We love glorifying pain, trauma, and abuse as God’s will. We love making God a violent, manipulative man just so we can make sense of the hurt in our lives. But…
That isn’t God.
That’s the effects of trauma and pain working against us in favor of itself and the ones who harmed us.
Want to heal?
To be clear: to heal, you must be ready/willing to accept that the pain is not the sum total of who you are, who you can become holds the greatest possibilities for your future and that you are not alone as you make the journey to wholeness.
I was not chosen/called/favored to be raped. I didn’t need to accept that to heal from it. Do you see how dumb that sounds? It’s nonsensical and antithetical to God’s heart to suggest that these experiences were sent as positives.
There are entirely too many sisters (and brothers) whose lives have been transformed by all the pain and trauma they’ve endured. They deserve a freeing, liberating word that is rooted in their humanity and the truth that God loves them and would never cause them harm.
We live in a world where evil is present. For reasons beyond our control, people lean into that evil and cause harm of various magnitudes. It is unconscionable and it is not right. And it is not God’s doing. God is just as upset and heartbroken over what I endured as I am.
Where is God in all of this?
In the darkest moments of our lives, God sits with us and journeys with us through them. God holds our hand as we cry, cuss, question, and scream. And God pushes through with us as we fight for our wholeness and healing.
God is not sending pain in our lives to produce something glorious. We’ve not been “called” to pain and trauma.
God calls us to community, to hope and to healing.
God reminds us that God’s intention was always for us to flourish and be well.
Healing brings us back to that.
The “Why?” question is real.
If God is God, then why did these things happen?
Why didn’t God stop them?
These are valid questions and those who ask them of God are right to do so. The danger is when folks try to answer for God.
You can ask why all day, but can I be honest with you? No answer will ever be sufficient.
There’s nothing that will justify the presence of pain + trauma in our lives.
Think about what you’ve gone through. What can you hear that’ll make you say “Okay. I get it now”?
I used to ask why.
Sometimes, when I get mad at my current conditions, I still ask why.
That’s a real place. But “why did this happen to me” is not my posture. “What do I need in order to heal and move on” is where I land these days. Because that empowers and shifts the focus.
Healing is a beautifully messy journey towards the people we are meant to be. We are called to be healed, whole and well. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise and you don’t have to accept anything other than that truth to be free.
My deepest prayer for all of us is that we truly come to know God’s heart for us. It is big, wide, deep and filled with a love that is beyond our comprehension. We need that love to heal and free us. We need that love to truly live.
In this post, I am sharing with you my positives for us during this self-isolation. We are all in this together to flatten the curve we need #StayAtHome.
The pandemic crisis we are currently experiencing, I really didn’t see it coming (probably like all of you)! It came from behind, sneakily and suddenly! It has shaken up my life, my daily routine, without me even having had time to prepare for it.
At the time, it was almost unreal. It started with parents not being allowed to collect their children inside of the schools, but wait for them outside. Very unusual for our school and I knew then (and also after reading about what was happening in Italy) that the schools would soon be closing. And they did two days later. March 14th, 2020 was the last day.
At the very beginning of this isolation, my first reflex was to continue my little routine as before. I didn’t immediately cancel the coffee and play dates I had planned for the following days with my friends. In fact, some of my acquaintances were still posting photos on Facebook of the gatherings they were doing with their loved ones during the weekend. I know, it wasn’t the best idea…
Then, I listened to the news and the press briefings of the Belgian government and I understood how my own actions or behaviors had a real and important impact on the spread of the virus. Respecting public health recommendations and social distancing, even with our close entourage, is essential if we want to save lives. So I canceled everything: playdates, lunch dates, and even our church (a great big part of my social life) had to cancel bible studies and Sunday services. Then began my real confinement.
It’s pretty rare that I have so much time to spend continuously inside the house. The members of my household consist of my 26-year-old daughter, my 6-year-old son, myself, our two Dachshunds, cat, hamster, fish, and turtles. 🙂
At home with the “kids”
My daughter still needs to go to work and so I understand that she wants to relax during the weekend, but when she just sits in the coach, gaming or on her phone while I’m trying to make diner, entertain her little brother and do the washing up, it frustrates me and I can get a bit sharp-tongued.
But she does go out and play soccer with her little brother, she drives me to the grocery store, gives me a big hug every evening. So, overall, it’s been great having her home so much instead of just seeing her briefly during the week and then comes the weekend and she’s off to her boyfriend in Ghent. Looking forward to having a “girls night” this weekend. Chips, wine, and a chick flick.
