The sister missionaries in our ward asked my husband and I to go with them to visit an investigator tonight. I thought it was kind of weird that they would randomly pick us, but we happily fulfilled their request.
As we sat with this woman and her 15 month old son, she started talking about the troubles she's been having lately. She just recently left her husband who has been abusing her for five years. I sat and listened while my test tightened and burned and urged me to open my mouth and let her know that I understood every feeling of loneliness, pain, fear, betrayal, and guilt that she explained.
Eventually, I gave in. I told her that I had a similar experience. I shared some insights that helped me get through my own trials. I wanted to give her advice and tell her what I thought she should do, but I knew what she really needed was to talk. I listened, only stopping her when she tried to justify her husband's actions or put herself down. It is far too common for women in these situations to blame themselves. I did. But it's not our faults.
I know that our sister missionaries were definitely inspired to ask my husband and I to be there tonight, because they had no idea that I had ever been married before I had my current husband. They had no idea that I would have this strong connection to this investigator. But now I know that I have completely moved on from my past and can use it to help others. I have accidentally found meaning in the pain that I felt so overwhelmed by and lost in for so long. I hope to continue to help her and others.