Clean

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At times, when you have a heavy past it feels as if it is stuck on you. Like a stain that refuses to wash off. You can get most of it off, but a small spot will always remain.

I fear a lot of things. When starting a new relationship, will the tiny fragments of dysfunction that still remain inside of me come out every once and a while? Because that’s all I know. All I’ve ever experienced is dysfunction. How do I truly know that I could nourish and sustain a real, healthy relationship? Will my past experiences spill out and forever leave a stain, no longer making it pure? Will I be seen as damaged goods? All of these are doubts and insecurities I still feel and have. I feel dirty, and that I could never be clean.

Frequently I battle with feelings of inadequacy. Then, I was reading over a scripture that reminded me that despite my feelings of impurity, there is something, or someone who can make me feel clean, and that’s God. In the chapter of Ezekiel God talks about bringing redemption to Israel. He makes promises to them about bringing them back to their own land. He goes on to explain to the people about forgiving them of their sins and making them new again. “I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” (Ezekiel 36:25-26)

How gratifying is that? To know that there is a God who can rid you of your sins and your impurities. He doesn’t only heal your broken heart, He actually gives you a new one! A chance to start over and to erase the ugly past that has stained your heart. Those stains finally do come out! The most rewarding thing for me though, is knowing that He has cleansed me. Just the mere utter of the words “clean” and “pure” are immensely satisfying. Being cleaned when on the inside you have felt dirty and broken is the best feeling in the world. That’s what Christ does for us. Those sins and those mistakes are completely forgotten! Vanished! They don’t exist! They never happened! God sees you as a brand new person when you give your heart to Him.

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I know it is easier said that done to completely forget about the stains that once existed in your life. I still struggle to this day about feeling damaged. I doubt myself and I even doubt God sometimes. But then when I read this chapter in Ezekiel, and especially those two verses, I am reminded of how great my God is and how merciful He is. When I speak to Him I tell Him that I’m sorry for the things that I’ve done, and his response is that I am someone that He can never forget. He reminds me of how much He loves me and How important I am to Him because of the deep relationship we have.

When you feel low, I encourage you to stop and speak to God about how you’re feeling. I promise you that He will reassure you and help you realize your incredible strength. Also, underline and mark Ezekiel 36 in your bible. Let it be a reminder to you that you were made clean again.

Also, something that has put my thoughts into words so beautifully is a song by Taylor Swift that is very fittingly called “Clean”. This song is where I have gotten quotes in this post from. This song is near and dear to my heart. She once beautifully said, “mistakes don’t make you damaged, they make you clean.” -Taylor Swift.

And that is about as perfect of words that anyone can ever say.

Love,

Melissa

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Fear

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Fear is your worst enemy. They are lies told by the devil to keep you from moving forward. To keep you paralyzed. They are even lies someone else tells you, or you tell yourself. It can feel like heavy chains weighing you down, and with every step you try and make they drag along with you. It haunts you in every move you make it.

I’ve lived with that fear before. You lose sleep. You don’t truly live. You walk, you eat, you even carry on conversations, but you don’t truly live an actual life because you are plagued by fear.

It was a time in my life when I should have been thriving. When I should have been living life to the fullest and soaking up every bit of youth I had. Instead, it was the most I had ever feared. There are very few times I can say that I feared for my life, but this was one of those times.

It had gotten so bad being with him. All I wanted to do was to leave, but I COULDN’T. I physically couldn’t even leave him. He would force me to stay the night with him in my own apartment. I was so afraid that I let him stay. Multiple times. I figured that all he wanted to do was to be with me. If he was with me then we were good. I was safe as long as I gave him what he wanted.