My six-year-old is such a happy easy-going child, but he is a child nonetheless. After about every 30 minutes he will as me “what can I eat?” hopeful that I would say, “Hey why don’t you go get yourself some ice cream or candy” and is ever so disappointed when I say to get some fruit or something healthy instead,
When I’m having fellowship or women’s bible study via ZOOM, he creeps up behind me, poking me in the neck with his tiny little finger “can I play on the Switchmommy, please, can I?” even though I laid out another activity for him. I usually give in and say yes (and then feeling guilty about the excessive screen time)
And he is very stubborn, we are currently in a trust battle.
Me: “If you promise to do something, I expect you to do it then.”
Mister 6: “No, I don’t want to”
Me: “Then you are breaking my trust, I respect that you have the right to choose some things, but this is something YOU promised to do, and now you will not“
Mister 6: “I just don’t want to! Now I’m tired of your words and your brain”….
He then walks out of the room…
😳 He is also learning about consequences —->no screen time until the end of time.
The fun side
But on the more fun side, I’m super proud of his creativity and imagination in inventing new games for himself. In fact, we take the opportunity to get out board games we haven’t played in a very long time or I had the local radio on and it was playing classics from the ’80s and so I was sharing with my son where I was in life and what was happening in the world when a particular song came out. We even looked up the video of the 80’s song “The land of confusion” by Genesis. Sad to realize that most of the world leaders in the video are deceased and it reminds me again how we are only here for a short time.
Another positive element that this confinement brings to my life is the possibility of cleaning up. My Lord, how happy I am to have ENDURING time to regain control of my house. I have so often wished that time would stop for a month so that I could clean my house! I feel so bad to be happy about it in the current context but I really needed to start cleaning, packing and sorting things out as we are to move again mid-May. Lord willing.
Big love for technology
ZOOM, why have I never heard about this application before. As a Canadian across the pond from home I regularly Facetime with my mom and sister, and the quality is never great, not even good. But I have been introduced to ZOOM via church. We do our weekly online women’s bible study and Saturday’s we have a prayer group and on most days there is fellowship tome. Meaning that anybody with the need to just not feel alone can join in and we have some chit chat.
I have gotten to know people that I have never spoken to before. I have had deep conversations with friends. It’s just pretty surprising how this damned virus is bringing people together.
Time to reflect
Finally, the thing I appreciate most about this period of isolation is the time I have to think. To reflect on my life, on faith… on my spiritual journey that I have been on for a few years now. I take the opportunity to take stock of my past choices in order to make the best possible decisions for my post-pandemic life. With the help of my family, therapist and close friends, I am learning to think about myself and my well-being instead of all the negative stuff that has been going through my mind due to what happened. Instead of investing my time in those who don’t appreciate it.
I realize as I get older that my time is precious, so I try to choose carefully who I want to spend it with and in what context I want to spend it. It is not always easy to think about myself because I have always wanted to please others, sometimes even at the expense of my own feelings.
Today, I give myself the right to express myself and to protect myself from things that could hurt me or take away my energy unnecessarily. It’s a long process, sometimes easier said than done, but I work on it every day and this episode of confinement gives me the opportunity to congratulate myself for the progress I’ve made and to set new goals to reach in order to be in perfect harmony with who I am, as I am in God!
So let’s all #StayAtHome
I do realize the COVID-19 sets off a financial contagion in the global economy with stock markets in free-fall and the OECD predicting a global recession, but this is needed. Our government (and most worldwide governments) publicly funded health care doesn’t have the capacity to handle even a relatively small surge in acute patients.
So #StayInside, let’s not spread this virus around and try to see the positive. That’s all we can do for now.
How about you? What does this time off bring to your life? What are your positives and most importantly, how can I pray for you?
Several times in my life, I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that someone I dearly love is abusive. They are not always criminals like my ex-husband, but abusive none the less.
Their words are cruel. Their smiles were disingenuous. They lie. They insinuate. They gossip.
Psychological or emotional abuse may seem like no big deal, but it’s absolutely insidious. Someone you love and trust mounts an intentional strategy campaign to make you feel stupid, crazy, or worthless. Understand: they can destroy your friendships or even drive you suicidal. And don’t even get me started on the threat they pose your children. You want your kids to be healthy and happy with firm faith in God? Psychological abusers will try to destroy that.
