Every once in awhile I will look back at how things used to be before I married Chris. My life was so different before my husband broke into my world and rescued me.
I had tried for years to deny the effects of the sexual abuse I had experienced as a child, but I had begun to believe I wasn’t worthy of real love. I kept most people at a distance, afraid to let them see the real me for fear of having them see the unworthiness I felt inside. That is, until I met my future husband.
I decided to perform a little experiment with this new man in my life: I decided I wouldn’t play games—I would just be me. I shared my brokenness with him, my real thoughts and feelings. I thought I was worthless, but he treated me with respect. Instead of thinking me shameful, he told me I was beautiful and strong. For the first time in my life, I began to feel safe.
With this newfound emotional security, I finally had the courage to confront my abuse rather than just stuff it all inside. Chris supported me when I went to counseling and encouraged my healing. I opened my heart, like the door to a dusty, abandoned room. I didn’t know what I would find there, but I clutched my small flashlight and peered inside.
Dealing with my past was incredibly painful. Sometimes I would break down, exhausted from the energy it took to grieve and reevaluate my life. Chris treated me with great respect, even when I didn’t think I deserved it. He would hold me tightly, and repeat over and over that I had great value. I didn’t believe him, but eventually I did.
Most days I wake ready to take on the world (or at least my house). But my husband remembers a time when I wasn’t as self-assured. Every once in awhile, he will tell me how proud he is of me. He rarely needs to pick me off the floor to hold me and remind me I matter anymore. But I know I can rely on my husband to encourage and support me, no matter what I’m dealing with.