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Jesus is Calling Me

Marriage is sacred—yet so am I.

I’m a beloved child of the Father. I’m called to an intimate relationship with Jesus. I’m desired and cherished. My body is a temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19).

These are truths I’ve always rationally known, yet I wasn’t able to fully comprehend them in my heart until I began to heal from my struggle with domestic abuse. Because I’d been too focused on my relationship, I hadn’t cleared the space in my soul to allow such divine certainties to enter. I’d been trying to survive heartbreak for so many years that my mind had become shrouded in sorrow and even despair.

“Despair arises from some evil that is in the way of obtaining good.” – St. Thomas Aquinas

And make no mistake, abuse of any kind is evil.

In order to heal I needed to step back from my rationalizing thoughts and heavy emotions so I could release it all. That was difficult to do, because releasing all meant releasing my sacramental marriage, and I didn’t feel strong enough to do that. I was scared, I was trauma bonded, I was adrift and afloat. Yet I knew releasing my marriage was exactly what I needed to do.

By releasing all, I don’t mean I gave up. I’m not talking about a sudden determination to divorce, or even to make any decisions one way or another. I’d already ruminated too much. It was time to let go – of my thoughts, of my confusion, of my anguish. It was time to surrender the outcome of my situation to God—no matter what that outcome may be.

I didn’t give up, I gave in.

I gave in to Christ, to His call pulsing inside my heart, to His voice quietly singing to me: “How beautiful you are, my love, how beautiful you are!” (Song of Songs 1:15).

I had to stop listening to the tumbling thoughts in my head in order to let the depth of Jesus’ love surround me, to understand how beautiful I am to Him. I needed to allow that amazing truth to sink fully into my heart. It was time to awaken; my winter of sorrow and anguish could be at an end, if I would just take that first leap into full trust in God. I had to realize I am His beloved—and He is mine. I had to listen, because He was still singing to me in a soft, patient cadence:

Come then, my love, my lovely one, come. For see, winter is past, the rains are over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth. The season of glad songs has come, the cooing of the turtledove is heard in our land. – Song of Songs 2:10-12

I realized that clinging to an unhealthy situation wasn’t what Jesus wanted for His beloved. He longed for me to cling to Him instead, to let Him take care of every detail of my life.

And Jesus is still calling me — just as He’s calling each of us.

I had to give everything to Him, especially my marriage. No matter what happens, with Jesus there is no “for better or for worse.” There’s only the best, because that’s what He desires for His beloved ones, for those called according to His purpose.

“We know that in everything God works for good with those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose.” – Romans 8:28

I’d been Martha, anxious and troubled. I needed to be Mary. Again, I heard Jesus calling to me:

Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” – Luke 10:41-42

I’ve decided to be like Mary and sit at our Lord’s feet, allowing Him to teach me, and to love me. I’ve taken the good portion as my own.

That, my dear friends, is the only true way to heal.

At some point, all abusive relationships must change—and that change can begin with you. Many women focus on whether or not their spouse will eventually admit to his harmful behavior, with hopes that he’ll return to the loving partner she thought he was when they first met. While it’s completely normal to hope an abusive person will undergo the conversion of authentic transformation, ruminating on the possibility tends to keep an abuse victim trapped inside her own thoughts — not to mention a damaging situation.

If this sounds familiar, I encourage you to focus on your personal journey of healing, rather than his. You can make a difference in your situation by allowing God to enter into it. When you surrender your all to God, amazing things begin to happen.

Leave it in His hands. They’re big enough to hold everything.

Copyright 2023, Jenny DuBay

As a domestic abuser survivor, advocate, and author, Jenny duBay knows what a huge impact intimate partner violence (IPV) has on an individual. She founded Create Soul Space to help cultivate awareness of domestic violence within a Catholic setting. Jenny is associated with Catholics for Family Peace and works with various organizations within the Catholic Church to spiritually support victims and survivors of domestic violence. Author of the Create Soul Space and Prodigal Parishioner blogs, Jenny also writes for Missio Dei along with various other Catholic publications. Her book, Don't Plant Your Seeds Among Thorns: A Catholic Guide to Recognizing and Healing from Domestic Abuse, is available on Amazon and through her website at https://www.createsoulspace.net.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Was a wonderful read. My prayers for anyone afflicted by spousal abuse. My heart takes me to our blessed Mother Mary during the Lords passion.

    1. Thank you for your prayers, Grace. Dear Blessed Mother, hold all your daughters close to your sorrowful heart. May they find rest and comfort within the safety of your mantle.

  2. Jenny thank you for sharing your journey to help us recover from abusive marriages and relationships. God doesn’t want as you stated better or worse, but He wants what is best. It has been almost 4 years since my 2nd former left. He was emotionally abusive as well as a serious religious narc and porn addicted. It was by God’s amazing grace, He delivered me and continues to deliver me when I step in similar situations. I recently last July, broke off an engagement with a very religious narc. The thought of trusting again feels like I am jumping out of an airplane without a parachute on. I must cling to the truth that I am lovable. I may have weaknesses , shortcomings and sins, but I am loved and adored by Him, even when others reject me. As I was leaving Mass on Divine Mercy Sunday, there was an adorable caramel color corgi running down the street. I pulled over to help the little fella. Our eyes locked. He had a collar and ran super fast away and looked back at me in fear. I called out to him, honey , I am hear to help you find your way home. I prayed he would be protected. He definitely looked abused and neglected. Fast forward 24 hours later, 5 miles away from the parish I attended the day before, I am turning left on a busy highway and I look up and I see the same Corgi, ( I named him Skipper) running down the street, looking worn and haggard from all his running, I pulled over, I called out to him, Honey, please do not be scared, I am here to help you. Our eyes locked from a distance, he saw me as a threat to his “freedom” from the abuse he had escaped from. I tenderly called out and now with a little limp, he ran away from me again. I thought, Lord, what does this mean? He travelled a great distance and for me to see him again, was miraculous. I looked at Skipper in my rear view mirror as he was running even faster before I called out to him. I went to Mass, stayed for my Holy Hour , prayed for little Skipper to stop running, and then I remembered as the Lord nudged me. I am like Skipper. I want to trust again, but I don’t . My brain is in a freeze mode. I have had years of traumatic experiences from men who I thought I could trust. They lied, abused me, cheated on me and blamed me. Dearest Jesus, please help us heal from these real trauma wounds. I am like Skipper. I want to trust again. Will I always look at every single man with suspect and convince myself he is not a good soul sent my Heaven to be a true friend and keep running away? Meanwhile, I pray, hope and continue grieving my losses and not hiding in shame. How long oh Lord, how long? PS. I never found Skipper again. I saw him one more time, he would not stop. I ran to the store and bought a can of dog food and a bowl for water and went searching for him once more. Nothing. I called Animal Services and asked them to try to catch him. My heart has been heavy this week. I am praying he finds his way home. Saint Francis, please pray for little Skipper and help him stop running and find a loving new owner.

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