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So many people see me as a strong woman. I want to tell you that has not always been who I was. It is only by His grace, and the empowerment of His Spirit, that I am who I am today.

Many don't know this, but I was in some very abusive relationships when I was younger, one of which I married when I was 18, because honestly I couldn't figure a way out of it. He was mentally, emotionally, and physically abusive on every level. At one point, I was actually choked until I passed out, and thought I was going to die.

I ended up leaving that marriage a year later, running for my life under the dead of night, with my very life being threatened. He said - If he couldn't have me, no one could. This is very typical behavior for abusers. Thank God I left when I did, or I am not sure I would still be alive. This was a very scary and tumultuous time in my life...and it is only by the grace of God that I survived, and received the healing necessary to eventually thrive.

This is a subject that has been largely ignored in the body of Christ, and in some ways even propagated by their behavior. When I was in my most desperate place, it was definitely not the church that I thought to go to. Why? Because I felt I would be condemned by them. I felt they would say "You must stay...God hates divorce!". I had heard this even said by some when I insinuated that I may need to leave. I had also seen this said to many others throughout my life.

This caused me to have a very skewed view of God for some time. As I have grown in the Lord, and came more into a place of healing, I came to realize that He does hate divorce, but He also equally and possibly even more, hates when His daughters (or sons) are being abused, maligned, and treated with less respect than some animals. That is NOT the loving Father that I serve. As the church, we as leaders need to do better to support and help those who are being abused in our ministries and assemblies. Turning a blind eye, or blaming the victims is not the answer, and God is not pleased.

For those leaders who would say they don't believe it is happening with those they are leading, I would beg to differ. I can almost assure you that it is. You need to know the signs of abuse, and know how to make victims feel safe to come to you for help and support. Church...we must address this elephant in the room, and we MUST do more!

I will be sharing more of this part of my testimony in a Live video soon as I have felt now is the time, so be on the lookout for that.

In His grace

Amanda Shiflett - Prophetic Reformer

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