I was looking around my room for my journal so I could head out the door for church. I picked up a journal I hadn’t used in a while and thought, “I should give this away if there are enough blank pages.” So I skimmed through it and found a journal entry I wrote on November 19th, 2016.
Before reading, I tried to remember if that was during or after the “tough season.” I thought a second and made a mental note. It was roughly six months after. I then began to read.
“Dear Lord, Good Morning! I have a lot of questions for you… I need your direction and perspective. I just had a crazy thought, but it’s true… the devil is an abuser. Just like an abuser repeats your faults back to you and makes you feel worthless — that’s what he does. He humiliates, destroys, and maligns any character quality you are seeking to become.”
This month, I wrote six blogs on Domestic Violence Awareness Month for one of my clients. One blog took me back. I was explaining how the victim often feels trapped. Although I did not experience domestic violence, I did experience abuse (mental, emotional, and spiritual), which is a precursor to violence. I don’t say that lightly. Truth be told, I hate to say that because it feels weak or dramatic, but after counseling, research, and verification from others, that’s what it was. It still feels like I should have known better, but when it comes from someone you know well— you think to yourself— it can’t possibly be abuse because I’ve known them for so long.
Why do I bring all this up? Before I answer that, I want to read you what I wrote next in my journal. It’s like I took a moment to talk to myself in the middle of my prayer. This is what I wrote…
“But don’t focus on the abuser — he’s wasted enough time— focus on God.”
Before this journal entry, I wrote down these verses:
“He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the Lord was my support. He brought me out into a spacious place; He rescued me because He delighted in me.”
2 Samuel 17-20
“The Lord is righteous within her; He will do no injustice, every morning He brings His justice to light. He does not fail.”
“The Lord is kind and merciful. He is patient and full of love.”
I bring this up because I don’t carry the weight of the awful words spoken over me when I look back on those horrible days. How I was treated at times doesn’t determine who I am. Did I think I would never be whole again? Yes. Did I know how I was going to get through it then? No, but looking back, I see the grace and the kindness of God who rescued me because He delighted in me. He loved me back to life. Because after getting out from under that abuse, I felt lifeless.
The enemy wants to do the same thing in our lives. He wants to render us useless, lifeless. He wants to hold us captive through our fears, our past, by what was spoken over us, through abuse, hurts, and hang-ups.
God wants to set us free. To show us who we are in Him so that when our character is attacked, our insecurities rise, or when others speak ill of us, we are anchored in Him. We are anchored in truth. Going through that tough season showed me kindness I had never known before. For that, I will forever be grateful.
So in this month of awareness, I want to focus on the one who rescued me. The one who took me out of a dark place and set my feet upon the rock — God. I couldn’t stand for a while, but He nursed me back to life and surrounded me with family and friends who helped me along the way.
“You are good and do good; teach me your statutes.” Psalm 119:68