A domestic abuse story.
A domestic abuse story.

Forgetting what is Behind and Reaching to what is Ahead

Growing up as a Christian, I have always been taught that the power of God could change any outcome.  What I didn’t know, was that I would experience that power in one of the darkest periods of my life.  I was in an abusive relationship that was progressively getting worse.  I had no desire to stay, but feared what would happen to me if I tried to leave.  One night, I gave up on the idea that tomorrow could exist for me.  As less and less air made its way into my lungs, my faith was broken.  My relationship with God, however, was getting ready to be moved in a mighty way.

If that night was an answer to prayers, I’m going to be honest and say they weren’t mine.  I had already stopped praying, but I now believe someone else hadn’t.  That night was the answer to the prayers of anyone who ever uttered words of safety and mercy over my soul.  In the midst of choking me, he abruptly stopped.  He said no words.  He just walked out.  I was thankful yet confused.  It may not seem earth shattering, but for us, that moment was unlike anything I had ever seen.  I later asked him what happened, because I needed to know.  He would always tell me he couldn’t remember anything after he started to choke to me.

God’s Intervention

I already knew, however, what happened.  God had chosen to intervene.  He bestowed mercy upon my soul. He answered my parents’ prayers to look after me.  That moment was not just a moment of praise, but one of change.  I made a choice that night.  God had shown me my life was in His hands, and with that faith, I knew I could leave.  That night gave me a faith I never had and of which I can never let go.

Sometimes in the midst of the storms, I start to catch amnesia, and I rely on others for peace.  Yet in those quiet moments, He reminds me of every faith building experience.  God reminds me He has the power to alter outcomes.  God has the power to invoke change.  God didn’t just save my life; He left a mental mark on me that started a different course of action in my thoughts.  I needed to live with purpose.  It would take a journey and yes, I would have to spend my 40 days in the wilderness.  But know this, when God touches your life in a personal way, you can’t leave the same.

Being a Child of God

To be quite honest with you, it still took me years to realize exactly who God is.  He had stirred up so many thoughts in me; I just didn’t know what to do with them.  I felt completely lost.  I was held down by the damage that had already been done.  I struggled for years to accept who I had become.  I felt my core had shifted, and I was in a constant battle to find my true self.  I applied many labels to myself, except for the one that really mattered.  I am a child of God.  Everything else is negotiable.

To say that we cannot change who we are, but only learn to control it, is the beginning of limiting God.  When God saved my life, He gave me faith.  Years later, I would come to find out that was the greatest blessing, because with faith, the impossible becomes possible.  If God has laid ahold of greatness for me, I must press on (Philippians 3:12).  That just doesn’t include the tangible goals we attain, but the mental growth as well.  It’s how we die daily.  We have to believe that spiritually inspired change can become permanent.  Our pain can be healed. Our wants and needs forever altered. 

Leaving Pain Behind

If we truly leave our troubles at the cross, we don’t actually have to look back.  Yes, it takes work, trust, and time, but believing is the first step.  We have to make the choice to believe that who we are is negotiable because God’s love and mercy is far-reaching.  We have to throw away the excuse that life has made us who we are.  There is always a choice to change your state of character because who you are today does not define who you have to be tomorrow.  There is empowerment and strength in “forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead.” (Philippians 3:13)

Today, I no longer accept the pain that has lived inside of me. The core of who I am is in God’s hands. As I accept His will, I navigate through life knowing that the only unchangeable part of me is my relationship with God.  I am His child, for better or worse.  The rest of me will be rewritten over and over again as I push forward.  That’s the benefit of knowing God.

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