The phone rang at 3 o’clock in the morning.

Your name was on my screen.

And I didn’t answer the phone.

Not this time.

Friend, I love you. I know it’s hard for you, and it’s hard for me, too.

Because you just keep choosing him. You keep choosing this life. No matter how many times I carry you out of the ashes—you keep running back into the fire. My arms are just getting tired.

Tired of the back and forth. Exhausted of your need for me.

How many times have your tears soaked my shirt?

How many times have I stood by you?

I have idled in front of your house like a getaway car while you packed your bags and escaped out the door to a better life, only to go back to your broken one days later. I have crawled out of bed countless times, leaving my own family in the middle of the night, just to sit and listen to him scream hateful words at you (many that I won’t spell out).

But then he’s sorry.

He is just so sorry.

And he wins you back.

Just to let you know, though.

He never wins me back.

I see it in your eyes during the good times when you gush about how much he’s changed. You want me to approve. You want me to go on this ride with you. To pretend I don’t see the bruises.

I see the marks, but even worse, I see the real damage. It’s why you keep taking him back time and again.

Your heart has been kicked around, shattered, and put back together so many times that layers of hardened hurt, bitterness, and shame have built around you. Shame for something that was never your fault in the first place.

I know he had a hard childhood (so did you) and I know he struggles with addiction, but just because he is broken, doesn’t give him the right to damage you.

You are the priceless property of God.

Even though he’s convinced you that you’re worthless.

You don’t think you deserve respect. You can’t see what God sees in you—what I see in you.

You are a beautiful creation. Far more precious than rubies or gold.

You are His child.

You are my friend.

I love you, perhaps more now than ever. But I am silencing your calls.

Tonight, I am not answering my phone.

And I am giving it all to God.

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