Monthly Archives: February 2016

Living With Addiction Day 21 ~ Broken Behaviors of Abuse

Blameless Lion 5

Living With Addiction

Strongholds of Shame

Broken Behaviors of Abuse

Day 21 of 40

Addiction and abuse versus submission and love?  That one might seem to have an obvious victor, but much pain was suffered from the hands of the abuser in the game of “love.”  Today, though, all that pain knows its purpose that ended up developing into a love story with no end to His name! 

When our hearts are not right, irregardless of who or what is to blame, it’s hard to give Jesus our wholehearted selves through trust, time and the courage to surrender.  I knew after the last violent blow, it was time for me to sit at the feet of Jesus and let the healing and transformation begin.

When you wait to start that surrender after decades of abuse, several years may go by before you begin to see any healing.  Don’t lose heart, though, God is faithful and just.

It was 10:30 a.m., the kids were fed, dishes cleaned, hairs groomed and content in their TV/play time when I decided to wake up and ask my husband if he wouldn’t mind getting up so I could get my run in before I had to get home, shower, and get the kids packed up for an afternoon on the soccer field.

While my initial attempts at trying to arouse my husband from his stupor were infrequent between the dressing and putting on my running shoes, they became more frequent and agitated.  

Between the pungent odor of sour alcohol overwhelming the upper level of the house and the demeaning words being spewed out instigating a typical submission versus love argument, the words became heated and demands enthralled. 

I could either take care of him first as the Bible commanded wives to “submit to their husbands at all times” that he claimed Ephesians 5:22-24 meant or I could forget about going. 

An ugly exchange of heated words and hostility ensued.  Not only was my heart torn and tattered from failed expectations and promises, but the more I demanded my voice be heard and having value and for the control to stop, the louder and more aggressive the results got. 

After several minutes of yelling and screaming and shoving about, the precious cubs downstairs began to scream out of fear and cry begging for it to stop.  When my body was shoved against the wall, the oldest came running upstairs to intervene saying he would watch his brother and to stop it as tears poured down his cheeks.

A tender child should never be subjected to witnessing abuse or resume the role of defender and protector of his family.  Children need to be protected and it’s the parent’s responsibility to make sure of that, whether we’re the victims or not. 

I may have been a victim, but I have to own up to my own failure in not leaving this environment sooner; thereby allowing my precious cubs to be subjected to unhealthy behaviors in living with addiction and abuse.

Children learn from what they see and hear, and fear is a destructive trait to acquire.  Fear’s power over me was controlling and paralyzing.  It is something that I still struggle with occasionally.  It paralyzed me into accepting behaviors that would forever change not only my life, but my children as well.  We must never forget what these eyes now see matters.

The fear and panic protruding through my son’s beautiful blue eyes pacified the threats being demanded and executed.  I lovingly assured him I was okay and was sorry that they had to hear and witness that.  I graciously escorted my precious son back downstairs and hugged and held them both tight assuring them I was okay as my heart imploded. 

Abuse quickly escalates from manipulation and control to demands and violence.  No sooner than I could catch my breath, the stench that overwhelmed the upstairs of the house was now breathing down my neck. 

His vile and horrific demand that my son watch his little brother while his father and I “be together” was being a good son and older brother as my arm was yanked and grabbed with fierce strength as I was forced upstairs.

Submission is not intended as a form of control or abuse that is written in the Bible.  Merriam-Webster may have it defined as “an act of submitting to the authority or control of another,” but Paul mentioned the word “submit” to imply “respect.” 

When we pay careful attention to what Paul was sharing in this context, he uses the word “love” more often than “submit” when talking about marital responsibilities.  Husbands loving their wives is beautifully articulated and continued in Ephesians 5:25-33.

When one is desperately trying to heal from the tragedy and pain caused from the betrayal of adultery from the affairs of your husband, and the one with your best friend, along with the healing still coming from a shattered and worn-out Beloved that had driven herself off a cliff a decade prior all due to rejection in living with addiction and abuse; my compliance in order to sustain peace and protection for my young gave birth to abusive submission. 

Victim mentalities are skewed because, for one, their view of love and their worth is significantly distorted; two, they believe it will change which diminishes the severity; three, they isolate due to feeling no one understands and/or cares because of humiliation; lastly, they know that the cost of submission delivers needed peace during destructive outbursts. 

