Morning friends,

This week is pack up the POD week to ship to Arizona. I’ve cancelled most of my coaching appointments so I can focus on packing and throwing out or giving away the rest of our worldly goods. It’s cleansing to go through all one’s treasures and evaluate whether or not something important enough to keep and pay money to transport across the country. Many things have served their usefulness and it’s time to throw them away or find them a new home.

Over the past 20 years, writing books and expanding ministry has taken up a lot of time and my house has suffered. We have a large attic and basement, so lots of stuff got put in these places that probably should have been recycled years ago. Letting go is an important discipline that we need more practice doing. Letting go of stuff, but also letting go of our ideas, our demands, ways we think people “should” be or how we think life “should go. Instead of letting go or holding these things lightly, we cling and grasp. I find that when I clutch instead of release, letting go becomes more painful than it needs to be. I’m learning that when we hold things with an open hand, letting go is sad, but not devastating.

The holidays will soon be here and my 2 session class Moving Beyond People Pleasing will start December 7th. This is the first time this year that this class has been offered and I don’t know when I will do it in 2017. If you’ve a people pleaser and are feeling frustrated at yourself and resentful towards others and need to let go of people pleasing, this class is for you! Click here for more details.

This week I’ve invited Dawn to finish up her thoughts on the lessons she’s learned through her destructive marriage. If you didn’t read click here for part 1.

copy-of-can-behavior-change-be-enough

Don’t Leave Home Without it
Part 2

Dawn Perry

2. Be Rooted with a Firm, Non-Negotiable Understanding of Your Identity in Christ:

The battle ahead when you decide to leave, I found often to be palpable. This is warfare at the front-line level. I needed to be reminded breath by breath often times, of WHOSE I was and what my position was as Christ’s beloved. You either, understand this in your core fibers and learn to own every detail of it, or you can go headlong off of a cliff. With the exception of about three friends, I was truly alone … and I had a big life.

The uneducated church leadership coupled with the ugliness of our individual situation led to an ostracizing from the very body that I thought was supposed to supply support and be my advocate. “Too messy” was the message I internalized early on. If I was not drilling deeper into my Daughter of the King Identity Kit moment by moment, I would have remained off the edge far longer than I ultimately did.

Conclusion: You are a Front Line Warrior in an epic battle, you had better have a keen understanding of Whose you are and the inherent power you possess through the Holy Spirit.

3.Working Knowledge of Financial Situation and Access to Financial Support:

If you are called to leave, it should ideally be from a position of strength. If we are honest with ourselves, we know which way the relationship is heading, we need to be prepared. I think I would have left much sooner if I had been financially in a position to do so.

That requires a working knowledge of your finances, and access to financial support for at least six to twelve months. Compile records of bills, important documents, etc. Keep them in a safe place outside of your home as you amass them. Ideally, know that you have people who are willing to step in and help financially, or otherwise while you are in transition.

Conclusion: Work from a position of strength when possible. Have a plan and be able to support it financially, emotionally and spiritually.

4. Identify Your Support System:

There is a saying, “Make sure no one in your rowboat is drilling holes.” I found that this was easy to identify, as most had already jumped ship. The remaining few were extremely solid rowers. They were in for the long haul. The ironic thing was, they were not the ones I had necessarily expected.

However, the verse that says, “there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” certainly is applicable in these situations… find those friends. There probably won’t be many, but they do need to be equipped and like-minded. A recovery support group was a life line. These are the healers. I ended up in places that I would have never set foot before I left my home ~ I would have been the one declaring, “Too messy” … funny how those things work.

Conclusion: Find your tribe, they may be where you least expect them. Don’t be afraid to look in those places. Then lean on them and into them and Christ ~ they will be your lifeline.

5. Be Open & Malleable:

Plunging into uncharted territory normally requires a tender heart, a listening ear, and a willing spirit ~ this is no exception. A keen awareness that you are broken and this is a time for healing is mandatory. I have called this my Mark 6:31 Year ~ “Come away with me to a secret place and rest awhile.” That is what was needed. That is what I leaned into ~ the pain, the work, the rest, the beauty of this sacred space. I came to understand how debilitated and damaged I was, and how much healing really needed to occur ~ how much I had contributed to the situation.

I committed myself to it as if my life depended on it, because it did. This part of the journey has been largely misunderstood and often misinterpreted, and that’s ok. I came to understand when we are in Christ’s will, that doesn’t matter. I learned to release … in my case, almost everything, in order to receive. To open my hands, and let things drop in order to receive more of Christ and the hidden things of God. That the mighty work which He desires to do in me, I can call forth. In that space, in that moment, He whispers to me what needs to be released so I can receive ~ a true, honest and intimate trust walk.

Conclusion: The more you release, the more you can receive. Be willing to go where you’ve never been before and leave what you’ve never left at His feet before. Release to receive ~ That is where you find the sweet spot of His heart, and His purpose for your life (Click to tweet).

In this fifteen-month journey, I have never been more isolated, alone, and critically injured. At the same time, I have never cared less about my fear of man, learned more about my identity in Christ, and been provided for by the healing hands of a Heavenly Father who is so safe to trust. His prescriptions have been remarkable. This patient is rising from the bed of her own making thanks to the intensive care of the Gentle and Great Physician and the healers that He has placed around me.

I look forward to seeing how it will be used at the appropriate time. For now, I listen, I learn how to “be” instead of “do.” I practice healthy self-care like it’s my job (it is) and I lean in to learn the lessons that He has been so faithful to teach, and I wait on Him to renew my strength, while He makes all things new again. That’s what He has taught me. These are the things I wish I had known laying in that dark space long ago.

Friend, it’s so easy to focus our eyes on what our spouse needs to learn, but if we do that we will lose ground. We all have our own healing journey to take, like Dawn, what lessons have you learned in this dark night of hitting rock bottom?

60 Comments

  1. Sandra Lee Anderson on November 9, 2016 at 2:54 pm

    My ex-h abandoned me three years, and we were divorced June 12, 2015. I’ve related on this blog how very much I now enjoy the peace and freedom I never had during my marriage. However, I do struggle financially and often feel lonely. My two daughters live near one another, although an hour drive from me, and my ex-h has moved near them as well. They want me to join them for Thanksgiving dinner, and I dread seeing my ex-h again, after these three years, but have forgiven him, so I’m going to give it a try. The clincher is that he keeps telling my daughters that he wants me to move back with him again. He has a new two-bedroom, two-bath townhouse in a senior complex, and I now live in a cramped one-bedroom senior apartment, and want to live closer to my daughters. I applied for another senior apartment near them eight months ago, and on a waiting list. I’ve considered my ex-h’s offer, but don’t think I could live with him again, after enjoying my freedom, although my daughters say their father has “changed.” I’m praying for God’s leading. I’m 77 and my ex 80, and I endured a miserable marriage of 57 years. I appreciate all of your prayers. and pray for all of you dear ones as well. Sandra

    • Content on November 9, 2016 at 3:57 pm

      Oh, wow. I can definitely understand your hesitancy. Perhaps you will have a clear indication after the time together at Thanksgiving. I think the only thing that would change my mind about ever reconciling is my husband showing humility and contrition over sin they’ve never shown before and the should be no rushing you into decisions or guilting you into anything.

