The past 6 months haven’t looked like anything I ever imagined.
6 months ago, one conversation changed everything. It was a series of threats that took my life-long struggle against abuse and pushed me to the edge of a cliff. And I had a choice to make. Keep allowing this person to abuse me, or walk away. I walked away.
In one moment, God reached down and opened my eyes and heart and helped me see the truth of what been in front of me all my life: a relentless abuser and a faithful enabler.
Together, they spun a world so full of deception and lies and hurt and pain. They covered all of it in acts of generosity, church involvement, and careful manipulation disguised to look like help.
When your sense of self has been wrecked, you have to work all the harder to succeed at anything. Relationships, career, fitness, faith, marriage, parenting…it all takes more effort.
It’s because the goal of relentless abuse, especially child abuse, is to destroy your sense of value and worth while morbidly elevating the power and control of the abuser. Every aspect of your life will be affected by the abuse you suffered.
And every single time you succeed, you defy the odds that have been stacked against you.
Maybe this is why Jesus compels us so. He tells us what we are and who we are in relation to him. Identity isn’t a solitary state. It is dependent. It stems from a foundation. Identity is part of something larger.
And this is the foundation of ALL healing: knowing you are worth the blood of Christ.
The deep and underlying evil of abuse is that it robs you of your identity. And identity is everything.
Just look at this world. We crave identity. We crave knowing who we are and what we are good at. We create labels and movements and words to define us. Embrace alternative lifestyles, habits, drugs…all in the pursuit of identity.
In 2018, the biggest question isn’t what is the meaning of life? The biggest question is who am I?
This is why personality tests are so popular. Because, in a large part, there is an entire generation asking the same question.
If your father sits across the room and watches you cry while your mother pulls your hair and calls you names, he’s telling you, “you’re not worth the effort it takes to stand up.”
If your father refuses to sit next to you in church because you’ve embarrassed him, he’s telling you, “my love is completely conditional.”
And if your father asks you to subject your children to the same abuse you endured, he’s saying, “I’ll never change.”
All the hurt. All the pain and sadness. It can be healed. It can.
Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. He is the answer for the broken and the hurting. Nothing else compares and nothing else lasts. Because if you’re looking for your identity, who you are, your worth…it can only last when it is found in someone lasting.
You are the light of the world. You are salt. You are worth leaving the 99.
To the outcasts he says, come and witness my birth. To the despised he says, come and follow me. To the zealous he says, you are the rock I will build my church upon.
Jesus is in the business of redemption.
It is what he does.
It is who he is.
He cannot be anything else.