My colored perception and awareness of love was based on “performance based conditional love, being seen and not heard,” so understanding what Love meant required being set free from the captivity that held me prisoner by what only the Great Physician could perform.

My heart could only implode after this offense so when the Bank of Grace felt overdrawn and shame is your name, you continue to stuff it down further in hopes to suffocate the toxic gases brewing from the sweltering flame within.

Until next time…

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Living With Addiction Day 20 ~ Broken Behaviors of Abuse

Blameless Scars and Shame

Living With Addiction

Strongholds of Shame

Broken Behaviors of Abuse

Day 20 of 40

How does a Beloved heal, much less move forward, after encountering one’s best friend cradled in the arms and refuge of her own husband?  Did I forget to mention that my best friend and I were both business partners in a court reporting business that required day in, day out contact and cooperation occupying the same space and airways as one another?  There’s no room for a cat fight in a court of law!

Do I hear awkward?  I don’t know whose motives were worse, hers or mine!  How about both being destructive and lost!  One vying for revenge through the scorn of power and the other like a mouse running for cover in the presence of a cat!

My motives and deliverance were based solely on Vengeance with a capital “V” with having the upper hand in holding the power brought on through daily punishment in working together.  Makes absolutely no sense, I know!  She worried about her reputation and profession and I worried about feeding my babies while controlling our business arrangement my way!

You may take my man, but you won’t survive my plan!  Can I hear kudos to the scorned Queen?

Honestly, what was I thinking?  After I kicked my husband out of our home, those two ended up cohabitating for a period of time, supposedly for the sole economic convenience, until reconciliation developed between my husband and I.  Welcome to the behavior of use and abuse! 

And here I felt pity and compassion for her when I allowed him back into our home.  Seriously?

My battle scars ran so deep, not only was I consumed with covering up my perceived failure as a wife which justified the actions of these two selfish individuals, but the shattered image that projected my source of identity could no longer thrive and survive.  I now became that dubious distinction; no longer desired as a Beautiful Beloved. 

Cells of hell are built on insecurities and identity blasters!

My shame evolved around spending countless hours and resources trying to hide and cover up the behaviors of others who needed to be exposed.  My sweeping it underneath the rug just enabled freedom for it to occur again and again.  It also robbed me of my voice and prevented healing, not to mention the acceptance in the behavior that would subsequently become violent!

Because denial lost its battle, I needed a new go-to, a new source of strength to handle all the pressures in burying this infidelity.  Since suicidal tendencies and drug abuse didn’t work in the past, my desperation sought out the comforts delivered from Coors Light!  Can’t lose the figure in the process, right?  I started covering up this pain through good ‘ole beer drinking just to take the edge off.

Herein lies the daughter of alcoholism and rage.  If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em, right?  Isn’t that the old adage?  Wrong…  This just further contributed to my alter ego developing a life that was similar in nature to court reporting; you’re hearing it and taking it all down, but it goes in one ear and out the other, blinding my reality and exposure to unhealthy behaviors.

Sadly, this left the door wide open for its festering effects of bitterness and anger to attach and disease all of my vital organs.  It also allowed full exposure for the flaming arrows to penetrate my tattered and bleeding heart.  My precious cubs were left unprotected and in an environment that was unhealthy over and over again.  I became so numb, infidelity and abuse had full rein and control over my life.

We have to be fierce lionesses standing firm, facing our enemy and looking him square in the eye, while being self-controlled and alert.  Not buzzed and medicated on alcohol or drugs.  The enemy prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.  We need to let the enemy know whose authority and power we are standing on and living under through the sharing of our sufferings with one another (1 Peter 5:8-9)!

After all, let’s continue to be honest here while remembering that our friends and associates mirror us, so let’s say cheese!!!  This is why the Lord cautions us to be careful with those whom we spend a lot of time with because we will become like those surrounding us; and bad company corrupts good character (1 Corinthians 15:33).  Some of us are slow learners and that would be me!

Betrayal in marriage is a double-edged sword and it hurts all who are near.  I have to believe that some pain and difficult trials are oftentimes the only doorway leading towards development that God uses for complete healing.  This enables us to receive His best that otherwise would never have been received!  God is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who call upon His name (Psalm 34:18)!  I’m living proof!

