She Prayed for the Courage to Stand Up to Her Ex-Husband

A golden sword inside gave her the heaven-sent strength to confront him.

Posted in , Apr 27, 2022

Illustration by Jesus Sotes

Suzie, my terrier, lay down on the rug in my parents’ living room and looked at me with her sad, brown eyes. “She misses her doghouse,” I told Mom. “She loved it. I could barely drag her out of it to come inside, even when it was raining. It was her favorite place in the world.”

I sighed. Suzie’s doghouse wasn’t lost. I knew exactly where it was. Sitting in the backyard of the apartment house where my ex-husband lived. When Suzie moved into my parents’ house, I hadn’t realized how much she’d miss her old hangout. But when I said I wanted to pick it up, my ex-husband refused.

“You should just go get it,” my mother said. “You always let him push you around.”

It sounded easy to her. She hadn’t been behind the scenes while the relationship was imploding. She hadn’t witnessed the psychological games and emotional abuse I had endured. How I was always second-guessing myself, even when I was sure I was being the reasonable one. Now, with the divorce all but finalized, things had only gotten worse. My ex-husband knew that by hurting Suzie, he was hurting me. Once again I felt unable to stand up for myself.

I went upstairs to the guest room to meditate. I sat quietly waiting, hoping for guidance or a sign from God. The thought of defeat crossed my mind. Then something far more powerful entered it. A vague brightness slowly took shape until a golden sword seemed to glow within me. It was strong and assured and everything I needed to be, everything God wanted me to be. “Are you telling me to get that doghouse?” I asked. No voice spoke, but the glowing image was all the answer I needed.

“I’ve got to take care of something,” I called to Mom. Before I lost my nerve, I drove over to the apartment. I talked to God the whole way there, staying focused on my mission. A feeling of empowerment grew inside me as the golden sword glowed.

My legs shook as I walked up to the apartment building. “Okay, Lord,” I said. “It’s now or never. Let’s do this.”

My ex-husband stuck his head out of an upstairs window. “What are you doing here?”

I froze and almost ran back to my car, but the golden sword flashed before my eyes. “I came to pick up Suzie’s doghouse for her.”

In a moment my ex-husband was outside, towering over me. He yelled, he swore, he created a scene. In the past, I would have tried to calm him or backed down, but not this time. Finally he yelled, “Get out of here or I’ll call the police!”

“Go ahead,” I said. “Call them.”

His eyes darted away, as if he was searching for another way to scare me off. I remained calm and centered. Nothing he could say or do would rattle me. He must have seen in my eyes that this time his tactics wouldn’t work. Finally he gave in and acquiesced. I got back in my car and followed behind his truck with Suzie’s doghouse loaded in the back of it. I felt positively euphoric, the golden sword inside me shining brightly.

“That was good of him to bring it over,” Mom said as Dad guided the doghouse to its new spot in their yard. Suzie came running out excitedly, her tail wagging. She had her happy place again, and I had found the courage that could only come from God.

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