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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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