My in-laws…I have previously written a post about saying goodbye. This was weeks after discovering what my husband had done. I had hoped for their help and support, but I knew that would not happen because I knew how they were during our marriage. What happened, happened over a period of years. This was planned. This was a strategy to sew discord.
After I don’t know how many ridiculous situations where I have been avoided, where I heard mean gossip from them, getting angry looks, I finally acknowledged that my loved ones were abusive.
Is it in my mind?
I was wondering what could possibly be their motivation? Maybe It’s all in my head. But the pattern of abuse became undeniable. Upon confronting these people (only one responded by the way), wanting to be able to talk about how the situation felt for me, them ignoring me, cutting me and my children out of their lives, telling lies to others. They refused to talk about the situation. I somehow was an evil genius who somehow instigated my husband (and physical abuser) actions to frame him. They gossiped and lied. The mask fell off. The smiles turned to spitting rage. It was ugly.
Before I confronted them though, the emotional influence they had over me was terrible. Just seeing their name pop up in my emails caused a wave of nauseous. I had nightmares about them calling me on the phone, seeing them in school or at the supermarket, insulting my kids, or spreading lies about me. I realized that for the sake of my mental health – and for the sake of my children, and my emotional stability – I needed these people out of my life. But they hadn’t committed any crimes!
There was no one event I could point to and say, “They’re dangerous.” But like I said, the patterns of abuse were undeniable. They stretched back for decades and demonstrated a clear malevolence and conscious intent to harm and destroy. And now, these behaviors were affecting my kids, my sleep and my ability to heal from the spousal abuse and divorce. That’s when Psalm 1 came to my rescue:
Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on His law day and night.
I am not called to enable wicked, abusive people. I am not called to tolerate the damaging sins of the unrepentant. I am not called to socialize with people who mock, lie, and mess with my head or my kid’s heads or even other people’s heads. I am called to cling to God and meditate on Him day and night.
I longed for their love and support, but they denied me this and instead were part of my torment. They made me feel like the criminal instead of the victim. I finally realized that I am so much better off without them. I finally realized what they did too, was abuse.
Now, if someone else were to go and minister to my abuser(s), I’d say, “Thank you! God bless you!” But my abuser is not my mission field. They do not love me. They do not respect me. Nothing I say or do can help them, except to deny them the opportunity to sin against me.
Within weeks – even days – of cutting those people out of my life, everything improved. My depression lifted partially, my anxiety eased up, my prayer life blossomed, my Bible reading was more fruitful, and I really feel I became a better mom, friend, and worshipper of God.
The moral of the story being, if someone in your life is spiritually poisoning you – if being around them damages your faith, causes friction in your marriage, exacerbates your depression/anxiety, or makes you feel stupid, crazy, or worthless – break free. Cling to God.
But I also admit that…while I’m trying to make myself the advocate for the authenticity and transparency of the challenges of an abused single Christian mom’s life (and life in general), I thought twice before deciding to make this public confession, and write about it.
Because in the Christian circle I grew up in, it was taboo to talk about that. It doesn’t sound spiritual at all, actually. At best, we recognize the big impasses in our lives, we promise to go and see a professional, but we actually just talk about it to one of our friends and tell them not to repeat it. At worst, we despise the very idea of talking to a shrink, especially if they are not a believer.
I’ve actually been around so many Christians who have had a long walk with the Lord and the equivalent of a Master’s degree in theology just by listening to preaching, reading books and participating in Bible study groups, but who are consumed by their inability to forgive, are unable to even name their emotions – let alone deal with them – and hurt everyone around them by repeating old patterns from their unregulated childhood. I say this with a great deal of compassion, but also with a great deal of sadness. Because it’s sad.
I’ve decided it’s not going to happen to me. I’m dealing with some severe stuff. Being surrendered to adoption as a baby. I’m also dealing with a hard life as a single teenage mom and more recently, finding out that my (ex) husband had been drugging and abusing me for years, and that my daughter was his victim too.
So there is enough reasons as too why I should go and see a therapist. We can all agree that difficult grief requires a helping hand from someone who knows about it. And It helped me a lot, by the way. It’s been a few months now and I feel like we are just getting started, there is so much going on, so much to be processed and we only have 60 minutes each time every other week. But I still desperately need it and will need for some time to come still.
Not going into too much detail, but I still suffer from anxiety attacks, chronic stress and pain, depression, bitterness and the inability to let go. A classic example of an imperfect and tired mother. Except that I’ve decided I really want to fix this in my life.
