Dear Church, Pastor or Friend,

Hi, I know you mean well, and it’s hard to discern the truth. I’ve experienced the wages of sin leading to almost death – wanting to die – but it wasn’t sinful acts that I did but the wages of sin done to me by my spouse. Every day, death was upon me as I internalized the horrific names, gestures, control, and isolation. I get it! Marriage is highly valued! But this marriage might take my life! The image that God has created in me was almost gone.

These are the things I wanted to tell you when we met, but because my God given image-bearing was destroyed, I didn’t have the strength. Instead, I stayed silent – dying inside. You often questioned my reality of the pain I was experiencing. Because I’m used to trying to keep others happy and experiencing gaslighting, I didn’t know how to say confidently – “I’ve been abused!” Period! When my spouse would say it’s my trauma, or I’m too sensitive – well, that’s partially true. The effects of the abuse done by my spouse had damaged my soul so much that I felt crazy all the time. I know you didn’t realize this was part of crazy-making and many other tactics to keep me in slavery.
Romans 8:14-16, “For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves so that you live in fear again; instead, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him, we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.”
You see – I didn’t know that God had so much more for me. Not a life of fear. I didn’t realize just how precious I was to Him and settled for someone I thought was good for me when in reality, it was a wolf in sheep’s clothing. I sacrificed my mind, body, and soul…my children and nearly my faith. Praise be to God that I heard His voice when He called me by name. He spoke to my heart, “Never, is this how my daughter is to be treated.” I learned to trust His voice amid the confusion and isolation. I began to fight for my identity in Christ rather than surrender to the blasphemy done by my spouse to my image-bearing.

I’m in a better place now to say these things. Praying that you will get the knowledge you need and words of comfort for my next fellow journeyer.

 

Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin {done to me} is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

 

I choose life,

 

Domestic Abuse Survivor
Colleen Ramser is a licensed therapist and spiritual formation coach who has been journeying with women for nearly 15 years. She specializes in trauma and women’s issues, and she regularly trains pastors and other therapists on trauma-informed care and ministry.
As the founder of Colleen Ramser Ministry, she provides trauma-informed spiritual formation that helps women flourish in God’s image.