So… why did I start this blog?
I prayed for some divine inspiration and I received it. I told God I would do whatever he wanted me to do, and for a while I was lost. I had no clue… until several people told me I should start a blog. I hated the idea of it because I had a lot of issues with telling people what I’ve been through for the last few years. But, in the end, I just did it. I decided to do what I felt that God was asking me to do instead of constantly questioning. I really believe that my calling and ministry is to get people out of abuse and support them in finding the strength to be able to build a new life when they leave. That’s why I feel that supporting other single parents is so crucial, other than the fact that sometimes I need encouragement myself. No, this ministry doesn’t support me financially (God and I talk about this all the time…but I know he’s going to take care of us!). But, I think that allowing God to use me to free others from the bonds of abuse is what I am supposed to do with my life.
That is something I have asked God many times since I knew that he was calling me to speak out about abuse. I don’t have much. I can’t start a foundation with my non-existent trust fund. I also have very limited funds to work with, and a child to support while I try to start this ministry. I haven’t always been perfect by any means, especially when I was in my late teens and early twenties. I also have very little time with a demanding toddler, but I’m writing a book along with posting to my blog every week.
I don’t have much, but I have a voice.
And as long as I still have a voice, I am going to use it to spread awareness about abuse. I realize that a lot of people are “aware” of abuse. However, it does not stop it from being a secret in our society. Many people around abuse victims might not even know that they are abused. Our communities seem to place a cloud of shame and secrecy around abuse, almost absolutely insuring that it continues. Abusers can be in positions of power, and may even be religious and community leaders. They are charming and only reveal their true selves to their victims. This is awful because it keeps so many under their abuse and it seems impossible when victims are honest about the situations that they are in. As a result, many times shock follows when abuse is revealed. How did we not know it was taking place, right under our noses?
Awareness of abuse has had little to no effect on its prevalence.
I believe that so many people are in bondage physically, spiritually, emotionally, and mentally because of abuse. There are so many kinds of abuse that it is astounding and overwhelming to even think about. I honestly believe that God wants everyone who is in abuse to be set free, no matter what kind it may be. The problem is, except for the cases of child abuse or others where the victims are otherwise powerless, it is up to the victim themselves to be free of abuse.
It doesn’t matter how many times you may want to rescue someone from an abusive relationship, unless they have made the decision themselves, they are going to go right back. Why?
The trap of abuse is powerful.
How many of you know someone, even if it is yourself, who is stuck in an abusive situation? Many times, you think that they are only stuck because they won’t leave. It can be so frustrating to someone who is watching from the outside. However, on the inside of an abusive situation, the person sees no way out. They are worn down from the abuse until they literally believe that they are stuck or that there are many reasons why they are not able to
I want to call out to the people who think they are stuck and give them back their power. I want them to see that they can have better lives, not only for themselves but for their children if they have them. This is what I am passionate and so driven to do. No, I can’t do this myself. I’m not that good! But God can.
I have felt worthless, powerless, stuck and hurt because of abuse. I know what it is to cry every night, wondering what I did to deserve such an awful situation. I have felt like a terrible parent, giving my child a horrible future with a father who claimed he loved him while destroying his chance for a normal, peaceful and happy life. Now, I see that I only felt all of these things, but they weren’t real. I only had to pray to God and find the strength within to ask for help. I don’t believe that anyone should feel as hopeless and low as I did. I don’t believe God wants anyone to feel that way.
If you are abused, there are so many people around you who are probably desperate for you to leave.
The problem is, abuse blinds us to the reality that freedom is an option. It makes us believe that we are worthless and deserving of abuse. Surely we must have done something to deserve this, right?
No. No one ever deserves abuse. And I definitely do not believe that a God who loves us, or a Savior who died to set us free, wants us to live in a situation that saps all of our happiness, hope, and sometimes the desire to live.
I think a lot of people read this blog and wonder about my intentions. That’s why I’m writing this. No, I don’t want to make my ex look bad or make sure everyone knew what he did. If that were true, this blog would be very different. And no, I don’t want to get a sob story out there so that people will feel sorry for me. Neither of those things is my intention. Honestly, the major problems I had with starting this blog was that everyone would know what I had been through and worrying about what people would think (especially my ex’s friends and family). I really hate people knowing the secrets I worked so hard to keep. I hate people knowing my business at all… much less it being common knowledge. However, I can’t help anyone if I keep it to myself. And if we are ever going to get rid of abuse, we have to stop preserving the secrecy around it.
I want to speak out about abuse and help other people who felt like I did: trapped and alone. I want abuse victims and survivors to know that they aren’t alone. God loves each and every one of us and wants us to have the freedom that comes with relying on him for everything and having a relationship with his son.
So, I prayed about what I really need to write about in order to be the most effective and God gave me the most awesome idea for a series of posts. I’m going to do one arguing against all of the things that I know keeps people in abusive situations. All of them crossed my mind when I realized that I needed to leave my abuser, but I wasn’t ready.
I should have left a long time before I did.
These are the things that held me back. I think these are the things that can potentially keep a lot of abuse victims from leaving the abuse and having freedom and better lives.
I would leave, but…
1) I’m married. (Or in my case, engaged.)
2) We’ve got a child (or children).
3) What if people don’t believe me?
4) What will people think?
5) What if I can’t make it alone?
6) What if he can still change?
I think all of these things not only can keep people in the bondage of an abusive situation, but abusers can also use these against the ones that they abuse to keep them in a harmful relationship. They are dangerous! This series, “I would leave, but…” will argue against these things from different perspectives. If you can think of any other thoughts/reasons/excuses that keep people under abuse, then feel free to email me! I have no problem adding a seventh if it helps someone!
At the end of the day, I think if I’ve helped just one person regain their self-respect and freedom, then all of this effort is worth it. Seriously, everyone deserves happiness and freedom. That’s what Jesus came for!