Going to therapy doesn’t stop me from having a real prayer life you know. God and me, we talk a lot.
I have a relationship with God Almighty, even though we’ve had some arguments and even though I have a hard time understanding life, my relationship with Him is the main thing giving me strength.
But I needed a little more help, I couldn’t cope…and I admitted to it finally.
It should just be the first step in a real transformation process. Admitting. Acknowledging that we’re having a hard time. Then trying to fix those flaws, letting ourselves be transformed by God who calls us to walk from glory to glory and to continually become the best version of ourselves.
For me, going to a shrink and trusting God for a drastic transformation of my character…because often it takes a miracle…is by no means inconceivable.
It’s like believing that God can cure us of an illness, but going to see the doctor anyway, just to understand what’s wrong. It’s like believing that God can provide for our difficult finances, but going to an accountant anyway, just to manage our money well.
I could go on for a long time about the fact that I am convinced that God wants us to be able to be vulnerable but also wants to take advantage of the talents/knowledge that He has given to other people. He really likes to use human beings in general to bless us, and it’s just completely foolish to deprive ourselves of that.
What to do?
So, didn’t I convince you? You’re judging me, aren’t you? It’s really not a big deal. The point here is: do you have some boo-boos in your heart, some dead ends, some things inside you that are ruining your life and the lives of others? Are you convinced that you need to seriously work on living a real transformation to finally have a more peaceful and abundant life? (I hope so, because answering no to that question is a problem, in fact…! Haha! (uneasy laugh)). But you refuse to go see a shrink or you really, really can’t afford it, and there isn’t even a counseling service in your church? Well then, here are a few other suggestions, so you don’t become like the old Christians I described above:
Find yourself a series of good books on the subject(s) that concern you (that doesn’t replace your Bible, we agree) and seriously study them, with an open heart.
Talk to friends, real ones, who will challenge you and to whom you will be held accountable to on a very, very regular basis.
Find a mentor you admire and want to be like and spend lots of time with them. Ask her lots of questions too.
Put yourself in a “straight talk” mode with God…like, “What do you want to change about me? Where does that come from? What lie do I believe? Why am I reacting like this? “and listen to the answers, even if they might hurt! Afterward, ask Him concretely what you should do to experience healing (…suddenly He would tell you to go see a shrink, you know!). Hahaha!!!!!!)
When your new baby is delivered, you anticipate it being the best day of your life. For me, that event on a cold, December day and was one of the worst days of my life.
My youngest son was born after I went into early labor. I had already been in hospital since week 24 with a placenta previa and inexplicable early contractions. To say I was scared is an understatement. He was going to be born way too soon.
Recently an acquaintance and now friend of mine had her baby delivered six weeks early and was terrified of what she was going through. I told her my story and she found such comfort in hearing the emotional similarities. Though everyone’s singular situation is different, I believe we all take solace in knowing the commonality of the emotional pain, trauma, and uncertainty that we’ve endured.
Way to soon
I was filled with emotions finding that my son was about to be delivered almost three months early. When I first arrived at the hospital at 24 weeks with heaving bleeding I was being prepared for the birth right there, right then. I’d never heard of such a thing. I couldn’t imagine a newborn baby could survive outside the womb four months before he was scheduled to be born, but I soon learned today’s neonatal medicine is amazing. An army of specially skilled doctors, nurses, anesthesiologists and surgeons, saved my son’s life. But not on that day yet.
I did not give birth at the 24th week when first arriving. No, I was kept in hospital, on bed rest for 7 weeks, given a dose of magnesium and a steroid shot to help the baby’s brain and lungs develop. Eventually, the contractions stopped as did the bleeding and I was sent home for further bed rest… However, 6 days later I was sitting in the front seat of my in-law’s car with the window down in mid-December because my mother-in-law was chain-smoking. I couldn’t blame her. I left the hospital almost a week before with the warning to come back in ASAP if I began bleeding, or we both could die. And yes, I started to bleed again. My worried (ex)husband was still at work across the border in the Netherlands, wondering if he should come to the hospital. The hospital was eerily quiet as I waited nervously for the diagnosis. I was told I would get another a dose of magnesium and a steroid shot to help the baby’s brain and lungs develop and that they needed to do an emergency c-section. Overwhelmed, I was terrified of what was about to happen.