Other nights made it more difficult to make that decision. There were nights when he would pound on my door, drunk, screaming at me to let him in. I was amazed at how none of my neighbors ever called the cops for me. Some nights I wouldn’t let him in, but most nights I would. I was too afraid of what he would do to me if I didn’t let him in than if I did. Even the times that I would grow the balls enough to not let him in, he would still always find a way. After pounding on the door for what felt like an eternity, it all of a sudden grew completely silent. The silence almost killed me. I was terrified. If he was banging on my door I at least knew where he was, but this silence was excruciating. I feared for my life. All of a sudden my whole apartment shook. I heard a bang. My hands were trembling. Next thing I know I hear a faint knock at my balcony glass door. One of my blinds were missing, so when I looked over all I could see was his one eye staring right at me through the missing blind. This fool had climbed his way onto the second floor to get to my balcony. At that moment I had given up and went over and let him in. Another sleepless night.

Another night of fear consisted of him again banging on my door. I remember hiding because I didn’t want him to climb to my balcony again and see me, or look through a window and see me. The only thing I wanted to do was call the cops and make it all go away, but I was even afraid to do that. I figured if the cops came and took him away that he would somehow find out it was me who called and then it would be even worse for me when he got out. That’s about the lowest you can get. When you are so out of hope that even law enforcement can’t help you. No one can help you. You are alone in the fear and distress.

Sometimes I would actually be able to get away from him long enough to go out and actually try to live a normal life. Even then he would always find me. One night when I was out with a friend he text me and told me he knew where I was. And how disgusting of a woman I was and blah blah blah. I knew that he wasn’t there himself, but I knew he most likely had friends there that would always go back and report to him. We had multiple mutual friends, so anything I ever did was always reported back to him. I couldn’t make a step or even breathe without him finding out.

The day I finally did have the courage to make a report against him was a day that I had come back from out of town for a weekend. I came back home to an apartment that had been turned upside down. There was a mess in my kitchen, broken glass on my balcony, and broken items in my bedroom. I immediately thought I had been robbed, but there were no forced entries, nor had anything been missing. I began to think it was him who was in my apartment, but how could he if he didn’t have a key? When the officer arrived he confirmed my suspicion. He had broken in with a copy of my key that he had made. This was his mission: for me to know he had been there. He wanted me to feel like not even my home was safe. That no matter where I went he would always be there to torment me and to cast fear.

Soon after that I made multiple police reports, the police had spoken to him about our situation and told him to leave me alone. I then fled. I transferred to a new university, left my home and never looked back. No one except for my family knew where I was. His friends couldn’t even keep tabs on me. I was gone.

Later, even when we had ended things and I had nothing to do with him anymore he had reverted back to his old ways. The threats and the stalking poured back in. He attempted to put those lies back into my head. This time was different. This time I was fearless. His threats no longer had a hold on me. Nothing now can disturb my peace.

“I’m no longer a slave to fear. I am a child of God”.

I’m no longer a slave. The chains have been broken. The weight has been lifted. The battle was won years before. He won the battle for all of us so that we could all be liberated. You no longer have to be plagued by fear. Whether great or small, the Lord protects you of all your fears. With Him we can be fearless.

Psalm 138:3 says, ” In the day when I cried out, You answered me, And made me bold with strength in my soul.”

The song I listen to when fear starts to creep up again is Bethel’s song “No Longer Slaves”. The words give me an immense amount of courage, “I’m no longer a slave to fear. I am a child of God…Of deliverance from my enemies till all my fears are gone.” Repeat those words, I’M NO LONGER A SLAVE TO FEAR! I encourage you to listen to that song and repeat scripture over and over when you feel the fear. You can over come it.

#ForeverFighter

Love,

Melissa

 

Excuses

I’ve talked about previously that in order for a victim of domestic violence to finally leave for good she typically has to be sick and tired of being sick and tired. So, when does that moment finally come? What does that look like?

For me what finally made me leave for good was noticing the excuses.

Every time we got back together I always pardoned him of all his mistakes. He was good at making me realize that it was all a mistake, and I believed him. I accepted the excuses.

At first the excuse was that we were in high school and we were young and dumb. Immature.

Then after high school the excuse was that we were only 19 and 20. We’re still babies. We’re in college and we’re just barely experiencing what its like to have a grown up relationship in a grown up world.

