Scared of speaking up. Scared of leaving. Scared of staying. Domestic abuse is unfortunately one of those places where many people get stuck and it is a hard place to leave.
Why don’t people suffering from abuse just get out? It’s not always that easy. Some people think this type of relationship is normal, because it’s what they knew as a child. Some stay because financially they don’t know how they would make it on their own. Some are just too embarrassed to admit they are allowing this to happen. And for many, a deep love for the abuser keeps them connected even through the abuse.
But there is hope. Many people have stories of escaping abuse and getting their lives back again.
Someone recently shared their “unstuck” story with me in the hope that it might be an encouragement to others. This person was stuck for almost 3 years before they started making their way out of a destructive relationship. It turns out that pain became a blessing. When the abuse went from emotional to physical in front of her children, she knew something desperately had to change.
After working with 3 different counselors (sometimes you have to be persistent) she found the help she needed. She was introduced to a friend who would walk with her through these very difficult decisions and would be a safe place to share the thoughts and hurts that she just couldn’t tell anyone else.
Speaking the words of scripture became a life-transforming habit. Through difficult decisions and the onset of panic attacks, memorizing and speaking God’s word brought peace and courage and pushed fears aside. Scriptures like these became transforming as she faced her fears.
9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” — Joshua 1:9
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” – 2 Timothy 1:7
“…Do not fret; it leads only to evil.” – Psalms 37:8
Through connection, counseling, and most of all – the power of the word of God – she made her way out of the abuse and into a healthy life. And you can too, but you must be willing to take some important steps.
If you want to make your way out of an abusive relationship, it’s going to take courage, support and a good plan. As we’ve seen with other problems, the way out involves finding someone you can trust and desperately seeking the Lord in prayer. You can find some great resources at the National Domestic Violence Hotline. They can help you with developing your plan and have a ton of useful information about this subject.
Come join us for our unStuck series on Sundays and Wednesdays in January and February as we work at moving forward again.