They stood within arms reach of one another, notes barreling from the core of shared experience. The music was their connection but their stories were the intimate bond. No words could explain the abuse each had endured and few were necessary to describe their faith. Sometimes all it takes is a look, a recognition in the eyes of another. The meaning behind the melody steals the spotlight.
"I used to sing like I knew 'what' I was doing, now I sing like I know 'why'..."
If you're a first time visitor this week, welcome!
You can read Part One of this two-part series here: 3 Ways to Spot Emotional Abuse and Manipulation.
For those of you who are visiting for the follow-up to last week's blog, I sincerely thank you. Your encouraging response to this call of action is a big deal! I'm confident that God will continue to equip us to care for the abused as we learn and engage in discussion together.
An important note: This article is geared toward encouragers of women whose partners refuse help. As a woman of faith and a marriage and family therapist, I don't advocate divorce. I do, however, agree with "proactive separation" in unsafe circumstances, with the primary goal being healing and reconciliation.
Sadly, that goal of safety and accord is not always possible for every couple. All things are possible with God, though not all of His children choose to follow His example of love in the mistreatment of their spouses. Should that be your experience, I join you in prayer, recognizing that the pain of divorce is a relational death that requires us to mourn. You are so loved and never alone!
When I was in college, I had a friend who met a guy in an everyday, run-of-the-mill type of way. They had mutual acquaintances. They met for coffee here and there, which led to dinner, movies, and eventually to meeting friends and family. He was cute and charming. He seemed to care about her and she liked him a lot, so he got the initial "friend" stamp of approval.
Postcards of bare, provocatively posed sex workers dot the sidewalks of the city. Men and women, toting children or backpacks kick them nonchalantly as they tour the streets. It's hot. 105 degrees today. The homeless tuck themselves into patches of shade, their meager belongings scattered around the concrete. Billboards flash and horns honk, no attention paid to the clock dial. To escape the heat means an immersion into the world of slot machines and shopping sprees. There are no breaks, from the sun or the noise.
The Vegas strip.
Our outsides reflect our insides, you know. Pain and anger, selfishness and evil bubble and churn beneath the surface until they reach full boil, scalding everyone within arms length. We leave remnants of our outbursts strewn about, the physical scars and relational disintegration undeniable. Smoldering buildings dwindle to shadowed structures against the twilight.
Believer. Wife. Mom. Writer. Marriage and Family Therapist. Accidental Speaker. Crossfitter and Total Book Nerd.
Join us Mondays @
Grab a button for your Site:
<div class="canva-embed" data-height-ratio="1" data-design-id="DACeZjR40Vk" style="padding:100% 5px 5px 5px;background:rgba(0,0,0,0.03);border-radius:8px;"></div><script async src="https://sdk.canva.com/v1/embed.js"></script><a href="https://www.canva.com/design/DACeZjR40Vk/view?utm_content=DACeZjR40Vk&utm_campaign=designshare&utm_medium=embeds&utm_source=link" target="_blank">tide</a> by <a href="https://www.canva.com/meggemelli?utm_campaign=designshare&utm_medium=embeds&utm_source=link" target="_blank">meggemelli</a>
PEOPLE I FOLLOW:
BECAUSE I LEARN:
BECAUSE I LAUGH:
Elizabeth Laing Thompson
Liz Curtis Higgs
BECAUSE I ADVOCATE:
Juli Slattery at Authentic Intimacy
BECAUSE I CRY (HAPPILY):
Inspiring Writing Groups:
Suzanne Eller's #LiveFreeThrusday
Holley Gerth's #CoffeeForYourHeart
Kelly Balarie's #RaraLinkup
Jennifer Duke Lee's #TellHisStory
Susan Mead's #DanceWithJesus