After that the excuses began more and more difficult to come up with. The physical abuse had mostly stopped so it was tricky to truly identify the issue in our relationship. I didn’t know how to categorize my unhappiness. Was it because of this or because of that? All I knew was that what I was going through couldn’t be healthy. I knew that I just couldn’t take it any more.

Then I began doing something I never did before. I began having the courage to speak. I would speak to my friends about some of the things that were going on.

I was so surprised at how my friends were reacting to my stories. One friend in particular said, “I can’t believe he is that type of guy, he seemed so sweet.” My first reaction was to defend him and clean up the mess I just made on his image. But later on in the day I just couldn’t get the conversation out of my head. I was thinking over and over about how my friend didn’t give him an excuse. He simply stated what was the clear truth: He was not a good person. How is it that I’ve been giving him a pass all these years and the minute I tell someone of one tiny thing he didn’t give him not even a little excuse?

I began to get bolder and braver. I began to speak up more. I told another friend. She also instantly didn’t give him any excuse at all. In fact, she told me to leave him instantly. I will never forget that night. That night gave me a power like I’ve never felt. Because of her, I knew what I had to do.

After that I again began to look for an excuse. This time the excuse was different. This excuse was my way out. I began looking for any motive to cut it off. Eventually, I became so sick and tired that I had enough ammo in me to say everything I’ve ever wanted to say.

I had finally did it. The excuses didn’t overpower me anymore. I no longer cared of what people thought about me. And I definitely didn’t care of what he thought of me. I had finally been able to see what everyone else was seeing. Opening up to others and sharing my experiences allowed me to understand what was happening. Everyone else saw things one way, but I had been giving everything so many excuses that I couldn’t even see what was right in front of me.

Today I live with freedom and relief. I no longer live with the burden of covering up the horror and the pain. I don’t have to come up with yet another excuse or justify anyone’s actions.

When the Lord saves you from your pain you are set free. I pray that each and every one of you is set free from your current pain or situation. It is so exhausting to have to hold it all in and create an excuse every single time. I pray that you learn to let it all go. You will be set free.

#ForeverFighter

Love,

Melissa

How to Save a Life

I truly feel like there are certain things that “saved” me during the time that I was in my abusive relationship. Ultimately, the only thing that ended up finally saving me was myself.

Although your friend has to make the decision to leave all on her own, here are a few things you can do to help her:

Be a friend.

One thing no one can say is that I have crappy friends. I am truly blessed beyond measure in the friend department. My friends never let up and they never stopped sticking up for me. One night in particular was one of the ugliest fights between he and I. It was the absolute worst. One thing you should know about abusers is that they are big on putting up a front. Many times they wear multiple masks. One mask is the big tough angry guy that he wears around his victims, and the other mask is the charismatic, friendly person that he wears in front of other people. This is why many don’t believe the victim when she seeks help, because the abuser is typically someone that everyone always gets along with. Well this night was the wrong night to try and put on his 2nd mask. After seeing me cry my eyes out, my friend had had enough. In the most valiant way she shouted to him everything that I have always wanted to shout. To see the cowardly look on his face was priceless. Never had I seen this overly-confident, aggressive man look so threatened. It was as if both of his masks were removed that night. In that moment I knew he was nothing more than a weak, pathetic person who preys on people who he perceives as submissive. In that moment he was the one who was being submissive. She was my hero. If I haven’t thanked her enough before, I publicly want to tell her how much that night meant to me. How much all of the nights meant to me that she watched me cry because of him. Despite the frustrations, she was always there, being my friend. Because of your dedication as a friend, I am where I need to be. I am free.

Don’t ever give up.

Tons of research on domestic violence shows that the more victims are isolated, the more difficult it is for her to break free. A support system is so important to a victim of domestic violence. There probably is no way to measure how much having a support system in my corner has played in me being able to break away from that relationship. Just as mentioned above, friends are so important. He could never really get me all to himself like he wanted because he knew that I came with an army of people that cared about me. That makes it difficult for them to infuse the victim with their lies. Its all about power and control. Whoever has the most control wins. That is why they want no one else to be apart of their victim’s life, because of how much that friend or family member will tell her that she needs to get out. So, no matter what, no matter how difficult it gets, DO NOT give up on her! It is so pivotal to her safety that she has people in her corner. Her abuser needs to know that she has a group of people who refuse to give up. I know it may be frustrating to see her continuously go back to the very pain she says she is tired of, but one day she will get it. And when that day comes, you will be there for her. That day WILL come!

