“You have the right to remain silent…” I smirked, laughing nervously…not sure if it was due to nerves or because sure enough this was all a joke… “Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law…” This is real, my laugh turned into a look of confusion…this is really happening…are they serious? No, I kept trying to convince myself, this can’t be happening…
I recall the officer’s voice slowly fading away as he continued presenting me with my Miranda rights…my knees almost gave out, I felt my throat closing in…I struggled to find my words as I managed to ask, “Why? What is he saying out there?” … But he continued, “You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you.”
Within seconds, I was against a wall, hands above my head, while a female officer examined me from head to toe then handcuffed my left wrist to a metal pole. Next to it was a concrete pale blue bench where I was asked to sit; I still remember how the coldness of that bench permeated right through me.
It was December 22, 2014. Three days before Christmas.
I looked at my handcuffed wrist, realizing this was a nightmare I was not going to wake up from…and then God stepped in.
This is His Love Story…through me.
One of brokenness, heartache, and shame. A shame that kept me from sharing HIS WONDERS, HIS GLORY, HIS STORY… Until now.
You see, five years ago, the girl I was then is not the woman I am today. I was filled with insecurities, pursuing the wrong things and single in my 30s. So I often heard, “Y el novio?” or “Mija, te vas a quedar a vestir santos.” I felt my Identity and Worth were based on my relationship status. The pressure was real. So when I found myself in a relationship, I finally had something to prove. Even though it almost cost me my life.
He presented himself well and charming. Within a few months, we hit it off and started dating. As with almost every relationship, you have the “honeymoon” stage. That stage dwindled quickly. Jealousy and unwarranted accusations became an issue; he later progressed to name calling and insults. I was certainly not happy but “we tried to work things out.” I held on to the hope that things would go back to that honeymoon stage, that things will get better. I believed I had to make this work. After all, I had something to prove.
However, in the end, what did I have to prove? I was in a toxic relationship; I had become a victim of domestic violence and did not realize it. Name-calling became progressively worse, controlling my moves, manipulation, shoving, pushing and threats became the norm.
At this point, I was broken, damaged, and too ashamed to tell anyone. When the little energy in me tried to walk away, he found a way to manipulate himself back into my life. It felt like a never-ending cycle.
Nine months later – I still remember the clarity I felt that night. Earlier that day, I had been to my church, I was prayed over and I received an overwhelming peace. It was a weight off my shoulders. I made the decision to walk away and never go back. Nothing he could do or say to manipulate me would make me “work things out” again. It was the best decision I have made in those 9 months…and the most dangerous one.
It was then when the constant stalking and harassment began. He would park by my house for hours or drive-by, it was phone calls to my cell, my job from all different numbers with threats or questioning my whereabouts, even stating the exact places I was the night before. Then randomly showing up to every place I would go. Threatening that he will get me arrested if I made a scene. I lived in fear. I no longer wanted to leave my house.
After 2 weeks of this, I decided to obtain a restraining order against him.
Once he was served with my order, he obtained a restraining order against me, which allowed him to make various false accusations against me; this led to three arrests.
I started this blog recounting my first arrest. I surrendered my life to God in that jail cell. I cried, I worshiped, and boy did I pray. God felt so far away…BUT GOD, He was right there, He was working!
It was 3 days before Christmas, courts closed for at least a week, no judges available to set the bail. BUT GOD…What should have been at least a week in jail, God turned it to 2 hours. What should have been $15,000 cash for bail He turned it into $100. Even the officers were shocked. In their words, they had never seen that happened before.
The fight was just starting. I relocated several times, became very depressed but my faith never wavered. I clearly heard God tell me, “I will show off” and I believed it, I held on to it.
The following two arrests, though they were not any easier, I was able to disprove his allegations with receipts, photos, and video footage. The 3rd finally warranted a search warrant, his arrest, which led to a trial.
Court appearances became a daily thing for 3 more years. The waiting was hard! However, little by little God was giving me strength, the courage to face each hearing. I held on to His promise – He will show off! And did He.
This past summer I wrote a blog called Through The Waiting. By this point it was almost 4 years of court hearings. It was then when I began to realize that through the waiting God was working in the depths of my heart, He transformed the distorted view I had of myself. You see the enemy is in the business of identity theft. He will fill you and others with lies about your worth.
Through the waiting, I surrendered it all to God and started to live by His ways. In the midst of it all I found my identity in Jesus. In His love, in the blood He shed for me. He calls me His daughter, He reminds me that I am Royal, my worth is set on Him and not on anyone or anything of this world. I am crowned with beauty, robed in righteousness and walk knowing He goes before me. No longer clinging on what others say of me.
I AM THE DAUGHTER OF THE MOST HIGH. HIS ROYAL BLOOD CALLS ME HIS.
Today, December 22, 2018 marks 4 years since that 1st arrest. And 8 days since he was sentenced. I no longer look back at my past with pain and anger but with gratitude and joy for the one who set me free. He redeems, He restores.
I could not allow my story to be in vain. He has called me to share it. My prayer is that through it He touches your heart, may you see your worth, your value and your identity in Him.
My trials could have cost me my life. Not only physically, but spiritually. But God held me at my lowest. He spoke to me through His word. I am KNOWN BY HIM. He restored me piece by piece and called me LOVED. A love I can share with you, because no matter what season you are in now, HE LOVES YOU, you are known, you are worthy and He is working all things for your good. Have faith, believe and hope.You Are SO LOVED By Him.
**Domestic violence is not just physical; Emotional, Verbal and Financial abuse is Domestic Violence. If you or someone you know may be a victim of domestic violence, there is help: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)**