Overcoming Domestic Violence: Finding Victory
When we were together for part 2 of this series, I left you with this final thought: For you are a victor, not a victim. And it's time to get your life back. Here's how.
Things You Can Do When You’re Overcoming Domestic Violence As You're Transitioning Into Victory:
Accept the help of family and friends
You cannot do this on your own, so stop trying to (1 Corinthians 12:25-26).
Be aware that the enemy will try to isolate you. Don't let him (1 Peter 5:8).
If church members offer to feed you and your family, let them (Matthew 25:35-45).
When your friends offer to come by for a visit, welcome them (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10).
Let your BFF do your hair and make-up. You will both feel beautiful (Proverbs 27:17).
Agree to get out the house for a day shopping with your favorite aunts and cousins.
Respond to letters and text messages from high school friends, girlfriends, or cousins you haven't seen in a while.
Gratefully receive the flowers, cards, gifts, and kind gestures sent by others.
Rely on your parents. Let them parent you, protect you, and provide for you during this season.
If you have a child, embrace the joy of his or her presence. Watch cartoons together. Eat ice cream before dinner. Stay up past bedtime. Resist feeling bound by parental duties.
Agree to let trusted co-workers do your lawn or clean your house if you are not able to.
Accepting the help of others greatly blesses them and allows the Holy Spirit to do its job--to be your comforter, advocate, intercessor, and counselor (John 14:26).
Allow the legal system to work for you
Cooperate with local authorities and advocacy groups.
Be forthcoming with details about your situation.
Respond to questions and requests for information.
Rely on your court-appointed victim advocate or representative.
Relay facts. Speak in truth. There is no reward in exaggeration or lies.
Be present for court hearings and debriefings.
Immerse yourself in spiritual truths
Stay in church. Get back in church. Find a church.
Get on your knees and pray. There is something powerful about humbling yourself before the Lord.
Participate in the mentoring program if your church has one.
Read your Bible. Especially the book of Isaiah. Its precepts are forgiveness, restoration, and purpose in life.
Read Lineage of Grace. You'll come to appreciate and identify with a cast of Godly women.
Create a prayer space in your home--a war room or prayer closet--and visit it often. Decorate it. Paint the walls. Furnish it with a soft pillow or blanket or beanbag chair.
**Consult your doctor before starting an exercise program.
Walk your neighborhood or local park each morning or evening.
Find a friend who likes to jog and schedule run dates. Check out my running blog for tips.
Sign up for Zumba at a gym or dance studio.
Try a few yoga classes. Hot yoga is so physically rewarding. You'll sweat the stress!
Lift weights. It's empowering and builds self esteem.
Stretching is fabulous for your body and your mind. Put on some easy listening tunes. Light a candle. Grab a towel or yoga mat. You can stretch while standing, sitting, or lying down. Breathe through each stretch. Take your time. Get lost in the music and scents surrounding you.
Ride bikes or roller skate with your child or neighbor.
There is literature supporting the positive relationship between physical activity and mental health.
Pick up a new hobby
Tap into your creative side with acrylic paints. You can paint canvases, rocks, chalk boards, discarded fence boards, left-over floor tiles, shutters, scrap metal, coasters--anything really.
Learn to crochet or needle point.
Pour your heart into a song, a short story, or poem. Consider sharing through an online blog.
Make jewelry--earrings, bracelets, chokers, necklaces.
Get a pet
Furry friends make great companions. They love you unconditionally, are so excited to see you at the end of the day, and appreciate the slightest gesture of love.
Consider a small dog, a Chihuahua perhaps. I recommend small because small dogs have small messes, need smaller beds, smaller amounts food, and usually require a smaller budget.
Maybe a Netherland dwarf rabbit. Oh my gosh, so cute and soft! Fairly easy to care for--small messes and inexpensive to maintain.
If you're into different or exotic pets, try a guinea pig, rat, hamster, ferret, or lizard.
How about raising chickens? Have you ever seen a chicken run. You'd get a good laugh--so funny and so entertaining. Fresh yard eggs are, of course, an added bonus that is sure to make you happy.
Volunteer in your community
Sign up at your local YMCA to supervise or facilitate summer programs.
The animal shelter is usually looking for folks to help out.
Your church may need vacation bible school workers.
Become an advocate for children in your community.
Give one day a week to a homeless shelter, food bank, or thrift store.
Join a professional sorority in your line of work or field of study.
The local center for the arts may need helping hands.
Helping others helps you. Blessing others with your time and talents is sure to come back tenfold!
Learn to play a musical instrument
Music lessons aren't just for middle schoolers, you know!
Play the piano.
Beat on a set of drums.
Draw a bow across the strings of a violin.
Strum your favorite chord on a guitar.
Breathe airy notes into a harmonica.
Check out these benefits.
Pitfalls--What to Avoid on the Road to Victory
It's all off limits--blind dates, friendly dates, online dating, ex-boyfriends, even your great aunt's lawn guy.
You are not looking for another man, no matter how good he sounds, to replace the one you just left (Psalm 118:8, Psalm 146:3).
The only man for you, my friend, is Jesus Christ. He will not fail you. He is dependable. He is forgiving. He is trustworthy. He is on time. He is stable. He is solid. Always.
You need time to be you. Rediscover who you are. Another boyfriend will simply be a distraction from the restoration and healing God wants to do in your life.
Blasting your situation on social media
Passive aggressive comments and pity parties on Facebook will attract negative attention, earn you a few enemies, and inhibit true forgiveness and redemption.
Tweeting tantrums, insisting people hear your side, will only make you look foolish (Proverbs 18:2-3).
Flying the white flag of defeat may indicate the enemy won. And he hasn't.
Waving the banner of misery will only keep you in bondage (2 Timothy 2:26).
Calling his friends and family to explain your side
Respect their space and his. They need time to deal with the situation just like you do.
Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut (Proverbs 10:19)
So those who are smart keep their mouth shut, for it is an evil time (Amos 5:13).
Do not repay evil with evil or with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing (1 Peter 3:9).
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone (Romans 12:17).
Alone time is healthy and probably needed. Shutting yourself off from the world is not.
You'll become prime real estate for the enemy to set up camp. Not good.
Comparing your situation to others
It doesn't matter if your circumstance is better or worse than another's.
It also doesn't matter if you heal faster or slower than someone else.
It's okay that someone else appears to be handling it all so well. Maybe she's not.
What does matter is that you embrace life one day at a time and allow the healing process to work. Time is on your side, my friend.
Barrooms and dance clubs
These offer only temporary distraction or relief.
You run the risk of hangovers, regrets, and bad decisions.
Late nights leave you sluggish and irritable the next day.
Getting back to right living may not be easy, but what seems impossible is possible with Christ. Let him take the lead. Trust and obey.