Jeni B is a single mom raising and homeschooling her four children. It was not the life she expected when she married as a young grad student and not the life she worked hard to create as she struggled for 10 years in an abusive marriage.
She shares her story of coming to a very painful place of seeking a divorce and fleeing with her children. We talk about the loss of community and friendships that followed and the guilt and shame that threatened to hold her captive.
There can be so much shame and there’s so much responsibility on the shoulders of the woman that it can feel like her job is to respect and to uphold and to encourage and that love covers a multitude of sins. And I’m sure that that works totally fine in a partnership where you’ve got two people under the headship of Jesus Christ who are wanting to please and obey him and serve each other. But when only one person is doing that, it just opens the gates wide for rampant abuse in a relationship.
But her story did end there. Three years later, she is walking with God in a deeper way than she thought possible and finding freedom through healing. In her hardest places, God has been faithful and she shares what she’s learned about his character along the way.
He didn’t love my marriage more than he loved me. He loves me. So a huge part of my own growth and my own awakening is knowing God. It’s a day-to-day walk and I feel the Lord shining on me. It is this beautiful experience of having been reduced to pretty much nothing and having all of my dreams destroyed to a place where God is building a city on top of that very same spot and he’s using other people in the process of rebuilding.
I’m thankful for Jeni’s openness in sharing her journey with God and how he is restoring and rebuilding her life. If you or a friend are going through anything similar, check out the online support group Jeni is in for more resources or visit the National Domestic Violence Hotline website www.thehotline.org.
What we chat about:
Jeni’s story of a 10-year abusive marriage and its painful ending and divorce
What it felt like for her to pick up the pieces and move forward as the sole breadwinner for herself and four children
The damaging cycle of abuse and why popular marriage books and teachings don’t work in a one-sided relationship
How God met with Jeni in her lowest point and the power of the Holy Spirit in that process
Why homeschooling her four kids as a single mom was the right choose for her and the stability it brought for her kids
Helping children adjust to shared custody and the differences of living in two homes
Tips for other single parents who are juggling everything
Training your kids to help with household chores in a joyful, loving way
Getting into community and taking care of yourself as a single mom
The healing she found from an online support group for Christian women coming out of abuse
How Jeni has learned to deeply connect with God in the day-to-day and the healing work he is doing in her