      • Content on November 9, 2016 at 4:00 pm

        Sorry for typos. 🙂

    • LindaLou on November 9, 2016 at 4:33 pm

      God Bless you Sandra! I’ve been married for 40 miserable years and thought I had to be the only one that waited so long. I hope you will wait to make the right choice on should you move back with your ex. Maybe the waiting list will come through for you and you can be closer to your girls without having to compromise your happiness and peace. My husband “changed” after I confronted him but the change was that his anger is only suppressed; he will erupt again, it’s just a matter of time.

    • Free on November 9, 2016 at 8:29 pm

      The man had 57 years to change. He is not changing!! Going to Thanksgiving is a sneaky way for him to belittle your concerns and disrespectful. Your daughter should be shunning him from their lives, yet they learned to disrespect you just like Dad. I imagine no one even mentions his deplorable behavior.

      I pray you will be strong and resist the lure of improved housing. If he wanted to help you, he could just give you money so you could get your own improved housing. His game is and always has been control. BEWARE!

      • Seeing the Light on November 10, 2016 at 12:21 pm

        Sandra, I agree with Free. This sounds like yet another manipulation and trap now that you are finally free. Please resist.

    • Leslie Vernick on November 11, 2016 at 8:47 am

      Sandra, I would think long and hard before moving back in. See how Thanksgiving goes. If it goes well, nothing says you can visit on weekends with your daughters and spend time with him if you want, but I’d give it a long, long time to see if he’s really changed.

  2. Sandra Lee Anderson on November 9, 2016 at 4:08 pm

    Dear Leslie: Thank you for your godly advice. What would I do without you and this blog?! I thought I wouldn’t need it after my divorce, but still do and always will!

    God bless you in your move and ministry to us all.
    With love & prayers, Sandra

    • Robin on November 10, 2016 at 2:21 am

      Sandra, I’m praying for you to hear Gods voice. This is going to be a tough decision, if he really has made some change. Just don’t rush into anything- take your time and you’ll get the answers you’re looking for. God Bless You Sandra.

      Robin

    • Aleea on November 10, 2016 at 4:48 am

      . . . .although my daughters say their father has “changed.” . . . . Sandra Lee, evidence! Evidence that scales with any claims, real evidence filtered through your logic, your reason, your critical thinking skills. God gave you super-strong rational, crtical thinking and reasoning skills. . . . and I bet you already know the answer, it is just knowing what you know. So many times, we know, we just don’t want to know that we know, so we have beliefs. Beliefs keep us from knowing what we know. . . . .I’m praying with you too, especially that your husband is completely transformed and I mean completely with evidence that scales with any claims. . . . We can’t see actions from this blog, all we get is talk but actions are were all the evidence is, in the actions and especially anomalies in those actions. I know you already know that. You have had a lifetime of knowing that. . . . If you want to know what is true try to disprove what you like (not confirm it with beliefs) and try very hard because what you are left with is probably truth. We have just got to find a way to help people not squander entire lifetimes! My counselor always says “Aleea, if you climb out of your abuse box, you are just in another box. . . ” . . . . I say, “Good,” at least I am in a different box and in that box, I will, with the help of God, use my logic, reason and critical thinking skills to improve my life which to me means bring real, healthy, godly love into it. . . .Of course for that to happen I have to have real, healthy, godly love inside myself. . . . .It is really hard work being free and someone new, if it is even possible to achieve. But, to me, the essence of evaluating if their father has “changed” lies not in what you think, but in how you think: logic, reason, evidence that scales with any claims, trying to prove the claims wrong, not right. If you have the real truth, it will not go away when you stop believing. Believing stuff keeps us from knowing what we already know i.e. . . .”changed” could just mean a longer time window before the power and control trap is sprung. But, as always, you listen to what God tells you, think independently but think about the way you think too.

    • Leslie Vernick on November 11, 2016 at 8:48 am

      Thanks Sandra, God bless.

  3. Aleea on November 9, 2016 at 4:53 pm

    . . . Dawn, thank you so much for the continuation of your story . . . .Dawn, again, I am appreciative of your willingness to share your story, thank you so much! . . . . There is no such thing in the world as a “self-made person” we’ve all received so much from so many people like you, certainly Leslie and others here, . . . . we’ve all received so much for so long that I know, for me, I can’t even keep count, but just because I can’t keep count doesn’t mean I discount. For everyone here, I have learned so much from interacting. I could never have gotten there on my own. Anyways, Dawn, I appreciate it so much and I hope you can come back and do more guest blogs with us!

    “Friend, it’s so easy to focus our eyes on what our spouse needs to learn, but if we do that we will lose ground. We all have our own healing journey to take, like Dawn, what lessons have you learned in this dark night of hitting rock bottom?”
    “. . . it’s so easy to focus our eyes on what our spouse needs to learn, but if we do that we will lose ground” That is such a good insight. . . . I love the focus on our own “healing journeys” and what we need “to learn.” . . . .I have learned that if I let myself really, I mean REALLY understand another person, I might be changed by that understanding and we all fear change. —Especially me, my counselor says I crave safety and seek “VERY low change” levels. Those are my highest felt needs. —Or as Dr. Meier says: “Safety is highest for you.” . . . .So, as I say, it is not an easy thing to permit oneself to understand. . . . It’s not at all hard, generally, to understand a person. It not hard to listen. It is only hard to listen without bias and filters. —And it goes on even inside ourselves. I have an almost unlimited ability to ignore my own ignorance. I catch myself often only really wanting to look at what confirms what I had already presumed to be true. But I am getting much better at it, avoiding “familiarity breeds liking.” . . .And I just love when we work on our hearts here. Everything flows from the condition of our hearts. Our hearts are the factory of ourselves and we can only deeply heal when we directly confront ourselves (—I hate confronting myself! . . . .You know, transcending my attachments, in particular my ego attachments to identity and who I am.) But, if we can get over our attachment to labeling ourselves and the cherishing of our identity, maybe we can move forward faster. So often the voices I hear echoing in my mind are not my own but that of my childhood influencers. Isolation, while arguably going against human nature, is essential for mental and emotional health. Solitude is like a detoxification of all that distorts our personality and misguides our path in life. It allows us to filter out the foreign opinions and hear our own voice—reach our authentic character—and practice fidelity to ourselves. . . . .One of the most amazing things that I often forget is this: God never forgets us! I could hide under a rock, BUT, God would still be beside me saying, “Rock bottom, already?” When you decide to hit rock bottom, humiliation is part of the deal. I think this is what we all want to hear: that we are not alone in hitting the bottom, and that it is possible to come out of that place courageous, beautiful and strong. Counselors say “No one needs to hit rock bottom to change.” And yet I know for me, it is so hard because I am unskilled in communicating with myself. Stress, depression, anxiety, insomnia, . . .these are all symptoms of a bigger problem. They are always trying to tell me something. Loudly. . . . .When I’m at the bottom looking up, the main question may not be “How do I get out of this hole?” In reality, the main question might be “How do I get rid of the shovel that I used to dig it?” If we can’t get rid of our shovels, we just dig new holes somewhere else.

