This week we’re sharing part two of Amy Straley’s hard story of an abusive 17 year marriage which finally ended in divorce and then her entering into the dating scene and all of the struggles that entailed, especially as she was trying to parent two teen kids. Last time we had to stop in the middle of Amy’s story where she was sharing about breaking up with a man she’d dated for about two years. But when she did he began stalking her, calling her from different phone numbers and contacting her through different email addresses. He was extraordinarily manipulative. It’s a gut-wrenching tale of sorrow. But today she shares the rest of her story about how she finally surrendered her life to Jesus and then rebuilt her home into one that is now healthy and whole. I so appreciate Amy’s vulnerability these last two episodes and know her willingness to share will encourage others going through some of the same hard things.
Highlights and Quotes From Amy
“If you’re Biblically literate and don’t know the Lover of your soul, you’re not there yet. Keep going.”
“There’s power in praying God’s Word back to God.”
“You know Satan wants to destroy our families, he wants to destroy us, he wants to destroy our children, he wants to destroy the ability of God to bless future generations through us.”
“Obedience doesn’t make your life perfect… it makes your life more difficult. What obedience does is it allows you to build that trust relationship with God.”
Resources and Recommendations From Amy
Amy’s advice to women who are dating is to ask the right questions in the beginning. It would have saved her much heartache.
Get a daily Bible reading and pray and read every day. Get your writing utensils out and start journaling.
For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. – John 3:17
You can find Amy’s blog, Stepping Brave at AStraley.net and on Instagram at a_straley.
Here is a message and prayer from Amy for you to pray over your children:
Then our sons in their youth will be like well watered plants, and our daughters will be like pillars carved to adorn a palace (Psalm 144:12 NIV).
Father establish my son firmly in the knowledge of who You are. When all else gives way, help Him to know that You will not give way. Grow Him strong, even in unlikely places. Help Him to know where His strength comes from. Sustain him and allow him to bring kingdom fruit, to your glory.
Father establish my daughter, make her strong and wise, ever seeking Your presence. Make her beautiful from the inside and out. Help her stand upon the foundation of who You are.
The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty warrior who saves. He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by His love; He will exult over you with loud singing (Zephaniah 3:17 ESV).
Father God, you and only you can save my children. You, the mighty warrior who stays close. Come and quiet their hearts with your strong hand, calm their thoughts and make them confident in who they are in You. Open their ears to hear Your song orchestrating their lives.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope for a future. Then you will call upon me and come
and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all of your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the LORD (Jeremiah 29:11-14 NIV).
Father God, You know the plans you have for my son and for my daughter, good plans. Give me the wisdom to trust them completely in your hands, without meddling, without forcing. Give me wisdom to let them be who you have designed for them to be, to follow the plans You have set for them. Give my son and my daughter an ache in their heart until they turn to seek You. Grant them endurance to seek You until they find You. Open their hearts, minds and mouths to call to You.
I will bring him near and he will come close to me. For who is he who will devote himself to be close to me? (Jeremiah 30:21 NIV).
Father God, bring my son and my daughter close. Give them a heart of devotion for Jesus Christ. Place in each of them a desire to be near you.
May Your deeds be shown to Your servants, Your splendor to our children. May the favor of the LORD our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us – yes, establish the work of our hands (Psalm 90:16-17).
Father God reveal your splendor to my son and to my daughter. Delight each of them, revealing Yourself in ways that amaze their hearts to the wonder of You. Establish the work of their hands, weaving all things together for their good and your glory (Romans 8:28).
The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the age of God (2 Corinthians 4:4).
Father God keep my son and my daughter from being blinded by culture. Reveal to them truth and give them strength to walk in it.
These are just a few of the verses that have been prayed over my children. There are so many more. Paul’s letters are full of verses about walking the Christian faith, David’s Psalm’s are full of emotional cries and pleas to the faithfulness of the Father. God is so good. He longs to bless us and our children, our grandchildren, our great grandchildren and so on with His purpose and holy presence.
A few resources that were helpful to me as I walked a path of redemption:
The Way of Abundance, Ann Voskamp
My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers
Beautiful Battlefields, Bo Stern
Reading through the Bible in a year (various plans)
Listen to From Abuse to Abundance: God’s Faithfulness Through Divorce Part 2 with Amy Straley