Christian writer and ministry leader, Dr. Antoinette Goodrich, author of On the Road to Destiny, may seem to have her life together now. But there was a time when she was suffering through a cycle of pain and abuse, with no apparent way out.
At 7 years old, her innocence was stolen and her world shattered when she was sexually molested by her uncle at the house where he, her aunt, and cousin lived. “Although that incident was brought to the awareness of my family and my uncle was forgiven, and restored with his promise of never touching me again, the molestation continued, and lasted for the next nine years of my life,” says Goodrich.
That perversion led her on a downward spiral that cast a dark shadow over her life. “These sexual attacks opened a door in my life to sexual promiscuity and I fell into the hands of many men who sensed my sexual drive and youthful vulnerability,” explains Goodrich in an interview with EEW Magazine.
According to the charismatic speaker, whose sermon, “Don’t break down before you break through,” has helped liberate others, the abuse, for a season, did, in fact, break her down. It also opened her up to more abuse—this time, domestic. “After years of being mishandled by men outside of the church arena, at age 17, I met and fell in love with a man who was actively in ministry,” recalls Goodrich.
The two wed on April 15, 1995. She thought she had found her happily-ever-after. But soon, her world came crashing down around her again. “I became a victim of domestic violence for the next 21 years of my life at the hands of my husband,” she says. Despite being brutalized behind closed doors, Goodrich admits she thought her spouse would change each time he apologized.
He never did.
If she believed things couldn’t get any worse, she was wrong. “During my marriage, I was introduced to a business, which was later found to be illegal and fraudulent. I was left holding the bag,” she tells EEW. Goodrich learned that $100,000 had been stolen from the accounts of innocent victims and she took the fall.
“I was arrested and charged with accounts of felony and grand larceny. I was taken to Rikers Island prison where I spent 3 days in general population and had an experience that I’ll never forget. I was facing up to 20 years in prison, but through much prayer and God’s grace upon my life, the charges against me were dropped,” says Goodrich.
After being released, she tried to put her life back together again.
In 2016, after more than two decades of being beaten, Goodrich finally found the strength and courage to escape the violence inflicted upon her by her husband. “I decided that enough was enough,” she says, adding, “and I was no longer going to stay in a marriage where I was being physically, mentally and emotionally abused, and our four daughters would no longer be eyewitnesses to this lifestyle.”
She filed for divorce and has been laser-focused on fulfilling God’s call to ministry since that time.
“I’ve delivered the Gospel both near and far,” she says—something she did “even while going through my storms of life.”
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SOURCE: EEW Magazine – Rebecca Johnson