  4. Dawn on November 10, 2016 at 8:46 am

    Ladies, Your comments are precious! Look at God moving in each of your lives. Look at you letting Him ~~ that is BRAVE work. Not to be discounted. I needed to learn a very important lesson in scripture. We can be humbled without being humiliated. He never designed us to be humiliated. Ps. 34:5 says, “They who look to Him are radiant, and they will NEVER (emphasis mine) be ashamed.” “There is no condemnation to those who belong to Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1. He took that for us, His beloved daughters, right before He sat down at the right hand of His father to intercede for us. Oh ladies, we are SO VERY PRECIOUS to Him. Can we dwell in that space for a bit. It gets rid of shovels (Aleea), breaks chains, reclaims lost ground that we dragged ourselves over. He is the perfect Husband. He is enough.
    My story is still being written, as is all of ours. Sandra, the healers (truth speakers) are so key to us not wandering too far off into the marshes of our own speaking. I have found to keep my children out of the equation on matters of matrimony is helpful. They are not my peers in that sense … or my tribe. Find the people who know, who get this… your tribe. Let them speak truth to you, let us all have ears to hear that truth (like Aleea says).
    Ladies, we are so much stronger together, even better when we stay under the protective pinions of our Immortal Beloved.
    Praying for each of us on this journey … on these front lines. We are mighty warriors!

    • Aleea on November 10, 2016 at 12:14 pm

      Dawn,
      You are very good encourager/ Truth seeker warrior. . . .I love how you live your life to be a blessing, so good. Encouragement is so wonderful because it goes straight to the heart. . . And a pure heart does not demean the spirit of any individual it compels me to examine my spirit. . . . . One of the most important things we can do on this earth is to let people know they are not alone. All that abusive suffering . . . I don’t know, maybe it is meant to empty us so that we may have the potential to tap into our truest depths, —it sure helps us to be persistent in our praying I will tell you that. But I try to never act upon wishful thinking without checking the facts. . . . I guess God tries to make us our best by giving us some of the worst situations and that is so like Him. The way to go right is to go left and the way up is actually down and the way to save your life is to lose it completely. —Who can fathom these mysteries God has concealed? . . . . —Oh, encourage literally comes from “in courage.” The courage is put “into” you from outside. Our character and abilities grow through internalizing from others (Healthy people) what we do not possess in ourselves. And it is easy to tell your confidence from pride. Confidence lifts, encourages, helps, and is full of gratitude. Pride demeans, mocks, destroys, and is bitter and resentful and ultimately abusive. —Anyways Dawn, again, I hope you can come back and do more guest blogs with us!

  5. Libby on November 10, 2016 at 11:14 am

    Dear Leslie,
    I have read your latest book,I was able to attend the conquer conference and am being so blessed by the conquer group! I have been to rock bottom so often in my marital relationship, and was about to loose all hope.I am tring to look at my part in the destructive marriage, and am committed to staying well, if at all possible.My journey has begun to take on a new horizon and I am hopeful for the first time in along time.There aren’t enough words to describe my graditude for you and your passion for healthy relationships and for all your wisdom and Godly counsel.I am praying for your move to go smoothly and for God to continiue blessing you and your ministry to all of us that are being so blessed by you.Thank you Leslie,and God Bless

    • Leslie Vernick on November 11, 2016 at 8:54 am

      Thanks so much Libby. Welcome to CONQUER and I’m so glad you’ve found additional support and resources there.

  6. Sandra Lee Anderson on November 10, 2016 at 9:07 pm

    Thank you for you kind comments, dear ladies! My daughter called today and said her father told her he’d like to take me “alone” to his townhouse after Thanksgiving dinner to show it to me. I replied that I’d never do that, and that I truly don’t think I could live with him again. If I can simply tolerate being at family celebrations, with him there, I think that will be to my credit. We’ll see!

    • Aleea on November 11, 2016 at 6:05 am

      Sandra Lee ,
      I totally think you are making the right, smart, decision; but, if you choose, ensure that the Holy Spirit is telling you that too (It is good practice and maybe you already have). I don’t think your xH deserves your image in his head or your memories in his “heart.” But, people that tell you what you want to hear are the most dangerous enemies you’ll ever meet and I am highly biased because of my childhood abuse and extremely sensitive to any control. . . . .I just so feel it at my Bible church when the pastor says things that feel like he is trying to remote control the congregation. “God told me to tell you. . .” . . .I say no one can abuse you more than someone who used to abuse you but God has very different ideas (God is just redeeming –seriously- unredeemable people left, right and center in the Bible). . . . .I hate it when women at church say “I’m done” over and over and over and over and over again but they still stay with the man they are done with. I don’t know, I guess if you ever truly love someone, then it never goes away and maybe that is why that happens. I just don’t know. . . . But, no wonder Leslie and counselors are always saying to work on ourselves, look inside, work inside and work really hard at being internally healthy, when that happens the external self-corrects. Really, even hate is just another kind of caring (Apostle Paul, et.al.) and God redeems everything when He chooses to. I just don’t see Him choosing to very much or I am blind to it or I don’t understand what is going on, as hard as I try to really understand it.

    • Free on November 11, 2016 at 6:12 am

      Sandra, your last entry sent chills up my back. Alone?!! Is he out of his mind!!! I am glad your daughter warned you, but even she should have said, “Dad, this is completely out of the question. You have proven to have nothing but selfish motives toward my mother for over a half century. You are not fooling me or anyone else with your showmanship. Leave Mom alone and if you are in anyway are unkind, or disrespectful to Mom while at Thanksgiving dinner, you will be asked to leave immediately.”

    • Robin on November 13, 2016 at 12:54 pm

      Sandra, have you considered looking for a roommate?? At your age, maybe there are some lonely widows at your church, someone you already know and could trust to lessen the monthly bills and provide companionship. I also lived in a very destructive marriage relationship for many years, and there will be no reconciliation. Too much pain for too long. But I would consider having a friend move in and maybe do some traveling together!!!!

  7. Leslie Vernick on November 11, 2016 at 8:51 am

    I also think if we can surrender our attachments not only to our own identity of who I think I am, but also our attachments of who I think “he” is – a hero, a bad guy, a NPD, can be incredibly helpful. No one is all bad or all good. We are all a mixture of things and changing constantly – not always for the good, but we do change, even if other’s don’t notice. That doesn’t mean that we allow someone to hurt us, but it means we can maintain our compassion WHILE having our STRONG and sometimes very FIRM boundaries.

    • Content on November 11, 2016 at 10:08 pm

      Leslie, I would love to hear more about this topic of maintaining our compassion. Do you have some good resources to recommend?

      As I have been learning more about emotional abuse and coming to grips with the fact that they seem to KNOW good and well what they’re doing, it has left me reeling – angry and shocked and hurt to know that he never really loved me and deliberately cut me down to keep me “less than” him or whatever. But, then on the other hand, the new counselor I saw the other day says that in his mind, he really thinks he *does* love me.

