My journey from domestic violence victim to survivor is in its twelfth year. I’ve made huge strides in my recovery over the past five years (aka nervous breakdown year), yet the anxiety within my head has never completely calmed down. But this past weekend, for one of the few times in my life, I felt totally connected to my world for a beautiful five minutes.
One of the goals in my recovery has always been to obtain the calmness and peace God offers to his children. Psalm 29:11: “The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace.”
Faith and domestic violence
Each time I took a step towards completing a deliberate step in my recovery, I always measured the effectiveness of my actions against my feelings of God’s calmness. For example, when I was confused about painful bible verses, I meet weekly with a Christian counselor for a year. She did a wonderful job explaining and dismantling how I was misinterpreting painful bible verses. Although I felt better at the end of the year, I didn’t feel complete freedom from my confusion.
During one season, I was pretty sure establishing boundaries with my abuser was going to be the answer to my emotional turmoil. Establishing boundaries was painful, dangerous, and extremely hard since we both had custody of the children. Yet, this step didn’t cure all the anxiety my abuser seemed to cause me. My new boundaries made my world better, but the residue effects of the abuse remained lingering in my thoughts.
Self-help books were helpful as was years and years of counseling (although it only helped if I was being honest with my counselor).
Every time I completed the recovery task God placed on my heart, I kept moving forward yet often felt dismayed when I realized I hadn’t found the unconditional peace I was searching for.
Yesterday time stood still as I walked off the beach. I’ve been to this spot dozens of times over the past few years yet while walking to car, I stopped dead in my tracks. My eyes caught the most beautiful sand dunes with grass waving in the wind with the bluest of sky and rolling clouds behind.
I stood in awe. For the first time in a long time, I felt my mind and body connected together. Not only was I seeing, but I was feeling the breeze, hearing the ocean’s pounding and sea gulls squawking, and smelling the ocean water. Knowing I’ve seen this spot multiple times in my life initially scared me as I realized I had never experienced the view as I was at this moment.
In those moments, it all came together; the reason I have been fighting my fight towards recovery for the past 12 years. Those few minutes provided me with a calmness and ability to be in the moment I’ve rarely experienced. For these few moments, I was completely connected to my world in mind, body, and spirit. Previous to this experience, I knew God’s promise I was fighting for; on this day I praised God for giving me the opportunity to be in His presence. Thank goodness, I hadn’t stopped fighting to regain control of my thoughts and God’s love.
I pray my experience motivates other women to fight Satan’s road blocks and spiritual warfare when he tells us God’s love isn’t available for victims like us. I could have believed this lie after each step I took in my recovery efforts. There were many times I felt frustrated, tired, and sure I was never going to feel God’s complete presence in my life.
God used sand dunes to show me that all my recovery efforts are making a difference. The dunes provided me with a peaceful five minutes of the most unbelievable calmness. This calmness confirmed what I had been and will continue to fight for.
Blessings to all,
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.