Feb 24, 2010 I got married to my first husband after dating for 5 years. After just one year of marriage I could see his real character begin to come out. He was very temperamental, addicted to drinking, and gambling a lot. I tried to stop him but he would just say, “I provide for you so I can do what I want”. He would often hit me if I complained about his behavior. I never told my family about the abuse out of embarrassment. I also felt guilty that I was not able to get pregnant and give him a baby.
Over time things just grew worse. By January 2016 he would leave for days at a time with no explanation. Then on one occasion I finally had enough. After being gone for three days with his friends without telling me where they went or what they were doing, I told him and he and his friends were fake. Like hypocrites. One of them was a deacon in his church, but outside the church he is wasting all his money on gambling. My husband said, “I reject what you say” and he hit me in front of them all. He hit me many times. Then one of his friends took the dining table and put the leg of the table on top of my hand to crush it as I lay beaten and humiliated on the ground. Then my husband asked me to apologize. But I refused because I was not the one in the wrong. Then his family came because one of the family members lives close to our village. They made matters worse by adding insults to me. They said “you are useless, you cannot even give your husband a baby.” Then they said to my husband, “It’s better that you just divorce her”. After that incident things continued to grow even worse. One day they literally grabbed my hands and pulled me out of the house telling me to leave while many neighbors looked on. But no one stepped forward to help me or defend me. Then in front of the neighbors he slapped my face. I passed out right then and there. I don’t know what happened after that.
Two days later he called my family and told them I had been in an accident. When my family arrived they were confused, asking why I had not been taken to the hospital. So my mom decided to take me to the hospital herself. My body was covered in bruises. The doctor told my mom that the bruising came from blunt force trauma. Not from an accident, but from abuse. I was in I.C.U. for a month. When I woke up from my unconsciousness, I was partially paralyzed.
The worst part is, my husband never came to visit me the entire time I was hospitalized. He never even called to ask about me. So my family made a police report. And the police arrested him.
My doctor advised me to get physical therapy because my nerves were damaged. My mom could not afford to pay the hospital bill. She was forced to sell her house to pay the bill. When I came home from the hospital, I had to be carried to the bathroom for the first week as I was still partially paralyzed.
One night I cried out to God. Suddenly I saw my bedroom filled with light. God spoke to my heart and said to me, “I know what you are going through My daughter”. That moment gave me strength. The next morning I was able to walk. God was beginning to restore me.
But my ex-husbands family was still angry that he was in jail. They were not apologizing to me, but started terrorizing me and my family. Then my family decided to fly me to central Java. I stayed there with my brother. I began searching for a job. One day I got a call from Batam Island that they had a job for me. So I flew to Batam and began working as an elementary school teacher with a small salary. Although I was working, I still felt empty inside. I was even beginning to get angry with God. I told God He was not just. I began to rebel against God. I asked God why he allowed all this to happen to me. Then I realized there are many people struggling like me.
It was during this low time in my life that God sent Susan Galbraith into my life. I followed Susan on Instagram. I reached out to her because I did not have many friends in Batam to talk to. I had never met her before, but only knew her through mutual friends. Then one day on February 2017 I opened my Instagram and poured out my problems to Susan. She took time to minister to me even though she never met me before. She told me I had to forgive myself, forgive my ex-husband and surrender everything to God and pray and watch what God will do. Then one day Susan called me to follow up with me. She prayed for me over the phone. I began to cry as God was touching my heart through her. Thank God in August 2017 Susan and Gary visited Batam and I got to meet them for the first time. They were a God-send to me. They listened and prayed over me. Tear of healing poured down my face as they prayed for me. I will never forget that day.
Slowly I learned to pray and forgive my ex-husbands and his family. I forgave them and made a decision to go to Medan to visit the police station and release him from jail. I told the police I no longer wanted to press charges. His family came to the police station and still put me down like before. Then my family asked me to finish my relationship with him and his family.
I was alone, but I believed God would watch over me and restore my life completely. Then by God’s grace, I was promoted to be vice-principal of the school where I worked. God was working. One day I received divorce papers from my ex-husband. I know God allowed all this to happen. I accepted it and gave thanks to God. Then my family began to encourage me more and more.
In March of 2018 I received a message from Instagram. We had a Christian group on Instagram where we could talk to other believers. This guy sent me a message from that group and asked if we could talk and pray together. In June 2018 we finally got to meet for the first time. He brought me to meet his family. We had good communication together. He said I was the answer to his prayers. He really loves Jesus and that is what I love about him the most. He has a beautiful daughter and has also been through a divorce. Together God gave us a new beginning. God sent me the best man who fears the Lord.
One day he proposed to me and I said “YES”! We got married on February 19, 2019. We now live in dependence upon Jesus as our foundation.
My life was once really painful. But God has lifted me up and brought healing in my life. Through all my struggles God never left me. He even sent people like Sister Susan and pastor Gary to strengthen me along the way.
I found one answer through my problems: The answer is to forgive the people who hurt you. I have seen the power of forgiveness work in my life. God’s plans are good and never fail. I saw His hand at work. He restored my life. Praise be to our God!
Santi - Jogjakarta Indonesia