Healing from Abusive Behavior – Part 2

Victims of abuse may turn into abusers in order to erase the shame, fears and insecurities, which plague them. They neglect those whom they should cherish, and they allow negative emotions to control our life and theirs.

We may use anger as a means to protect our self from further abuse, but this sends mixed messages. People never know when we will patiently suffer as a martyr or blow up like a volcano at the least provocation.

We may not be able to trust people, but we can trust God. Rather than acting with bombastic and combative behavior, we find our strength and confidence in Christ’s quiet resolve within us.

Then we set boundaries, and firmly but quietly caution people not to cross the line (Isaiah 30:15). They may test our boundaries; but if we consistently remind them, they will soon learn to respect us.

The older we get, the more we tell our self that the abuse happened a long time ago and we should get over it. Yet the shameful effects of the violation and the loss of our innocence and sense of trust can last a lifetime.

We may even find our self questioning if the abuse actually happened. We live in denial and convince our self that our abuser is a revered person who could never do anything that horrific.

When a trigger reminds us of the situation, it is because our soul is crying out for validation and comfort. Our true inner self is desperately attempting to gain our attention and to make us take the abuse seriously enough to stop it or to simply acknowledge it.

Snippets of words, body language, the shape of certain plants, an over-reaction that we cannot explain, bizarre behavior that has no basis in reality are all ways that our soul uses to force us to face and validate the incident(s).

Journaling will enable us to get in touch with the episode(s) and tell our story of abuse without having to make it public knowledge. Journaling validates our feelings, nurtures our wounded soul and is extremely healing.

Prayer:
Father God, You collect all of our tears in Your bottle and avenge every one of them (Psalm 56:8). Even if we feel that we somehow caused or deserved the abuse, You wash away our shame and replace it with the righteousness of Christ (Isaiah 61:7).

Remind us that forgiving our perpetrator actually helps us to heal by taking them off our “hook” and placing them firmly on Your hook. You are much better at rendering vengeance than we are (Romans 12:19; Deuteronomy 32:35). Thank You for healing us from our past and giving us a bright future full of Your love and acceptance (Jeremiah 29:11).

Thought for the Day:
Loss of innocence means that a person who was supposed to protect, nurture and cherish us actually abused us and stole from us what rightfully belongs to us alone.

 

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Let Your Insides Out

 

Who are you behind the masks you wear? Do you wear your feelings on your shoulder for other people to see who you really are? Do you try to act one way when you really feel another?

Or have you learned that it does not matter what other people think about you? Are you free from the tyranny of their opinions? Do you let your insides out?

Our fears and insecurities define who we really are inside. Due to our spirit and soul, we may have a strong spirit, but a very wounded soul. We appear strong, yet most of us are really weak.

When people reject us for our weaknesses, we feel worthless and damaged, which increases our fears and insecurities. We feel too vulnerable and build walls around our heart.

My former husband disdained the inner me. My adult children tolerate the inner me. My current husband dwells with the inner me with patience and understanding.

The good news is that Jesus died for the inner me and His Spirit is transforming the inner me into a new creation from one glorious stage to another (2 Corinthians 3:18, 5:17).

He slowly peels away the bandages, which I applied to the wounds of the inner me. He exposes the raw emotion and anxiety and puts the salve of God’s unconditional love on each one of them.

He teaches us that the only opinion of us which really matters is God’s, which frees us from having to hide behind masks. He continually encourages us to let our insides out.

Prayer:
Father God, we can love and live with a person, but only You completely love, live with and accept us just as we are. Sometimes we have idols in our life, but they are not really perfect. Jesus is the only one who belongs on the throne of our life. Only You completely and unconditionally love the inner us.

We will leave the significant others in our life when we die, but we will live with You for eternity. Your love is ours now and forever and ever. As we keep You as our best friend and the lover of our soul, we will have Your blessings in our life and Your love will flow over us like a waterfall every day of our life now and always (Matthew 16:26).

Thought for the Day:
No person can completely understand or accept us for who we really are inside; Jesus lives inside of us and He knows and loves us better than we can even know and love our self.

Dreaming Dreams

God used dreams throughout the Biblical accounts of His interaction with mankind (Job 33:15-16; Acts 2:17). He spoke through dreams to Kings, prophets and Saints of old (Genesis 15:12, 17-18; 28:12, 37:5, 46:2; Daniel 7:1-9; 1 Kings 3:5).

He also used dreams with New Testament characters such as to calm Joseph’s fears about marrying Mary and to save Jesus from sure death (Matthew 1:20-21; 2:12-13, 19; Acts 2:17, 16:9-10, 18:9-10). Pilate’s wife dreamed that he should not condemn Jesus in spite of the insistence of the Jews (Matthew 27:19).

The Word of God makes it clear that God uses dreams in our life (Joel 2:28-31). He gives us wisdom, insight and guidance to bring a resolution of issues in our life.

