Is There Any Hope For Me?
Ann sat gazing at the stain-glass window as she listened to the worship songs being sung. She noticed the varied colored pieces that had been carefully placed to form the intricate design. Her mind wandered to the hopes and dreams she had once carried inside now stomped on and broken by the person who was supposed to love her. The court system had played havoc on her life adding to the abuse that had weighed her down. Contempt of court was only a laughable phrase that meant nothing to the abuser. Where was the justice?
The church that was supposed to be a safe place for the brokenhearted was ill-equipped to handle her situation and others like hers. Just give grace was all she heard. Truth was not acknowledged and no accountability to the perpetrator was given. Friends disappeared tired from hearing about the mess. Christians judged. The phone sat silent in its holder. No encouraging and supportive messages were left.
Although she had long left the destructive marriage behind, she sat noticing that every movement caused the shattered pieces to move and rewound. Life was a hard struggle financially and loneliness seemed to be her constant companion. Trust still remained an uncertainty.
Her emotional roller coaster kept her encircled in a journey she did not want to repeat. Progress in her personal growth came in baby steps that were sometimes hard to measure. She was free from the relationship but was she really free from what dwelt within, the persistent struggles. Will God transform the shattered pieces of her life into a masterful piece of art?
Like Ann most of us struggle with the effect of hardships life brings that has been buried deep within. We may or may not be aware of the churning inside for our body has become numb to the pain.
Sometimes we cover the struggles with outward addictions to people, food, drugs, alcohol, or things. These self-medicating coping skills keep us from addressing the issues that have permeated our life. The issues associated with the hurt and pain have mounted up like a pile of garbage that is toxic to our souls.
Not only do we hold on to them with every bit of strength we possess, but we remain in situations and relationships that are detrimental to our well-being. We don’t realize that the splinter of hurt caused by the initial pain inflicted by others has penetrated deeper over time. The infection of our thoughts and feelings caused by the puss oozing from the wound spreads rapidly throughout our body.
Do we allow the wound to fester until it makes the whole-body sick or possibly die? Are we willing to endure the pain to remove the splinter, cleanse the wound with antibiotics, and give up our coping mechanisms? Or do we just slap a band aid on and pretend it doesn’t exist as our God given treasures are eaten away?
An important question arises to the surface. Are we being a good steward of the treasures God has created in each one of us, the treasures that make us unique?
- Relationship with the Lord
- Soul and spirit
How we use and protect these treasures is our responsibility. Setting appropriate boundaries is necessary. Being consistent and giving consequences when they are violated is essential. Allowing others to come in and destroy our treasures is not good stewardship.
Ann’s treasures had been shattered. She realized she had been holding on to each little piece trying to figure out how to put them back together. As she looked up, her eyes were drawn to the cross. “Give Me your broken treasures,” she distinctly heard.
Ann glanced back at the stained-glass window. A rainbow of color shone through. A tear rolled down her cheek. She heard a soft whisper. “Ann, I have collected the pieces. They are in my hand. Be patient for I am creating a unique masterpiece so My glory will shine through the pieces of your life.”
“I have caught every tear. I keep them close to Me. I know every heartache. Nothing is a waste. Hold on to Me. There is a purpose, My purpose, in all of your suffering. There is coming a time of rejoicing when everything will be revealed.”
Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.
Psalm 27:14 NIV
Paula Silva©2010 FOCUS Ministries, Inc., www.focusministries1.org
What if you feel The Lord hasn’t said to leave?
It is important to wait on the Lord. He will direct you. Take the time to learn when and how to respond to the abuse appropriately.
Dear Paula Silva,
Your writing Is There Any Hope For Me? has touched my heart deeply, tears rolled down my face as I read.
I am in the beginning stages of recovering from my narcissistic abusive husband. Your words are so true about what each of us face. It is so heartbreaking to know that very few understand the devastation and the loneliness that leaves one feeling that there is no where to turn for help.
I wish we had a place that we could all unite and build a supportive sustaining community.
Paula, I thank God for empowering you through your journey to help and support us, who are in desperate need.
Than you and God bless you,
Your sister in Christ,
Judy Abee (LUTHER)
I am so sorry to hear about your experience with a narcissistic abusive husband. The path to healing will be a journey worth taking even though it may be difficult at times. You are not alone. God is with you and so am I. God can restore and transform you into the person He intends you to be. Never hesitate to contact us.
