Hello my friends,
2023 is here… How’s it going? Perhaps you, like me, could use a little pep talk?
Okay, Here we go. You are stronger than you think. Dear One, please read that again, this time, read it out loud, and make it oh so personal. It will sound just like this “I am stronger than I think”.
Goodness, that sentence is hard to own and to believe sometimes. I don’t know about you friend, but January was a blur for me. It quickly came and went. The start of 2023 was full of great memory making moments, yet in all transparency, I lacked focus. I had so many thoughts, dreams, and desires for this upcoming year. I had set my intentions, claimed my word of the year, and made some bold declarations. Then life stepped in. I lost some of my footing. I did not do all I said I would do. My walk did not always align with my talk. I felt discouraged. It bummed me out.
However, I made a choice not to have a pity party. I owned my junk, felt the discomfort, and asked God for a restart to my year. In love, and with gentleness, He gave me February! He gifted me with focus, and a vision to imagine my life 3 months from now, with Him at the center of all my tasks and to do’s. February 1, 2023, I prayerfully began a new morning routine to help support my goals. I am excited, encouraged, and ready for some transformative experiences this year.
I may not do it perfectly everyday, and that’s okay. I’ll purpose to do the next right thing each day. Perfectly imperfect I am, and so thankful for His grace. His mercies are new every morning. I can walk my talk into that truth! When I am weak, He is strong. I can find my brave and begin anew- everyday, so can you!
THIS WEEK’S QUESTION:
I think one of the hardest things about emotional abuse is the self doubt it leaves me with. Not only am I not good enough to be loved by my husband, but other people want me to be someone I'm not and then it makes all the tapes start running in my head again. What is it about me that makes me a target for people who think it's ok to try to change who I am? I wonder, am I the one who's stubborn and unwilling to change? Or am I just afraid of change? I feel so wishy-washy. Please help.
Coach LeAnne’s Response:
Dear friend, It's not uncommon for survivors of emotional abuse to experience self-doubt, insecurity, and feelings of worthlessness. This is a result of the manipulation and control used by the abuser, and it is not a reflection of who you are or your worth as a person.
It's important to recognize that you are not to blame for being a target of emotional abuse. Abusers often seek out individuals who they perceive as vulnerable and who they believe they can control and manipulate.
In addition, please remember that you are wonderfully made and deeply loved by God. You were created with unique qualities and gifts that make you who you are.
Emotional abuse can leave you feeling self-doubt and swimming in insecurity, but it's important to know that these feelings are not based in truth. Your worth is not determined by anyone else's opinions or actions, but by God's opinions and actions. He says you are my daughter, created for purpose and value (Ephesians 2:10, Psalm 139)
It's also important to recognize that emotional abuse is never your fault. Perhaps, it’s not your stubbornness or unwillingness to change that makes you a target, but rather the abuser or control the abuser seeks to exert over you.
Hold onto the truth that you are valuable and loved just as you are. Surround yourself with supportive people who uplift and encourage you and reach out for help if you need it. Remember that God is with you always, and He is your rock, your redeemer, your friend, and your defender.
In addition, it is wise to pause and ask yourself a big why. Why do you want to change? Are you doing it because you truly desire it, or are you simply trying to please others? It's an opportunity to notice if your actions are aligned with your core values, if not, you can make changes that are in line with who you are.
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)
It's completely normal to feel afraid of change, especially when it involves leaving a familiar or uncomfortable situation. You can shift from pleasing people to empowered action. You can change what's happening for you on the inside so that you are able to live in alignment with who you truly are at the core. You can release the need to bend over backward for those who will not choose to lean into relational health with you.
However, making changes can bring about growth and healing, and can lead to a brighter future. Here are some first steps to help you overcome your fear of change:
1. Identify what you want to change: Start by being clear about what it is you want to change and why. This will help you focus your efforts and give you a sense of direction.
2. Seek support: Surround yourself with supportive people who will encourage and uplift you. This could be friends, family, a therapist, a coach, or a support group.
3. Break it down into manageable steps: Change can be overwhelming, so break it down into smaller, manageable steps. This will make the process less intimidating and will help you track your progress.
4. Practice self-care: Taking care of yourself is essential when navigating change. This includes things like exercise, healthy eating, sleep, and identifying and spending time doing things you enjoy.
5. Trust in yourself: Believe in yourself and your abilities. Remember that you are capable of making positive changes and that you have the strength and resilience to see it through.
6. Turn to your faith: Lean into the Lord for comfort, strength, and guidance. Remember that God is always with you, and He will never leave you or forsake you.
Change can be challenging, but with support, self-care, and a commitment, you can overcome your fear and create a better tomorrow. You can let go of the wishy-washy thoughts and feelings and invite wisdom in its place.
Finally, it's important to understand that change is not a one-time event, but a continuous growth choice and process. Embracing as opposed to fighting change, means being open to new experiences, learning and growing as a person, and adapting to the new circumstances.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
Dearest Readers, how have you overcome self-doubt? How are you erasing the tapes that hold you back from confidence?
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My Husband Rages At My Daughters Too. I’m Devastated. Now What?
Morning friends, I had a great meeting in Gilbert, Arizona last Saturday teaching both Biblical counselors and married couples what it takes to build healthier marriages and repair broken ones. I was encouraged by the openness and vulnerability of the participants. Pray it brings fruit in their lives and ministries. I am giving two plenary…
How Do I Forgive Myself?
