By Leonie A. Dennis
The beginning of a new year is usually the time when people make new resolutions and plans to start over. Many have good intentions of all the self-improvement they’re going to do once the new year comes. But few may actually do the work to manifest the improvement they desire. Why is this so? I believe the struggle with manifesting the results we want is due to trying to accomplish things in our own strength; thinking that our willpower alone is enough to get the job done. When this doesn’t work, we get frustrated and give up. But what if we were never meant to fix things on our own? What if we could actually manifest the change we desire with some supernatural help? Here are three (3) spiritual keys to starting over after leaving an abusive marriage:
1. Surrender Your Heavy Burdens
Picture yourself walking down a road. At the end of the road is your new life. You’re walking ahead, but the heavy bags you’re carrying is slowing you down. You stop to rest your arms for a while, pick your bags up again, and feel a sense of empowerment. You say, “Yes, I can do this.” But that empowerment is short-lived because soon your arms will get tired again and you will have to stop to regain your strength. This will ultimately slow you down and make the journey to your new life very draining on your body, mind, and soul.
In starting over after leaving an abusive marriage, you first have to unload the toxic baggage. You have to surrender your heavy burdens to your Savior and Redeemer, Jesus (Yahshua) the Messiah. Yahshua said, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest onto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30, KJV). The word yoke in this passage is related to a yoke that is placed upon two animals and attached to a plow. The yoke is used to joined the animals together so they can evenly share the weight of pulling the plow. However, the difference in being yoked with the Messiah is that the weight is uneven. Yahshua takes on the heavy portion (your burdens) and you take on the light portion (his yoke).
Whenever I read these verses, I always think to myself, “How can a yoke be light and easy to bear? If I’m giving my burdens to Yahshua, why do I have to take on his yoke? Isn’t the point of me going to Yahshua is so that I can be set free from all yokes?” But in meditating on these scriptures, I have come to the understanding that our burdens (hurt, pain, disappointment, etc) can become yokes of bondage around our necks. But Yahshua’s yoke brings freedom because his yoke is salvation from dead works. These dead works can become your efforts to mend your own brokenness apart Him. Trying to lift the burden from off yourself will eventually leave you more weary and likely to give up. But if you surrender your heavy burdens to Yahshua and replace it with his yoke of freedom from dead works, you will have the stamina to walk on the road to your new life, and likely at a faster pace.
2. Partner With the Holy Spirit
If you’re a believer in Yahshua the Messiah, you also have another co-laborer through the indwelling presence of the Ruach Ha Kodesh (Holy Spirit). The Holy Spirit is willing and able to help you heal and start your life over after coming out of a toxic relationship. In John 14:16-18 (KJV) Yahshua said these words, “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Some translations use the word Helper or Advocate in place of Comforter. Each of these words embody the same meaning, and that is you have supernatural support from the Kingdom of Heaven.
The Holy Spirit, who is the Spirit of the Father (Yahweh) and the Son (Yahshua), is there to help you mend the broken pieces of your life and transform you into a new creation. This again confirms that the burden is not yours alone to bear. When you partner with the Holy Spirit, you allow deep to call onto deep — meaning, the vast and deep reservoirs of the Spirit can connect with the depth of your soul where your hurt and pain dwells. This allows the Spirit to get into the crevices of your being to purge you from all the toxic buildup that accumulated as a result of being abused. Remember, you are a spiritual being with a soul who lives inside of a body. In order to truly heal your soul so you can effectively start your life anew, you have to join forces with that which is spiritual.
3. Fast and Pray
Although these are two separate acts, fasting and praying goes hand-in-hand when you’re seeking extreme deliverance. I consider coming out an abusive marriage an event that requires a mighty deliverance because you’ve been under significant duress, and need a strong outpouring of the Spirit in your life to set you free. From my experience, separating from my abusive pastor-husband almost drained the life out of me, and left me feeling void of who I know the Father created me to be. So to get back to a state of being where the Holy Spirit could flow freely through me, I needed to get in touch with my spirit man.
This is where going on a fast comes in because the purpose of a fast is to subject your carnal nature, so you can draw closer to the Father. While you’re fasting, your prayers should be intentional on what you’re seeking deliverance from. In your prayer time, also listen out for what the Spirit is saying. The Spirit could be leading you to pray about something that you didn’t even know was a stronghold in your life or that you weren’t aware was the root cause of a trauma you’ve been dealing with.
I can personally attest to the power of fasting and praying, as this was the part of my healing journey where the yoke of abuse was completely broken. Fasting and praying also broke the soul tie and emotional attachment I had with my ex-husband. After I came off my fast, thinking about my past marriage and the abuse I endured didn’t have any pain, anger or disappointment attached to it; it literally felt like a distant memory; like I had lived a life that was not my own.
So, if you’ve just left your abuser or have been separated or divorced for a while but the damaging effects of abuse still linger in your soul, I encourage you to apply these three (3) spiritual keys to starting over after leaving an abusive marriage. These are things I have done. So if it worked for me, it can certainly work for you too. If Yahweh can completely heal and restore me, He is more than capable of doing the same for you!
Leonie A. Dennis is a spirit-led author who strives to write empowering words that can help pastors’ wives break free from abuse, and become emotionally, mentally, and spiritually whole. Leonie survived emotional, mental, verbal, and spiritual abuse in her past marriage to a pastor, and hopes to use her testimony and writings on her blog, BreakFreePastorsWife.com, to help other women heal.