With Christ’s love,
My daughter was sexually assaulted by her youth pastor. He has been sentenced to ten years in prison. His wife is a member of our church and so is her mother and father and grandparents also (generations). His wife asked my daughter for an apology and so did the counselor the head pastor had referred us to (3 times the counselor asked my daughter if she was ready to apologize). The church as a whole was only told that something “inappropriate” occurred and would be handled in court. They wrote letters to the judge on his behalf. Needless to say my family felt unsupported and uncomfortable to return. So I’m the process we lost our church family of 15+ years. I left heartbroken and unsure how to move forward.
I am so sorry to hear that your daughter experienced the sexual assault by her youth pastor The church’s response has caused both you and your daughter further harm. Your daughter did the right thing about speaking up regarding the assault. That took a great deal of courage. There is no reason for your daughter to apologize. She spoke truth. It is tragic that the church, this man’s wife and family, and others did not loving support your family, but they must be going through a lot of shame also. Somehow the apology they expect will remove their shame. Sometimes it is very difficult for a family or church to accept that someone they know would do such a thing. It grieves God’s heart to see what has happened. He will direct you to a church family that will support and love your family especially your daughter. Just trust God for his direction and find a Christian counselor that can help your daughter to work through her experience.
Dear Paula, Thank you for your encouraging words and sharing your own heart breaking story. My oldest son, who has a career in law enforcement, came to rescue me once again May 7th after my husband violently abused me physically and emotionally. This has been happening for many years, yet because he used to be a minister, I protected his image. He also had health issues and I was his caregiver for 33 years. I do care about him, but can’t go back and live with him for safety reasons. He can become outraged instantly. I will get a legal separation. Our church we attended tells him I am the sinner. Yes, I am a sinner saved by Grace, but churches don’t understand this issue. I am scared for the future. Please pray for me that I would not be bitter, but seek Him.
I can understand you being scared for the future. God holds you in his hands. He has your future planned. Just trust Him.
My situation is very different and because it is most people don’t believe me, and I can’t find help or resources. I’ve been physically and emotionally abused and controlled by an extremely narrccisstic dad and brother my entire life. My mom was also abused. God took her home 21 years ago. I was 22 she was 56. So that left me as the only target left. People don’t understand how a now grown 46 year old woman can’t just walk away. I really can’t explain it myself other than once a narrccisstic person gets control in every aspect of your life logically you can see it’s not normal, but emotionally the guilt and beliefs that have been embedded take over. I literally have no one. They have successfully made me out as the crazy one, and despite even physical scars, broken bones, and cries for help I live in a town that’s very small and because they are seen as good Christian men I can’t fight against them. It is becoming increasingly more dangerous, and I am terrified. Before anyone asks, yes I’ve called the police multiple times, but it’s the good ole boys kind of place and only makes things worse, and I’ve contacted the domestic shelter where once again a lot of family volunteer for or just like my dad and brother do give generous donations. I don’t know anyone in another state which leaving the state is the only way I can possibly get a new start. Like I said I am completely controlled. I don’t live with them, but I’m only 5 mins away. I don’t have a car so I am told when and where I can go. There’s no public transportation here so getting to a job where I could save enough to leave isn’t possible, and they refuse to take me even just long enough to get my own transportation because they know if that were to happen I would be gone. At one time I had a very good job, a good car, and was very independent, but a near fatel car wreck led to a situation where they eventually got control. If you or anyone reading this knows of any organizations (I’ve tried all the well known ones but as I said this is very unusual not a spouse so I was turned away) but if someone has any suggestions I would be grateful. I’m not looking for a hand out just a way out. The worst part is being completely alone and losing people because it does sound so bizarre no one wants to hear about it. I’m in a situation right now that I feel so stuck. At the moment I am recovering from 2nd-3rd degree burns on one arm and just had surgery on the other from a bone being snapped in half in my hand. I’m also on well, one crutch because I can’t use the broken hand, but my foot is broken on the same side as my hand. I look like I’ve been run over by an 18 wheeler. I’m scared and giving up on ever finding a way out of all this. Honestly, I’m slowly just giving up.
My heart breaks for you. I believe that your situation is difficult and real. I am praying that God provides a way for you to be able to have a car and leave the state. I am also praying for your physical healing. I can lend you support through email, [email protected]. You are not alone. We care.