Until next time…

Living With Addiction Day 19 ~ Broken Behaviors of Abuse

Blameless Freedom

Living With Addiction

Strongholds of Shame

Broken Behaviors of Abuse

Day 19 of 40

The Beautiful Mandisa sings, “There’s freedom on the other side of things that keep us tied up and afraid.  There’s hope in every situation no matter what you’re facing every day.  But it’s up to you, you get to choose.  I’m walking, living, breathing proof.  The Father is waiting there with open arms” in Dear JohnOh, how He loves us!!!

Beautiful lyrics to hold onto!  People will more than likely hurt us, that’s life and there’s absolutely no way to escape or avoid it.  In fact, I know this kind of pain myself all too well, but we don’t have to let it hold us captive in our prisons of anger, fear and bitterness.  The beauty that God brings from our ashes of mourning is worthy of sharing.  Broken lives can be put back together.

God’s Word is not what many perceive as a list of do’s and don’ts.  It’s a love letter announcing the freedom we achieve when we believe.  There’s no record of any of our imperfections or faults.  It’s all erased and it’s been forgiven.  The Bible shares why God sacrificed it all and gave us His son, Jesus Christ, to pay the price for it all.  He loves us just the way we are and is awaiting for us to open up our hearts and receive Him!

Can you hear me singing?  These words penned and sing are especially dedicated to all my violators who have ever afflicted any injury to my person; emotionally, physically, spiritually, financially and sexually! 

How can a woman who has been violated in such a way that has been battered, stalked, abused, bruised, robbed, betrayed, amongst many others not worthy of listing, forgive, open up her heart, and walk proudly and confidently knowing where her worth comes from?  It’s called H-O-P-E!!! 

How have I survived, thrived, and stayed alive during such torment instead of understanding what a scorned woman does?  His name is Jesus Christ and the hope He promises when we believe and act out our faith!  I’m a friend of God and I know Him and love Him.

I also know and believe in the resurrection of God’s son, Jesus Christ, so I know what I can trust and what I cannot!  I know that His love is greater than any pain I could ever endure. 

There is beauty everywhere, more beauty than tragedy, and that is what I choose to hold onto and can because of the redemption of my pain!

Psalm 34:4-8 sums it up perfectly to describe my deliverance:  “I sought the Lord, and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears.  Those who look to Him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.”  This poor woman called, and the Lord heard her; He saved her out of all her troubles.  “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and He delivers them.  Taste and see that the Lord is good”; blessed are those who take refuge in Him.

Martinis were their name, Cocky Bull was its game.  What started out as a typical night two-stepping at the local country bar holding our fame whereas not to be lame led to too many martinis and an uninvited guest into our sacred bed that was meant just to be shared between a husband and his bride.  This uninvited guest called my best friend at the time felt the need to sliver in through the midnight shadow and rob what was mine to begin with; my husband. 

After tending to the crying baby and hearing whispers filled with eerie secretive sounds, the only thing I heard loud and clear was my heart imploding as my bestfriend justified her actions in sharing how she had been in love with my husband since the first time she met him.  Excuse me???  That’s betrayal at her finest hour!  Now you might understand why I’ve said I’ll take any physical blow to the head than the pain caused from emotional trauma!

This shame I carried for years is being related for the sole purpose to share how God works in and through our lives with tragedies and brings freedom through healing.  Today I’m living in freedom and flying free of yesterday’s guilt, today’s fears, and tomorrow’s grave.  All because God loves me just the way I am!

There is a greater purpose and plan for our pain.  I agree, pain sucks big time, but we need to share our joys as well as our tragedies together as a community.  We’re more than conquerors in Christ, we’re overcomers!

Until next time…

Living With Addiction Day 18 ~ Broken Behaviors

Blameless Beach Peace

Living With Addiction

Strongholds of Shame

Broken Behaviors of Abuse

Day 18 of 40

Peace!  Perfect Peace!  Can we actually have it through our storms of darkness and decay?  It’s hard to fathom that concept and wrap ourselves around it, but if we remember to grab ahold of the Hand of God extending down from heaven, He will safely walk us through it with peace that surpasses all knowledge.  This increases our endurance to overcome as we press towards the finish line with grace and dignity!

