love and help others do the same. Her Journey program has been essential to my healing. The touch of love that comes from ARMS, its leaders and curriculum is what helped me to find freedom from fear, loneliness and pain. I am strengthened with knowledge. I am not alone.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9