In our sleeping state, our soul and spirit are still very active. They are less influenced by our issues, fears and insecurities, which plague us during our waking moments.

Through dreams, God often reveals to us His character, intentions and lessons that He wants us to learn.

He will use dreams to give us wisdom on puzzling experiences in our life, peace which transcends human reasoning and direction for some activity He calls us to perform.

Satan and our own soul can inspire dreams as well as God (1 John 4:1). They are often brief and unrealistic (Psalm 126:1; Isaiah 29:8). The interpretation of our dreams will never contradict the Word of God (James 1:5).

Sleep and dreaming restores our soul to equilibrium. If dreams badger us during our sleep, we can ask God to give our soul peace and allow us to enjoy uninterrupted sleep (Psalm 127:2).

As we dream about issues that need resolution, and which we ignore during our waking moments (Ecclesiastes 5:3), God heals our soul. Our spirit sings praises to God as we sleep and we often awaken to our soul singing and making melody in our heart to the Lord.

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for giving us such a fail proof and complex brain that works like a computer as we sleep. It categorizes, files and works through issues which need resolution. Once we are Born Again, Your Spirit who abides in our spirit, will influence this series of chemical impulses and the outcome of this activity in our brain.

We would probably explode or self-destruct with the intensity of our anxiety and other negative emotions if You did not give us the ability to work out these issues in our dreams. You are our great and mighty God; and we can never thank You enough for Your vigilant care over each and every one of us in every facet of our waking and sleeping life.

Thought for the Day:
Dreams are tangible and helpful; they are made of memories, concerns, direction, hopes, vision and reality all rolled into one plot with several sub-plots and they influence the story of the rest of our life.

My Soul Waits – A Frank Conversation

Negative, shaming self-talk comes from Satan in order to discourage us from allowing God to use us to His full potential within us. It diminishes our ability to receive the flow of God’s love to us.

We feel like crawling into a closet or curling into a tiny ball and hiding from the world. We cannot even look at our self in the mirror.

Our judgmental, critical, shaming and censoring thoughts about our self and others cripples us and deflects the immensity of the Truth of God’s unconditional love and acceptance for us.

We do not sense God’s faith, hope and love within us in the person of Jesus Christ. We are unable to detect His will through our hurried lives and busy days.

We have to get off the merry-go-round of life and have a frank conversation with God. As we share our heart with Him, we empty our soul of the cares of this life and our deep seated insecurities.

Meditating on God’s Word throughout the day helps us to focus on Him and His will for our life. This trains our soul to think on heavenly things rather than being carnally minded.

In the silent times of waiting on God, we enjoy His companionable silence as He showers us with His love, fills us with His peace and gives us His joy as our strength (Nehemiah 8:10).

He gets us ready for the next trial or temptation or crisis which we will face by strengthening us from the inside out. He showers us with His blessings and love to re-enforce our spirit and prepare us for the battle ahead.

Prayer:
Father God, You have a distinct purpose for each person You created. You sent Your Son to redeem us and Your Spirit to direct us throughout our lifetime. Make us aware of Your presence during the quiet times we maintain throughout our day.

Remind us to listen to Your voice, rather than the satanic voices in our mind. Draw us closer to You. We thank You for never letting us go (Hebrews 13:5). Work in us the divine nature of Christ (2 Peter 1:4), and fulfill in us and through us all of your promises.

Thought for the Day:
God has a perfect, prearranged plan for our life; and as we walk in it, we find His presence along with fulfillment and holiness.
– John 17:17-18; Ephesians 2:10

Puzzling Pieces

When I assemble a puzzle, I start with the corner piece; then I build the frame of the puzzle before attempting to find all of the inner pieces. This brings order and clarity to the puzzle.

Our walk as Christians follows this same principle. Jesus is the main cornerstone on which we base the rest of our life (Ephesians 2:20; Matthew 21:42). He helps us to line up the other three corners and to build the framework of a successful lifestyle.

We use God’s Word to place the parameters within which we frame our thoughts, words and deeds. These are not restrictions, but a simple plan, which gives our life order and clarity.

The inside pieces are a beautiful tapestry, which God weaves throughout each moment of our day by His sanctifying process; adding brilliant colors and beautiful scenery which enhances our existence.

Each new piece that He adds makes the panorama come to life and brings logic to some puzzling pieces that made no sense in the past. The enigmatic life experiences in our future fall into place with ease when each new aspect is added.

With the safety of God’s spiritual border around our life, our fears and insecurity fade, anger diminishes, earthly focus switches to spiritual focus and dependence on God replaces self-reliance and codependence.

Through our total commitment and surrender to God’s will we experience the richest measure of His presence, the multi-dimensions of His love, and the magnitude of His mercy, grace and peace (Romans 8:35-39; 2 John 1:3; Ephesians 3:16-19, Amplified Bible)

Prayer:
Father God, thank You that our true identity is found only in Christ and that Your Holy Spirit continues Your sanctifying work in us. Teach us to follow Your voice each moment of the day and to do the works You created us to accomplish before we were ever born (Ephesians 2:10).

