- Decide to get help.
Realizing that a relationship is abusive can be frightening. But deciding to reach out and get help is the first step to healing and transformation. Contact a Christian counselor and begin the process of recovery. Call 800-NEW-LIFE to find a counselor.
- Gain understanding and insight.
It can be confusing for an individual to be the victim of abuse when in a relationship with someone who was supposed to love them. Whether the abuser is a parent or partner, the pain is so great that it can be challenging to be in a healthy relationship. Beginning to know what a loving and healthy relationship consists of is crucial to moving forward in life. It is possible to be in a good relationship after an abusive one, but one must know the difference. Read Boundaries by Drs. Henry Cloud and John Townsend to discover new insight.
While it may seem impossible, forgiveness is a big part of the healing journey. Letting go of the hurts and anger is a process that will lead to freedom. And grieving the losses is vital to moving forward. Dr. Dave Stoop’s book, Forgiving What You’ll Never Forget, gives detailed steps to forgive.
Often, a victim needs to reveal their story for their healing to begin. It might mean telling the authorities, having a conversation with a family member, or sharing hurt with a loved one that is trustworthy. Secrets can make a person sick; telling their story brings healing and allows them to move on.
If abuse happens in childhood, a child’s foundation for life becomes unstable. They may grow up feeling unsure and insecure. The good news is that it’s possible to rebuild a solid life and experience stability and confidence when entering new, healthier relationships. Working in a Life Recovery Group can help this process. And Healing is a Choice is a helpful book to use—there’s even a group study available!
- Move on.
The benefit of healing from abuse is that the abuse no longer defines a victim. They become a victor—free to be the person God meant for them to be. He will strengthen them, and their life will have meaning and purpose. Colossians 1:11 (NLT) says, “We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy.”
Recovery is not a quick fix but rather the redemption of a life once filled with pain. Transformation is possible, and beginning a new life is worth it! For help, call 800-NEW-LIFE.
by Becky Brown