Today’s post is by Megan Cox, Founder and executive director of Give Her Wings. We are so thankful for Megan’s willingness to share her story with us and pray that God will use her words and ministry to bless you.
That fear . . . that fear that we would not find a place to live was overwhelming.
When I left my European National abusive husband with my children, I did not know what I would be facing. Four suitcases, four favorite toys, four small children, five bibles and 100 Euros in my pocket was all we had. All of our memories, all my former beliefs about marriage, all my future hopes, all of my dashed dreams . . . all of it left behind as we traversed that lengthy flight back to the US and toward the unknown. We had a place to live for three weeks. I was prepared for that. I was prepared for the reverse-culture-shock. I was prepared for the fact that this would all be hard. I was prepared to nurse the children through the time-change. What I was not prepared for was just how agonizingly difficult it would be.
For the next year, my littles and I would bounce around. The places we thought we would find help and comfort brought us the opposite — judgment and pain. For an entire year, I suffered from post-separation abuse, harassment and shock. The PTSD I already had from losing my parents in a car accident took on a life of its own. Stifled all-day tears turned into muffled wails into my pillow at night. Quiet times with Jesus in our tiny 700 square foot home erupted into cries of, “What do I do, Jesus? What DO I DO?” Friends had abandoned me; family had forsaken me. Any “love” that I felt was what seemed to be the hidden desire that I be “loved” back into my abusive marriage. I had sinned by leaving my husband, in their eyes. The fact that they insisted I go back to him told me that my own people believed I deserved the abuse. Everything felt dangerous. And the financial strain was terrifying. Further, our hardship was “proof” to very righteous people that I had sinned in leaving. Christians seemed to love that. And it hurt. Still, seven years later, I fight. I fight the thoughts that creep up . . . This home, this life . . . it could all go away. In the blink of an eye. Here I am, safe now. And yet I wonder how long it will last. Who will turn on me? Who will abandon me?
The fight is a good fight because it thrusts me directly into the arms of Jesus every time.
The pain of my church family gossiping and name-calling and judging was, perhaps, the greatest pain of all. I had loved and served these people. I had watched their babies, brought them meals, worked at the church for several years. And yet I was called a wolf in sheep’s clothing. No one called to ask how we were. No one wanted to hear what had happened. It was as though I was outside the walls of the church . . . outside the temple . . . outside the camp. I was not acceptable, anymore. To them . . . and to myself. My faith was having an intense crisis because I could not find love. And, again, on top of this mind-crackling, numbing, dark pain was the fear that I could not provide for my children. There was no money for an attorney, no money for counseling, no advocate. There was no help . . . yet. It was seven years ago and I still feel the pain acutely. Years of healing and training and counseling and I still remember the betrayal. The aloneness. The suffering. The deep longing to care for my hurting babies and protect them and take the bullets. I was raw with pain from the pain my children were suffering and raw with pain from the arrows I would take so they wouldn’t have to.
This should not be. Not in God’s Church.
When I started writing blogs for other women who were going through the same marked struggles, I realized I was not the only person who had suffered in this way. That there were so many women out there whose faith was also hanging by a thread. Yet I did not see any organizations that were created to help us. And definitely no Christian ones. And I wanted to help.
On my knees, one night, during a torrent of tears, God spoke clearly to me. Megan, I want you to obey Me, no matter your circumstances. On the floor of that tiny kitchen, I decided to raise money for a hurting single mother I knew. She had many children, some sleeping on their floor in a rat-infested home. An educated woman who had fallen on very difficult circumstances. She was trying to teach her children about Jesus. I respected her. I raised money for her. $2000 to be exact. I could not believe God’s pouring out in love for His daughter and her little lambs!
Give Her Wings was born, a non-profit to help single mothers who have left abusive relationships and have been rejected by friends, family, church and have little to no recourse by way of child support or finances. This was the beginning of an incredible journey. For over six years now, Give Her Wings has been able to help hundreds of women (financially and emotionally) feel supported again . . . have a financial buffer and financial relief . . . and, most importantly, find a place where they are loved. The Church. Us. Give Her Wings loving them and showing them that God has not rejected them but Whose love is so big that He would send a group of men and women who will love them like Jesus does.
My deep, life-altering pain has been a high price to pay to become God’s ambassador to these women. And our team is one of tremendous love, grace and mercy. And here we are . . . pressing toward goals, helping more and more women, bring awareness to the fact that God may wreck our lives — WRECK our lives — so we can find Him. The real Him. The deep, loving, well-springing, never-thirsting-again-life in Him. And that is what we do. Bekah, David, Chuck, Audrey, Naomi, Lori, Ruth, Michelle and I . . . it is what we do. We love ridiculously. We give generously. We serve radically. We audaciously ask people to donate. We want to love more and more and more. We want to love like He does. Give Her Wings is a non profit organization that works on behalf of King Jesus. These are our sisters . . . let’s bring them back into the fold. Protect them. Repent of what we have done to them. Heal them.
Megan Cox is Founder and Executive Director of Give Her Wings, Inc., a non profit that helps single mothers who have left abusive relationships. She is author of Give Her Wings: Help and Healing After Abuse and has an MAR in Pastoral Counseling. She is certified in crisis response with the AACC.
Learn more about Give Her wings at giveherwings.com