Healing from Abusive Behavior – Part 1

Abuse, even a one-time moment of rage that used abuse as punishment or an attempt to control the victim, robs us of our innocence and makes us feel powerless over our own life.

It drives us into a codependent role – attempting to please others to keep them from abusing us. The problem with this faulty thinking is that it often has the opposite effect.

People tend to continue to abuse our good nature, take us for granted and treat us with contempt. A lack of appreciation and more verbal, mental and physical abuse may follow.

We strive throughout our life to lay down our life in hopes that someone will love us; but we actually teach them that it is okay to take advantage of us, because we constantly put our needs last.

Trauma does not always make us stronger. It may also make us a ball of nerves, fear and insecurity. We are actually weaker, because we are always on the defensive.

We may develop PTSD, much like any survivor of a battle zone, and react to life with this fractured thinking and behavior. Medication may be necessary to help us to remain calm and lucid until God heals us.

Journaling helps us to heal by allowing our Inner Parent to understand the deep wounds we experienced and to nurture our Inner Child as we turn our words into a prayer for God’s healing.

Prayer:
Father God, I pray for victims of abuse of every type. Give them the deep comfort that can only come from Your love. Restore to them their joy in life and remove from them the fears and insecurities, which plague their life. Redeem their heart and mind and give them a new outlook on life.

Teach them that although people may not be trustworthy, You are always trustworthy. Help us to remain vulnerable and kind, yet wary and wise (Matthew 10:16). Show us the balance between serving others without teaching them to take us for granted by always putting our needs last.

Thought for the Day:
God’s perfect goodness and love find expression in the midst of wickedness and degradation; because He experiences every slight right along with us and carries our pain and burden for us, if we will relinquish it to Him.

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Overcoming Life’s Hurdles

Mental, emotional and physical pain and stress, loss and grief, and wounded individuals put us at risk for reaping negative results in life. In addition, unresolved childhood trauma increases the effects of our current distress. ( http://www.theophostic.com )

With repeated trauma, we can even develop various degrees of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and we view the world as a painful, alarming, treacherous place.

Separation through death, divorce, rejection, abandonment, etc. will affect our future relationships. We lose our sense of safety and security and may even live in continual fear and insecurity.

Our breathing is shallow, which affects our lungs, diaphragm and heart. Stomach, heart, lung and nerve issues cause us problems. Our mind can even affect us with physical symptoms, which have no physical source.

On guard in every situation, we are in a constant state of “fight or flight”. This makes us combative and easily angered when we feel vulnerable and helpless.

A lack of trust causes us to build thick walls around our soul. Then we feel lonely, disheartened, hopeless and overwhelmed. We may even blame our self for what happens to us.

Attempting to prepare our self for the unexpected, we delve into worse case scenarios to prepare our self for any contingency; yet, we only provide our self with a false sense of power and protection from future trauma.

When events in our life are going well, we tend to rely less on God and more on our self. We have the idea that we deserve God’s love and blessings, because we are so good.

However, with this attitude, we will never feel totally secure in life. We will live in constant anxiety, because we fear that if we fail in some area, we will lose His love and be lost for eternity.

The opposite is actually true. God loved us while we were still sinners, is our everlasting Savior and continues to love us unconditionally (Romans 5:8; 1 John 1:9). He is the same yesterday, today and for eternity (Hebrews 13:8).

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for allowing us to fail and to learn from our mistakes, to suffer trails for Your glory so that people can see our love for and trust in You regardless of our earthly status. Teach us to rely totally on You and not to pursue the world or the flesh.

Remind us to stop depending on our self and to begin to depend solely on You for every step we take (Proverbs 3:5-6). Help us to do only the works, which You ordained for us to achieve, rather than asking You to bless our works (Ephesians 2:10).

Thought for the Day:
When we rely on God’s Holy Spirit for direction and strength, we listen to God’s Spirit, step out in faith, and find all the resources we need to achieve all that God ordained us to do.
– Philippians 2:12-13, 4:13; Matthew 7:7-8

Hope in God – Part 1

During trials and setbacks, Satan discourages us and makes us doubt God’s love. We lose our hope, until we totally surrender our human confidence, dreams and goals to God (Proverbs 3:5-6).

No matter how long or dreadful we suffer in this world, we never lose our hope in God (Psalm 39:7). His Saints love Him, because the Lord faithfully preserves those who are faithful to Him.

We can strengthen our heart and have strong courage, because our hope is in God, not in our self or what we want out of life (Psalm 31:23-24). God never abandons our soul or brings us to ruin.