My husband arrived, worried something was wrong with so much commotion. I was brought to the operation room and my husband needed to wait in the waiting room while they would prep me as they promised to get him once I was ready.
I remember sitting at the edge of the operating table, waiting for the doctor to give me an epidural. The whole time I was praying and feeling incredibly guilty that my body was not able to care for my baby anymore.
That it could not keep the baby safe and that my baby now had to be brought into this world…way too early. I could not protect him anymore. I had failed.
The first epidural did not work for some reason, at least not as quickly as was needed. They gave me a second one, trying to convince me that the pain I was feeling was not real. When the first incision went into my belly, the pain was indescribable. I screamed and my heart and blood pressure went off the chart and so they had to put me fully under. The anesthesiologist grabbed my throat, told me that they needed to do this and that everything will be ok, she put the oxygen mask on and out I went.
The next thing I remember was waking up from a dark fog, just realizing what had happened and I started asking, no yelling, begging for my baby. Again, I feel this dark fog coming back upon me.
I hear the nurse or was it a doctor, calling for help because there was blood everywhere, I pass out again. I come by once more, again calling for my child and I hear them asking for my husband.
That he might be able to calm me down.
He came. I don’t remember what he said first, but when I asked if our son was alright, he answered that he didn’t know. That he was still waiting for the nurse to come and get him when they wheeled out a baby in an incubator and that he knew that it was our son.
They rushed our son off to the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit), he wasn’t breathing.
I faintly recall a conversation with one of many doctors during the weeks leading up to my son’s birth, about the survival rates and complications likely with a baby being born this early.
To prepare us they even showed us books on how babies looked like at each week. They even gave us a tour of the NICU. We were well prepared, but you never truly can be.
As I lay in a hospital bed in the recovery unit, praying for my son. I negotiated with God. Don’t we all do that in dire circumstances?
“God, if you do this for me, I PROMISE I won’t let you down, I will dedicate my life and his to You Lord”
I just wanted this baby to be OK.
They told us that he weighed 2140kg and that he was 47 cm long, he was big for a 31-week-old baby.
I had no idea what this meant. Would he survive then? Could he even breathe? Could I see him? Hold him?
That evening they brought us to the NICU to meet our little man. My Lord was he ever so gorgeous. He didn’t look like the pictures we had seen of preemies. Yes, his tiny, fragile body was poked and prodded with tubes, he could not breathe and was wearing a c-pap so we could not fully see his face.
But gosh, he was beautiful. His body had a rosy red color to it, plump and he still had fuzz all over. We couldn’t see his hair color yet, as he was wearing a bonnet to keep all the cords in place.
Life in the hospital
I stayed in the hospital for 8 days, and even though I was not supposed to walk around yet, I was walking up to the NICU a few times per day, staying for hours.
Starring at this wonderful child. But he was struggling. He still could not breathe on his own, could not eat of course and he had a condition that we didn’t know about until after he left the hospital. Baby apnea, making him suddenly for no reason stop breathing. Something common amongst preemies.
Even though he looked stable, the first 48 hours were crucial and it’s horrible, that feeling of not knowing what’s going to happen. His alarms went off, a lot. They had to nudge him and poke him, a lot.
I spent hours, days crying. I thought I’d run out of tears, but I didn’t. After my youngest son’s birth, we spent 65 days living in the hospital fighting for life.
I say WE because I (we) was with my son every step of the way as were our family and friends, caring for our other children at home, bringing diners, praying for us and for loving us even though I did not feel lovable at that point.
And today — as he’s on the verge of turning 6 years old when I am writing this.
Even today when I talk about how life started for my 6-year-old son, many times I cry. It’s real trauma that I didn’t recognize as post-traumatic stress. I discovered this recently after having started therapy this past year… The trauma didn’t end when our son left the hospital.
We still had spent many days in and out of the hospital due to his being a preemie. Hospitals almost felt like a second home for the first few years. I was terrified each time that I would lose him. Even if we were there for a simple check-up.
It must have been a week after he arrived home that my eldest son noticed that his baby brother wasn’t breathing in his cot.
We rushed him to the ER and he stayed again with an infection, but we also had to do a sleep test and we found out that he had baby apnea (meaning that he would just stop breathing) and we got to take home a monitor that our son needed to wear all of the time.
It gave a false sense of security and every time that it went off my heart raced and I would rub his little tummy asking him to breathe.
But today he is 6 years old and the last time we spent a night in the hospital has been 3 years ago.
