Hi there beautiful,
Yes— I see you in there. You are still precious and powerful and captivating to me and to GOD. You’re still a breathtaking woman with an irreplaceable purpose regardless of how you’ve been treated by others or lies that have been spoken over you for years.
I’m standing vigil here– praying for you, cherishing you, and fighting for you in the Spirit.
On behalf of women everywhere, kind, Godly men, the church, and even God the Father Himself—I want to tell you how desperately sorry I am for what you have endured. The pain you should have never felt. The tears you should have never cried. The life you should have never lived.
It is so important for me to say this to you directly because I write a lot about marriage and relationships. I offer advice to women about how to treat their husbands and what a Godly marriage and wife looks like. But you, sweet one, need to hear some VERY SPECIFIC direction from me that trumps all that other advice. OK? Are you listening?
If someone is verbally, emotionally, sexually, or physically abusing you—you MUST get professional help. Period. It’s not because there’s something wrong with you—it’s because you deserve support. It’s because they’ll help you navigate the difficult waters of dealing with an abuser and set healthy boundaries.
I am the number one biggest supporter of fighting for our loved ones who are lost in sin or seem too far gone. I talk constantly about reconciliation and forgiveness. I don’t believe ANYONE is a lost cause. I know that ANY relationship can be healed when God intervenes. However “We [must] use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments, (2 Corinthians 10:4).”
This means that we don’t stay in an abusive situation and enable the sin and we don’t try to fix a person or relationship in the natural. Sometimes the answer is to leave— hopefully only for a season– while our offender becomes accountable and heals. We must remove ourselves when necessary, and fight with spiritual weapons like prayer, standing in agreement with others, accountability, pursuing new levels of spiritual maturity and authority, and setting boundaries.
In abusive situations, here are the steps you should take with the direction and guidance of the precious Holy Spirit:
1) Get professional, Godly help.
My very favorite ministry for this is Restoring Relationships. They are in Pennsylvania but offer counseling services remotely. They are incredibly anointed and I literally recommend them to families daily for every kind of issue you can imagine from abuse and infidelity, to parent-child conflict and behavioral problems. If you contact them, let them know Lizzie Smiley sent you. They’ll take wonderful care of you.
If you prefer, there are also churches, private practices, and ministries local to you that can help. The easiest thing to do is call a local church, tell them you are looking for Godly support and counsel for an abuse situation, and ask for a referral to a professional who can help. If the first church you call can’t or doesn’t help, keep calling other churches until you find one that can. Don’t give up. One tip— bigger churches often have more resources like this.
2) If the offender will not submit immediately to counsel and accountability and/or they continue in their pattern of abuse, SEPARATE from them physically. You may even need to sever contact for now.
Don’t wait. Don’t debate or analyze. Remove yourself and tell someone you trust what’s going on so they can support you.
This process is called Separation Unto Reconciliation. The goal is ultimately to heal and come back together—so it doesn’t have to feel final or permanent. It’s just the beginning of a healthier life. You absolutely SHOULD NOT remain in the physical presence of an abuser—for your sake AND for theirs. By removing yourself you:
-Make yourself safe
-Protect others such as children or pets, etc. who are involved
-Stop enabling and allowing the bad behavior
-Motivate change and accountability in your offender
-Step into your destiny as a powerful woman of God who stands for and fights for His values
-Place your offender in the hands of the Living God
-Take a critical step on the path to your own healing
Your offender may react strongly to your new boundary. That’s normal. And that’s why you NEED SUPPORT. Do not respond to their threats other than by alerting the authorities and taking measures for protection when necessary. You will need specific counsel for how to handle this—again, I reiterate—please work with a professional immediately.
At the end of the day, there’s nothing more important than the salvation—the eternal fate—of both you and your abuser. I know you love them dearly. Love them enough to lead them back to God. Love them enough to make them fight for right-standing with Him. Whether they end up in heaven or hell may lie in the balance.
3) Do exactly what the professional tells you to do.
Sometimes it might seem hard, impossible, and the exact opposite of what you want to do. Do it anyway and ask God for strength. They know what they’re doing and have helped people in these situations before.
Your strict compliance to your counselor’s instruction is critical to your healing and the healing of your relationship.
