- get anxious in new environments?
- find it hard to relax around new people?
- not trust your kids to be safe when they aren’t with you?
- control how close you let your spouse get when it comes to any signs of affection?
- get angry when your boundaries are threatened in any way?
- get suspicious of other’s intentions when complimented or they do a favor?
You are what I call a “control freak”. Don’t be offended – it is what I know I have been and can be. It was my way of being sure all were safe on my watch.
The results of it in my life were:
- never truly enjoying new people or experiences
- over-protecting my kids, making them feel suffocated and unprepared for real life
- never allowing myself to enjoy being loved by my husband (he had to EARN my trust)
- people never REALLY knew the real me, just what I felt safe sharing
- not able to enjoy receiving good things from others
I still struggle with intimacy from time to time. Just the other day my husband went to kiss me and snuggle and I made a joke, moving away quickly after the kiss. Intimacy still feels safer on my terms. He understands that, but I still have room to grow in trusting God with this very intimate area. The real me is emerging more and more as I trust the Lord for His truth about the situation and myself. Healing from abuse is a slow process, but for me letting down my guard comes from the following things:
1. Knowing My God
If we do not know He is all-powerful, present everywhere, knows everything, Sovereign, Just, we can’t see Him as trustworthy, caring, working for our good, or making beauty from our ashes. We must know He is able and willing to work in and through us, taking the devastating wound inflicted by abuse, making us new from the inside out, BEFORE He can actually do the work. Here are just a few verses. I know there are many more things He is and verses to back them up. I will leave the rest for you to discover in your time with Him.
- Almighty: Revelation 1:8
- Ever-present: Psalm 139:7-12
- All-knowing: Psalm 139:1-5
- Sovereign: 2 Samuel 7:28
- Trustworthy: Proverbs 3:5-6
- Compassionate: 1 Peter 5:7
- Avenger: Psalm 94:22-23
- Working for our good: Isaiah 61:3; Romans 8:28
2. Seeking Him when I am anxious or afraid.
- He is with me. (Joshua 1:9)
- He is is the Source of all wisdom (Proverbs 4:5-7).
- He alone has the power to rescue (Psalm 37:9).
- He is the prince of peace that guards my heart and mind in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7)
- He cares about that which concerns me. (1 Peter 5:7)
- He walks through the dark valleys with me. (Psalm 23:4)
- He knows my greatest need and is able to meet it. (Colossians 1:21-22)
These are the confidences that flow from knowing Him and searching His Word. I boldly go with confidence into His throne room, knowing I will find grace and mercy to help me in my time of need. (Hebrews 4:16) He is faithful even through the raging storm to settle my heart, trusting His ways and timing. No one else can promise that to me. ONLY Him.
3. Choosing to focus on Him to start my day
I must lay aside cares and worries – the “what-ifs” – fixing my eyes on Jesus, who for the joy set before Him, endured the cross, finished the work of salvation, and then sat down at the right hand of the Father, waiting to advocate for me. (Hebrews 12:2) Stephen while in court (Acts 8), said that He saw the Son of Man (Jesus) standing at the right hand of God. STANDING, not seated. Working FOR him as he faced certain death at the hands of the rulers of Israel. Jesus was His focus, not his fears. Nothing I face – even death – is outside His power to sustain me and give me peace through it.
Give thanks for His protection and care of yesterday, so I can live in today, fully present, able to serve Him with joy. Tomorrow will have its own struggles (Matthew 6:34), but I am to trust His care today and His provision for the same when tomorrow arrives. (Psalm 139:16b)
He tells me in 1 Corinthians 13 that love believes all things. I am not to read into every word or action some evil intent, but love others, trusting He will reveal what I need to know if it is different than I think. This frees me up to enjoy others and serve them as He has called me to, without fear.
What He has for YOU if you choose to accept it:
I know life has been hurtful to us and we have set up a guard around our lives, thinking it will keep us safe. All it really does is keep us captive to fear of every unknown. It stifles the true life the Lord died to give you. It keeps you from knowing His love and goodness and faithfulness. It is ok to acknowledge the hurt from the past. It happened. Just don’t let it destroy your today and future, immobilized by fear. Let Him change how you respond to your life’s unknowns, renewing your mind, so you can know His will for your life. His will is good, perfect, and pleasing. (Romans 12:2) Do you trust Him to help you let down YOUR guard?
Would love your feedback – any comments and suggestions! I want to continue encouraging you and meeting the needs the Lord wants me to meet in your life – as you walk through the minefields of recovery from abuse – with confidence in Christ and without fear.