I am a victim of emotional blackmail, torture and heartache. Today, I am standing strong, not by my strength but by God’s grace and I wish to share my testimony today with as many women who are facing the same ordeal.
I was married, or I am still married to a man I thought would be my beginning and end for 21 years. We have 3 children from our union. 3 children I would do absolutely anything for.
7 years ago, my husband told me that he would no longer be able to pay our house rent, and as such asked me to move in with my younger sister and take my children with me, on the promise that he would get a cheaper place. I took his word and moved in with her. A few weeks passed, he stopped picking my calls or returning them. I did not even know where he was. I asked around and a few friends of his gave me his location, so I went to see him. On getting there, he told me that if I was smart, I would have realized that he is done with the marriage and had done all he could do.
I was hurt, broken and discouraged. I had two children in private universities, a younger one in secondary school. He asked me to quit my job when I had our 3rd child because wanted me to stay home and take care of his children. I depended on my baking for little income for myself. That still would amount to nothing when I projected all I had to pay for.
My husband’s reaction was not all too surprising, as I had endured emotional and physical abuse from him that required hospital attention. In essence, we had been hanging on a thin thread for years and it finally broke. I guess a part of me just wanted to believe that we would be able to stay strong for our children, but that never happened.
I had to start borrowing from family friends, my sisters, people I never thought I would have to ask for assistance. My pride as a woman was broken, as I set aside things I wanted to do for my self. I was not up to 50, but I had accomplished nothing. For years I let myself be dragged down and broken, until he tricked me out of the house. Of course it wasn’t long before the news of him and a new woman spread round town, it was all so hard to take, showing my face at church was even hard at first.
Getting fees was not easy, as every semester they were increased. I was in and out of my children’s schools, bargaining with school authorities to allow them have classes or sit for exams. It was difficult to even send them upkeep money, and I was worried about not doing enough for them. I was worried about what my daughter thought of men now because her father had abandoned us.
One day, I made the decision to just trust God. To take my pain and worries back to him. I decided I was not going to worry about tomorrow, I had just 24 hours in a day, I was not going to spend it worrying about my failed marriage, thinking about being a good mother that I would miss out on being a mother. I told him that i would seek him first, and as he promised and said, he would add every other thing along to me. It was a hard process, but it did redefine my purpose as a human being entirely. I learnt to see life differently, and I tell you today that the biggest desire of my heart is for my husband to come to know Christ, because I have let all the hurt and pain go. Whenever I remember, I feel pain, but I refuse to let the devil hold me back anymore.
As God would have it, every time i asked, people gave. In cash or kind. He always always made a way. People gave and came around to support me and my family. One testimony was when we were looking to move out of my sister’s house, a long time friend who I had lost contact with, resurfaced in my life. I told her what happened, and she said she was relocating to the US, and was willing to sub-let her house. A 3 bedroom flat in Ikeja, with all the furniture and a generator at a really cheap rate. I was shocked, I knew it was nobody else but God.
Looking back now, I must say that it was nothing but God’s mercy and grace. My children are done with school today, and have professional jobs. My last child is pursuing his education in America, with no assistance from their father who is hale and hearty. I have a job that I could only have dreamed of in Abuja. If you asked me how, I do not know. There were times I was willing to give up on God, but I stayed, I prayed, I hoped I waited. And he came through for me. He did.
With tears in my eyes I share this story with any woman who reads this. I may not be able to give full details of my experience here for the sake of time and space, but be encouraged. God never fails, sleeps nor slumbers. His words are true. Seek him first through your pain and broken heart, and every other thing, will be added unto you.