      Some of this reading leaves me in a very paranoid state and my mind can really go all kinds of places as I think of manipulative things he might want to do to get back at me for separating from him. But, I cannot live like that – there is no peace in it and because of that, I don’t feel it can be from God. I have to trust that God will alert me to any “red flags” and that otherwise, I need to take my thoughts captive and trust God to defend me and take care of me.

      I picked up a few books from the library the other day. Some are the kind that leave me angry and ready to file for divorce five years ago :), but one I picked up is by a Dr. Stosny called You Don’t Have to Take It Anymore and apparently, it is a very compassion-driven book. Have any knowledge about this book or what his message is?

      In the end, I think what I keep coming down to is to remember that if it weren’t for God’s grace, I could easily be in his shoes (that doesn’t mean I think I need to reconcile with him or be in close relationship to him at this time). I also keep coming back to the fact that he is blinded and bound by the enemy. “Father, forgive him, for he knows not what he does” is a phrase/verse that I say sometimes and probably need to say more.

      • Aleea on November 12, 2016 at 7:54 am

        Content,
        —And a truly compassionate attitude toward’s ourselves (internally, our CORE) is the only way to have it for others. If we get it right internally all that cycles out into our worlds, even if they behave negatively or hurt us. Only the development of compassion and understanding for others and ourselves too (really important, ourselves internally) can bring peace.

        You might read “Give Yourself a Break: Turning Your Inner Critic into a Compassionate Friend” by Kim Fredrickson, also Kim has a wonderful Compassion CD that you can get and listen to. On that CD she says that “God desperately loves us.” That always shocks me. I think, “God desperately, I mean, d-e-s-p-e-r-a-t-e-l-y loves me! —that is really wonderful!!!” Now, how do I believe it? I can’t just start believing that I am, say, Joan-of-Arc. . . . So, here is the way I look at it: God cannot be disappointed in me because I have no way of surprising Him. He is not temperamental and touchy that would make Him human like me. He is never surprised by my actions. Instead of disgust, He reaches out to pick me back up so I can start over and over and over, He is patient and kind. He never seeks revenge when He is betrayed (—Well, on the revenge, I hope He doesn’t, I don’t *know* completely on that one. Re: Book of Revelation) Anyway, I delight in the fact that He knows my heart, because that means I know that He knows I want a deeper relationship with Him.

        Also, maybe see “People Can’t Drive You Crazy If You Don ’t Give Them the Keys”—Dr. Mike Bechtle and “Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself” by Dr. Kristin Neff. And then what my counselor always tells me: “However many holy words you read, however many good things you know, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them?” Sometimes, when we pray what we are really praying for is for God to do all the work that we are too afraid to take action about. Often, the miracle resides in us and we need to simply “be all in”, rather than standing on the fence waiting, but that may not be your issue, it is mine.

    • Aleea on November 12, 2016 at 7:18 am

      . . . .So drop our attachments to both identities. —That’s very good. I do see that as important . . .I don’t know who I am Leslie, not really. I have spent too long people pleasing. . . . Sometimes, on bad days, I think I am an abuser myself just like my abusive mother (—The very thing I don’t want to be.) Sometimes, I think I know things and can dispense a modicum of wisdom only to find out I know so very little. So little, in fact, as compared to the amount I would need to know to make certain decisions that I am completely frozen in indecision. Sometimes, I am just ashamed of myself and I don’t even know why. I guess for being human.

      Leslie, is it really possible to drop our attachments to identities: “. . . . and I have two houseguests. I know they will understand but a girl sort of likes her house to look pretty when she has guests.” Identity: Leslie keeps an orderly and pretty home. “. . . I could never make anything as nice or as fancy as you, Leslie.” Identity: Leslie knows how to entertain/ make wonderful meals, et.al. With love & compassion and all respect, how does Leslie jettison (drop her attachments to) Leslie? If I could drop my attachment to my mother, I would have peace but she is internalized, I have to drop my attachment to me. I guess I can really try to do that.

      “No one is all bad or all good” It is so, so true and always a very good thing to remind us of. When we see a “hero” we just see an archtype, not the real person. Dr. Meier says I need boundaries within myself first and foremost (internal boundaries) but I just . . . . Leslie, I just don’t want to be intellectually dishonest (—boundary as to what I will think about/ questions I will ask), critical thinking lazy (—boundary as to what books I will read), willfully blind (—boundary as to whom I will talk to), etc. . . .Leslie, I keep telling Dr. Meier: “I don’t know what we are trying to find, trying to do, etc.” It is so frustrating, but on the other side of that I don’t know how you counselors put up with us patients, we’re a total mess. . . .I guess she is saying “be” not “do”. I feel like I am practicing Buddhism at times.

      “We are all a mixture of things and changing constantly – not always for the good, but we do change, even if other’s don’t notice.” . . . . Yes, the whole thing is in constant flux. . . .I do think it is easier to have compassion when we consider ourselves, for sure. It is so hard to not hate those who do wrong or harmful things; but with compassion, I must do what I can to stop them (—But maybe I shouldn’t. Dr. Meier spent a whole counseling session trying to disabuse me of going after my mother in the family courts, even with the probabilities as low as they are, for all that childhood abuse.) She wants me to stop resenting (re-sending) my mother that bill for payment in all the different ways it comes out. . . . .I mean, really, as you know, abusers are massively harming themselves, as well as those who suffer from their actions (—Even when the person I am trying to stop is me, —internally). —And a truly compassionate attitude toward others does not change even if they behave negatively or hurt us, I agree. Only the development of compassion and understanding for others and ourselves can bring tranquility and peace, I know.

      I know the theory (—always the easy part re: Healing Deconstruction: Postmodern Thought in Buddhism and Christianity): All suffering is caused by sin/ ignorance. People inflict pain on others in the selfish pursuit of their happiness or satisfaction. Yet a sense of inner peace and contentment is achieved through the cultivation of love and compassion and elimination of sin, ignorance, selfishness and greed, et.al. Identity: Aleea knows a few things re: Keeping our Minds in Balance: Christianity and Buddhism, “No one is all bad or all good”. . . .and you only lose what you cling to and God’s Peace comes from within, and we can’t seek it outside of ourselves. There is no path to Christ: Christ is the path. If we truly loved ourselves, we could never hurt anothers. Self-love (real love) eliminates abuse.

      . . . .Anyways, thank you for commenting. I love getting comments. I pray everything goes well with your move.

  8. Ann L on November 11, 2016 at 9:05 am

    what lessons have you learned in this dark night of hitting rock bottom?

    Trust yourself. I moved into my own apartment 2 !/2 months ago. This week I realized that my head and heart are clear. I’m no longer confused. That undefinable jumble of something twisting, ugly colors, writhing energy, silent cacophony–that mess is receding, almost gone. i was so used to it I didn’t know what it was for it to not be present.

    Trust confusion to be your internal safety signal — when you feel foggy, when you doubt your sense of what just happened, when your mental and emotional energy is consumed with trying to understand what’s happening — what I’ve learned is, that’s how my body tells me that I’m being manipulated.

