Hi! I’m back! Sometimes after addressing heavier topics, my soul needs time to step back and recharge. That, combined with the busyness of the holidays-plus getting the kids back into the groove of school-hopefully explains my absence.
In recent months, we have gone through some things in our family that have caused a lot of old feelings and emotions to resurface. Things that I thought were buried, have come back full-force, and I have been doing a lot of thinking on the topic of abuse. As you may have read in a previous post (and if you haven’t, you can read it here), I was in an abusive relationship in my early twenties. I know that there are many, many more people who have dealt with the same type of emotional abuse than we think, and I also believe that there are many women in abusive situations that have not identified that the said relationship is, indeed, abusive. However, shining a light on abusive relationships is not the intent of my post this evening. Tonight, I would like to share my thoughts and my journey from being a victim of emotional abuse to being a victor.
Webster defines a victim as:
(1): one that is acted on and usually adversely affected by a force or agent ; (2): one that is subjected to oppression, hardship, or mistreatment (a): frequent victim of political attacks or (b): one that is tricked or duped
I would 100% agree with you if you were to tell me that I was a victim of abuse. The narcissistic, twisted logic of my abuser made me feel as though my world was literally flipped upside down. There were days where I felt that I was going crazy, and I often wondered why I felt that way. It wasn’t until much later, that I shook off that fog and acknowledged the abuse.
As a side note, check out THIS video! It perfectly, 100% sums up my previous relationship…just to give a little bit of an idea of my background on this topic.
I will also readily admit that I lived with the victim mentality for a couple years. I’m not saying that that was wrong. I actually believe that you HAVE to identify yourself as a victim in order to break free of abuse. However, I have learned over the years, that I do not have to remain the victim.
Webster also defines another word. This word is one of my favorites. Victor.: one that defeats an enemy or opponent : winner.
My biggest opponent in the aftermath of abuse have been the scars that were left on my soul. Well, maybe not scars at first. Wounds. There is just something about abuse that leaves gaping wounds on your heart, and leaves you susceptible to all sorts of pain-mentally, physically, and spiritually. But, as I have learned, wounds can be healed. Scars remain, but, to me, they are reminders of what I have been able to overcome. BUT! I did not overcome my demons on my own. Believe me, I tried to heal my own hurts, and it left me in some pretty dangerous (and incredibly stupid) situations. The single thing that helped me overcome my wounds was God. Does that sound cliched? I hope not! Because I know that had it not been for God and His Word, my life would have taken a very different turn, and it is not a stretch to say that I very well might not be here.
One verse that had a tremendous impact on my life was/is 2 Timothy 1:7, “for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” Knowing that God gives a spirit, His spirit, which is comprised of power, love, and self-control was life-changing. In abusive situations, and in the aftermath of our breakup, my life was ruled by fear. Fear of our relationship ending, fear of upsetting my ex, fear that we would never get back together, fear because I didn’t know who I was-all of that disappeared in the light of this verse.
Another verse that will forever be stamped upon my heart is found in Psalm 30:5, “Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.” I think that, in a lot of abusive situations-and especially when you are freed from an abusive situation-there is a period of time where the floodgates of your emotions are open. There were moments where I couldn’t get off of my couch because of all the crying that I did. Countless nights were spent, sleepless, on the couch, because the crying just would not stop. It’s really hard during those times to have faith that joy will ever come your way, but, as you turn your gaze towards the true lover of your soul, joy-His joy-does return. I don’t have a specific day, time, place when that joy returned to me, but I can assure you that, as you allow God to bear your burden, He will give you His joy in return.
The last Bible verse that had a tremendous impact on my life on my journey from victim to victor is Philippians 4:6-7, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
That peace, the peace of God, does truly surpass all understanding. Even now, several years, a wonderful husband, and 5 children removed from that time in my life, the peace of God continues to amaze me. Does that mean that all my days are peaceful? Nope. Does that mean that everything in my life is perfect or that I don’t struggle some with my past? No, but, I can assure you, that even in the midst of my chaotic life, I know that the peace of God can and will guard my heart and my mind.
So what’s your story? I don’t know where you are at in your life or what wounds and scars you bear. Maybe your experience is similar to mine, maybe not. The beautiful thing about the Word of God though is that the truths that it contains are applicable to everyone, in every situation, every day of your life. I will forever be grateful for those who prayed for me during those dark moments, and I will forever be eternally grateful for the One who continues to guard my heart and mind and who holds my life in His hands. Reader, if you are struggling, if you need someone to talk to, to pray for you, please let me know.
2 Thessalonians 3:16, “Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.”