Pray.

Your biggest role in this ordeal is to be a prayer warrior for her! Until she decides to leave, pray with all your might. I have no doubt in my mind that my friends, and my family especially were constantly praying for me. I was constantly praying for myself. I often think about how other women are not as fortunate as me to have been able to leave the abuse. For others, the abuse ends tragically. I thank God every day for saving me. He answers prayers. Matthew 21:22 says that, “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer”.

Lastly, I want to remind you that she has to be ready to leave. She has to not only be sick and tired, but she has to be sick and tired of being sick and tired! That’s when true, lasting change happens. Think of it like a drug addict or alcoholic. You hear of many situations where they continue to go back to rehab multiple and multiple times. They repeatedly return because they weren’t ever truly ready to begin with. Often times it is even a family member who makes the decision for them to go. They have to be ready all on their own. Until then, everything you say goes in one ear and out the other. Remember, all of your spoken words are not taken for granted, however. When they come to that decision, everything you’ve said will now have a purpose.

I hope and pray for your friend who is in this terrible situation. My heart goes out to them. I also pray for you. I pray that the Lord uses you to guide her out of her situation. I pray that God gives you patience, love and understanding.

I think we can all make improvements to be the friend our friends need us to be. Whether it be domestic violence, or another situation that a friend may be going through, we can all strive to support one another in our times of need. You never know if you could be saving a life.

Keep fighting #ForeverFighters!

Love,

Melissa

 

Healing

 

Healing

I believe healing comes in stages. And you heal differently at different points in your life.

When I first left my abuser I felt an immense amount of relief. I remember telling my counselor, “I’m good!”. As if I didn’t just endure six years of pain, I felt ready to start a new life not truly understanding the pain that I had tucked away and locked up with a key. In my eyes I was healed. Just by simply letting go and leaving him, I was healed.

Fast forward a year later I was “healing” by being involved with men that God never intended me to be with. When you end such a heavy period in your life, specifically a relationship, your way of forgetting isn’t always the neatest or prettiest. You still feel broken and used. Icky. That I only deserved what’s damaged and tattered. That’s how I lived my life. At some point the Lord stopped me and asked me why. Why was I living that way? Why was I treating myself that way? He reminded me that I was a daughter of a mighty King, and that I needed to treat myself as such. He reminded me that my past is forgotten. I don’t have to be defined by that anymore. When I accepted Him my pain was let go. My mistakes were forgiven, and my old life was in the past. I now have a new life.

Even after reconnecting with the Lord and healing from that point in my life, I found myself at another low point. These low points come and go. It took me maturing a bit and letting time pass to really start to fully understand my past and what I went through. Getting familiar with the bible and understanding the kind of love that God wants us to have, and what a relationship blessed by Him looks like is when I began to realize more and more of what I experienced. More and more I understood that my experiences were not ok. I finally could see the seriousness in it all. Because of this I began feeling the pain all over again. I was angry and hurt. The flashbacks from the past became more frequent. I remember so many times crying myself to sleep at night. I had never before felt so strongly these emotions of the abuse. This was three years after leaving him, and yet I was just then going through the grieving process.

One Sunday morning at church we had the opportunity to approach the alter for a specific need in our life. I will never forget how my dear friend prayed for me and my pain. I could feel the peace fill my body. My burden was off my shoulders. Ever since that moment I have felt this enormous amount of peace that I have never felt before about the abuse. I haven’t cried myself to sleep since. Yes the thoughts are all still there, but I am no longer plagued by fear and hurt. I am free.