When you see him now, you would never even think that he had such a hard time starting life. He was born big, and he still is a very tall boy, towering over other children his age.
He does very well in school even though he needed to redo this past year of kindergarten due to some delays in his developmental milestones.
But now he is eager to read and write, and his favorite things are the arts (crafting and performing) and building towers and houses for his action figures and stuffed animals. His lego building skills continue to impress me.
He loves playing with our two Dachshunds and cat and just loves all animals. It’s a love that he and his big sister share and he even recently got to sit on her horse for the first time.
When picking him up from school he runs into my arms and covers me with kisses, wherever we are he will cuddle up to me and give me kisses and I hope that he agrees with me that when he is older that you can still be cool and love your parents. 😁
Sometimes he sleeps in his bed, but he still mostly snuggles up to me in mine. Then I think of the first days of his life when we couldn’t snuggle. So, I will take all the snuggling that I can get.
He is kind, creative, loving and mischievous as all children are.
I look forward to this coming year, the year of six, and I can’t wait to see the things that he will learn to do.
And I am looking forward to watching him grow up and one day seeing the man that he will become. My heart is so full.
My son, my miracle. Our blessing. Happy 6th Birthday dear Baba.
BTW, I highly recommend this book, “Hold your prem” written by Jill Bergman that was given to me by a friend.
It helped me to prepare for the early birth and gave me tools on how to bond with my child despite the traumatic first moments of an early birth.
I always recommend it and gift it to parents who could benefit from it.
I have been trying to write a coherent text about the last past year for a while now and for a specific purpose. To leave this all behind me from now on and to move forward.
I have been able to hurt, cry and heal this past year and now in a month I will be leaving our home behind to start a new life.
Goodbye and taking a distance
Relationships are freaking difficult. Just as difficult as blogging about divorces, it now appears. But divorces are really much worse. Practically and financially they are hopeless, but that is just the beginning. I had to grieve and say goodbye to my entire life as I had imagined. I once saw the love of my life in that other person, my ex. The other person once made my heart beat so hard that it made me so bloody nervous everytime we were near to each other. I remember the flow of hormones that screamed through my body the first time we kissed.
We had so much between us and our relationship felt sometimes as if it was overflowing with love. We had made huge lifelong commitments. We moved in together, raised our children from separate relationships together, got married, adopted a dog and then we became incredibly blessed by welcoming a child of us both.
Well, that has been a long time ago and can now be classified as adorable, cute and fun.
And now I have chosen to say goodbye and distance myself from him. Even though he does not want the divorce. Even though overzealous people tell me that it is not God’s will for us to divorce.
I try to distance myself from my emotions, from the hurtful things that people have said. From him so I can try to divide my life as I would have built it up by two. The math will never be right, I will always be left with less anyway.
In this there are only victims.
But I choose not to be one. I want to heal from this. And slowly, I am.
You trust someone who is just as sinful, weak and mortal as you are. His plans go into the grave with him. His power, wealth and intelligence, his talks and his pretenses. They do not make him any more than he is … A man!
Can we trust?
Does this mean that you cannot have a role model, a mentor or that you cannot admire someone?That you cannot take an example from someone, and that you cannot maintain a strong relationship of trust with another person?
Of course, you can!
As long as we continue to see the other as a person “with whom there is no salvation.”
We can have salvation and we can experience happiness, but we should not depend on another human for that.
There is only One in whom we can fully trust. Our God, immortal, unchangeable, the Truth itself. Our Father, who always does what He says.
He is the only one in whom a sinful and weak person can count on. The only one.
Because He is the Lord, Creator of heaven and earth, King for eternity!
What’s wrong with me? That sentence was one of the first things that popped into my head while finding out what my husband had done. What’s wrong with me?
To make a really, unbelievable, long story short; my husband drugged me he could have intercourse with me while I was unconscious.
I found out one morning after waking up and having a black-out. I did my research, confronted him with our pastor and a friend and after he tried denying it at first, he did finally admit to doing it. He said that he did it for me, because “I was having chronic pain and would not take medication to relieve the pain and that it made me more willing and loving…”
What’s wrong with me?
This was the first of the many things he would admit too. After surrendering himself to the police after I gave him the ultimatum to do so, he admitted to having been doing this for ten years, and that he had done the same to my daughter once. This daughter is from a previous relationship. He co-raised her from the age of 13 years-old and when we heard the details of what he had done to her from our lawyer, she turned to me and said “but he was my dad“.
