Part 1 of 5 | The Book of Proverbs
Reality hurt when I experienced this truth: being away from my abuser didn’t make me a survivor; it made me a remote-controlled puppet still functioning under the control of my abuser’s emotional brainwashing.
After separating from my abuser, I found a church and attended faithfully in person but not always in spirit. A problem developed as I felt like what the Pastor was saying didn’t match what I was hearing. The Pastor was discussing God’s grace and love yet as I was listening with my abuser’s brainwashing lies still controlling my thoughts, God’s love and grace seemed like something He offered to other people.
Finding faith after abuse
Pretty soon I found myself wondering HOW do I incorporate God’s truth into my confused thought process? HOW do I transform from the world of my abuser telling me what to do to a world of God’s guidance guiding me, instructing me how to live? Yes, there is lots of guidance on how important it is to read the Bible, but exactly HOW am I supposed to read something so cumbersome, ancient, foreign, and hard to understand?
My prayers were answered during a Sunday service in May when the Pastor challenged the congregation to read the Book of Proverbs, one chapter a day, for three months straight. He challenged us to read the entire Book of Proverbs, 30 chapters broken down into one chapter a day, in June, July, and August that summer.
This simple challenge ended up being life altering to me. The stress of wondering how to understand God’s word in such a huge Bible was minimized when I read in Proverbs 1:2-3 that the purpose of the Book of Proverbs was: “for gaining wisdom and instruction; for understanding words of insight; for receiving instruction in prudent behavior, doing what is right and just and fair.”
This part of the Bible became my foundation of truth; something concrete I could fight the lies of my abuser with.
There are four fundamental things I learned reading the Book of Proverbs that summer:
First, the readings provided me with guidance from a higher power (more loving, ethical, and consistent power) telling me what to do as I was unable to figure out what to do on my own.
Second, reading the Book of Proverbs introduced me to a correct understanding of what is right and wrong. Proverbs 2:1-6 states” My son (daughter), if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, indeed if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand and fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.”
Third, the Book of Proverbs provided me with strength to establish my boundaries.
Finally, reading the Book of Proverbs proved me with hope during a time when I had nothing to hold on to.
As a special part of this series, I've included some questions to reflect on. If you feel comfortable, feel free to leave a comment with your answers so that we can all enjoy a larger discussion!
What verse(s) do you use as a foundation of truth? What verse(s) do turn to when you feel distant from God?
At the outset of my journey, I had a difficult time reconciling God's truth with my own thoughts and ways of doing things. This week, reflect on your thoughts and behaviors to see if they're aligning with God's plan. I'll be praying for God to reveal any new deviations in my life and to you wherever you are in your journey so that we can all grow closer to Him!
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.