I know that I will go through another stage in my life where I will need to heal all over again. These are all stages. It is never fully over. Every day is a struggle, and as you mature and grow and change, you will need to readjust your thinking from your past. There will be another battle that you may have not had to come across yet.

Today I pray for your healing. That the Lord mends your broken heart. That you first seek comfort in Him and not other worldly things. Please know that nothing else in the world could ever take away your pain like Jesus can. He is the one true healer!

Take these lyrics from “Raised to Life” by Elevation Worship: “Sin is strong, but Jesus is stronger. Our shame was great, but Jesus You’re greater!”

No matter our past, our God is greater than anything you’ve ever been through. Keep fighting.

Love,

Melissa

Domestic Violence is So Gray Part 2

So I want to continue talking about some things that people may not know or understand about domestic violence. I’ve said many times before that I feel like my journey has been confusing, so I would imagine that others would be even more confused.

When my friends come up to me and talk to me about my blog and my past, it is sometimes followed by a comment fueled by anger and sadness. Anger towards that man and sadness towards me. I am always left puzzled as to why it angers them so much. It really doesn’t even anger me anymore. I think that a lot of people immediately take the “hate” approach. Or think “I would have done this”, or “If I ever see him I would”, and I can’t help but to think that it is just simply not that easy to feel that way. I am sure my family has felt all sorts of emotions from seeing and hearing me experience abuse, but hate wasn’t one of those emotions. It is actually so beautiful to know that my family extended grace towards him and always tried to accept him despite what they had happened. I’m sure you’re saying, “How could you not hate someone who has done that to you?!”, and all I can say is that it is not so black and white! Domestic violence has a lot of gray areas.

I think that it is so easy to want to feel a certain way when you’ve never been in that situation before, but if you’ve never been in that situation you just simply don’t know how to react or how you will feel in that moment. You just will never know until you’re in it.

Its hard to explain how you feel about the situation since not all of it was bad. I know that’s difficult to understand for some people, but if you’ve read my previous post, you know that there was a good amount of time where no physical abuse ever took place. There was a period of time where I was so confident in my relationship and I was actually extremely happy. Those are times that I do sometimes miss. I miss times where our minds would connect on a deep level. We complimented each other so well. He was like my other half, my partner in crime. Even during the dark times, I would sometimes question if I could ever find someone who I could connect with as much as him. It was as if we knew each other our whole lives. We talked about the same things, we thought alike, we acted alike, and we liked the same things. He was the male version of myself (in only some ways).

For others outside of the domestic violence community this would be difficult to understand, and the immediate thought would be that I hate him and that I want the absolute worst for him. Now, he isn’t necessarily a person I want to associate myself with, but I definitely don’t have any hateful feelings towards him. There are actually happy moments that I can reflect on. During those happy moments, that is what makes it difficult for a woman to make the decision to leave. You weigh the good and the bad and sometimes after a bad moment you feel like there have been more bad times, but then after a good moment you feel like there have been more good times. Its so confusing and stressful. I could never judge a woman for being in a DV relationship because I know how conflicting all your thoughts can be. I really liked how Reut Amit described her own experience in the Huffington Post:

“No one could understand how love, hate, fear and comfort could coexist simultaneously. They could not understand that in addition to my abuser, I also lost my confidant, the person to make dinner with, the person to watch movies with on a rainy Sunday, the person to laugh with, the person who knew me. I lost my companion. How can you explain to someone that the abuse was only a part of who he was? How do you explain that to yourself?

There are still days when I remember tender moments and wonder if it really was that bad. I still struggle with reconciling how he could love me to the point of tears and yet hurt me as if I was an enemy.”

I appreciated so much hearing her words because I could relate to it exactly. She took the words right out of my mouth.

I hope this was helpful in understanding a bit of what kind of battles we fight in our head, and a little bit of understanding as to why women confuse themselves into staying with their abuser a little longer. I know a lot of this will still be confusing to you as it is difficult to fully grasp an experience that you’ve never experienced before. I just hope that it could provide some insight and sensitivity.