What’s wrong with us?
Why was I still asking this question?
Because some people did ask me if it was because of something I had done, or rather the lack of.
“Why would he do this, he was such a good man. Did you not give him enough sex or attention? “
I don’t believe their intention was to cause me(us) harm, but their comments placed shame on me. Those are the types of words that take root and cause us to blame ourselves.
Traumatic events can leave us feeling like something is horribly wrong with us. We question our worth, lovability, belonging, and—for some of us—even our very right to exist. Recovery takes bravery.
After my mother had shared my story through the “Go Fund Me” website, it hit social media and people have been reaching out to me. Sharing their stories. Women, men who got out of the deepest pits by never giving up, until the truth of what happened to them and who they are setting their hearts free.
It’s not our fault!
And freedom is possible. I have hope and faith and love and with all that, all is possible.
I am so thankful for Dr. Sheri’s candor, wisdom, and practical advice. She writes not only as an accomplished clinician with the training, experience, and research to back her claims but also with the knowledge of someone who’s been there and comes through stronger on the other side. This book combines helpful graphics, powerful anecdotes, spiritual guidance, and “tell it like it really is” authenticity. Whether you’ve been wounded or walk alongside those that have, this book should immediately catapult to the top of your “must-read” list.
Sharing today with you 5 things you can do besides saying that “you’ll pray”
I’ve done it and I’ve also been at the receiving end of it ( a lot lately). When someone is telling you about how they are suffering or hurting and all you can come up with at that moment is “I will pray for you”. If you are part of a Christian community you’ve probably said this a hundred times. That doesn’t seem quite good enough, but it was all you could think of.
As believers in Jesus, we are charged to walk alongside each other in our pain. We are called to mourn with those who mourn (Rom. 12:14). We are to bear one another’s burdens (Gal. 6:2). We are to be compassionate, gentle, and patient with each other (Eph. 4:2; 1 Pet. 3:8). So what else can we do?
Let us actually pray
Let us actually pray. I tried to write down the names of people who needed prayer. I tried to sum them all up in my daily prayers, but I am very guilty of often forgetting. I try to normalize praying as good as I can for my children. We live on a busy road and we often hear the ambulance speeding by, or a fire truck or the police. When we hear the sirens in the distance my 5-year-old and I say a quick prayer. “Lord help them”. So immediate prayer works best for us and I try implement that now in other situations. When talking to someone I offer to pray there and then. It’s funny how many Christians this actually throws off guard. “You mean, right now?” “Yes — absolutely. Let’s pray.” I also pray immediately when I read that someone is asking for prayer or is obviously suffering or going through something rough on social media. It doesn’t have to fancy, God knows that I’m a pretty casual prayer. He just loves us talking to Him.
“Can I do something?” …People, in general, don’t want to bother others with their burdens. I’m pretty guilty of that. I don’t want people thinking that I am having a pitty party. But I have learned from a few very good friends of mine who have helped me through a crisis that sometimes, as a friend you just need to take over for a bit. People that are overwhelmed by grief have a hard time asking for help and sometimes don’t even know what they need. Like the “Nike” slogan says it, “just do it”. “Just” drop off that meal.” Just” drop by with flowers, “just” pick up the phone and call them. “Just” drop of some sushi or groceries (my favorite). What you sense they need, just do it.
Express sorrow, shock, and regret.
You must enter into the other person’s experience. Try to imagine how they are feeling. What are they thinking? What choices do they face? What might they be feeling physically? What would it be like to see the world through their eyes? What are their greatest fears?
Let them hurt
It’s hard, we don’t want others to be in pain. It makes us sad, it makes us uncomfortable, we don’t know what to do. But sometimes it is what it is and all they can do in the moment is hurt. You just can’t stop it. Acknowledge the inability of words to truly ease the pain.
In dramatic life events, people are usually swamped by people’s offers of help and comforting words. But as time goes on people assume that the person has moved on, but moving on implies that the person is able to. Sometimes they are not. Pure and simple. That’s why it’s important to continue to let them know that you are still there for them. They need time and nobody can tell them how much is enough.
This is my personal opinion as how you can help others besides pray. These are things that I have found helpful and try to do for others as well. I would really appreciate knowing about how people have helped you in the past and what you have taken from it towards helping others yourself.
Be blessed, my friends and try these tips as to the 5 things you can do besides saying that “you’ll pray” .