“And, lo, I am with you always, even until the end of the world.” Matthew 28:20
In 2013, my mother was brave enough to allow me to use her experience as part of the Black and Missing Foundation, Inc. Domestic Violence Awareness blogs. This particular blog touched the lives of many women who are involved in violent relationships. Today, we are sharing my mother’s story again as a beacon of light to show other women that there is life after abuse.
Thirty-five years ago, my mother made a very tough decision. She knew that following through with it would be dangerous, that everything about executing it would be difficult, but she also knew the consequences of staying now outweighed her fear of leaving. So, with the help of family, and God by her side, my mother left my father, the man who had beaten her for over a decade.
When my mother speaks about her marriage now, it’s through the lens of a woman who worked very hard to mend the places within her spirit that were broken by my father. You, too, may find yourself in a situation where you are no longer in danger of being abused, and are ready to begin the process toward healing. My mother shared with me three essential things that helped her navigate this process, and she wanted me to share them with you.
Healing Takes Time Understand that healing won’t happen overnight because the trauma you experienced won’t be easily forgotten. You will need assistance from a counselor or therapist to help you navigate the post-traumatic stress. And you will also need to time to connect with God so he can, “maketh [you] to lie down in green pastures, [and] lead [you] beside quiet waters, [so he may] refresh [your] soul” (Psalm 23:2).
Forgive Forgiveness is more about you than the person that hurt you, and it is essential for healing because the very act releases you from the past. God knows about the beatings and the psychological agony you endured while in relationship with the person that abused you. He also has intimate knowledge your pain because He, too, has shared an experience that was just as horrific as yours. Jesus was betrayed by friends he loved, persecuted, beaten, whipped, and nailed to the cross to die. But, before He gave up his life, He had the wherewithal to bring forgiveness to the forefront when He said, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:24).
Like Christ, you were betrayed by the person you thought loved you, terrorized and beaten. And like Jesus, you have the power to forgive that person for what was done to you.
You Are Not Alone There may be times when you will want to believe that God abandoned you while you were in the middle of your abusive relationship, however, the very fact that you are alive is a testament to the reality that He never left your side. My mother shared that it wasn’t until she saw evidence of how God applied His word in Matthew 28:20 to her life that she was able to able to see it in action. In that scripture, Jesus stated, “And, lo, I am with you always, even until the end of the world” to His disciples after the resurrection, and before he ascended to heaven. He promised that, even though they would not see him in the flesh, He would walk with them through their trials, carry them when they were weak , and comfort them when life became unbearable. Whether you acknowledge Him or not, Christ extends that same promise to you.
There is life after trauma. There is joy that can be experienced, but you have to take the time to heal and to forgive so you can be free to embrace the life God intended for you. Cast your cares upon the Lord, allow him to wash you anew. With His grace, love and favor, He will heal your pain, cover your wounds, and deliver you, “without stain, wrinkle or any blemish”, from your past.
If you, or a loved one, are in an abusive relationship and want help, please click here for the National Domestic Hotline, or call them at 1800.799.SAFE (7233) 1800.787.3224 (TTY).
Candance L. Greene is Editor and Writer for Black and Missing Foundation, Inc. Her work has been published in several anthologies including Bittersweet: An Anthology of Contemporary Black Women’s Poetry; Brevity: A Journal of Concise Literary Nonfiction; Fearless Confessions: A Writer’s Guide to Memoir, and the Huffington Post. She is the founder of Cherishedflight Communications, LLC, an editing and writing service. Visit her website at www.cherishedflight.com and follow her on Facebook: cherishedflightcommunications and Twitter @cherishedflight.
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