He leads us in His path of life. We find fullness of joy in His presence; and as we serve Him, we are delighted all the days of our life (Psalm 16:10-11).

Even when we suffer with negative emotions like discouragement and stress, we can still hope in God. As we praise Him, He puts a smile on our lips, a twinkle in our eyes and a jaunt in our steps (Psalm 42:5-6).

He encourages us and our soul rejoices as we remember His goodness and provision (Psalm 42:11). As we hope in God we hear His voice and recognize Him as our Lord and Savior (Psalm 38:15).

As we remember all that God does for us and the words He speaks to us, we set our hope in Him. He comforts us in our trials and His Son and His Word give us life (Psalm 78:7, 119:49-50).

Prayer:
Father God, You are our hiding place in times of insecurity and our shield when life frightens us (Psalm 119:114). Our soul waits for You, more than the night watchmen eagerly wait for the morning, and we put all of our hope in Your Word (Psalm 130:5-6).

Those who do not have a personal relationship with You are sick at heart, but our desire is for You. You bless us with Your life within us (Proverbs 13:12; John 14:6). As we walk in Your righteous ways, we have peace and joy (Proverbs 10:28).

Thought for the Day:
We continually hope in God and praise Him more and more every day. – Psalm 71:14

Healing Relationships – Part 2

Due to the insecurity and fear in life, many of us attempt to control people and events in order to maintain a safe and secure existence. Unfortunately, life never cooperates.

People who are wounded in their soul form relationships with other wounded people. In fact, we are all wounded to some extent or another due to our life experiences.

When we are wounded, we often choose untrustworthy people to trust, unreliable people to rely upon, and emotionally unavailable people from which we attempt to receive love. We end up more wounded than ever before.

If we are already in such a marriage relationship, God does not want us to divorce (Malachi 2:16). He will change us, which will also help to change our mate. The transition is gradual and it will take patience and time.

If you are not already married, then practice spiritual discernment and seek only God’s will for your future mate (Psalm 37:34).

Trust God to lead you to His selection for your mate. Walk in serenity and realize that when God wants you to be married, He will supply a mate.

As we learned from the Serenity prayer in Part 1 of Healing Relationships, we can only find fulfillment as we focus on eternal aspects of life and walk in God’s Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).

This changes our belief system, our choices and our pattern of behavior.

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for healing the wounds of our past as You sanctify our soul and make us whole. Help us to focus on eternal matters in life and to put the matters of our soul in Your capable hands.

You will bring us everything that we need in life when we need it. If we do not have what we want, we can be assured that it is not Your time for us to have it.

If it is not Your will for us to have the desires of our heart, then you will change our desires to line up according to Your Will. Help us to wait patiently on You (Psalm 37:7, 40:11).

Thought for the Day:
Securing counseling as a couple will teach each partner how to live in a healthy, interdependent relationship; this way, you will grow together instead of apart.
*For healing the wounds of our past, start by reading my post: http://fulfilledchristianlife.blogspot.com/2012/08/part-1-healing-emotional-wounds.html

Apple of My Eye

The “apple” of one’s eye is commonly referring to the pupil (Deuteronomy 32:10). We protect our eyes at any cost, making sure that no foreign substance or harm come to them in any way.

We use the term “apple of my eye” when speaking about something very valuable to us. We instruct our children, the “apple of our eye”, to pay attention to our advice, in order to prevent them from reaping the destruction caused by making poor choices (Proverbs 7:2).

Those who harm the Lord’s anointed children or Israel, His chosen nation, will truly suffer from His hand, because they touch the “apple of His eye” (Zechariah 2:8). God protects His own.

Sometimes, we may wound a brother or a sister; or we may walk in sin for a season, which grieves God’s Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30). At times like these, we plead with God to forgive us and to keep us as the” apple of His eye”.

We hide in the shadow of His wings and He saves us from our enemies and the issues of life, which threaten to overpower us (Psalm 17:8; Lamentations 2:18). This intimate expression reminds us about the extent of God’s love for each one of His Saints.

God took on a human form in order to pay the penalty, which we reaped from the first Adam’s sin (Philippians 2:7-8; 1 Corinthians 15:45). Emmanuel, God with us, felt the degradation, insecurity and weight of living on this sin-cursed earth.

God went all the way to the cross to make it possible for us to dwell with Him for eternity. All He asks is for us to keep His commandments, which were designed to protect us, not to restrict us (John 14:23).

