Heading into the Christmas (Christ More) season can be extremely hard on someone experiencing domestic violence. I mean, commercials express perfect happy families blissfully smiling as they sit around the beautifully color-coordinated Christmas tree. Office parties gear up and on your desk in a greeting card envelope, you’re dreading opening, sits the invitation for your annual Christmas party, calling loudly “hey, over here, open me.” Glancing through the Christmas cards at the store you come across one where a happy couple holding hands is walking through the snow all bundled together in their winter parkas…looking so in love.
Then you look in the mirror and what you see saddens you because you’re going into the New Year exactly the way you’re ending the current one. Ugh! But I implore you to remember the reason for the season! Jesus Christ. He can make your New Year a New Year.
Some wonder why He allowed them to go through such tragedy. Some wonder why He didn’t stop the violence. Could it be that you are stronger than you think, or that your enemy the devil wants to take you out, or that Christ has a plan for your life?
I know, I know, it’s hard! You had hopes and dreams of a life-long marriage. Growing old and grey haired together. Creating lasting memories. Having the grandkids over…because you love them so much and then you can send them back home. Ha Ha! Okay, look at me. You, reading this blog. I need your total attention. Read my lips. God has a plan for you. Despite ev-ver-ry-thing you’ve endured. God has a plan for you. It’s true. Take it from someone who has been where you might be right now. Your life is not over. You are still here. You can’t see it because you’re immersed in your current situation, mind, body, and soul. You’re too close to your situation to see your life objectively.
Let’s think about this. If you’re reading this blog, you are a survivor of domestic violence. You may currently be in the abusive relationship. You may be reading it from a jail cell, a library, in the park on your lap-top, maybe even from a hospital bed. Okay, some of you are barely alive, but none-the-less, you are. You may have a black eye, been burned with acid, have beaten down souls due to extreme and consistent emotional abuse, living in a shelter with your kids, are on depression medication, whatever your current situation, you’re still here. You know what that means? There is HOPE! God will give you beauty for ashes.
What we experience is not necessarily for our own benefit. Whaaat? I had a hard time digesting that truth. But, it’s true. What Jesus experienced during his long walk up Golgotha hill, while the Roman soldiers were taunting Him, slicing his skin open with a cat o’ nine tails (a type of multi-tailed whip that originated as an implement for severe physical punishment), and nailing his body to the cross, was all for our benefit. He was blameless, yet, He went through that horrible experience when He could have called legions of angels to His rescue. He chose not to.
In the same vein, we make choices too. Some of us fall prey to the conniving wiles of our abuser with eyes wide shut. We get confused by the Dr. Jekyll Mr. Hyde syndrome and the honeymoon phase. Some of us are drawn into abusive relationships because that’s all we know. Placing no blame here, in some cases, the abuser showed us who he was when he hit us the first time.
In His sovereignty God either works through His perfect or permissive will in our lives. His perfect will is found in Romans 12:2 “Do not be conformed to this present world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may test and approve what is the will of God – what is good and well-pleasing and perfect.” God is omniscient; all knowing. He knows when we are walking in the flesh and making unwise choices. We have free will. This is when His permissive will comes into play. Even through our unwise choices, Romans says 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to His purpose.”
Okay, hocus pocus, focus. Focus On Christ for Ultimate Satisfaction. Every day let’s make it a point to get renewed, revived, and rejuvenated by reading God’s word and storing it in our minds and hearts! No one can take something from you that is hidden in your heart. When you read God’s word daily, something extraordinarily wonderful and ginormous happens. God’s word is as vital as the blood that pumps through your veins. It is one of your connections to Abba. It helps us to view ourselves and our situation in a new light. “As for God, His way is perfect: The Lord’s word is flawless; He shields all who take refuge in Him.” Psalm 18:30
For some of you, reading God’s word may require a lifestyle change. Change is good. Perhaps you read God’s word already. Let me encourage you to meditate on it by taking short scripture verses and studying them until they penetrate your soul. Write them down. Ask the Lord to reveal what He wants you to learn. The word of God helps us combat the negative self-talk or the negative tape recording that sometimes, we’re not even aware is going on in our minds.
You might say, “I don’t have time.” Make time. You are in survival mode! Your life is at stake and God’s word is your lifesaver. “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12. “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” James 1:22
You can help others by sharing your story in a safe environment. You’d be surprised what other people are experiencing and are extremely ashamed and afraid of sharing. Don’t worry about what someone is going to think of you or say about you, that’s a trick of the enemy of our soul. The more you keep contained inside; it becomes a nasty virus that eats away at your vital organs.
Vow to make this Christmas better than last Christmas. The reason for the season is CHRIST and Him personified!
Please pray this prayer with me…
Lord, I exalt You! I honor You! I give You praise! Please forgive me for my sins of omission and commission. Thank You for being a lamp onto my feet and a light unto my path. As you already know I need you! O God do not ignore my plea; hear me and answer me. My thoughts trouble me and I am distraught because of what my enemy is saying, because of the threats of the wicked; for they bring down suffering on me and assail me in their anger. My heart is in anguish within me; the terrors of death have fallen on me. Fear and trembling have beset me; horror has overwhelmed me. HELP me, Lord! Your word says, no weapon formed against me shall prosper, and every tongue that rises against me in judgment I shall condemn. Lead me, guide me, along the way. For if You lead me, I cannot stray. Your word says, but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint. I pray this prayer believing, receiving, and with expectation, in Jesus’ name. Amen