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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Elephant in the Room (12/05/13)

TITLE: Elephant in the Room (i)
By LaCretia Peters


Elephant in the Room
Going back to church has been so difficult since the divorce. I was so involved before. We went to church every time the doors opened. Ironically, it was all pretend, a hoax.
We were married about six months before the violence began. I think it was placing cups on the wrong level of the kitchen cabinet that resulted in the first bruise. After the forgiving him once, it was as if I had opened Pandora's box. But he never missed church.
Now when I walk into church, I feel as if all eyes are on me. I feel as if I have broken every Christian rule possible and, even though I still love God desperately, I am not sure if He could ever forgive me.
I was taught from early in my Christian walk that divorce is sin. I was taught to submit to my husband. I was taught to forgive and turn the other cheek. When I met my first husband, he seemed to be misunderstood by many people in the church. I had always wanted to meet someone that needed acceptance and to be the one that provided the edification needed to be successful. We dated only a few weeks and he announced to his mother we were getting married. He never asked me. I guess that should have been the first sign. I was embarrassed to protest so I just went along with him. After she left the room, he then said, “Oh by the way, will you marry me?” I can't remember my response. He didn't even have a ring. There was no romance. He didn't even get down on one knee. I guess that should have been a sign.
Now I've remarried. I love my husband. He is kind and gentle. He would never raise his voice to me, much less his hand to hurt me. He laughs at all my jokes. He tells me that I'm pretty and that he loves me every day.
Here's what I'm not sure God can forgive. Not only did I divorce my first husband, but before the first divorce was finalized, I decided to have a baby with my new husband. He had asked me to marry him after only two months of dating. He knew it would take a while to finalize things. I was having to pay for the divorce on my own while trying to care for my son. He didn't care. He just wanted us to be together forever. All I wanted was to be his wife and start my life anew with a great man. I didn't want my abuser to take another day of my happiness.
I discarded God's rules. At first, I associated all the hurt with God and church. It was hard to even think about God without thinking about the violence. I often got hit right before church and would have to go and sing on the Praise and Worship team. I fulfilled my responsibilities at church many Sunday mornings after a beating, as long as I had been hit where the bruises were not visible.
Now, as I walk back into church for the sake of my new family, I feel like all eyes are on me, like the elephant in the room. I expect the ceiling of the church to fall on my head because I am disgracing God's presence by entering His house. I feel as if I'm pretending I belong in church all over again, another hoax. But my heart wants to thank God for His mercy and for giving me another chance at happiness. But maybe I should just do this from home. So I go through the motions and then find a reason not to return to that church.
I have learned as I reject church after church that my sin is not the elephant in the room as much as my fear. My fear of rejection and shame keeps me prisoner and separates me from God. So every day I pray to be forgiven. Every day I pray for courage. Every day I pray for a kind heart to reach inside and pull me out of the fear. Today I will continue to believe God has forgiven me and wait for the light at the end of the tunnel. Will there be someone to help me return to a place where I can feel worthy to worship God in public again?
Today I will trust you, O Lord.

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This article has been read 243 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Amelia Brown 12/12/13
Your story speaks volume, and the MC's voice is the voice of many who don't have the courage to speak up.
My only observation would be to insert space between paragraphs & vary paragraph length to make for better reading.
If it's a true story, then I commend the author for speaking up. Thank God He is not like us, for when we aren't willing to forgive....He is. Also, this entry is very well written to topic. Keep writing.
lynn gipson 12/13/13
Honey, let me tell you, (if this is about you) there is no sin God won't forgive. Just pour your heart out to him, and let the healing begin. I speak from experience. I am a recovering alcoholic of 25 years now, and a manic depressive to boot. God restored me from both. I have a checkered past, and I know with all my being I have been forgiven, and so have you. Accept His love and forgiveness and love going to Church again. Enjoy your child, who is a blessing, and enjoy your new life. Jesus wants nothing more than that for you!
lynn gipson 12/13/13
Oh, by the way. Your story is well written. Just space between paragraphs from now on. Great job!
Sheldon Bass 12/13/13
You ended your piece with the right attitude of trusting God. No matter what our feelings tell us, no matter what anyone may say, no matter how things may appear, it is what God says in His word that is the truth. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (! John 1:9 KJV) Praise God!

Your story is a familiar one. It is repeated many times across the world year after year, and I've counselled many divorcees as well as couples.

Though I'm a man, I was in an a abusive marriage, being manipulated and controlled by emotions. It even became physical abuse from her. I got out of there! And God said yes, go! I am very happily married today. Ignore, but love those who look down on you. There is great healing found by forgiving those who mistreat and despitefully use us.

Don't let Satan isolate you from the body of Christ. Your spiritual family. Together we are stronger and he knows that. I finally found the "right church" when I stopped looking for acceptance from people. God has already accepted me and you. I looked for a church where I could be of service to others. the very first one was it, and I've been here for 10 years now.

The Son is risen with healing in His wings!
Judith Gayle Smith12/16/13
My heart breaks with yours. We share similar incidents of abuse, but mine were mental and emotional. I found peace and acceptance in Jesus, the Christ.

We home church, but there are times I long to join with others in praising God. . .

Please "throw a brick" for others to enjoy, comment and support your writing:


Hebrews 10:26-31 KJV
Karlene Jacobsen12/16/13
Remember the story of the woman caught in adultery? Or the woman at the well? Jesus loved, both of them -- passionately -- and extended his mercy and grace. This is something too often we forget. His grace, His ways, His ability to forgive and embrace us is far beyond our human understanding.

I appreciate you sharing this story.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 12/20/13
Wow this piece just rips at my heart. I so understand where the MC is coming from and wish I could reach through the screen and hug her.

I've also wondered how Jesus can ever forgive me too. I can see him forgiving horrible people like Hitler, but me? Of course, Jesus has forgiven you if you have invited him into your heart, repented, and asked him. He knows how hard it is to be human.

There are so many intricate details in God's Plan and we only know a tiny bit. I believe Jesus chose Mary to be the mother of Jesus because Jesus could relate to all the children in the future who were born out of wedlock. He can relate to all the young girls or women who have a baby before being married because of his connection with his own mother. Jesus knows.

I'm not sure if this is a true testimony or fiction, but if it is true, I wonder how you would answer me when I said that I can believe Jesus can forgive Hitler but not me. Too bad we can't take our own advice huh?

I think this is a powerful piece and with some tweaking and editing I think you should send it into a women's magazine. It is something everyone thinking about marriage should read. I'd entitle it: That Should've Been a Sign

God bless and hold your head high as you enter this most Holy season. He came for you, and if you were the only person he could have saved, he still would have come--just for you! This is a great piece. I can't wait to read more of your work next year.

Over the break, check out Jan's Writing Basics in the forums. She gives excellent advice and has many threads that are helpful for all levels of writers.