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The Final Straw!



I'd been mistreated for the last time! Six years of my life were wasted and I was fed up. The words "I'm sorry" and "please forgive me" didn't mean a thing anymore. I'd finally decided to leave my husband and file for a divorce. When I met Tony back in 1989, he represented himself as a Christian man. He was a deacon in the church and a very hard worker. After years of shacking and fornicating, our families talked us into "making it right". Although I was totally against the idea, they somehow persuaded me into setting a wedding date. I encouraged myself to go along with the marriage because Tony was an excellent provider and he loved me without a doubt.

Blessed with a brand new Ford Probe and a GMC truck, a spacious two bedroom apartment completed our ready-made family. His son was six months older than my son and we were financially stable. Outsiders believed we were the perfect couple since we were young and trying to live a Christian life. I was fresh out of high school, my husband was in his mid twenty's, and we attended church regularly to worship the Lord. Every Thursday, after cashing his check, Tony brought his money home and laid it on the coffee table. I calculated the bills, took what was necessary, and divided the remaining funds between the two of us. Since he made twice as much as I did, my checks were used for savings and shopping.


Suddenly, everything took a turn for the worse. Tony's hypocritical lifestyle became transparent. He began to drink compulsively on Saturday nights, then go to church and speak in tongues on Sunday mornings. He always condemned others, telling them how to live their lives, but never took his own advice. When people tried to confront him about his hypocrisy, he used Bible scriptures to support his phony ways. It seemed as if he was taking advantage of God's mercy and grace. As time went by, Tony started to abuse me mentally and physically. From childish name calling and shoving matches....to choking, punching and repeatedly stomping me. Since I was a babe in Christ, I started to feel ashamed of going to church. Although the Bible confirmed that the man should be the head of the household, I felt as if Tony was leading me down the road to damnation.


1 Timothy 3:5

(For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)

One Saturday evening, Tony came home with liquor on his breath. He always poured gin inside the orange juice bottle so people wouldn't notice he was drinking. This was becoming a routine habit so I confronted him about it.


"Tony, have you been drinking AGAIN?" I asked.

"Nope..." He lied through his teeth.

"Yeah right...You said you were not going to drink that mess anymore, but it seems like every time you leave, you come back with that stuff in your system. I'm not going to church tomorrow, so don't even ask. I'm tired of living like a hypocrite!"

"We are not hypocrites, we were born into a sinful world. We all have come short of the glory of God." He quoted.


He always had a comeback with the Word Of God, but he was using it to justify his actions instead of correct them. I knew his favorite scripture was Romans 3:23, but I also knew that we were not doing the right thing.


"Whatever! All I know is we ain't living right. You can't tell me that God is pleased with us drinking, and fighting every weekend, then getting up running to church every Sunday morning trying to teach Sunday School. I'm tired of it! God don't want us to be lukewarm Christians!"

Revelation 3:16

So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth,

I must have struck a nerve, because suddenly Tony was possessed with anger and he pushed me into the wall. Who would have thought that something that simple would have turned him into a raging lunatic?


"See, I knew it, I knew you were going to do it again! You think you are going to push me around every time I say something you don't like? You must be out of your mind Tony!" I felt an unavoidable fight coming therefore I grabbed the phone and called my grandmother.

"Mama, he's over here pushing on me and trying to fight just because I told him that I don't want to be a hypocrite. Yeah, he always pull this when he starts drinking and I'm tired of him trying to push me around....ok.. uh huh" I calmed down. "Here Tony, get the phone because she wants to talk to you" I passed the phone to him.

"Hey grandma," He pretended to be sober. "I ain't doing nothing to her, she is the one over here pushing on me!"

"Stop LYING so much!!!" I yelled as I paced the floor back and forth.


The more I listened to him lie to my grandmother, the angrier I became. Everyone thought this guy was perfect and they believed he could do no wrong. After I sat on the couch and began to listen to the lies he fed to her, my blood pressure arose. My heart pounded faster and faster as I was filled with hostility. Before I knew it, I snatched the phone out of the wall, took the handpiece, and commenced to striking him with it.

"I hate you.....I hate you!" I cried as I continuously beat him across the head.

After taking many blows to the head, Tony grabbed my wrist and snatched the phone out of my hand. He towered over me with the handpiece in his right hand. Since he stood 5'11" and weighed two hundred and ten pounds, I knew he was about to let me have it therefore I extended my forearm to protect my face and awaited to be knocked unconscious. Instead of hitting me with the phone, he threw me on the floor and stomped my ribs until he was tired.

"Racheal, I'm sorry.. I will never do it again.... I promise" He proclaimed.

"Just leave me alone!" I cried.


He picked me up, carried me to the bedroom and laid me on the bed to rest. As the liquor began to wear off, he left the apartment in his truck.


"He should have thought twice before he stomped me." I told myself.


I laid in the bed all evening feeling sorry for myself. I asked God "why me?" I wondered what I did to deserve it. I made excuses for him by saying "I shouldn't have called him a hypocrite". Although I was weak and stressed, my plan was to kill him before morning. I knew the Bible simply stated THOU SHALT NOT KILL, but I felt I had no other way out.

I pretended to be sleep when Tony arrived home. He rested on the couch until he drifted off to sleep. After I knew he was sound asleep, it was time to make my move. I slipped on my clothes, put on my tennis shoes, and proceeded with my plan. I eased to the living room and flipped on the light. He always slept on his back, so I had to move quickly. Since I didn't have a gun, I had to go with the next best thing. I tiptoed to the kitchen drawer and pulled out the longest knife I could find. I strolled back into the living room and stood over him. Tears filled my eyes as I positioned the knife under his throat. I stood there for a moment wondering if he was worth spending my life in prison. "Vengeance is mine," said the LORD. "I'm fed up! I can't live like this God." I told the LORD. As I battled with myself in my spirit, his eyes slowly opened.


"Racheal.....what are you doing?" He questioned.

"I hate you!" I responded in a demonic voice.

"I'm sorry Racheal....let's talk about it."

"Nah, I can't take this any more!" I cried with the knife pressed firmly against his throat.

"Racheal.... listen to me. Put the knife down. Please?" He sounded sincere.


I pushed the knife further and further into his throat until I started shaking furiously. "Vengeance is mine," the LORD repeated. Finally, I dropped the knife on his chest and walked back into the bedroom and closed the door. At that point, I didn't care what happened, I just wanted out. When he came through the door, I was prepared for the worse. I didn't want to fight anymore. I wanted to be free. I wished that he would have just killed me, because I was tired of fighting. Instead of granting my wish, he sat on the bed beside me, looked me in the eyes, and hugged my neck. I burst into tears because I knew that if it wasn't for the liquor, he would have never acted that way. Once again, I forgave him and hoped that it would never happen again.

As time progressed, we continued to have our ups and downs. The apologies grew old and I became bitter. Since I didn't know much about the Word, I just said "LORD help me!"

Thanksgiving day was the last straw...



------
Racheal Stribling



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