I don’t like pain.  Sometimes I even feel like a gentle touch from a loved one might hurt.  That may sound melodramatic, but I’ve endured more pain than I care or dare to admit and I just wish it would all end this side of heaven. 

We tend to forget that when we have emotional pain like depression from disease, divorce, loss of job, etc., we then encounter the cause and effect of physical pain to the body and spiritual loss.  Same goes when we have physical pain caused from chronic issues, disease, broken bones, we then suffer the effects of emotional depression, anxiety, anger and spiritual loss.

Notice how I put “spiritual loss” last above with both physical and emotional pain?  When we go through grief, pain, loss of any kind, we tend to lean towards isolation because we feel ashamed, we don’t feel anyone cares or understands or we just need time to process it all and we push others away, including God.  That’s the worst thing we can do, suffer spiritual loss and go at it alone.  There’s power in numbers; it’s called community.

God wants to help us during our grief and trials by receiving His love that He directs through others.  We need others to carry us and our burdens so we don’t push away the support that the Lord orchestrates.  This is a time to draw in and cleave to the Lord’s strong legs because He is the only one directing our stories.  He wants strong and healthy children that can go out into the world and help others while bringing Him glory.

If we become devoid of our connection with God because we have walked away from Him, then we are cutting off our lifeline of community and the life preservers that could have aided us in arriving at our next destination sooner and stronger, along with the perfect peace we are all striving for!

In writing about my cycle of abuse, I didn’t intend to start with sharing about my ex’s confusion regarding his sexual orientation preferences.  It not only brought on so much more pain through the betrayal in marriage, but being stripped down naked of any shred of femininity is what a lot of us live through each day!  Society dictates how we should look and act while being perfect in an imperfect world.  Wrong!  Our worth and value should be found in whom God says we are only; Beautiful Beloveds!

My emotional scars took a lot of healing and time with God, sitting at His feet and letting His love letter (Bible) permeate my soul so He could actually get his six-foot drill bit into my hardened heart and clear out all the disease (pain) that life with addiction, shame, abandonment, betrayal, and abuse developed.  Just getting through the scar tissue itself to bring back life was brutal enough, much less mending and sewing up my hemorrhaging heart through God’s meticulous precision and intricacies of love.  

So what’s all this hype about reading God’s Word?  The Bible isn’t about fables and stories, it’s about the Truth that sets us free and the nature of God and His goodness.  God knows the kind of pain and struggles we’d be subjected to here on earth and so He picked every kind of personality imaginable to relate their stories and the consequences given.  The world needs this great moral compass to gauge our conduct.

For example, I struggle with fear BIG TIME.  Every time I start freaking out, I flip open my Bible to the Book of Exodus 3-4 and read about Moses’ insecurities and fears regarding leadership speaking.  When God told me I would be speaking in front of women, I threw a Tammy Tantrum fit of the worst kind and ran the other way because I thought there would be no way I could ever do that.

Fear is paralyzing, not mobilizing.  Public speaking brings out the worst in me; peeing my panties!  I’m not kidding either.   God shares with me that though I may feel inadequate, He is right there alongside of me holding my hand and equipping me with what to say and the provision needed.  I am proof positive of both crawling to the finish line and receiving the blessings found from the favor of God through peace, favor and fulfillment.

Remember, I started reading the Word along with cracking open a beer, like I said, because God invites us and love us just the way we are.  When you spend time in someone’s presence, you automatically mirror what they project and give.  His transformation severs addictions, rage, depression, fear, and especially insecurities before we even realize it. 

God has taken my shattered life and molded it back together by intricately gluing each piece back together so not only is it stronger, but it’s more beautiful and it illuminates His glory through the transparency of the Superglue.  God loves putting broken and messy lives back together because, after all, Psalm 34:18 reminds us that “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”  God is Love, that is why He sent His son, Jesus Christ, into the world; not to just save those who believe and offer reconciliation, but He came to heal the brokenhearted just like me (Luke 4:18).

Forewarning, I will be writing sporadically in the next couple of weeks, but I will share graphic and violent events solely to show you the power brought about through God’s gift of healing and transformation.  Fear versus Faith.  Now I’m an overcomer.   Enjoy Mandisa’s Overcomer.

