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Woman Escapes the Past that Once Controlled Her

“I knew that I just needed to stay calm for my kids and I just needed to do what he told me to do,” Stacie remembers. “And then he told me to kiss them goodbye because he was gonna end it for me. And so, that's when he went to the closet and got the gun.”

Stacie was no stranger to abuse. She grew up in a home filled with turmoil. Her mother was verbally abusive and her father was a truck driver and often gone. “I just really grew up feeling unloved and unwanted, you know, by my mother. And I just remember, you know, her making me feel like I was never really gonna amount to anything, like I was just gonna screw up my life, you know, when you've been told that your whole childhood, you kinda start believing that. And that really affected uh how I felt about myself.”

She was insecure and lonely but felt God protected her after she gave her heart to Jesus as a young girl. She says, “I remember sitting in my bed at night and I just would open my Bible and I would just read the red letters. And you know, just feel God's presence. And it was like, I would just sit with just tears streaming down my face at this love that, you know, this God, the God that created the world had for me and that I've never experienced here on Earth.”

But Stacie grew tired of waiting for things to change at home. Eventually, she walked away from her faith and instead, found an escape in the arms of a man. “I was desperate to be loved. I would do anything for just somebody to love me back. I knew that he wasn't the one for me. And-and I even felt God telling me no, but I just decided that I was just gonna choose my own path and I was tired of waiting to see what God had planned for me,” she says.

They got married and started a family, but soon after, he began abusing drugs and alcohol. His affection turned into control and Stacie felt it was her fault, she says, “This is the path that I had chosen and this kind of what I deserved. It was almost like I was reliving what I lived growing up with my mother. I had a passion to go back to nursing school. I wanted to go school, but he would tell me that I wasn't smart enough, I would never make it. It was a very lonely time.”

Stacie longed for the peace she once knew when god was active in her life. One day while listening to Christian radio she heard a message that prompted her to pray.

“She says, ‘Do you feel alone? Do you feel like uh – do you feel like you're doing everything you can, but nobody sees you?’ And she said, ‘I just want to encourage you to keep doing what you're doing because God sees you.’ And I just, in that moment, closed my eyes and asked God, I said, ‘Do you see me?’ Well, all of a sudden, I feel this little hand on my leg, and I look down and it's my son. And he's looking up at me with the sweetest smile on his face. And his eyes looked a little different. And we were kind of frozen in this moment. And I feel this peace come over me. And I'm – as I'm looking into my son's face, I realize that God is looking up at me through the eyes of my child and He's saying, ‘I see you.’ I just – I had thought that He had forgotten about me. It was the most amazing feeling. I had been searching for that for years and-and finally I felt His presence,” she says.

Stacie recommitted her life to Jesus that day. She remembers, “And when I finally did turn around to turn back to Him, He just welcomed me in with arms wide open And it was just a simple act of surrender, of just letting Him take over and trusting Him and obeying Him.”

Still, the verbal abuse and control continued in her marriage. When she finally threatened to leave, her husband became violent. Stacie remembers, “He came behind me, wrapped his arm around my neck and then he started to choke me and lift me up off the floor, all I could say was, ‘Jesus. Jesus.’ And it was just saying the name of Jesus brought so much peace. And in that moment, I knew that no matter what happened, He was in control.

Her husband barricaded the door and held Stacie and the children at gunpoint for hours. Eventually her coworkers came to check on Stacie. When her husband wouldn’t let them in they knew something was wrong. She says, “And I knew that when they left that they were gonna go call the cops. So I felt like uh this is it, this was gonna save my life.”

Her husband left before the police arrived. Stacie and the kids made their escape. Her sister paid for a plane ticket so Stacie could be near family and start over. She never returned to her husband. She says, “He took my name off of our bank accounts. I didn't have access to money. I feel like it, at that time where I had nothing, that I realized that God was all that I needed. I just felt so free. I had this freedom. And I had – I had this freedom to finally serve God, wholly and completely without anything standing in my way, without anybody standing in my way. And I remember just completely surrendering myself back to God on that plane saying, ‘Lord, I-I'm yours. You know, do with me what you will.’”

As she rebuilt her life, she says God has been faithful at every step of the journey. She eventually remarried and says the scars of the past have been healed as she accepted her identity as a child of God. She says, “I know who I am in Christ. I know that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Uh, I know that I'm a child of the King. And I know that uh that, you know, He loves me and He's never gonna forsake me. He's never gonna leave me. I know that there's nothing in this world that I can do that's going to cause Him to love me any less.”

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