Over the past few weeks I’ve had a heavy prayer on my heart. Thirteen years after leaving my abuser and I still struggle with control of my thoughts. I struggle with the slowly moving evolution of something entering my mind and, instead of me telling the thought to go away, I let it meander around. And, after a little meandering around in my thoughts, the conflicting message gains momentum and eventually becomes “reality” in my head.
Because I don’t stop the temptation of the thought or the lie immediately upon entering my mind, it becomes stronger and bigger than life when I do decide to tackle it.
I love getting the seedling idea for my weekly devotion early in the week. Sometimes I get the topic and start jotting down notes as early as Saturday mornings; sometimes I feel the topic move me early in the week which causes me to pray on it for a few days.
I actually have two topics for this week’s blog being tossed around in my mind. One has to do with anxiety and the other is sharing a current experiment I am having with my sugar intake. Both topics interest me so I honestly couldn’t decide which one was stronger on my heart for this week.
Last Friday, my daughter and I attended her fall college orientation. We had a wonderful time; girls’ night in the hotel meant junk food for dinner, great conversation where I experienced a special glimpse into her teenage mindset, and her excitement for college which allowed me to see some of the wonderful things God has guided us through. Shopping for dorm room items at Walmart and Target added smiles and laughter to the day.
I will cherish this special day for years for a variety of reasons. The most prevalent reason though is because I was able to enjoy it. As we toured the campus and met with the staff, I was there, in the moment, the entire time. I was mindful of everything that I was and wasn’t doing.
Although I posted the blog below a year ago, I continue to struggle with the topic daily.
Being Late versus Right on Time:
I am the first to admit I have double standards on my anxiety level when I am late leaving the house. If being late is due to my kids (rarely my husband) not being on time, my internal anxiety meter goes from 1 – 10 within two minutes. After two minutes being late from my designated departure time, I am huffy and felling disrespected. Rarely do I care about my children’s “excuses”.
Yet, when I cause us (kids or husband) to leave after a designated departure time, I am as calm as can be. I just needed longer devotion time. Or maybe my last week’s favorite jeans weren’t fitting this week so I struggled to find something to wear. Sometimes I just lost track of time and truly had no justification. But, I am calm and with a huge smile, ignore those who are complaining about my untimeliness.
Two weeks ago, a friend of mine was excitedly talking about the upcoming 4th of July weekend. She smiled nonstop talking about how her and her family love the 4th holiday. She started reminiscing about some special family memories. Even with Covid restrictions, she had a wonderful weekend planned for this year. As we get closer to the 4th, the same conversation plays out again and again.
During the school year, most of my requests to my abuser for extra financial support due to the ebb and flow of kids in school, were met with a huge nope; I don’t have any money. Yet, summer after summer my abuser always had time and money to take the children on a week-long vacation to the beach. Honestly, going to the beach probably isn’t a fair statement; he had time, pretend patience, and money to take them to amusement parks, water parks, and all sorts of tourist activities while going to the beach.
I had the pleasure of joining Virginia Knowles on the Growing into the Ministry Podcast this week.
Though primarily a resource for people who want to grow spiritually as they help others, one of the main themes within Growing into the Ministry is effectively caring for women who have experienced any form of domestic abuse. Please join Virginia and I as we discuss some powerful lessons I've learned during my journey to survivor.
In 2014, seven years after leaving my abuser, I still believed my abuser’s lie that I was a terrible mom. This lie was so ingrained in my thought process that it influenced almost everything that I did and made me feel extremely guilty for the things that I didn’t do. My sense of guilt greatly increased when my oldest son didn’t have the high school grades to get into a four-year college, and he had no particular direction. “I told you so,” the voice in my head would say, “terrible mom.”
This week has been extremely hard for me. It was only Tuesday night and I had to close my eyes for 20 minutes prior to talking with my Bible study friends on the phone. Even though it was only 6:00pm, my body felt like it was 10:30pm and I was late for bed.
Asking my daughter to set the stove timer and wake me up reminded me of when I used to do nap during my depression phase after I left my abuser. But, that was 14 years ago.
Last week, on an otherwise normal morning, I was sitting in my devotion space, carrying on a conversation with God. I usually start my devotion time with a “thank you for allowing me to sleep last night” (sleeping is my new wonder drug) and then deviate from there. Repetitious habit has created a cadence for my devotion time:
- I start off thanking God for specific things he’s done;
- I then move into my conversation about what is bothering me;
- then I start reflecting on turning what is bothering me into prayer requests;
- and I end with my specific prayer request for others.Honestly, prior to writing this blog, if you asked me my devotion format I probably would have said “no clue: I just talk with God”. But further investigation into the question that was placed on my heart last week lead me to examine closer this special time of my day. I am glad I see the natural format my devotion time has created!
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.