As I shared a few days ago, I am taking a course that will qualify me as a trainer in identifying and addressing the issues of domestic violence. Participating in this class has definitely raised some difficulties for me. While I would not have identified myself as a survivor of domestic violence before this class, I am now gaining the voice to say just that. I am a survivor. I am a survivor of domestic violence.
I wish I could somehow convey in writing the struggle and conflict that rage inside me just to be able to write those words – especially here in such a public forum. And yet, if I do not speak the truth, if I do not lay claim to every square inch of my story and bring every detail to my Savior for His redeeming touch – then I will not be able to claim all the inheritance He so dearly purchased for me. And I do want my full inheritance in Him!
Even more than that, I want my children to be able to walk in the freedom and beauty of seeing the details of their lives fully redeemed as well. I want to begin a different generational reality for them. Truth confronts and calls us to repentance because of the fathomless depth of God’s love. And His love calls us to intercede, to stand in the gap for the broken and hurting who live in this world with so little hope. Yes, He even calls us to intercede on behalf of our “enemies” – those who have caused such searing pain and ongoing doubt to each of us. He calls us to love as He loves.
That may mean we have to flee. That may mean we have to hide. That may mean we have to make decisions that look harsh to others who do not understand what is going on. That may mean walking in the difficulty of having to deny what we want, to face our own denial of the reality of our circumstances, and to make tough decisions – for ourselves and for our loved ones. And it sure as heck ain’t easy to do!
I am learning that I can say that even those I love dearly have caused me harm and acted with violence toward me, and yet not pronounce condemnation for the person. I can name the behavior for what it is. I can be angry. I may have to choose separation. And, I can also choose to continue loving the person and praying for their healing and their wholeness without taking on their responsibility for their choices or their behaviors. Nor do I need to justify them or my choices to others.
It is a still a struggle. I am still sometimes blindsided with my own desire to hide from the truth. I don’t always want to face my own sin and the times I have failed others. And still, God is faithful. He never gives up. And I choose to stand on His promised redemption and the perfection He imparts solely by faith alone.
I am learning. I am working on my story, some days more bravely than others. I will see every detail of my life bring Him glory and honor and praise. Because He is worthy and He will not give up on me.