Wednesday Witness - April Galloway

Welcome to Wednesday Witness!  Please read this week's testimony and be encouraged!  All comments on Wednesday Witness should be encouraging and uplifting. 

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                                         Image: akeeris /

Although I was raised in a Christian home with daily devotionals read at the dinner table every evening, I had a kind of hand-me-down faith.  I simply accepted the teachings of my childhood without much thought.  I was baptized, attended church, took my children to Sunday School, taught Bible School in the summer.  I went through all the motions, but mostly left my faith at the church door.  I don’t mean that I was a hypocrite.  I lived by the teachings because it was expected of me.  But again, it was imposed from the outside.  My religion came from my head, not my heart.

When I was in my early twenties, during the late sixties and early seventies when the whole Nietzsche “God is dead” craze was popular with the younger set, I questioned my faith.  As I tried to consider a world without God, a world controlled only by men, I was horrified.  I couldn’t bring myself to give up on the idea of an all-powerful being that was able to pull us back from the brink when necessary.  But, that fear was also imposed from the outside. 

I still didn’t feel God’s presence within myself. At the time, I was struggling with the failure of my first marriage due, mostly, to my husband’s unreasonable jealousy.  My self-esteem was severely damaged and I was suffering from a deep depression. The only thing stopping me from suicide was the thought of what it would do to my family.  I had three small children.  I was my parent’s only daughter.  Although all four of my brothers were younger than me, they were so protective; you’d have thought I was their baby sister. 

Every time I considered methods of dying, I’d eventually come to the point where a vision of how they’d all deal with my death would make me postpone it again. Each time, I’d tell myself to hold on a little longer.  My greatest fear was the possibility of a mental breakdown.  I felt like I was walking a narrow ridge.  On one side was a steep slope leading to a complete nervous breakdown and, on the other, the cliff of suicide. For more than a year I teetered along, a book in each hand for balance.  Reading was my escape hatch.

My introverted nature didn’t allow me to share my feelings of despair with friends or family.  Things became so dark, that I no longer had the capability to laugh aloud.  The most I could manage was a small smile, supported by the statement, “That’s very funny.”  My own humor had fermented into a very bitter sarcasm that wounded as often as it amused.

Finally, the day came when I was too damaged to survive.  The episode was set off by a phone call from my mother-in-law after a particularly nasty example of my husband’s suspicious behavior the evening before. She started out by saying she just couldn’t accept what he had told her about me last night and wanted to hear my side of what had happened.

For a moment, I couldn’t imagine what she meant.  After a deep breath and a difficult swallow, I managed to ask, “What did he say?”

“He said he caught you in the back seat of a car with someone else,” she replied.

“Did he tell you the kids were there too?  Did he say it was my brother’s car and we were “parked” at a gas station, under their flood lights, so he could get gas or that I was on my way to the Laundromat? Did he tell you that the other man was one of my brother’s fifteen year old friends?”

“No, he didn’t say anything about that.  We know how he gets.  I was sure there was an explanation.  I knew you wouldn’t do what he was telling us.”

I think I thanked her for having more faith in me than her son did.  I hope so anyway.  I don’t really remember.  I have no recall of waking my sons up and getting them off the school either.  My next memory is huddling on a straight chair in the middle of the kitchen.  My knees drawn to my chest, my arms wrapped around my legs as I held my breath and squeezed my eyes shut.  I didn’t dare make a sound.  It would have become a scream and my 3 year old daughter who was still sleeping needed me to stay sane and alive.

As I, literally, held myself together, my mind was spinning.  This was beyond betrayal.  It was bad enough that he had so little trust in me, but to tell such a tale to his family was beyond belief.  That he would outright lie about the circumstances and attempt to destroy my reputation was more than I could stand. 

I could feel pieces of myself breaking loose and being hurled into darkness.   I knew this was the end of life as I had dreamed it.  I imagined myself sobbing and moaning uncontrollably, being carried off in a straight jacket and drugged into submission.  In despair, I called out to the Lord for the first time in my life.  My prayer was a simple one. “Oh, God, please help me.”

As soon as the words were formulated in my mind, I was able to breathe. The terror and confusion were gone as though they’d never been.  I felt a sublime peace such as I had never known before, a joy that filled my whole being.  Finally, I understood what it meant to be touched by the Holy Spirit.

My problems weren’t solved that day, but I was granted the strength to handle them.  That morning began my journey with Christ.  There have been times in my life since that day when I have let myself slip away from Him briefly. However, I know He is always there when I need help handling life’s burdens and sooner or later I pull myself back into His healing embrace.

- April Galloway


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17 Responses to Wednesday Witness - April Galloway

  1. Thank you, April, for sharing such a powerful story! When people fail us, it is indeed comforting, necessary... to reach to a higher place. You are truly an inspiration in so many ways.

    1. Thanks for coming by Lara. I appreciate the kind words and send them right back to you.

  2. Hi April.
    Although I am atheistic, I completely relate to your story because I went thru a similar experience with a necessary divorce from a mentally deranged spouse. I’m so glad you found a relationship with your God which you can draw strength from. We all need more strength. Much love.

    1. Thank you Veronica. I try not to push my faith onto other people. I know some are unable to accept it. My spiritual relationship is the one stability in my otherwise fluctuating life.

  3. Hi, April.

    This is a brave, brave share. Thanks for being here to tell us all about it.

  4. Thanks, Kasie. You're right, it took courage. I've been trying for years to find a way to share it. I appreciate Kirra for letting me use her platform. It gave the whole thing enough distance to let me put it out there.

    I am afraid I'll never be able to speak it aloud in a face to face situation. It just goes to deep.

  5. Thanks, April, for sharing what many have experienced and few have felt able to express. I, too, had a paranoid, manipulative first husband. Thanks to the powers that be, you and I are headed in a different direction today. While I do not believe in your God, I have always said my ability to leave that abusive relationship was my first experience of grace.

  6. April, I am so glad you felt able to share here. I love that so many people can be encouraged by one person's story. I hope that this step will help you to be more able to share in the opportunities God gives you to help people with your experiences.

  7. Not many words. Just letting it sink in. Feeling your courage. Glad you are here to share.

  8. April,
    Your story touched me deeply because of a past life when I was married. You are an amazing woman to ask for help when the people closest to us are supposed to be that help for us. But God does not only help us to be strong - although it may take time. God is within us and likewise we are a part of God's Being. So, truly we are never left alone or without help.
    Thank you for sharing this courageous part of your life.

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