    I’ve learned that my natural self is capable and competent.

  9. Finally Free on November 11, 2016 at 11:20 am

    Dawn,

    Your words of insight and clarity are balm to the soul. Each point has proven so true in my 17 month freedom from the confusion, jumble, and cacophony that Ann L refers to. It is good to hear each others stories so that in our alone-ness where so many abandoned our ship..we have reason to not feel lonely. We have Christ and kindred women. Others have survived and gleaned peace and wisdom…and so can we all.

    Blessings,
    Finally Free

    • Dawn on November 18, 2016 at 10:13 am

      Yes, Finally Free, when stories resonate and are used to do the healing work, I have found it is a good indication that we have found our tribe.
      I say, let them all be used. They were very costly. So much like the perfume at Jesus feet that was poured by Mary. When we pour our stories onto pages they are a beautiful act of worship. The Master knows and values them as sacred. He basically told the disciples after they criticized her for pouring out that costly oil, “Listen, I’m here now, she’s worshiping Me. Loosen the scales of ‘religion’ that are covering your eyes and let me show you this act for what it is. Sheer and pure worship of a Savior she adores. She’s giving her all. Pay attention to that.”.
      There is not life in confusion, jumble and cacophony. However it is fertile breeding ground for the enemy to do his work of stealing, killing, and destroying. I can tell you this, in my own story, remaining in the place of that confusion, jumble, and cacophony is what bred some of the actions that I will carry with me in regret for the rest of my life.
      Here. A friend sent this out today, and I think it is so appropriate for all of us. My prayer is that we live in this space. Where our eyes remain so focused on Him, that the waves have no choice but to remain beneath our feet rather than around our necks.
      “But God doesn’t call us to be comfortable. He calls us to TRUST Him so completely that we are UNAFRAID to put ourselves in situations where WE WILL BE IN TROUBLE IF HE DOESN”T COME THROUGH!” Francis Chan ~ Crazy Love.
      This place, Ladies, YES! May we dare to venture from “faith to faith” one act of faith to the next larger challenge (Romans 1:17 ~ into the front lines of battle. It’s always where the biggest fruit is! Find your tribe. Grow your faith. Live 100 percent of your life’s purpose ~ that’s where the “Well done, Good and Faithful Servant” comes from!

  10. Aleea on November 12, 2016 at 2:55 pm

    Content, some other possible ways to think about abuse to possibly increase compassion:

    1) Abuse is only finding its way into the outside world by the abuser first abusing themselves internally. Anyone abusing you is abusing themselves first and foremost. Anyone objectifying you is objectifying themselves first. Anyone hating you is hating themselves first. A person with a sense of inner peace and contentment and compassion toward themselves produces love and compassion, et.al. for others. Whatever is generated is generated first inside the factory of ourselves (our CORE). We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves inside the factory of ourselves. At least I think that is what is going on.

    2) Another way to think about it and possibly have compassion is based on the possible illusion of free will. We may not like the results of this neuroscience, and as Christians, we often don’t like the results of science but that is no reason not to seriously evaluate them (—our commitment to reality living). re:The Free Will Delusion: How We Settled for the Illusion of Morality. This approach fully understood totally undermines all pride and boosting but I fear for some level of personal responsibility. It still means you divorce people, you set boundaries (—But I think some boundaries are just willful blindness however. i.e. —I will not read, study or think abut this or that.) —anyways, you still put people in jail, et.al. But now we understand that actions have chemical antecedents and your brain being aware of what you are doing is very different than having truly free will. I don’t like it and I fear for certain things but are those valid reasons to reject it without really evaluating the evidence? Those of us who work very hard and follow the rules would not “deserve” our success in any deep sense, as the Bible says: John three: “A person can receive nothing, unless it has been given to them” —Flat out given/ handed to them. In the epistles, “what hath a person that they have not been given” Re:“Free Will” by Dr. Sam Harris. We like “free-will” because it allows us to blame and hate people but only the truth can heal us and the truth will break your heart, way more than once.

    3) If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion. . . I look at children at my church. Of course they quarrel, but generally speaking they do not harbor ill feelings as much or as long as our adults do. Most adults have the advantage of lots of education over children, but what is the use of all that education if they show big smiles while hiding negative feelings deep inside? Children don’t usually act in such a manner. If they feel angry with someone, they express it and get it out there, and then it is finished. They can still play with that person the following day. We find ways to withhold compassion on people forever. We just don’t call it hate we use sophisticated terms like discernment. Maybe ask yourself how you want to live your life, what prevents you from living the way you want to live your life? I bet it is not your abuser, even if you have to divorce them. The one who conquers her own anger, hatred and internal abuse manifests loving compassion, internally and then externally.

  11. Content on November 12, 2016 at 7:40 pm

    “And a truly compassionate attitude toward’s ourselves (internally, our CORE) is the only way to have it for others.”
    _________

    True. I can see how God really began grounding me in who I am in Christ in a deeper way several years ago. This was also the catalyst that has led me to speak the truth in my marriage and to see the bottom fall out. But, anyway….for years, I would beat myself up for my lack of organization, my procrastination, my this or that. But, as I really began to understand the depth of the love and grace God has for me, it set me free. I stopped condemning myself and my thoughts started shifting from shame-based to gratefulness for the way God has made me. No, I’m not highly organized or an A-type personality that is motivated to constantly achieve, but I am very relational and I love well (albeit not perfectly). I started thinking those kinds of thoughts rather than listening to the lies of the enemy who would want me to live in the pit of “not enough”. I really started to see that it was the enemy’s voice whispering to me these lies rather than the voice of the One who loved me so extravagantly. And, of course, I started to get more organized naturally because condemnation wasn’t weighing my spirit down….

    Thanks for the book recommendations, Aleea.

  12. Content on November 12, 2016 at 7:48 pm

    “I don’t know who I am Leslie, not really”

    ________

    Learning to believe that I am who God says I am in Christ set me free. I think it is the only way to freedom in a believer’s life, really. I can recommend some resources regarding this if you’re interested.

    We have to learn to take by faith what God has said about us. We are righteous, we are holy, we are dead to sins and alive to Christ, we have died on the cross with Christ and have been resurrected in His life. These are the truths that we don’t believe because everything in our reality says “no way”, but it will set you free. It will change everything.

    • Aleea on November 13, 2016 at 5:16 pm

      Content,
      Yes, of course, please recommend resources. I will read them, even if it takes me a while.

      “We have to learn to take by faith”. . . . Faith claims are knowledge claims. Faith claims are statements of fact about the world. We should be able to test them in some meaningful way. I am always open to this but often I feel doubt is my intellectual conscience pleading with me to be honest with myself.

      Anyways, thank you. I so appreciate you caring about me. I bet trusting helps us suffer less but. . . . it’s so hard.