Prayer:

Father God, You encourage us to keep Your precepts as the apple of our eye (Proverbs 7:2). Please, remind us to hide Your Word in our heart, so that we will not sin against You (Psalm 119:11). The nation of Israel was the first “apple of Your eye”. They strayed from You, as we tend to do; but we thank You for giving all Gentile unbelievers a chance to know You, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent to save us (John 17:3). Truly, this is eternal life, which we can enjoy now, as well as all throughout eternity.

Thought for the Day:

It is interesting to realize that any person we speak to sees a small image of their profile reflecting in the pupil of our eye.

Facing the Challenges of Life

Since life happens without any warning, I got into the habit, at a very young age, of breathing in shallow breaths. This is detrimental, because my body does not receive all of the oxygen it needs. My blood pressure went up, since I was hyperventilating all of the time. My mind kept my body in high alert. My soul does not react well to the uncertainty of life.

Inwardly, I felt fearful and insecure all the time. The environment in which I lived was unreliable and unpredictable. In my childhood, I grew up with emotional distance, unpredictable anger and physical aggression, which caused dread and instability. Throughout my life, I lived with repeated unsettling circumstances and unexpected changes.

For instance, I moved way too often in my early married life, and had to start over too many times. Eventually, my former husband decided he needed to move on without me, so I lived through divorce. I also experienced two car crashes in which I totaled both cars. The first accident left me with emotional turmoil and the second inflicted extensive physical trauma.

All of my life, I tried to control life to keep it manageable and safe. Of course, I failed miserably at this endeavor. We cannot harness life no matter how many safety valves we provide. I still do not like surprises and I have to remind myself to be more flexible, but I have learned some valuable life lessons.

Over my years as a Believer, I learned to keep my focus on God, to surrender everything to Him in prayer, to have faith in God’s faithfulness and to be more in tune to His Spirit (Isaiah 26:3; Philippians 4:6; 1 Corinthians 1:9; Romans 8:14). God taught me to cast my cares on Him, because He really does care about me.

Walking in the Spirit moment by moment keeps me prepared for the unexpected (1 Peter 5:7; Psalm 77:14; Romans 8:28; Galatians 5:15-21). God also taught me that He places a seed for a miracle within every trial. With each lesson I learned, I started breathing more deeply because the feeling of impending doom disappeared.

Prayer:
Father God, You have a perfect plan for our life (Ephesians 2:10). Remind us to seek Your direction for each task You planned for our day, and then to seek Your face for guidance on how to do what You instruct us to do. Consumed by Your Spirit, there is no room for negative emotions. As we face new situations in life, which cause us injury, unrest and indecision, we can wait on You and face the circumstance with Your courage from within us. You strengthen us from the inside out to meet every new challenge (Psalm 27:14).

Thought for the Day:
Trusting totally in God and surrendering to His will for my life gives me His joy and serenity, which trying to control life never did.

Hope for Tomorrow

If the Gospel of Christ is not true, then there is no forgiveness or reconciliation for our sins and we have no resurrection to look forward to. We have no joy for our current life or for the next, and there is no expectation of living in the Father’s house in the future (Romans 10:9; I Corinthians 15:17-19; John 14:1-2, 12). Life without Christ is a life without hope.

There are countless people experiencing depression and mid-life insecurities because they place their hope in our culture, a bank account, a philosophy, their employment or worldly religions. This house of cards is shaky at best, and the ensuing insecurity drives people insane, gives them heart attacks or destroys their relationships.

However, the Gospel of Christ is gloriously true. Jesus suffered and died to set us free from Satan, the flesh, sin and death. We now have hope for tomorrow. As we walk in the light of God’s Truth, we have no fear of darkness or evil, because Christ in the authentic Believer overcame Satan and evil on Calvary’s cross. Even negative aspects of life now work out for our good (Romans 8:28).

A life based on God’s Word has a stable and firm foundation (2 Timothy 2:19). As we walk by the direction and power of God’s Spirit, we will not fulfill the dictates of the devil or the flesh, but we will luxuriate in the continual blessings of God (Galatians 5:15-26). As we focus on His plans for our life with a pure heart, He uses us according to His will (Psalm 51:10; Ephesians 2:10).

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for giving us the opportunity to live in Christ and to become a new creation. We rejoice that our old habits, sins, negative emotions and personality are made new by Your Spirit (2 Corinthians 5:17). When we trust You with our life, You destroy the deprivation, which devastated us and You mature us in the likeness of Your Son (Romans 8:29). Thank You for claiming us as Your own and for making it possible for us to spend eternity with You.

Thought for the Day:
Therefore, even when we are simply eating or drinking, or whatever we decide God wants us to do, we do it all for His glory.
– 1 Corinthians 10:31