When we are in the middle of something hard, we are often thinking, “Why me? What have I done to deserve this?” Trials look different for each person. We often do forget that bad things happen to everyone. It’s just how life after the fall works. It’s not always brought on by God, but instead, allowed. Free will is a double-edged sword, and many of us walk away injured, regardless of whether it is self-inflicted, brought on by others, or the natural way of things. As the saying goes, “What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger”, but that’s only true if we allow our trials to teach us something instead of dwelling in the pain and struggle, the “what if’s” and “if only’s”.
The Evolution of Growth
This blog was birthed out of a call from God straight to my heart, but I had no idea what He had in store for me. My original thought on the “why” was to slow down my chaotic life, and make more time for my children, hence, “Make Time To Cuddle”. My career background is in culinary and food and beverage, but my dream was always to be a wife and mom. In the culture we live in, and the relationship I chose, I quickly realized that I had to find something in the meantime, and maybe even keep it on “the side” of my main dream. In the midst of growing up, getting married, having children, and starting my “career”, I slowly drifted from God. By the time I returned to Him, and finally, not only listening to His voice, but asking for His opinion, I was working as a bartender. I made fast money that kept my family in a lifestyle that competed quite well with the Joneses. So, when God called me away, I had so many questions and feelings of uncertainty. I said, “God, if I quit, You know [my husband] will divorce me”. God didn’t seem as concerned as I was about this. I said, “Okay, God, I will quit as soon as you replace my income”. God didn’t pull through in the way I wanted Him to. It’s not faith if it’s always comfortable and logical. Six months after running from His call, I finally quit my job. No, He didn’t replace my income the way I had asked. Yes, this was the final straw that caused my husband to file for divorce. You could say that all of my fears came true. It would seem as if obedience to God was the worst decision I could have made because I lost so much. Losing what I did was exactly what I needed, and that is why God let it happen. For those of you have been following me for a while, you know that my divorce was a blessing because of the abuse and my husband’s refusal to let God soften his heart. Losing the money made me totally reliant on God. It’s hard to see God work when you won’t let Him. It’s hard to take those scary steps when we can’t see or know what He does.
This blog started out as a lifestyle blog, and let’s be honest, it was never going to take off that way because of how little I knew walking into this calling. God’s plan wasn’t for it to take off right away. It was to teach me, so I could grow. (He uses the foolish things of this world to shame the wise. 1 Cor. 1:27). It then began to take shape as a more spiritually focused blog with devotional style posts. That was a great season to document what I was learning and growing in. Then, God finally revealed to me my abuse, opening my eyes to exactly what I had been dealing with for so long, with the terms, definitions, and all. I was like, “God, everyone has to know about this”, and His response was, “No, you are too angry”. It only took a few months for that rage to subside into grief, and that is when God said, “It is time to share your story, and what I am doing in and through it”. Since then, I have made it my goal to not only educate people about abuse, but to rely on God to find freedom and healing.
Growth Driven Change
It is in this newest season and struggle in life that God is calling me to expand into a platform of purpose in our pain. So many people have not only one story to tell, but many. So many suffer in silence, but then there are also those who aren’t necessarily in the “suffering” phase, yet still feel desperately alone. Their stories won’t always line up with the topic of abuse. It is so much deeper and complicated than that. There are many who suffer from abuse, but it looks so different from my experience. Not only do these people not speak up due to the power of fear, especially that of thinking they are the only one, but there is the drawback of knowing that their story has the possibility of hurting people in their lives.
I am being called to encourage those people, and those people are you. My experience might be the closest thing you can find to what you’ve experienced, but it doesn’t quite hit the nail on the head for you (or others). So, this is the only support you can find at the moment. Lets do it right, then. I want everyone who has a story to tell it because the enemy is overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. (Rev 12:11). Don’t let yourself believe the enemy’s lie that your story is going to do more damage than good. You let God handle what happens with it. If you are at a point where your identity cannot be attached to your story on a large or even public platform, start small, and submit your story anonymously for the sake of freedom, healing, and community. God will do wondrous works, but we have to release it into His hands. It can happen in small steps, as we obey and say, “Okay, God, what now?”.
I don’t know what the grand scheme of this blog and community are supposed to look like moving forward yet, and that’s okay because I have also arrived to another, “Okay, God, what now?” moment myself. I am letting Him do this, so that you can be at home somewhere to rest your head. Telling your story will not only lift a weight, but it will give you a freedom you never knew was possible. God wants to take you deeper with Him, and He wants to show you your purpose. Your identity is in Him, so stop letting what has happened to you define you and your life, and start using it as a tool to defeat the enemy. You are a child of God, and He wants to show the world that you belong to Him. Do not be afraid. Step out in faith. Speak Your Story, be an instrument of freedom in your life, as well as in others. It’s time to take a stand against silence.
If you find yourself looking for purpose in the midst of your pain, please comment below, shoot me an email, or reach out via social media.
If you want to submit your own story, knowing that you could help others, please submit here.
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National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1−800−799−7233