  13. Sandra Lee Anderson on November 13, 2016 at 3:03 pm

    Robin:
    Thank you for the suggestion of a roommate. I have considered that, but have yet to find anyone compatible or needing a roommate. I’ll pray about it, however, because it certainly would be helpful in many ways. If it’s God’s will, I believe He’ll provide one. He has never failed me yet!
    In HIS love & prayer,
    Sandra

  14. Robin on November 13, 2016 at 3:11 pm

    Sandra, I’ve known a few gals that ended up moving into beautiful homes when finding a well- to-do lonely widower. I’ll be praying Gods prepares you for something wonderful as He so loves to do when we ask Him and know Him.
    He truly does want women who have been imprisoned in destructive relationships to now be His Princess and live like we never have.

  15. Sandra Lee Anderson on November 13, 2016 at 3:26 pm

    Robin: Wow, that would be a dream come true!. I did meet a dear man at church, but his health was failing and he died recently, after only six months into our relationship. He was the only Christian man I ever loved that way. However, I do know Jesus is my true husband, who loves me unconditionally and forever!
    Thank you for being so thoughtful of me, dear. Sandra

  16. Robin on November 13, 2016 at 3:34 pm

    Sandra, I have learned with my marriage ending, that as we stand for Righteousness and stand against sin– God is eagerly waiting to bring to us something so much better then what we had. Even tho I thought my faith was strong, nowi see how it had some growing to do because ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE with God. I’m sorry about your friend passing away, I’m sure that was hard to walk through.
    Keep looking for what God has yet to provide. (I never understood how much He really loves and cares for me, to the e tent that He has shown me thru ample provision of every single need!!!)

  17. Aleea on November 13, 2016 at 4:25 pm

    That’s beautiful Content, I am so glad for that for you. “. . .I am very relational and I love well.” —Wonderful, so good to hear. Content, the last thing this world needs is more psychologically unhealthy people.

    “I started to get more organized naturally because condemnation wasn’t weighing my spirit down….” —Exactly, the shaming and blaming just drives us further into the pit of “not enough”. . . . I’ve never understood how to know my voice of condemnation from Satan’s voice but I do know that condemnation and criticism only fuels more issues.

    “I’m not highly organized or an A-type personality that is motivated to constantly achieve. . . .” Content, I don’t think we are self-caused little gods. . . . You can do what you decide to do —but you cannot decide what you will decide to do. . . . .That takes awhile to think about: . . . You can do what you decide to do —but you cannot decide what you will decide to do. . . Think about the context in which your next decision will occur: You did not pick your parents or the time and place of your birth. You didn’t choose your gender or most of your life experiences. You had no control whatsoever over your genome or the development of your brain chemistry. —And now your brain is making choices on the basis of preferences and beliefs that have been hammered into it over a lifetime by your genes, DNA, your physical development since the moment you were conceived, and the interactions you have had with other people, events, and ideas. —Where is the freedom in this? Yes, you are free to do what you want even now. But where did your desires come from? No one has free will until they are an adult, and by then the choices that were made for them, have already set them on a course that gives limited freedom in the choices to be made. It is sort of like . . . .hmmm, like you are not controlling the storm, and you are not lost in it. You are the storm or the calm. . . . . Think about the world the New Testament was written in. . . . Experts in ancient Greek culture say that people back then didn’t see their thoughts as belonging to them. When ancient Greeks had a thought, it occurred to them as a god or goddess giving an order. Apollo was telling them to be brave. Athena was telling them to fall in love. Now people hear a commercial for sour cream potato chips and rush out to buy, but now they call this free will. At least the ancient Greeks were being honest! It is easy to just assert things but, wow, when you go out and try to show the causal links you will find out very quickly how hard knowing is. That is why in our court systems that which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. . . . .Anyways, my answer to many mysteries is more prayer. . . .Prayer trumps Bible study any day with all the thousands of systematic text issues, all the battles over hermeneutics —the Bible is only as good and decent as the person exegeting it. If they are monsters their doctrines are such. To me, we should consider, for example, love to be a necessary criterion (a minimum) when defending an interpretation of Scripture even if it cannot be a sufficient criterion that will guarantee ethical interpretation. . . . .Anyways, my answer to everything is more prayer.

  18. Wendy on November 13, 2016 at 7:18 pm

    I walked away from my life for months ago. It is so precious to hear your stories and to read this article and understand I am not alone. Letting go of everything but a suitcase to come to my parents home and heal from years of abuse has been very painful. God and his absolute perfect love has given me such mercy and insight into myself and the reasons I was doing many of the things that I was. I hear and understand your voices as you say you do not know your identity at this time. I have found that in the complete letting go of absolutley everything you come face-to-face with the reality of your decisions. I began to see how my decisions were driven from a place of fear. I did not truly believe that my God cared so much for me that he would never ask me to be treated in an abusive way. That his mercy and his grace would truly be all that I needed to make it for the rest of my days. In the very dark night of the soul as I would try to figure out all the voices telling me I was wrong he was always there to quietly whisper I gave my life so you could live in freedom. Every day I must make the decision to go to my new church to go to the new Bible studies. To get in a new car drive down a new road, go to a new grocery store and find a new way to communicate. Every day the only thing that is constant is his love for me and the words he has promised to me he will never leave me nor for sake me. I I am so glad that I chose to let go of everything and only trust him. Everything he is giving me now is real and for the first time in my weakness and insecurity of who I am, I am becoming stronger than I ever was. I see him now, I see Jesus. I see how much he loves me I hear him tell me this each and every day. Little by little I am building a brand-new life one that I feel stronger in with every passing day. Thank you Leslie for all your hard work and for such wonderful encouragement.

  19. Amy on November 13, 2016 at 10:44 pm

    I haven’t read all the comments, so maybe this has been brought up already. When you file for divorce or legal separation, you can–and should—legally request all pertinent financial statements: all the bank accounts—personal AND business—copies of tax returns, all investment accounts, 401k accounts, profit/loss business statements etc…
    When these are requested through the right channels (a divorce attorney), one’s spouse is legally obligated to provide them.
    Yes, one can hide accounts/money, so it is important to have some sort of idea of what you (yes you!) own.
    There is usually a paper trail. Look at the mail. daily. That being said, these days one can opt for electronic-only statements/transactions.

  20. Shari on November 14, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    I am probably going to ramble. I have no one I can talk to about this so venting will be my therapy. Thirty years ago I packed up my daughters & moved to my mother’s home. For 3 days. The night before I left, my H screamed at me to pick up some peanuts my 5yo had spilled in the pantry.I had worked all day, fixed dinner, cleaned up, attended to the children & I was beyond exhausted. I told him no. He put a dish towel around my neck & lowered me to the floor. (To be fair, he wasn’t choking me. Somehow he was able to use the towel to manipulate me to the floor without cutting off air.) Unbelievably, it wasn’t his actions that caused me to leave. It was the look of pure joy on his face as he lowered me to the floor. So that was the proverbial straw. We left the nexy day.My daughter had a cheerleading performance at our local stadium 2 days later. I remember sitting there looking at the beautiful sky with such a deep sense of relief, it was like the world had opened up & suddenly became filled with color. I decided I would get a part time job to supplement my fulltime job & I would save up quickly so that we could move from my mother’s home.I knew this would be hard but at that moment it felt like the most wonderful future with promise & hope. Later that evening, H showed up. He said that he didn’t know how he was going to handle his job responsibilities & the household duties as well. No mention of love for the kids or me. No mention of wanting us in his life. He was simply going to miss my housekeeping duties.I quickly turned to leave & said to myself, “I’m completely done!” And then he announced that he would kill himself.He never made that threat before or since & to this day won’t admit to saying it. My father committed suicide when I was 6. For weeks before I had felt like someone was going to die & I had expressed this fear to my mom. After it happened, my kid-brain felt responsible. So at 32 I’m being told to keep the status quo or risk the guilt of another suicide in my life. I’m 61 & I have wished that I had stayed gone. My life would be so different. I have debilitating health issues & very little energy. I think this soul-suckling relationship is the reason. I have no place to go now & no means to support myself. There’s never a kind or neutral word. It’s insults or orders being issued. Hopelessness is such an empty place to live.

