by Rachel A. Everhart RN
I want to share something that I haven't spoken in quite some time...
in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month...I truly have been given life.
I am so thankful for my life. I am so thankful for the friends that I have met along my journey. I never would have met many of you if my life wouldn't have fallen apart.
I am so thankful for the life God has now given me outside of being abused. I am thankful for the long journey of healing. I'm thankful for the things that hurt because they showed me who I am and who I am not. He taught me how to stand, but also how to sit. He taught me how to forgive but also how to speak. He taught me how to love and also how to believe. He truly has shown me Himself and I am forever grateful for Him believing in me.
My life was filled to the brim with domestic violence. That is all I knew. Abuse. It was painful and hard. It was confusing and so hurtful...devastatingly hurtful to my very soul. Then came a moment that changed everything. A moment that no one thinks will ever happen to them....I almost died from that abuse...physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally. I was 'all in' and had no idea what it even was. My life was surrounded by domestic abuse. People often think the abuse ends with leaving, but it doesn't. It continues and rages on. Leaving doesn't stop the abuser from abusing. It often gets worse.
God knew where I was and what I was going through. He changed everything in my life. Leaving didn't come easy. Struggles and more hardships came. More confusion came. More hurt came. Great loss came.
We can't always pick our battles. We can't always keep what we think we will never lose. We can't always win. But God gives life and He gives it more abundantly. My life now is but a remnant of what was. I have peace, hope and joy in my heart, where there was once only loss and pain. I have purpose and structure. I have goals and new hopes and new dreams. I laugh and it's a laughter from deep within my soul. I never had that before He set me free from living in abuse.
I just want to thank the Lord for trusting in me and saving me from this place I was in. I lived it. I breathed it. It is all I knew, but He has now brought me life and it's a life in abundance. I don't have all the things I want but I have what I need. He has restored so many relationships and things back to my life that I thought were gone forever. He didn't forget them nor has He forgotten the ones that aren't yet here. He is gracious and loving and has never let me down. He protects me and keeps me and continues to give me hope in things that haven't yet come. He showed me what I kept doing wrong so I could find people that didn't abuse me. He loves me that much...to not only bring me out but to teach me how to be loved in a healthy way.
He truly saved me and this isn't just in the bible sense. He really saved me from a lifestyle of abuse. He saved me from my own destruction...my own inability to find my way out...my own inability to find my way anywhere. He saved me from my own patterns that were destructive...my own patterns of hurt and pain locked within my soul. He saved me and brought me to a place of peace, a place of love and a place of unity.
I truly have a life worth living and I owe it all to Him....thank you Lord for what you have done and are doing in my life. I owe everything I am today to You...
Rachel Everhart RN