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JoAnna Finds Peace And Hope For Tomorrow

by | May 2, 2024 | Survivor Stories, Uncategorized

Two weeks after my second separation from my abusive spouse, I reached out to Called to Peace Ministries (CTPM) to request an advocate. Diana Fies, CTPM Financial Administrator, was assigned as my advocate. She was such an encouragement and help to me as she listened to me and answered my questions. She walked with me through the separation and helped me navigate developing healthy boundaries and protection for me and my four young  boys.

Diana and Dan Boeck, CTPM Church Partnership Coordinator, met with and guided my pastor as the church tried to help me and my husband. My pastor has expressed how helpful their guidance and wisdom were as they walked this unknown territory.

A few months later, I connected with a CTPM support group. I finally felt seen and understood by a community that encouraged and supported me. Although I had friends previously, I didn’t have anyone who truly understood what I was going through. This group of women was and still is so special to me. 

Tragedy upon tragedy struck as the unthinkable happened: my husband took his own life in a horrific manner, and my boys and I found him. 

A few months after his death, my friends posted a GoFundMe online to help pay for counseling for my profoundly struggling boys. Diana contacted me and encouraged me to apply for support from the Emergency Fund to pay for the gas to and from my boys’ multiple therapy appointments, which were 30 miles away.

CTPM Emergency Fund gave me gas cards to get my boys to therapy appointments. It was a relief not to worry about gas money to drive them to the much-needed appointments.

Both my advocate Diana and the women in my support group continued to love, pray for, and encourage me after my husband’s death. Diana even drove up to see me a few days after his death.

Today, our lives look so different than they once did. We are walking daily toward continued healing. It is hard, but God has been so exceedingly gentle and loving with us. He has provided for our needs in ways we could have never imagined. My boys are now learning how to talk about their feelings and they love to sit on my bed at night and talk.

I’ve become involved in serving with CTPM. I facilitated bringing the Protect the Flock training to my church. We had about 50 ministry leaders present. The training was helpful but also encouraging because seven leaders from my former church were present—the church that we left after they did such a poor job of caring for us and indeed, caused us so much hurt. This church has a record of hurting women and supporting abusers that have done so much harm to many women. But six months after attending the Protect the Flock at my church, they hosted the training at their church.

My current church is also paying for me to attend the CTPM advocacy training courses to support and help women in my church and community as they walk through domestic abuse. My advocate, Diana, has been such an inspiration to me as I seek healing as well as advocacy training.

God has been faithful to remind me over and over again, “I’m right here, I’ve got you, and I’m not going anywhere.” God has used the pain and Called to Peace Ministries to change my life radically. I now have a relationship with my Abba Father that I’ve never had before, even though I’ve been a believer since I was a little girl.

Although I would have much preferred another path to this relationship with Him, I trust that the plan God is working on in my life is beautiful and good. I’m so incredibly thankful for the relationship I now have with my Abba, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Without Him, there would be no hope and no strength for tomorrow.