The parameters of Your love give us peace and security and help us to experience the fullness of Your presence and Spirit within us. Give us Your wisdom and understanding to enable us to walk worthy to wear Your name, to please You completely and to bear spiritual fruit through every good work we do (Colossians 1:9-10).

Thought for the Day:
In the midst of the puzzling aspects of life on this earth, God gives us healing from our past, trust to face the future and clarity of thought in each new moment.

Our Personal Story

From the moment of our conception, a multitude of experiences influence the story of our life. Our significant others, birth order, nurture and nature all play a part in how we view our self as we mature.

In every traumatic circumstance, Satan plants his lies, which weaken our concept of who we are and what we are meant to do as adults. He cripples us with self-doubt, fears and insecurities.

Negative issues, spoiled plans or broken relationships color our view of life and may give us a pessimistic attitude, as well as unrestrained or reclusive behavior.

In adulthood, we rely on the stories we built up in our mind about our self, more than we rely on the story, which God wrote for our life before we were ever born (Ephesians 2:10; Psalm 139:13).

We can change our life by living God’s story for us, rather than one of our own making. In God’s story of us, His presence gives us hope (Colossians 1:27), and His Spirit guides us each moment of our day (John 16:7, 14:26; Acts 1:5).

As we walk in the Spirit, we do not follow rules, ritualism or regulations, we live in a reciprocal relationship with God and obey His Word and Spirit. (Galatians 5:15-25; John 14:15).

We cooperate as the Holy Spirit replaces our old, carnal nature with His fruit; and we learn to depend more on God than the stock market, our employer or the sales at the supermarket (Galatians 5:22-23; Proverbs 3:5-6).

We experience one divine appointment after another, even if we do not realize it. God uses our smile, a kind word, a helping hand, a bouquet of flowers or an interested question to change another person’s life.

We are just the nudge they needed to change their mind and question their plans. We will never know until eternity how God uses us through each moment of our life.

Prayer:

Father God, thank You for our salvation through Christ’s sacrifice on Calvary’s cross. We appreciate Your plans for our life, and we want to live by Your Spirit each moment of our day. Remind us not to depend on our self or to make our plans, but to depend on You and to decrease so that You can increase within us (John 3:30).

Heal us from the lies, which the devil uses to control our thoughts, words and deeds. Help us to walk in Your Truth and to live out Your story for our individual lives as members of Your Body, Your Bride and Your Church.

Thought for the Day:

When life goes our way, we tend to rely less on God and more on our self, coasting in our prayer life, neglecting Bible study and missing worship services with fellow Believers; until the next trauma or catastrophe sends us running back into God’s waiting arms.

Raised to Walk in a New Life

– Romans 6:4; Colossians 2:12

Jesus poured out His life on this earth for all of mankind. During three years of ministry, He had no place to lay His head (Luke 9:58). He was criticized for eating with publicans and sinners (Matthew 9:10). He experienced rejection, even from his own people (Matthew 13:57). Jesus ultimately laid down His life on Calvary’s cross for the salvation of anyone willing to accept His redemption (Rev 22:17; Acts 17:11).

Then on the third day, He raised up His own life again to exactly fulfill the Biblical prophecies about His life, death and resurrection (Isaiah 7:14, 53:12; Psalm 49:15, 24:7-10). Jesus then delivered those who died prior to His death and set them free (Ephesians 4:8-9). He became the first child of God to raise from the dead (Colossians 1:18). Then God lifted Him up to the greatest measure of His glory and authority (John 17:5).

God raises us to walk in a new life as well. Since Christ now lives within us by His Spirit, His power and authority are working in the life of every authentic Born Again Believer. As we walk in His Spirit, we fulfill the will of God. We mature in our walk of faith and we realize the awesome attributes of God in us. This humbles us and causes us to bow to Him in complete surrender.

God’s Spirit points out sin in our life, and then we cooperate and allow His Spirit to transform us both with the mind and character of Christ (2 Peter 1:4; Philippians 2:12-13). He frees us from sin and the corrupt desires of our flesh. He cleanses us from the root issue causing our penchant for sin. We die to our humanity and allow God to mature us in the Spirit, so we can live in the fullness of His resurrected life (Ephesians 3:19).

Prayer:
Father God, You never, ever leave us or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:8; Hebrews 13:5). We have faith in Your faithfulness. We rely on You and relinquish to You our worries, fears and insecurities (Matthew 6:25-34). Your love provides us with safety in the storms of life, as well as the provision we need in order to walk in our new life on this earth. Help us to glorify You on this earth just like Jesus did (John 17:4).

Thought for the Day:
Love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, meekness, self-control and faith are not dependent upon our circumstances or our feelings or even our health, but only on the Holy Spirit within us in our new life.