Pray for everyone involved and pray without agenda. Ask God to intervene. Loose the Host of Heaven to tear down strongholds.
Lift everyone up to God and ask Him to bring forth His perfect will in each person’s life. Pray for blessings and grace and healing and salvation over each person. These are the purest forms of prayer you can offer up.
5) Work on you.
This season is really important for you. God did not want all of these things to happen to you—but HE WILL create beauty from your ashes if you partner with Him for healing. One day you will look back on this time and see how God’s Sovereign hand led you through to safer shores. You’ll see how He carried you when you had no strength to walk or lift your head. You’ll remember how He collected all of your tears in a bottle (Ps. 56:8), knew the very number of hairs on your head (Luke 12:7), and NEVER left you nor forsook you (Deut. 31:6).
The best advice I can give you is to press into God with everything you’ve got. Ask God to purify your heart and lead you into peace. Work on forgiveness.
“Forgiveness is often misunderstood.
Forgiveness is not something you give to others as a way of condoning or accepting their behaviors against you.
Forgiveness is surrendering your personal right to take vengeance on your offender. It does not condone what your offender has done, but rather releases you from vengeful feelings and places their judgment in the hands of the Living God.
The most powerful demonstration of forgiveness was when Jesus surrendered His life at the cross. Amidst all the ridicule, humiliation and torment, Jesus obediently gave His life to redeem a world lost in sin. What a paradox that the greatest travesty of justice could be transformed into the greatest eternal victory, releasing such power that sin, Satan, and death were overcome.
When we forgive, that same awesome power is released into our lives from heaven.”
The last thing I want is for you to become bitter– because that will affect your relationship with God, others, and your future. It’s not what happens to us that destroys us—it’s our response to what happens. It’s bitterness and unforgiveness that will ultimately ruin our lives. Ask God to purify your heart, help you forgive and heal, and walk you forward into your destiny.
PRECIOUS ONE— Remember that you are God’s masterpiece (Eph. 2:10). It’s time to let Him rescue you. Listen for His still small voice. Take heart and step out in courage. Before you go, please allow me to pray for you today:
Dear Heavenly Father,
With tears in my eyes and heavy grief in my heart, I come before your throne on behalf of my sister who is hurting and broken and scared and seeking you. Lord—meet her at her place of greatest need. Holy Spirit, pour your presence over her like a flood right now so she knows you’re right there with her. Draw her heart to yours Father—tuck her under your mighty wings according to Psalm 91.
In Jesus’ name I pray courage, boldness, power, and anointing over her for what lies ahead. Lead her into all truth, heal her, deliver her, and set her free. Give her the grace to follow your leading and see all truth through your eyes.
Right now I command every stronghold to break and crumble, in Jesus’ name. I plead the blood of Jesus over her and everyone involved in her life. I ask you, Lord, to release the hounds of heaven to draw the heart of her offender(s). I bind rebellion and loose a spirit of conviction and repentance. I bind unbelief and deception and release faith and truth. I speak freedom, healing, and reconciliation over her life, in the mighty name of Jesus.
Host of Heaven, I command you to go forth and make all of her crooked places straight. Go before her and clear the path. Draw the people and resources she needs to fight the good fight. Uncover and unseat all the plans of the enemy and stand guard as a wall of protection around her.
I bless her as she goes in and goes out. I bless her in the city and in the country. Lord, I ask that you surround her with a ring of fire, a ring of love, your Holy angels, and your cloud of witnesses. Provide for her every need and comfort her heart.
Lord we thank you for your promises and that you work out all things for good for those who love you (Romans 8:28). May these seeds of prayer and faith take root and bear fruit—never ceasing to grow and mature until Christ be formed in my sister, her offender(s), and their entire family. I thank you for your faithfulness and for who you are to us, in us, and through us, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
To everyone else— those who have overcome, those on the other side, those who know someone personally who has been abused, those who have a word of encouragement, or anyone who wants to show love to our sister—please pour out your hearts to our readers in the comments.
Please note: I am not a medical or legal professional. I’m just a sister in Christ who is praying for you and cares about you. This message is straight for my heart, but should not be construed as medical or legal advice. Please seek professional counsel for help in your particular situation.