Although I mentioned the things above, I want to make it clear that I 100% know exactly what love looks like now and what love does not look like. I know what a real relationship blessed by the Lord should be like. For those that may still be confused by the definition, I pray that God clears your doubts. I pray that He opens your heart to experience His undying love. Once you’ve experienced His love, you will never accept anything less.

If you want to read Reut Amit’s entire post, click on the link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/reut-amit/he-never-hit-me-domestic-abuse_b_5974386.html

Love you all! #ForeverFighters

Love,

Melissa

Domestic Violence Is So Gray Part 1

With last month being domestic violence awareness month, I feel the need to really dive into the topic and share what domestic violence really is, and what it is not. I’d like to invite you into my own experiences to hopefully debunk some myths. Many people’s only idea of what DV is is what JLo went through in the movie Enough. It doesn’t always happen that way. In fact, it hardly ever happens that way.

That’s what leads me to say that domestic violence and abuse is not black and white. It very much so has a lot of gray areas in between, and no two story is ever alike.

One thing I feel like most people think is that it is so obvious what is a DV situation and what is not, and that all DV is violent abuse, which isn’t true. My story for example is very interesting. Many of the warning signs were not visible to me at first. I was 16 or 17 then. I was a baby. I didn’t know any better. Fast forward a year later, things would get tricky. I would notice times when he would lie to me or he would make me believe something to be true when I knew deep down inside it was not. These are when the mind games began. He would carefully choose his words so that he was answering a question, but not really answering the question. He would do it with such precision and confidence that I would have no other choice than to believe him. That was his game, and he was ALWAYS the winner of his games.

To many people’s disbelief, the physical didn’t come until about 3 years into our relationship. Most people wouldn’t understand this. I think that a lot of people think that the violence comes immediately, or that it is obvious to point out who “looks” like an abuser and who doesn’t. I recently watched The Perfect Guy, with Michael Ealy and Sanaa Lathan. Michael Ealy’s character seems to be perfect until he shows his true, violent side one evening. This violence appeared after only a few short weeks or months of dating. I feel like that is Hollywood’s version of what tends to happen. Although I’m sure that abruptness has shown itself true in some situations, it doesn’t accurately represent MOST abusive relationships. In my case it took 3 years! 3 YEARS!!! This is why we have to let go of blaming the victim and asking, “didn’t she know what type of guy he was?!”. Well, no because after 3 years you feel like you know somebody, but in reality you do not. That is why DV is so incredibly tricky.

Another myth is what exactly does DV look like on a regular basis. Me for example, I was not someone who was continuously beat with bruises all over my body every day. Those, I feel like, are extreme situations. They happen often, but most cases of DV are the ones that are not clearly defined. Where she is held against the wall, or she is pushed away. He didn’t exactly hit her, right? So that’s not really abuse. There’s no mark, so nothing really happened. It ALL is wrong because of the fact that force was used ON PURPOSE and to show power, to control her actions. This is just as equally dangerous as the more severe cases because these are the situations that get ignored, the ones that are seen as “acceptable” so it continues on and on for years! You see how it is not so black and white?

Lastly, the most dangerous and deceiving part of all was the final year of my relationship and what were to come after that. See, the final year I never had to worry about violence.The mind games, the lying and the cheating were all still there, but I was so convinced that those darkest days were over since it hadn’t happened in well over a year. When I finally ended things I felt the fear all over again. It was scary how someone can flip so suddenly. The fear that he had finally lost me filled him that it turned him violent all over again. I would receive threatening phone calls. I was told that he turned to drugs and alcohol, that he would be drinking during the day, even before work. He would try to manipulate me into getting back together by threatening to kill himself. One moment the conversation would be about him being so in love with me, then the next would be about him hating me and threatening me. It was so crazy to see someone’s mental health diminish. I knew then that if we were to have continued our relationship the violence would definitely still be there, and much worse!

For women who can currently relate to this, I pray that the Lord first gives you the knowledge to understand your situation, and then gives you strength to move on. The strength to fight for your life and the ability to experience what TRUE love is!