    • Seeing the Light on November 16, 2016 at 9:46 am

      Shari, I read your comment this morning and I don’t have much wisdom, I just want you to know you have been heard. I completely understand the hopelessness. I am fighting daily to cling to hope and build strength, but it seems like Satan keeps throwing one thing after another at me. I encourage you to keep trying to get out. Don’t give up. My health is broken and I too literally have so little energy. I know I can’t fight the fight to leave today, but I won’t give up. I will keep trying to take a step forward even if I get knocked down. I will get up again. Maybe one day – one day – I will make more progress than I lose. May it be the same for you. Please don’t give up, Shari. You are only 61. You still have life ahead of you. My prayer for you is to be able to get out of there.

    • Dawn on November 17, 2016 at 10:18 am

      Oh Shari,
      You have been heard. The enemy knows our “buttons” and uses them often to keep us bound in places we were never meant to languish. He kills, steals, and destroys ~ in this case a beautiful daughter of the King. Simply by coming at you in your vulnerable place of fear ~ suicide
      Ladies, I encourage you to look at some of Leslie’s resources on building your CORE strength. Seek His face for truth as to who you are in Him, and the circumstances around you. Find the truth speakers ~~ the real ones ~~ that understand these levels of lies and deception. I have not found many in the church body that understand and are familiar enough to comprehend this level of warfare. We must align ourselves strategically with truth, and in that space be as “wise as serpents, and as gentle as doves”.
      Fear and manipulation are twisted and wicked taskmasters. Truth speakers put those tactics back in the place .
      Let me encourage you with this truth that God spoke to the Israelites in Leviticus 26:13, “I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt so you would no longer be their slaves. I broke the yoke of slavery from your neck SO YOU CAN WALK WITH YOUR HEADS HELD HIGH (emphasis mine).” Ladies, I ask God to reveal to each of us, right where we are, the roadblocks in our lives that are allowing us to remain in slavery when clearly He has freed us. Not only freed us, but redeemed us to allow us to walk with our heads held high. There is the Victory Dance … right there! Whatever that looks like in each of our own individual circumstances. I ask the Lord to allow us to victoriously reveal and give us His strength to walk in the freedom He so graciously has extended to us. May we each know the vibrant joy of the woman at the well who was brave enough to have the honest conversation in the face of her Savior that enabled her to run freely down the hill, filled with joy, in the full knowledge and acceptance of her circumstances, no longer bound … released from the yoke of her slavery.
      Selah! Amen!

  21. Sandra Lee Anderson on November 14, 2016 at 2:01 pm

    My goodness, Wendy, I could have written your note myself! My ex-h left me three years ago, and we were divorce June 2015, after 57 years of an unhappy marriage. I was taught at churches I had attended that marriage was “until death,” and to keep praying for his salvation. so had he not left, I’d probably be with him still. However, he refused to live with the boundaries I had set that until the abuse stopped, I’d sleep in the guest room. I also had started to get more involved in my church, against his will.

    Although, it was very stressful to care for and sell our home without his help for a year, I found it was worth the peace and freedom I had/have. I do get lonely at times and funds are limited, but God takes care of me, and I know He is my true husband, and will never leave me alone, nor you, dear one. God bless you, Sandra

    • Dawn on November 17, 2016 at 10:27 am

      Sandra,
      He IS a true and perfect Husband. Yes, I am so very proud of your bravery and your understanding that He will leave or forsake us. You are living that out right now. Your brave goes above your needs that you courageously are allowing Him to supply. It is so easy to run back to Egypt when things get difficult. Yet you are a true warrior allowing yourself to sit in the hard space of “enough”. He IS enough, He PROVIDES enough, and we are more than conquerors (enough) through Him that loves us so.
      You are a bright beacon of hope to those here. Just like Christ said to Peter in Luke 22:32, “…and when you have turned (back from being sifted, and not losing faith) strengthen your brothers”. Thank you Sandra for being vulnerable enough to share your story. That is brave. Thank you, more so, for turning back to strengthen those behind and around you! You are a mighty and valiant warrior!

      • Dawn on November 17, 2016 at 10:28 am

        NEVER leave or forsake us!

  22. Wendy on November 14, 2016 at 6:15 pm

    Sandra, thank you for your very kind words. I was able to see my daughter this past weekend. It is a blessing to see her begin to open up to me and start to heal. Our decisions affect our children so deeply. We believe like you say that we must stay in the marriage. However, I am so glad that we choose to believe He is our true husband now. I am very thankful that my daughter feels safe with me and able to communicate her heart and begin healing as a young woman before she enters into a marriage relationship. She needed to see that the Savior I claim loved me would take care of me even if I had to leave. She sees the strength and peace that can only come from the love of Jesus Christ and this is healing for her. God bless you my dear sister.

  23. Dawn on November 15, 2016 at 4:03 am

    Wendy (et al),
    Your story resonates so deeply. Your choices are “front-line warrior” brave. Sandra, you as well. Ladies these are the trenches. Yet to know that sweet peace of the Savior’s unfailing love is priceless. How He desires to be our kinsman redeemed. Learning to rebuild is an adventure when we invite Him into the process. Wendy, your words are an encouragement. They are raw and brave and bare. Those moves take extreme faith (and enough extreme pain in the circumstances we are in, for sure). Yes, this is the stuff. To be the Aaronesses for each other in these places is a high and holy privilege. As we seek His face, walk the walk with Him, and learn to trust and receive love in a correct way, we honor His sacrifice on our behalf. Ladies, I’m so proud of all of us. We are certainly stronger together.

    • Dawn on November 15, 2016 at 7:37 am

      I meant to say “Kinsman Redeemer”!

  24. Sandra Lee Anderson on November 15, 2016 at 9:50 am

    My heart and prayers go out to you dear. Had my ex-h not left me, I probably would still be with him (as you are with your h). Don’t allow him to continue destroying your health and life. There are shelters you can escape too. Leave, no matter what it takes!

