Let go of the fear and hang on to the Rock

If you are in an abusive marriage perhaps the hardest decision you face is whether to let go or continue to hang on. How do you know if it’s time to let go? How much longer should you hang on hoping for true change?

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Today at Leslie Vernick’s blog a reader asks this very question — Do I let go or hang on?

Her blog post got me thinking how Christians have this faulty view that the choices we make somehow affect God’s capability of working in our lives. If someone leaves their marriage it is often seen as a lack of faith in God’s ability to restore the marriage. But get this — God doesn’t need anyone to help Him get things done. God can and will work miracles in spite of us! What a revelation!

No matter the choice you make, God can still do a mighty work in and through your marriage. Sometimes though, He will tear down a crumbling structure in order to begin again from the ground up building it stronger and more beautiful. And that doesn’t necessarily mean rebuilding the marriage, it might just mean rebuilding the life of the victim of abuse.

Now I’m not saying to just make a flippant decision regarding your marriage. I’m not saying that if someone is unhappy to just leave and not worry about it. No, I’m saying that too often a victim of abuse hangs on because they’ve been led to believe that by staying in a toxic, abusive environment God will somehow have a better chance of working a miracle or changing the heart of the abuser. Yet what abuse victims need to hear is that no matter how hard you try to hang on by a mere thread to an already dead marriage it will not change the abuser. God changes people’s hearts, but He never forces anyone to be in His will.


People often wonder why victims don’t just leave an abusive marriage. It can be summed up in one word — FEAR! I know that was true for me. For 20 years I stayed with an abusive man who manipulated and controlled my life all because I was afraid to leave.

Fear can hold a person captive. It could be fear of failing God or failing others like a church family who sees separation and divorce as some unforgivable sin. It can be fear for our safety or that of our children, financial fear, fear of being alone or fear of the unknown. There are so many fears which can hold a victim of abuse hostage.

The thing to remember is fear does not come from God but fear is often how an abuser keeps their victim from leaving.

My advice to anyone living with abuse is to define what your fear is, and it may be many. Write your fears down and then release them to God. Tell Him what holds you hostage and ask Him to guide you out of that prison of fear and abuse. Then take that bold step out in faith to walk away from abuse holding firmly to the truth that God will bring forth beauty from the ashes which could mean He rebuilds your marriage or He releases you of it completely.

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There is true freedom in Christ and there is a beautiful life on the other side of abuse.

May we all have faith big enough to trust that God can and will do a miraculous work in our lives no matter what choices we make. Pray, give thanks in all circumstances, and let go to let God do the hard work of building something beautiful in your life.




11 thoughts on “Let go of the fear and hang on to the Rock

  1. Thank You!! I get so excited when I see you post! It is always exactly what I need to hear at a particular time in my journey.


  2. Absolutely dead on. This line is so true.
    “No, Iโ€™m saying that too often a victim of abuse hangs on because theyโ€™ve been led to believe that by staying in a toxic, abusive environment God will somehow have a better chance of working a miracle or changing the heart of the abuser.
    While I don’t blame the church as a whole I kind of deep down do. They, over and over and over convinced to stay. Rather than addressing the abuse it was spun that I didn’t believe God can heal the marriage so I was part of the problem. Um….no….
    Thank you Amy!!


    1. Hi Jo!
      Yes, I too blame the church for not helping more. My ex was surrounded with supposed ‘help’ from some, but truthfully I felt no one wanted to touch our situation with a 10 foot pole. Easier to just throw out the typical pieces of scripture like how God hates divorce than to truly confront the evil called abuse.
      I’m so glad you and I connected years back and that God has brought such healing to both of our lives!


  3. Another great post, Amy!

    This stood out to me: “But get this โ€” God doesnโ€™t need anyone to help Him get things done.”

    I think so many people in abusive marriages stay out of a sense that giving up on the marriage is giving up on God’s ability to change a person’s heart…that in order for the abuser to ever come to true repentance it is necessary to stay married to the abuser. It is faulty thinking! God does not need a sham of a marriage to be maintained in order to lead someone to repentance. In fact, it is much more likely that through the loss of a marriage the abuser may be led to true repentance. But whether it does or not, we have no control over another person’s choices, repentance, or eternal destination…that’s between them and God.

    There is life after divorce. Neither partner’s future happiness or well-being are dependent on the marriage…only our relationship with God holds that position.

    Blessings to you!


    1. I agree, Joe, that often if there is going to be true repentance it often happens after they experience great loss in their life. Sad but true.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Love this post! I was lucky to only put up with abuse for 8 years from one man, and then 2 years from another. I can’t imagine 20! So glad you overcame your fear! Visiting from Tuesday at Ten, I’m number 6 this week. I look forward to reading more of your posts. ๐Ÿ™‚ โค


    1. Thank you for stopping by, Rachelle!
      I’m glad you are out from under abuse. Letting go of the fear is not easy and even now, all these years later, I hope that I have truly let go of it. ๐Ÿ˜‰


  5. Hi! I found your blog through Leslie’s. I have been in an emotionally and verbally abusive marriage for about 11 yrs now.. I think the Holy Spirit is letting me know it is ok to let go for now. Meaning to separate hoping this will finally wake him up..

    But fear continues to creep up on me and I start to doubt. Sometimes I talk myself into well .. The abuse could be a lot worse so.. Until I really fear for my life or physical
    Safety I shouldn’t leave. But I have felt emotionally unsafe for me and my children for years now.. Is that enough?


    1. Thanks for stopping by, Mia.
      Only you can answer the question, “Is that (feeling emotionally unsafe) enough?”
      Or do you have to wait until you might feel physically unsafe? Why take that risk.

      Eleven years of emotional and verbal abuse to me is more than enough…if you ask me, it is too much! But we each have to walk through our own journeys and find our way.
      Hopefully though, unlike me, you don’t allow fear and doubts to cloud your judgement on doing what is best for you and your children.
      I don’t believe there is ever the perfect moment or that moment we feel like, “this is it, time to leave”, I just think we have to really take a true look at what is happening in our marriage and ask yourselves if that is how we want to be living in another year, five years or 20? Is it healthy or is it toxic?

      I will pray for you as you seek direction.

      Amy ๐Ÿ™‚


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