I Had to Win for My Daughter

“I had to win for my daughter.”

Set Free: How a Jiu Jitsu World Champion Found Jesus
By: Nicole Allum

The very first night my husband left me, I danced through the empty house with a freedom I hadn’t felt in years.  The atmosphere was emptied of his oppressive presence.  

In the months leading up, he verbally abused me when I got into a car accident, threatened to dump gasoline on my garden if I didn’t submit to him, and broke into my locked bedroom at night to sleep deprive me before work.  

He stayed away some weekends while I took care of our baby, juggling being in the military, going to school, and training to compete in jiu jitsu.  

In that impossible pressure, my body started to break.  The yoke I carried was too heavy for one woman to carry.  

I hired a lawyer, but after a few months of separation, my soon to be ex-husband started planting seeds of doubt about my lawyer’s competency. His behavior was suddenly nice, and I held onto hope that he had finally changed and we could be amicable co-parents.  

With my lawyer fired, a week or so before our divorce, he started acting up again.  My hope that we could work together to do what was best for our daughter soon gave way to dread as I realized nothing had changed and I had been tricked into signing the paperwork his lawyer had drafted, and I was agreeing for my daughter to spend 50% of days with her dad.  He played nice long enough to get what he wanted, but his heart was still the same as it always was.

I had gotten free from him, but my daughter couldn’t.  She would have to grow up with the man who abused her mother.  

I still fight regret that I didn’t keep my lawyer and fight for more custody.  My good will and hope clouded good judgment.  I trusted an untrustworthy man, and my daughter had to pay the consequences. 

I’ve been to court twice since to try to get primary custody, and I have yet to get the time-sharing changed.  I didn’t fight against a bad person, and my child would have to pay the consequence.

Regret for not fighting for what was right manifested itself in my jiu jitsu.  I had fought for my daughter through the justice system to no avail, and all I could do was fight people on the mats of a jiu jitsu gym.  I carried so much rage over what was done to me, and my helplessness in doing anything to change things for my daughter.  

My ex-husband would use my daughter as a way to control and manipulate me, and without any recourse to stop the mental and emotional torture, I found myself screaming to shatter the atmosphere of oppression that suffocated me day by day.  I was powerless to stop the injustice.  

Whenever I competed, I carried the rage I had for my ex-husband.  All the pain and heartache and wrath that I had over the problems in my life came out on my opponent.  I became a World Champion fighting my ex-husband in my heart.  

My daughter was everything to me.  There was no me without her.  I found out I was pregnant a day after my birthday when I checked into a mental health inpatient facility with suicidal ideations.  My husband had broken me the night before, and I was empty of any will to fight.  

Everything changed when I found out she was living inside me.  Suddenly I had a reason to live.  I had a reason to fight.  The love I had for my daughter trumped any suffering I had to endure for her sake.  

But as much as I love my daughter, the love of God for her is even greater.  He sent His only Son to be tortured and crucified so that she could be free.  Jesus died so that I could be restored from the trauma I endured.  He died so that my abuser could be forgiven for the abuse.  

The love of God surpasses any human kind of love.  He had a painful love for us.  There’s healing and restoration and redemption and forgiveness available, if only we would surrender to the Power of what Jesus did for us on the cross.  

He fought for us.  He had to win for us, because there was no other who could overcome death, hell, and the grave.  We couldn’t fight for ourselves, so He came and fought for us.  

Living as a follower of Christ is a constant battle against the works of hell, but we have the power and authority to win ever time because Jesus already overcame the world.  And when we win, our children can share in our victories.  There are battles they won’t have to fight if we are faithful to fight for them.  

If we don’t stand up and fight, and war and win, then our children inherit an oppression we failed to overcome.  

I made that mistake once.  I won’t make it again.  

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