Until next time…

Living With Addiction Day 17 ~ Abuse

Blameless Faith

Living With Addiction

Strongholds of Shame

Broken Behaviors of Abuse

Day 17 of 40

“What the hell could you possibly have to say that has any merit or even worth listening to?”  Those piercing words coming from my husband as I was sharing my excitement and dreams due to the rewards and recognition I was receiving for my hard work still haunt me today through certain triggers tapping into my insecurities. 

When exactly was my faith defined and how were my chains of abuse severed that set me free from the bondage of living under the various forms of abuse?  The last adulterous affair that proceeded shortly after the above-mentioned comment left me completely devoid of trust and emotion while being stripped down naked, exposing every battle scar ever afflicted upon my being and the very core of being a woman!

The remnants concealed behind my veiled face painted an eerily familiar and devastating silhouette.  The tears projecting from the flood gates of my soul permeated the chiffon and organza material that had been beautifully hiding my flaws of imperfection and rejection.  Now I was exposed again; this time after giving up EVERYTHING near and dear in search for that perfect Love!

When I walked down the aisle in my beautiful princess wedding dress, like so many Beautiful Beloveds, my rose-colored glasses projected a life through the lens of great expectations and naivety hope filled with nothing but mere promises assuring love and fidelity, along with being cherished and treasured until death do us part.

As my Veil of Shame exposed the deep recesses of despair coming from broken promises, my mind suddenly transitioned to the reflection mirroring the trauma in finding another woman’s undergarments underneath the backseat of my new vehicle that was purchased as a congratulatory gift for passing the state exam flashing before my very eyes?

I sit on the cold kitchen tile feeling defeated and full of dread and shame.  Why doesn’t he love me?  Everyone says I’m so beautiful and bright, but why is everyone laughing at me again? 

The words burning from his lover’s phone call cannot escape the speed in which my blood is being recycled over and over and over again!  My heart palpitates, except this time it requires the urgent need of the defibrillator because my tattered and bleeding heart no longer knows how to beat on its own. 

The words coming from the man on the other side of the telephone interrupts my plans and reasoning as to why I came home early from work just to get dolled up and surprise my love with another scrumptious meal.  His words pulled the rug underneath my very feet leaving me unable to stand, much less deny, the horror from the searing words penetrating through the telephone.  My husband was having an affair with another man… 

His lover or one-night stand was giddy as he was talking and sharing his joy of union with MY HUSBAND!  He even went so far as to say he couldn’t wait to meet me because my husband told his lover that he was living with his neurotic sister.  Neurotic?  On a lighter note, maybe someone could share with me what scorned women do because that aspect escaped me!

How is a woman supposed to cope with the loss of a lack of sexual union between husband and wife with all the broken promises that were filled with nothing but deceit and lies to cover over a lifestyle of being sexually confused amongst other things?

I am only sharing this tidbit because I know many Beloveds who have for whatever reason lost this beautiful union in their marriages and also women who found out the hard way that their husbands were just not who they said they were because of their lifestyle choices and closet living. 

I will share that for years it devastated me and it stripped me of every last blood vessel announcing my beauty and femininity as a woman.  I carried the shame, of course, and the blame that it was MY FAULT!  That was my go-to resource that superficially kept me going; but after time, when being forced to deal with the suppressed pain underneath the layers of superficiality, it left me feeling anything but beautiful and/or sexy.

Being honest here, even though I know who God says I am now, and I look back and see what “a waste of a beautiful woman” I was (yep, comment came straight from my doctor that added daggers into my lifeless heart as it was), how that didn’t push me back over the edge off the cliff is a testament to being wrapped up in God’s love, healed and sustained by His saving grace found through my reliance and relationship with Him.  Waste?  Honey, I’m still alive; just saying…  ♥♥

My great love affair with the Lord started after this season of betrayal.  I love Jesus with my total being, and because I’m speaking the truth here, I may have forgiven my ex-husband for his betrayal in many facets of his life, but I will never forget!  I still wish he could have been hung by you know what; just saying…  🙂

When our spouses have affairs on us, it’s hard to move forward, but it can be done through therapy and a whole lot of grace extended down for both parties.  Trust is something that has to be earned after such betrayal.  My prayers go out towards all the Beautiful Beloveds who have walked in these same shoes; it is painful, but God will mend our broken hearts.  He is ALWAYS FAITHFUL and just asks for a little of our time!

