By : Christine Baskin
Step 1. No longer see yourself as a victim, but rather a SURVIVOR. Which, if you’re reading this…you are indeed a SURVIVOR!
You may not feel like much of a survivor, you may be battling depression, anxiety, nightmares, or just re-playing events over and again in your mind from what happened to you. I thought it was healthy during my separation (for a season) to process-through, or replay the events that happened during my marriage; and that would help me to understand my ex’s choices. But I was wrong. It was like digging up old graves that brought nothing but sorrow.
Forgiveness is easier to achieve when we stop replaying the events, and begin to renew our minds to who we really are. Don’t call yourself a victim, instead begin to speak what God says about you. For example, when you wake up in the morning, before your feet touch the floor: declare a promise of God. For example you can say, “Greater is He (Jesus) that lives in me, than he (Satan) who is in this world.” I can tell you from experience, with each promise you declare, you will feel better!
Step 2: Choose Joy
My 5 year old daughter says, “You’re not making me happy right now.” Whenever I tell her No, or refuse her another brownie. It’s actually become a habit I intend to nip in the bud. After a week or so of guilt, GOD whispered to me, “Tell her it’s not your job to make her happy. She must choose it for herself.”
And so must we.
You cannot count on your spouse to make you happy. You cannot count on your pastor or friends to satisfy you. Setting standards on man that only God can fulfill is not only unfair, but unrealistic. We must choose to be joyful every single day and understand that because God is indeed Sovereign, He allows us free will to make that choice. Choosing Joy doesn’t mean walking around smiling all the time or pretending like nothing’s going on. Joy is simply trusting God through every circumstance, depending on Him for everything, and knowing that He will pull you through any situation and you will be better for it. Joy is something we can certainly ask God for more of- because it is available- and it is abundant IN Christ.
James 1:2-4 Reminds us,
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work, so that you may be complete in your faith, lacking no good thing.”
Step 3 . Recognize the source of your abuse
I was so angry for so long at my abuser that I literally began to pray that God would wipe him off the face of the Earth. I know most Ex-Wives have prayed this once or twice (Christian or not).
We are reminded of the words, those horrific words spoken over us. They follow us around like a stray dog. For some of you, you remember broken bones or bruises, or midnight visits to the hospital. And your children may even remember you being beaten or verbally ridiculed. Some of your abusers were parents who you trusted with your life, yet they robbed you of that trust and took advantage of you. God understands.
I can promise you that if you are in a position that you have to have contact with your abuser, choose to love him as God has loved you in this way: See him as a creation of God, tormented by an enemy (the same enemy you have), yet he is not strong enough to fight back.
The one thing I can say is that if you choose to release your abuser, you will begin to see that the source of your pain is not from the man himself-but from the Devil.
Those slanderous words and accusations, were not from your abuser. They were from the source of all hate , jealousy, envy and strife -They were from Satan himself. Attempting to steal what’s most precious inside of you: your joy, your faith in God, and your faith in yourself. If he can steal those three things he has won. Don’t let him win! Don’t let him steal another second of your joy that God has freely given to you! Don’t let him steal another tear from your eyes! Next time there is a slanderous text message or a nasty email simply delete it, cast your care on the Lord (1 Peter 5:7), and go about your day. We can choose to not allow Satan to steal more than he’s already stolen.
If we choose to live in misery, it’s like opening our purse and asking for someone to rob us every day. Who wants that kind of life? I certainly don’t. Choose to forgive in small steps everyday. This may cost a few months, or years, of conscience effort, journaling, and prayer, but it will be worth it in the end and God will give you the reward!