Life After Abuse – How to Move On

Galatians 2:20 ESV  I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

What do you do with your life after you have gotten free from an abuser? In most cases of course we all know that being totally free isn’t possible because of things like joint custody of children, visitation, relatives who often ally with the abuser, and so on. And there are triggering events and places that can replay the trauma. Nevertheless, we need to be able to get on with life. Here are some of my thoughts on this subject and I hope they will be helpful.

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The Other Way to Peace

2 Thessalonians 1:6-10 ESV  since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you,  (7)  and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels  (8)  in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.  (9)  They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might,  (10)  when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed.

There is no peace when the wicked are present in our lives. Yes, we who know Christ experience peace with God, but when it comes to having peace in relationships with others, real peace is unattainable when it comes to dealing with evil people. All domestic abuse victims and survivors know this. Day by day, moment by moment, there is anything but peace. Even when those brief appearances of peace come, they are counterfeit. Set ups for the next attack.

Now, most professing Christians and churches tell us that we can have relational peace with anyone. But the burden for attaining it is on our back. WE must forgive. WE must effect reconciliation. WE must be humble. WE must…convert those people to Christ! And this is presented as the only path to peace with “difficult” people.

But there is another way, and the Bible is filled with its descriptions.

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The Persistent Widow of Luke 18

Many of you have either been through the family court system (such a nice name, right?) or you are still enduring the suffering of that battleground. Not only at the hands of your abuser, but many times through the injustice of the court itself.  And so often these scenarios leave us all with a feeling of real helplessness because, unless you have piles of money at hand, what can we do to help? Attorney fees build and build. Sadly, and maddeningly, there are more than a few attorneys who seem to be in the thing just for the money and not to see justice done. It is not an easy task for an abuse victim to find a competent and honest attorney to take the case. Judges often seem to embrace the “children must always have a relationship with both parents in order to be healthy” theory. Verdicts are rendered that simply are not just, and that after sometimes years of grueling legal battle.

God sees it. God knows. God renders His verdict in the heavens, and one Day He promises justice:

Luke 18: 1-8: And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.  He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God more respected man.  And there was a widow in that city who keep coming to him and saying, “Give me justice against my adversary.’ For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’”

And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says.  And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily.  Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”