My prayer for all of us is that we gain the knowledge to understand each other’s situations. No matter how we all choose to live, that we don’t pass judgment, but rather stand by their side and pray for them and love them.

Thank you and I love you guys! #ForeverFighters

Love,

Melissa

The Moment

You’ve probably had moments in your life where you realize that your life will forever be changed. Some are beautiful moments like finding out you will be a parent, or the moment you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with your significant other. Other moments are not so pleasant, but equally life-changing. One moment I’ve had was definitely life-changing to say the least.

The moment I knew that from here on out I would be different was the first of many dark days for me. When my whole life came crashing down and I needed the Lord more than ever before.

So we were having one of our typical arguments. It was an argument just like all the others. Nothing out of the ordinary, nothing alarming. At least not at first. To this day I still do not remember what sparked the argument. All I know is that it escalated QUICKLY. It was silly really. I remember telling him to get out and to give me his key back. I had allowed him to make a copy of my key so that he could come in and out whenever he liked (BIG mistake!). When he wouldn’t give me his key I reached over to grab them from him, and to prevent me from doing so he reached over and put all his weight into punching me in the foot. Like who does that?! Anyway, after attempting to defend myself from his punches, he got up, stood right in front of me and pushed me as hard as he possibly could. Now for those of you who didn’t know him, let’s just say he was waaay bigger than I am. When a man of that size throws a petite woman across the room, it hurts. It hurts big time. I flew to the kitchen, my arm hitting the dining room chair, and me landing bottom first onto the kitchen tile. The fall fractured my tailbone.

That was my moment.

Laying there on the kitchen floor, crying so hard, in so much pain, in so much disbelief. That was the moment I knew I was different.  For the rest of my life I will now be included in a statistic. I was THAT girl. I had just become another girl whose boyfriend hits her. All of that was the least of my worries, but in that moment I knew my life was changed. A million things ran through my mind as the whole world closed around me. The whole world seemed to have stopped and everything around me grew dark. Everything was fine 30 minutes ago. I didn’t understand how we came to that moment? How could he have just told me he loved me then do this? How could the one person who was supposed to protect and honor you betray you in the most horrible manner? How could love equate to this? Time seemed to have stood still, and my heart was completely shattered, along with my tailbone.

Now there’s no need to tell you how much he apologized and how much I was screaming, and blah blah blah. It was a worthless apology since more of those moments were to come in later years.

The aftermath of that moment was just as grueling. I remember having to keep my pain hidden. Nobody knew what happened. I lied to the doctor about what really happened. I lied to some of my coworkers about why I had to take time off. I lied to my family by smiling through the beautiful moments when we celebrated my younger sister’s birthday and celebrating my older sister’s pregnancy. Although life continued around me, and I was happy for others in their happy times, I was walking around with a cloud over my head. Feeling like a zombie and just walking through life because I was still in so much pain physically and emotionally.

These ugly, icky, disturbing moments are what some of us live with day after day. There are some people who have yet to catch a break from the icky-ness. For those of you who may presently be in your own lying on the kitchen floor moment, I want to tell you to give it all to the Lord. Just let it all go. His healing is stronger than any medicine the doctor can give you. His embrace is warmer than any hug you’ve ever felt. His grace takes all your pain away. He erases your past and gives you a new future. You no longer have to be defined by your moment! Your moment is a part of your testimony, yet it does not define you! There is healing in the power of Jesus, but first you have to call out to Him. He is waiting for you and wants nothing more than to tell you, “I got you. You don’t have to worry anymore”. He wants to love you.

And for others, reach out to those who you think may be going through their moments. There are more out there than you think. A simple “how are you doing” will reveal so much. Reach out to your friends. They need you. And they need your prayers.

Lastly, I leave you with these lyrics that was playing over and over as I wrote this…”You are stronger, You are stronger. Sin is broken. You have saved me. It is written Christ is risen. Jesus You are Lord of all!”

Here are the full lyrics: http://www.metrolyrics.com/stronger-lyrics-hillsong.html

I love you, and keep fighting. #ForeverFighters

Love,

Melissa