Morning friends, I so appreciate you – you’re the best! I have great news! My new book, The Emotionally Destructive Marriage: How to Find Your Voice and Reclaim Your Hope is going to be available a month early on September 17th instead of October 17th. I’m so excited about what this book will offer…
Thank you for this post.
Thank you for joining us here. We see you, you are not walking alone.
Being abused often causes us to doubt our self-worth. Thankfully, God doesn’t doubt it. https://carolineabbott.com/2018/10/becoming-a-person-who-recognizes-their-own-worth/
Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Gods view of us is the most valuable. We are indeed worthy. Turning the volume down on the voices of destruction , and self doubt- turning up the voice of God through prayer, reading His word and sitting quietly daily with Him are choices we all can make. Our wellbeing is so important.
I felt this way and still do to some extent. I said “ No” to my wife’s verbal and emotional abuse. Our Therapist asked that I accompany her for a Psychological evaluation. She refused to go. So she discarded me, by divorce. My Psychologist identified her as a Covert Narcissist. But the damage was done, the smear campaign on me was overwhelming. I struggled with what is mentioned above. Then I read somewhere: “ Your reputation is what people think you are. Your Character is who you are” I focused on my Character and what God thought. Not what others perceived of me who were manipulated by ex wife. This gave me strength.
Thank you for sharing your story here. May you continue to find strength as you focus on Jesus and all He has to say about your value. I am sorry for the abuse you experienced. There is life beyond the chaos.
I have two thoughts about this issue. As I read your statement that “I am not good enough to be loved by my husband,” the first thought that came to my mind was, “That’s his problem.” He is no doubt so insecure in himself that he cannot see the good in other people. Poor man. Shame on him.
The other thought is as LeAnne advised, that you “lean in” to the Lord. Our God is in the business of changing us, to make us just like His Son, Jesus. As we spend time with Him in His word and prayer, He does His work in us to make us more and more like Himself. God doesn’t expect us to change ourselves; He wants us to let Him change us metabolically, as we take Him in day by day, breathing His name and opening our being to Him. Then the change comes by His working Himself into us. The best “self care” we can do is to build a deep and intimate relationship with our Lord. Then His life within us changes us. And He will become your shield, protecting you from your husband’s abusive words.
There was a person in my life who would say the awfullest things to me at times, but inwardly I had the realization that those words were coming from her own woundedness, and I held up my Shield and let the words fall off, not penetrate. It saved me from internalizing the things she was saying.
Realizing that the wounds in side a human being can filter out and wound others is a gift of discernment and growth. His life within you is strengthening you and others. thank you for sharing.
My Husband Now Has Been Diagnosed With Dementia. Will I Ever Get The Truth Out Of Him About His A-fair 47 Years Ago Which Produced A Child, His Daughter By DNA?! A Niece Told Him About It! He First Made Up A Big Lie Saying “Remember Or You Maynot Remember I Donated Sperm For Our Company 3 Or 4 Of Us Donated! I Said “ Your Sick!” Got Up And Left The Room! He Told Each Child Of Ours That Lie! Tore Our Family Apart! I Left! We’ve Been Separated For 10 Months! He Says He’s Changed Told Our Oldest Son He Had An Afair! But Has Never Admitted That To Me Or For How Long Or If He New That Person Was Pregnant And Had A Daughter! She’s Been Looking For Her Father for 2 Years Or More! I Had First Offered To remain Together! I’d Take Care Of Him! He’d Take Care Of Me If Ever Needed! I Stayed For A Year And A Half! Told The Kids I Couldn’t Do It Any Longer! I Left! He Said I’ll Shoot you Kill Us Both As I Drove Down The Driveway! He Opened Back Door And Grabbed Half My Stuff Out! I Slammed On My Brakes And Yelled “Get Out!” Police Were Involved, 2 Court Dates, Order Of Protection On Him! All Keeps Getting Worse! April 4th. I Have A Decision To Make! Drop The Charges Or Drop Charges And OOP And Just LEAVE! My Home! My Kids! We Had Him In A Locked Facility! He Checked Himself Out After 3 Days! Another Assistant Living Took Him In! He Stayed There For Weeks! I Was Out Of State Last June And July! The kids never removed The Truck! Just enabled It! He Had A Wrecker Bring It To the Assistant Living! Now He Drives Everywhere! He Has Since Left The Assistant Living After 8 Months! Bought A RV And Parks 30 Minutes From Me! I Hate All This, But 3 Lawyers Say He Deems Respinsible For His Life And Can Manage His Pills, Sugars, And Rage, Anger! The Kids And I Are Left With Prayer And Hope I Make the Right Decision! He Can’t Come Home! But I May Have To Sell To Provide For Both Of our Living! This Is Long! All True! Prayers Please That My Husband Finally Ask For Help And Be Placed Back In A Facility To Take Care Of All His Needs! Cancelled His Heart Dr Apt Yesterday! Has Fallen 5 Times! His Meds Are Not Being Taken Correctly! I’m Watching Your Pidcast At 6:30! All Of Them!
So grateful that you feel safe to share here. I am so heartbroken to hear all you are going through. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Take good care of yourself and nurture the relationships that matter most to you.
Nell, my heart goes out to you. It sounds like this has been such a heartbreaking and complex journey for you and your family. Take courage–Jesus is in the middle of our worst messes. Praying that you’ll hear his voice on the next right thing to do each day and experience his care for you in all kinds of ways. Even, right in the middle of all the questions and uncertainties. You’re not alone.
Thank you Hope for holding a safe space here. This is indeed a sacred community of love and understanding. Prayers sent up for all of us navigating the spoken and unspoken relationship challenges.