A close encounter with death.
Trembling with fear, no self-worth, no escape, no one to go to, married life was not supposed to end up like this…..
Have you ever gazed at a rainbow, thinking deeper than the colors splashed across the sky? Wondering what the meaning of this glorious appearance after a storm might mean? The rainbow speaks directly to our heart and soul, filling us with awe. Rainbows bring the promise that the troubles of today will surely come to pass, hold strong in your faith and vision and the rainbow will bring fresh beginnings, and new prosperity. The rainbow is also a symbol of following our hearts desire and purpose…to get to the end of the rainbow is a symbol for the celebration of that fulfillment.
The rainbow graciously bestows the energy of blessings. It intuitively tells us to hold onto hope, to believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that sacred blessings open to us when we are following our heart’s desire. God took the rainbow, the glorious object shining in the heavens when the suns rays fell on falling rain, and consecrated it as the sign of his love and the witness of his promise. A symbol of God’s faithfulness and mercy, the symbol of hope and the bright emblem of mercy and love. The rainbow is reflected from the storm itself.
I wrote a blog recently called “Chasing Rainbows”. A beautiful story describing the joy and bond the rainbow created between my three children and myself this summer. I am so grateful to have the breath of life today because of a rainbow appearing across the sky nearly 12 years ago.
I grew up in a strong faith filled home, with a wonderful loving family, great community, and a fantastic youth group. I was always involved in sports, cheerleading, girl scouting, 4-H, and volunteer work. I started my own window washing and lawn care services at age 13 to save money for college. I was full of dreams, always shooting for the moon. An over-achiever, over-comer, hard worker, always up for a challenge, loved school, enjoyed college life, had many wonderful friends, saving my first kiss for a hopeful wedding day in the future ……the list goes on.
I eventually married, stars in my eyes, excited for all the paths I could travel with my new husband. One year into our marriage and I was already an absolute nervous wreck, nights filled with nightmares, unable to get home to my family across the world if I wanted to. I ate very little and skipped many meals for the sake of making sure my husband had the food he needed, keeping the lights out often when needed to not hear his complaints of the electric bill going up now that there were two of us. Longing to please the man when he would come home from a long day at work. He would quickly eat the food I made him and race out the door for his own pleasures, leaving me behind to clean up the mess with no gratitude or thanks. I became so lonely, lost, afraid, longing to be held or at least acknowledged, not treated like a door mat. I spent so many long hours crying. I tried in vain to get a job, having moved to Australia, from America, and always having any job I wanted; to suddenly having to sit at what was now my new abode…. all day, feeling neglected, depressed……
When we were together angry words filled the air, acts of violence, police coming to the door, ashamed, afraid, bailing the man I married out of jail, going to court on his behalf, lies, abuse, trust completely severed. Yet, in public upholding this false identity, this pretense of “all is well”, a false smile plastered to my face, always going to church together. A hollow look in my eyes. The harsh reality of knowing I would face a lifetime of domestic violence and abuse was so overwhelming for me, I had made the promise “till death do us part!” And I had always been one to keep my promises. I believed, prayed, hoped, read numerous books on marriage, forgave. I never said a word to anyone about what I was enduring behind closed doors. Never wanting to give my own husband a bad reputation. Starting to believe the lies that it was all my fault, that I was to blame for his behavior, that I needed to change all of who I was to fit into the mold he wanted to create me to be.
I wanted to run away from it all. How could this happen to me? I saved my first kiss for my wedding day! What did I do so wrong that I was now being punished in a loveless marriage? My thoughts and questions regularly directed to God with no answers. Unable to send a letter home, to buy stamps, to make phone calls to my family, feeling more and more isolated, because it all “cost money”. I had no money to get an airline ticket home, no job to make my own money. I had no idea this would be the pattern for the next 10 years of my married life. Always blaming myself for it all.
After an afternoon of abuse and violence I chose to run away, far away this time, never to return to this man. I ran to the ocean. I sat high on a cliff, knowing this would be where my life would end. I talked to God this side of heaven, always a believer in an eternity in heaven. I had asked Jesus into my heart when I was a child, trusting in His death on the cross for my salvation. I knew my life would be better if I could just throw myself off the cliff, plunging deep into the ocean. No one would know where I was, it would all be over so quickly. I was ready, ready to end my life right then! There was absolutely NO WAY I wanted to go on any longer with the way things were. I had no other way of escape, no one to talk to for fear of bringing shame to my husband, no money to get me home to my family, a promise that I would remain in this marriage “till death do us part”!
The sky was brilliant blue, not a cloud, not a drop of rain as far as the eye could see. A perfect calm, still day. I looked way over the edge of the cliff, thinking “I hope I don’t just hit all of those rocks and only break my legs. I have to jump out far enough to just drown myself, to sink to the bottom of the ocean, to be washed away by the waves, to be in heaven at last. To be in the arms of God, to be held close by my Creator.” I took my last few breaths, knowing it would all be over soon and one day again I would be able to join my family in heaven. Out of the literal BLUE….. a massive rainbow filled the sky, spanning the horizon, each end pressing deeply into the ocean. A solid, colorful mass, almost gazing back at me. I heard the voice in my mind, the voice of promise, of hope. The symbol of the rainbow, a promise of sustainment for my journey ahead! “Don’t give up! Hold onto your life!” I collapsed to the ground in tears. The only place to go was back to my loveless home, a place of fear, pain and sorrow, the place I had last been with the man I married. I did NOT want to return. But, return I did, where else was I to go? I ever so slowly dragged my limp, lifeless self back to the house, back to the man I had run away from just an hour ago.