I don’t know if you have heard the term, “A Crisis of Belief”. This term is defined by Henry Blackaby, in the Experiencing God study. I can’t describe this as well as Mr. Blackaby, but I’m starting to get it.
I haven’t shared this part of my testimony before because it’s an intimate place. But in recent months I’ve recognized God changing this in me in such a way I’ve never experienced before. That change is He has been equipping me to cope, heal, be aware and recognize something. Over the course of my life, I find myself around emotionally abusive individuals. I thought this was normal because I didn’t know what this was.
And I never realized how damaging this form of abuse is. It damages and deeply wounds your inner self. Sometimes it can be so subtle, you don’t even realize it’s happening to you. You even begin believing what the abusive person is sowing into you.
This takes years to escape from and find healing. I believe it’s not possible to heal from it without Christ. But it seems to me, that God searches out the broken and calls them to Himself. This was me. Abuse traps you and it’s as if you are a slave to the abuser. I never knew how to cope with it, when it flares up. After reading and through therapy about emotional abuse, I became bitter toward those individuals. But I didn’t realize God still had my heart in His hands. He is the only one I trust with my heart. I continued reading and thinking about this. When we were praying through our prayer journey, this was very present in my thinking. After we finished our prayer time, I recognized that I learned something about coping with this. And some things would come up during that time, that would help me have confidence in what I was learning.
I can now recognize signs of this form of abuse. I couldn’t do this before. If anyone is familiar with emotional abuse, it’s very complex and so subtle. It even takes therapists time to discern it. The abuse distorts your perceptions, your value, and your identity. It’s like you are carrying your brokenness and also having to carry the abuser’s brokenness. Over the summer God is giving me (equipping me) with more insight into this type of abuse. This, as usual, came through some trials. I feel like for the first time God is equipping me with something. This is my “crisis of belief”. I feel He wants me to bring awareness to this we’re ever I see it. But I’m terrified of this.
If you have ever tried confronting an abusive person, you know it gets really ugly and you will experience the brunt of their abuse more severely. This is traumatic when it happens.
In Christ though after those times, He is always faithful to you. That’s the one thing I can count on despite my doubts.
Fear is very present in these relationships.
Emotional abuse is an intimidating environment, to say the least. Last Christmas I had an experience with fear, and it was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before. Some elements of this are too intimate to share.But I felt like I was in a pit of fear and couldn’t escape it. I learned later this was closely related to my own experiences with this form of abuse. And over the course of the last 10-11 months, I feel as if God is pulling me out a little bit at a time. As he pulls, fear falls off. It’s as if He knows (knowing my heart) that I need time to process each tug. I wasn’t expecting to feel a sense of freedom in this. It wasn’t that I was free to do anything I wanted to. It was more like it was a freedom to share my thoughts and perceptions. As if those thoughts and perceptions had value and How He never gives up on us. This was my journey in 10-10-10.For me, it was allowing him to pull me up a little further. This didn’t just begin at Christmas; it began 15 years ago when I was born again. The prayer journey and sharing notes with the board reminded me of what God has done for me.
For me now, I feel He has equipped me through the suffering of abuse. I feel I should speak up about this when I see it in other places. Especially when I’m aware of the damage it causes. Some have felt God may be calling me to preach, but I feel like this is what He wants me to do. When I think of Jesus, He went to the hurting and the broken. And He confronted those who were abusive. (Pharisees). I simply desire to follow His example despite my fears. This is the justice I want to seek too. My heart moves towards those who are suffering from emotional abuse. I understand that pain, but I also know God’s loving kindness in it. There is hope in Christ, healing through the Holy Spirit. And a Heavenly Father that loves you deeply. He believes in you. He has always been faithful through suffering. His desire for me is to simply share how to be free from the bondage of emotional abuse.
Just like “Papa” said to McKinsey in “The Shack,” “this is your flying lesson.” This was my flying lesson.
Abuse tends to warp our thinking of who God is. I want to tell those suffering silently from abuse that there is hope and healing in Christ. God knows your heart and sees your suffering. His desire is to heal that. It isn’t easy but in Him, you will come to understand how intimately He loves you. Please don’t doubt that He does! My own recovery (through Christ) is living proof and I would be glad to help you. You can trust God with your heart, He won’t break it. He will heal it!
Thanks for letting me share. There is no one like our God!
~ Barry Baber