Until next time, never forget…

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!

 

Living With Addiction Day 16 ~ Broken Behaviors of Abuse

Blameless Chains 7

Living With Addiction

Strongholds of Shame

The Broken Behavior of Abuse

Day 16 of 40

Shame and Abuse, two powerful words used in our everyday lifestyles and conversations denoting the ugly reality of life.  Do we really understand their correlation and definition to one another?  Better yet, what could they both possibly have to do with my living with addiction?

According to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, shame is defined as “a feeling of guilt, regret, or sadness that you have because you know you have done something wrong”; and abuse is defined as “a corrupt practice or improper or excessive use or treatment.”

Many people ask me, “How could a person be so amazingly strong and confident with unfathomable faith and yet be an advocate for others after having stayed in these horrific abusive relationships for so long?”  My answer, S-H-A-M-E!

Remember, I am a byproduct of a long generational lineage of shame living with addiction.  So many of the behaviors I learned throughout the years were quite different than what most individuals would deem appropriate or allow themselves to be subjected to.  I am a work-in-progress and will continue to be until I reach the finish line this side of heaven.

My thought processes reflected and perceived everything that was happening to me as my own fault.  I deserved whatever form of punishment being afflicted on me because I did not conform to my controller’s demands.  That’s the game of shame; us victims take and carry the blame for what our abusers do.

Abusers entangle their prey initially through shame.  The victims get caught into this web spun with deceit and blame forcing them to be subjected to numerous stings from the venom that weakens and clouds their lens of perception.  They find themselves being exhausted and entrapped into this web of destruction with no way to escape and end up hanging there alone until death.

I will be using words such as “husband” and “family members” throughout.  Please understand that I’m not here to shame the living or the dead.  This is where being married a couple of times shields the identity along with having a large family.  So when I refer to my husband’s abuse or affairs and my family member’s spitting into my face, it is to bring awareness to what I was subjected to in order to share my story and not focus on the identity of the abuser. 

I will be sharing how my husband controlled me through the means of force and threat by brandishing a gun, strangulation, threats in taking my children away, verbiage that would alarm any law enforcement officer as forms of manipulation and control to help bring awareness as to why I lived under such horrific conditions along with my current struggles in balancing the fine line between healthy boundaries of love versus enabling.

Let us not forget how addiction ties in nicely here also!  Since my life was full of shame, depression, addiction, and now abuse, my initial go-to for escape and consolation was alcohol and cracking open my Bible.  What a contrast, I know; but I am being honest here and how it just reiterates that God works best in hot messes and He loves us just the way we are! 

So…  How were my chains of abuse severed that set me free from the bondage of the physical and emotional scars that held me down on the cell of hell’s floor for several decades?

I’m going to end today’s writing with another disclaimer.  Hearing the world say, “You’re so strong.  You’ve been through so much, I wish I could have the strength and faith like you.  I wish I could have your joy.”  Ha!  Hello…  What do I say, “I am not shielded from bad things, quite the contrary.  I am obedient and stand firm on my faith.  That takes action and practice, not complacency and laziness.

I am far from strong.  I am weak.  I am fragile.  I am frail and broken, but I am living proof of the definition found in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10; God’s grace and power is made perfect in weaknesses.  My heart aches and bleeds just like yours.  I’ve just learned how to tap into the authority that is given to me through faith and grace and not go through life focusing on fear, excuses and complaints.  That’s the antidote that’s available to everyone who believes!  It’s called faith, the true source of where our strength and power comes from.

I blossom hearing God say, “Come here, Beautiful!  I love it when you spend time sharing your fears and dreams with me, beautiful daughter of mine.  I’m so proud of you that you are allowing My Spirit to transform you through faith and trust.  Your reliance unleashes the authority given to all my children who believe.  Now you can look back and see what I’ve been saying to you all along.  There is nothing I wouldn’t do for you.  Trust me.  Just ask and receive.”

