After separating from my abuser, the Book of Proverbs became my foundation of truth; something concrete I could use to fight the lies of my abuser.
I had no idea how to be a Christian, mother, daughter, or co-worker the years following my physical separation from my abuser. Twenty years of being told what to do, how to do it, and asked why I hadn’t completed the task correctly completely deprived any ability I had to think on my own. Although I was physically removed from the harmful living situation, emotionally I was so brainwashed that I was stripped of any ability to generate a thought without guidance.
Finding Faith after Abuse: Prayers Require Action
One of the first things that jumped out at me when I started reading the Book of Proverbs was that in order for me to regain control of my thoughts and actions, I was going to need to take action. For me, my morning prayers started the process of connecting with God and His guidance. Yet, praying wasn’t enough to break the stronghold of lies manipulating my world.
Realizing I needed to take action was great; but for someone who couldn’t think on her own, this became confusing until I found guidance within the Book of Proverbs. You see here, in these chapters and verses, I found the first nuggets of guidance from a higher power, a more loving, ethical, positive, and encouraging power telling me what to do as I was unable to navigate my world on my own. I learned that finding God’s wisdom required me to:
Scripture reinforced that finding God’s wisdom wasn’t a passive activity; just reading the Bible wasn’t going to change my mindset. In order for my thoughts to be changed, I had to actively capture them, take charge of them, and change them!
For example, Proverbs 4:7 (NIV) states “the beginning of wisdom is this: get wisdom. Though it will cost all you have, get understanding.” To me, the verb get tells me that I must actively seek in order to receive. Knowing God’s wisdom is obviously the first step; I can’t adjust my thought process until I know the truth to align it with. Knowing God’s truth was a critical key in my identifying the lies in my head. Although seemingly obvious now, in the early stages of my transformation, I had no idea which thoughts in my head were truths or lies!
The requirement for me to actively follow through on God’s word was reinforced to me in Proverbs 14:23 (NIV) “all hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.” While meditating on this passage, I realized that following God’s guidance isn’t a picking and choosing of what verses I wanted to follow. I can’t just decide to follow this one passage of God’s guidance but chose to ignore a verse I consider harder to accomplish. If I was going to defeat the lies of my abuser, I was going to have to have a full-scale attack against them. All of them.
Changing my mindset required a lot of hard, disciplined work for which I leaned heavily on the strength of the Holy Spirit. I couldn’t fight the lies by myself!
In week one, we focused on God opening our hearts by reading His word. This week, we’re focused on the next two steps: prayer and action.
Prayer and meditation on Biblical readings aligns you with God’s vision for your life. Your heart, opened by reading the word, can now receive God’s strength and discipline to act on God’s calling.
The next step is to act on God’s calling. This is undoubtedly the hardest step for most, but using the strength and discipline granted to us by the power of prayer, we are empowered to carry the burdens we’re faced with in life. We use this strength to move the dial towards a better, more God centered life. We trust God to align His timing with our actions to bring us closer to Him.
Find a verse that challenges you and look for the verb. Reflect on God’s call to action on your life. Make note of a couple of small ways that you could bring yourself closer to God by acting on the verse this week.
Pray along with me:
Lord, thank you for all the blessings you’ve placed over my life and your steady love that I can lean on whenever I doubt my path. Thank you for making your word clear to me in this verse, and for giving me the strength and discipline to pursue your path for my life. Thank you for opening doors in my life to help me grow in faith this week, whether in new challenges that you are preparing me to handle, or in blessings as a sign of your love. Lord, please bless my humble and earnest efforts to be more Christ-like as I pursue __(Tell God what you’ll be working on this week)__ In Jesus' name, Amen.
Once we can receive God’s strength, everything is possible. I’ll be praying for you every day this week to achieve your goals and for you to end the week closer to Him. Our community is tied together by the invisible strength of prayer so that we may all grow closer to God and His plan for our lives.
Hi, I'm Sue
Welcome to my blog! I served twenty-one honorable years on active duty, living a double life of capability and accomplishment in the service while enduring brutality and abusiveness in my twenty-one year oppressive marriage. Today I'm happily married and have three children who are my inspiration and motivation.
My goal is to help combat the lies of abusers with the truth of God. I hope you find my words to be healing and helpful through your own life experiences.
Being separated from my abusive husband didn't make me a domestic violence survivor. It surely didn't release me from the grip of his brainwashing control and the innate power he had on me.
Read the full raw story in my new book, Rock Bottom and Faithless.