No matter where you are in life, just know a change can happen. Life is a journey. It comes with ups and down, forwards and backwards. We don't always pick what happens. We can't always get out of what we find ourselves in. But Jesus knows the way. Rely on Him today. Ask Him for strength and direction. Ask Him for wisdom. Ask Him for help.
No one else may understand where you are. Your friends and family may think you are crazy. Your co workers may be against you. Jesus is always there.
In my walk of healing, I have found that Jesus was many times the only One who understood me. He never condemned me. He often didn't even convict me. He wanted my love. He wants your love. He wants us to rely on Him for direction and help. He turns us in ways we may not have expected.
Church isn't Jesus. I found that many times people within the church didn't understand me or what I was going through. I thought they would be there. I thought they would understand. It doesn't always make them bad or against us. They may just not be able to see what you already know. That you are in danger. That your life is in turmoil. They may blame you but Jesus won't. He wants your love. He wants you to turn to Him even now in prayer and ask Him for help. He will lead you in the right direction even if you can't immediately see it. He hears your prayers and He will answer you.
Life is a journey. Give yourself a break and don't expect perfection. Learn to love and appreciate the small things. Laugh more. Find ways to encourage yourself. You will get through this. Just keep pressing forward into His love for you.
When hope is a struggle to find in your life, relying on the word of God to help you is a must. Some say God's word doesn't pertain to our life and situations in today's world, but I found out in my own life and in my own healing process, it definitely does.
I never understood what 'standing' on a scripture meant in my first years of being a Christian. I found out that it is to repeat it over and over again until it forms in your heart. It may start off meaning one thing, and the Lord will bring new revelation and understanding to it the longer you meditate on it. Keep an open mind to it's meaning as you do this.
'Standing' on the word of God doesn't mean memorizing it and placing it on your situation. It does, however, mean to allow the scripture to form it's meaning as you study it and allow God to speak to you through it.
Find hope in studying God's word and allow it to strengthen you. It can help keep you safe from threats in your life that no one else seems to know or believe is around you.
After I was out of the abusive relationship I was in, I was completely lost and felt alone. Life came with so many ups and downs, disappointments and feeling lost and confused. I had no identity that wasn't locked into someone else. I eventually felt like my life died because it was so difficult for me, but when I died, Christ lived in me. Christ began to give me the strength I needed to overcome, one day at a time.
My initial identity was in my husband and in being a victim. Once he was gone, then it was in my children and work and even in my church life. I lived for everyone else and had no idea who I was or what I was made for. I didn't know what actually made me happy, as I had always lived for everyone else. It wasn't until I lost everything, including access to my children, that I began to see that I was clueless about me. I spent all my time helping someone else. I am a nurse as well, and that job made it easy to help others and to not have to see myself or what my choices were doing to hurt others.
Finding our identity isn't always easy and to me, it's impossible to do without Christ. I didn't know what I was made for. I knew I was a good nurse, but was that really me? Was that really what I was made to do?
Something began changing inside of me once I really started looking at myself. I looked at the good, the bad and the ugly. I looked at what others thought of me and what I thought of me and really started searching out what I liked and what I didn't. When I found something I didn't like, I prayed for change. I made every effort I could muster up, and then I gave the rest to God to help me fix. I kept searching for things that were REALLY me, not just what I thought I was supposed to be or to have.
Life began emerging as I continued to search out the real me. I began laughing again and not just trying to please everyone around me. I began feeling whole again, not just a shell of regret or what once was. I found life, even though I couldn't see my children much at all during this time. God was giving me life back and it was a great place to be. I sometimes even felt guilty that I was enjoying myself and my life. I felt guilty because I once thought if others weren't happy, I shouldn't be either, but that is a lie. WE can be happy, even when others can't find that place. Maybe our happiness inside is what will help them to see that they can once again be happy as well.
Life is a journey. Sometimes people within our churches don't realize that we are still going to mess up. We are still going to do wrong sometimes. We are still going to not be perfect. I am finally okay with not being perfect. Life is a journey and I am quite happy of this journey I am on. I am human, and that just has to be good enough.
Domestic abuse doesn't have to kill us inside, even though it often FEELS like it does. There is recovery and there is moving past it. There is overcoming power in the name of Jesus Christ. His strength is what gave me the strength to keep going. His love is what showed me there is life after trauma. His life is what showed me that there is no fear inside of us that cannot be washed away with His blood and His saving grace.
Start today and ask Him to help you overcome your fears and learn to live Beyond Your Life, in the life He gave you. Make today the day you change and let it be the first day of the rest of your life.
My identity was wrapped up in words. It took me years and years to realize this. People's words hold power. They hold meaning for us. They hold feelings and beliefs. Words. Words can be true or words can be a lie. Words can be for manipulation. They can be for discouragement or encouragement. Words. Such simple things hold the power to destroy us when used wrongly.
Why do you believe someone if they say they love you? Are they showing you love or are you simply believing their words? Do you know their words to be true or are you just the trusting sort?
I realized that many of my emotions and things that made me tick were wrapped up in people's words. I believed what they said, so therefore it became my truth. Their actions would often hurt me, but once they said they said they loved me or spent time with me, that automatically would cancel out my hurt feelings and I would once again feel love. But is this truth?
I believe domestic abuse starts with words vs actions. An evil heart or mean spirited person can exist behind kind words. They can also exist behind kind actions. Someone that isn't changing at all can always tell you something that isn't true. What are their actions showing you about what they are changing? Are they searching God for an answer? Can you tell a difference in their behavior? Or are they simply making false promises that hold no value?
We get entwined into people's masks of truth that they create and allow them to hurt us over and over and over, not knowing how to make it stop.
Start today. Look at people's actions. How do those actions make you feel? Are they changing for the better or just saying they are? Some people will always hide if you allow them to. Ask God to show you the truth today and start living again based on what He says to be true. That is what brings happiness and the ability to live Beyond Your Life.
Rachel Everhart RN
Live Beyond your life in the NEW LIFE God has for you!