Valentine’s Day was yesterday. I know many of you avoided social media...maybe even church. Every day is hard if you are a domestic abuse survivor (whether you are ‘surviving’ under the same roof as your abuser or have already separated or divorced.) The holidays are just harder than days that aren’t special family days.
On holidays, when family love, happiness, memories and togetherness are celebrated; you will be faced with the stark contrast of what your memories were, what happens when you are all together, and with how every holiday is ruined by unkind words or actions.
Sometimes the sadness is permeating. There is no way to explain the feeling to someone that hasn’t experienced this level of sadness--it is a penetrating, all-encompassing sadness. You are going to feel that. You are going to be sad. The person who said they would love you forever, probably never loved you.
Now, you are trying to figure out how to leave in light of your safety and financial concerns. Or, you are at least at the first stage of freedom so that there is no one in your home threatening you with or using physical, emotional, verbal, financial and sexual abuse against. You are “free” but in the early stages there will always be what I call “aftermath.” Similar to people who have left the battlefield, you are dealing with healing and recovery from, at the worst, PTSD, anxiety, depression and, at the minimum--grief.
Understand you are going to go through this but go through it…don’t stay in that place. Focus on Jesus. Pray that He will give you the strength to do all you will have to do simultaneously. Pray that He will give you peace while you go through this. Claim faith...not fear.
Remember that the joy of the Lord is your strength (Nehemiah 8:10). If you don’t have the joy of the Lord, you will not be strong enough for this fight. How do you get the joy of the Lord in your most difficult times? By drawing closer to Him, by praying, and by reading the Word of God. From Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary: “Their strength consisted in joy in the Lord. The better we understand God's word, the more comfort we find in it; the darkness of trouble arises from the darkness of ignorance.”