Wow, what a beautiful imagery of what amazing Love awaits for God’s Beloveds who care to engage in a relationship with Him by merely sitting at His feet while reading His love letter (Holy Bible) being humbled, honest and exposed knowing His Truths will set us free.  That’s called a relationship! 

Until next time…

Living With Addiction Day 15 ~ Broken Behavior

Blameless Stairs to Freedom

Living With Addiction

Strongholds of Shame

The Broken Behavior

Day 15 of 40

Wow, it seems like it’s been months since I last wrote.  Here I was on a roll and the typical tactics of the enemy intervened and attacked causing great pain.  Thankfully I will endure by fulfilling this 4o-day challenge as I press forward and remember where my strength comes from.  I just have to grab ahold of that life jacket filled with grace and tender mercies flowing from our Heavenly Father full of perseverance and power.  Can you relate?

Shame is a sad thing, isn’t it?  The broken behaviors that develop because of it, especially the insecurities, addictions and depression, are devastating!  My heart bleeds for my family members who live their lives hiding behind all that unmerited shame.  My wholehearted love and compassion especially grieves for the Beloved who was the blessed miracle that came from all the sin and shame and never understood her worth and value.  Not only can I identify with her on so many levels, but she was a precious gift and beautiful blessing.

So how has shame intervened in my life through all this broken behavior?  I know I eluded to it briefly in Day 14 that my life paralleled this broken behavior of shame through denial and the running from such problems so I guess that’s my intro into and navigation to start sharing another dark period of my life that was filled with deceit, infidelity, and many forms of abuse.  Abuse can be a really hard topic to talk about on a blog because its effects are so profound and stem from many facets concerning physical, verbal, sexual, financial and emotional abuse!   I will try my best.

I never could understand why some people could just walk up to me in the past and say that they could tell I was either a domestic violence warrior and/or survivor.  I mean, it’s not like I wore a T-shirt announcing such or even had it taped to my forehead, but…  The shame victims of abuse carry in either their body language, clothing, or mannerisms announce loudly what we often work so hard trying to cover up!   This is when being exposed and running naked is freedom at her finest hour!  Hallelujah!

Unless you’ve lived under some form of abuse, it is very hard to identify and understand the torture us precious souls are subjected to and live under.  It’s still a battle I visit every so often myself with some of my family; it makes me quiver and shake and want to throw up in believing I actually lived under that fear and control for decades.  I praise God for the severance of that cell of hell. 

It’s a hard cycle to break, and one in which requires awareness and sensitivity, and a whole lot of love and compassion; but we can all be healed by God’s Great Love through the sharing of our own stories and struggles.  Abuse is subtle and once it locks you up, the chains will hold you captive in a cell of hell with no window or door until you allow the Lord to sever that stronghold of shame and abuse.  I know, I lived in that cell of hell myself once upon a time.

It’s hard for people to conceive how hard it is to walk away from being in a cell of hell when that’s all you have ever known.  It’s hard to look at the removal and freedom of the shackles that once held you captive and are no longer a part of your life from entering that door of freedom with its doors wide open along with the warmth drawing you near.  That warmth and illumination flowing from the freedom outside those four walls is unfamiliar and scary because all you have ever known is the heaviness from the chill that has weighed you down and existed on the cell’s floor as you’ve crawled towards freedom.

Because healthy relationships and life inside the cell of hell never offered glimpses of paradise outside those four walls, many abuse victims never break free from the bondage of being a victim because, for one, they’re afraid; two, people just don’t talk about it due to shame and lack of awareness; and three, they do not realize what their worth and value is to society because they have never met Love Himself, Jesus Christ!  Their lives are based and built on shame.

Dealing with this stronghold of shame for deliverance meant, and will always mean, that my walk and reliance would solely be based on God and that I would need to learn how to go deeper with my lifelong interaction and relationship with Him, while relying on the promises of Jesus to break every chain holding my family captive through affliction.

Relying on God in times of stress and troubles are our only source of consolation and strength because this severance calls for a job that only Jesus can heal.  That’s where we get a glimpse of the majestic beauty that comes from the ashes of our pain this side of heaven!  Enjoy one of my favorites from Jesus Culture, There Is Power In The Name of Jesus; Break Every Chain!

Until next time, never forget…

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!