  25. Sandra Lee Anderson on November 15, 2016 at 10:06 am

    Thank you, dear Dawn & Wendy for your love and support. I don’t cry often these days, but your words here bring tears to my eyes and give me strength to keep my eyes on Jesus first. I’ve found that this blog is the best therapy I’ve received, even more than from my family or church. God bless you all and dear Leslie for bringing us together! Sandra

  26. Sandra Lee Anderson on November 15, 2016 at 10:46 am

    Wendy: I’m glad you were able to see your daughter, and that she can see the healing and peace that only Jesus can give. I have two adult daughters who were emotionally damaged from living in our dysfunctional home. The older one loves the Lord and is happily married. However, the younger has rejected Jesus, and in and out of one failed relationship after another. I’m praying for her salvation, whatever it takes. I blame myself for not leaving their father when they were young. They now have a relationship with him and claim he’s “changed,” but I cannot reconcile with him (although he will be at the family Thanksgiving gathering, and I hope to be able to get through it, after not seeing him for three years). God bless you too!

  27. Wendy on November 15, 2016 at 6:48 pm

    Sandra, I will be praying for you as you see your ex-husband. I believe that you will be strong for greater is He that is in you then he that is in the world. We are coming to learn that we are loved perfectly by Jesus. Perfect love casts out all fear. I understand what you say about feeling blame for your daughters dysfunctional relationships. I have been reading the book The Power of Praying for Your Adult Children by Stormie Omartian. It has given me much peace to be a prayer warrior for my daughter. I know that I am fighting the battle in her life the greatest way that I can. God bless.

  28. Sandra Lee Anderson on November 16, 2016 at 3:30 pm

    Wendy, thank you from the bottom of my heart for your kind prayers and encouragement. Although I am dreading seeing my ex-h again Thanksgiving, I also believe God will help me to be gracious.

    By coincidence, I recently purchased that book, The Power of Praying for Your Adult Children, by Stormie Omartian, and hope it will be helpful to me as it is to you. I’ll keep you posted and will pray for you as well.
    Sandra

  29. Dawn on November 17, 2016 at 10:43 am

    Ladies, Thank you for sharing about your adult children, and how they are divided in the lines of faith. I too have two who follow Christ and two who are not walking with Him. Can I encourage us all here.
    1.) Their story isn’t finished yet, it is still being written. Let us persevere on their behalves by ushering them continually into the Throne Room. I have beautiful memories of my Grandmother at her bedside on her knees on a huge Oriental rug that now sits in my kitchen with her knee marks
    right next to my seat at the head of the table. She would cry out for her children, grandchildren (me) and our children … right down the line generationally she would go… right into the future she would war for all of us to know Him. She would literally be crying and speaking loudly with authority on our behalves for our souls. WOW! I was 15 or 16 at the time and thought it to be so weird. How I treasure that memory now. How I treasure that rug ~ the Stone of Remembrance that it is to me.
    2.) We must … MUST … forgive ourselves for not knowing what we didn’t know at the time we were raising our children ~ and even what we did know but were to scared or ______ (you fill in the blank) to obey.
    We cannot love others correctly until we first learn how to love and forgive ourselves. Accept that freedom and forgiveness and walk in it. It is critical to our healing.
    May we all go forth and war like my Gran for the future generations that will come after us and the healing of the ones that are here now. May we understand that He comes to do just that ~ life … abundant life. And that all promises He made are in Him YES!!! according to II Cor. 1:20. And in Him that Yes is spoken to US by the Glory of God. May we receive these promises as we pray them over our children, and their children, and their children’s children. Amen … Selah

  30. Sandra Lee on November 17, 2016 at 3:41 pm

    Dawn:
    Thank you for your love – ly words which are more than I deserve, and brought tears to my eyes. I copied it to read whenever I feel inadequate. I’ve prayed for a prayer partner at my church and for accountability and support, but where could I find one like you and our other dear sisters on this blog and our dear Leslie?!
    I love the wonderfully encouraging scripture from Isaiah 54:4-8: For your husband is your Maker, whose name is the Lord of Hosts; For the Lord has called you, like a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit, even as a wife of one’s youth when she is rejected. —also: He will restore what the locusts have destroyed (reference?).
    I hope I can be half as much of an encourager as you are, dear Dawn. God bless you, Sandra

    • Dawn on November 22, 2016 at 4:05 am

      Sandra,
      You are so welcome, My Dear. Yes, we all desperately need the Barnabus figures in our life. To come alongside , like He did w Paul on the road to Damascus to sit w the lonely, the discouraged the stricken and provide what hope and healing comfort we have to each other. Our stories are still being penned by the Almighty as well. Let us encourage one another towards good deeds (and healing). That is the body of Christ at its best.

  31. Veronica on November 21, 2016 at 2:34 am

    The interesting thing is that I don’t consider this my rock bottom. I’m stronger and closer to God than I’ve ever been. I think this is the only reason that I have been able to leave. I never trusted myself before…I was adding to the chaos, so how could I hold him accountable?
    My issue right now is juggling it all…I have PTSD from childhood abuse, so when I get triggered by spousal abuse it takes a lot out of me. I have 2 small children and I’m building a business in order to have a source of income. I’m thinking about moving out on my own to have time with God and to build my business, so I can come back stronger and have the means with which to support my kids. I don’t know…I’ll be seeking wisdom.

  32. Sandra Lee on November 21, 2016 at 10:52 am

    God bless you, dear Veronica! I admire for you for having the courage to move out on your own with two small children and also starting a business.

    I agree that once you remove yourself from spousal abuse, you gain peace and freedom you never enjoyed before, as I did. It’s not an easy road, but you have God’s love and care to see you through.

    In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths. Proverbs 3:6
    With love & prayers, Sandra

  33. Dawn on November 22, 2016 at 4:09 am

    Hi Ladies,
    Coming this am to ask again for your prayers as I head into what I am hoping can be the final mediation on my divorce at 9 am est. I covet those prayers specifically for the following. That I give an accurate representation of Christ today. My heart is asking for the heart of my husband to be softened towards Him for the healing of his relationships with children. That all information necessary for a fair settlement that is currently hidden can be revealed. That the legal / forensic / mediating teams will possess the discernment and the wisdom of Solomon. That my heart and soul and mind would be protected. And most of all, and the hardest of all, God’s perfect will be accomplished today.
    Believe me when I tell you I am asking that it include an equitable settlement so this can be finished — and that would take a God sized movement. Thank you, sweet sisters. I am ever grateful for this tribe.

  34. Catherine Lyon on November 28, 2016 at 3:07 pm

    Well, I have been a “closet” visitor for awhile now, LOL and had to say you have helped me SO much with relationship advice. And WELCOME to Arizona! I am in Glendale, AZ.

    Not sure where you will be, but Welcome. I work from home as a Columnist for In Recovery Magazine which is headquartered in Prescott, AZ. I should send you our Mag package info as you last book I loved and would help many while you enjoy national and international exposure for your book. “-)

    Author/Columnist, Catherine Townsend-Lyon

    • Leslie Vernick on November 28, 2016 at 3:38 pm

      Catherine, I would love that. I am near Surprise which isn’t too far from Glendale. Send me a private e-mail at leslie@leslievernick.com and I can give you contact information.

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