As Domestic Violence Awareness Month, remember that domestic violence is a way of life for many. If you know someone struggling in this area, please, let her know you are here. “How To’s” is not the answer they are looking for at the moment, and pointing out all their faults pushes them deeper into despair. A simple hug and acknowledging her strengths refresh her soul, giving her the courage to do what “she knows” she needs to do. Remember, even if you are trying to be helpful, your opinions of her weakness could be the last blow of the hammer that solidifies her abusers’ destruction of her. Like the devil, the abuser begins the work but is too lazy to finish what they have started, so don’t be his flying monkey.
For me, friends would say things like, “You are smart Lisa, or I’m not surprised, because your efforts proved your accomplishments, or I’m proud of you!” Also, I found it strange when people I did not know told me they were proud of me when I thought I was a failure. It sounds simple, but for me, these few words were like a rope that pulled me out of my pit of despair. Also, because my abuser constantly degraded me, I felt stupid. My friend’s words countered his words seemingly at the right moment. The words of the tongue are powerful, and they can give life or destroy a life. Choose your words wisely because God will turn your words for you or against you.
“The Value of Wisdom
My son, if you receive my words, and treasure My commands within you, so that you incline your ear to wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding; yes, if you cry out for discernment, and lift up your voice for understanding, if you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures; then you will understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding; He is a shield to those who walk uprightly; He guards the paths of justice and preserves the way of His saints. So then you will understand righteousness, justice, equity, and every good path.” (Proverbs 2:1-9, NKJV).
Remember that the Lord draws near to the brokenhearted, and He will defend the oppressed and the afflicted. Also, she has more qualities than one may believe; she needs your help to rediscover the treasures buried beneath the rubble. Furthermore, a victim of abuse or a survivor does not trust easily and needs space to discern the process and gain their confidence; trust is not given as freely as it once was. Sadly, even family members are not trusted as quickly, either. Not because they have become bitter, it is more about taking care of oneself. She will do so when ready to open up because you have gained her trust.
DO NOT MISUSE HER TRUST OR TURN IT INTO GOSSIP, AND YOU ARE ON SACRED GROUND.
An abuser works hard at belittling their victim to keep them isolated and in compliance to meet their own needs. He has already taken every ounce of her and destroyed “The Person” He is a murderer of hopes, dreams, aspirations, self-esteem, dignity, and self-respect. He murdered everything she loved. I call this murder because those were gifts the Lord gave her from the beginning of time, everything that once inspired her to live the life God called her to live; the life He gave to all humankind as a free agent for His glory and His purpose. When you draw out her treasures, you breathe life back into her as one who gives mouth-to-mouth recitation. Also, the good news is that God can take those dry bones and bring them all back to life (Ezk.36-37).
Recovery takes time, be patient, be kind, and most importantly, remind her of the Person she is by singing a new song over her, and she too will begin singing a new theme over her own life and pull the rope to freedom. You are renewing her strength by tenderly lifting her out of the ruins with the Love of God.
However, I strongly recommend that if your life and the lives of your children or pets are in danger, “Please Get Out,” or if you know someone whose life is in danger, “Please Help Her, and keep your opinions to yourself. This is not the time for such.
My name is Lisa Rene Freebird, and I am a Survivor, I believe in YOU, and I AM PROUD OF YOU!
https://www.domesticshelters.org, or you can call 211 for further assistance.