In moving from victim to conqueror one of the biggest choices I had to make was what voice was I going to listen to? Was I going to listen to the voice of truth or listen to the lies that filled my head? As I have gone through this process I have moved from feeling stuck and trapped to learning that I do have a choice in the matter. That didn’t happen over night. It wasn’t an easy process by any means. Let me take you back to March 1, 2013 this is what I wrote:
When darkness arrives, silence falls over the horizon and creation begins to sleep. The shadows begin to lurk, monsters begin to creep out of the closets. I lay my head down in hopes of a restful night. There is a sense of eeriness, a haunting begins. Feeling on edge I begin to tense up. I close my eyes and try to rest my tired body. An uninvited movie begins to play. The monsters begin to encroach. A low growl slowly gets louder the closer they get. My breathing quickens and heart rate rises. I feel myself loosing control, as the movie reaches a climax. Unable to move, I watch the movie play over and over again. The monsters are now circling and are mocking me. I feel small, alone, trapped. Nightmare after nightmare, the only relief is to come with morning. But it feels an eternity away. Hopelessness, looms, and begins to snarl. I begin to wonder if night will end, as the cycle continues. His eyes fill up the screen and my heart stops. There is no escape and the shadow has fully captured the room. Bound by the darkness, prisoner to the haunting monsters, I lay still praying for morning to come and for it all to end. All I need is enough courage and strength to make it until the morning. Sometimes it all seems too much, That I cannot endure another monster filled night. It’s a game, a waiting game you see, Wait for light to force the shadows away, Wait for night so the shadows can come and play. It’s my little game and I only pray I am victorious.
I was in a place surrounded by lies and feeling hopeless. The lies that this would never change, that I was entrapped by darkness, that I was alone. Each of these lies were a chain that was holding me captive. I am able to look now and see how my feelings were valid, I did feel those things, but my feelings lied. I was never alone, I had God by my side from day one, for instance the guy just let me go at the end, he did not beat me, he threatened me but in the end I was able to walk away. Looking back that doesn’t make sense, that was God surrounding me with his protection, because it could have gone a million different ways then it did. I had a strong support system from day 1 and it has only grown over time. I was working police dispatch at the time and I knew I had to report it. The officers that came and took my report seeing that I was at my apartment alone and hadn’t told anyone refused to leave until I either called a friend or family member or a crisis line. I opted for the crisis line who helped to convince me to tell my parents. I was fortunate and the first therapist I talked to was a perfect match and she has been there and walked through this journey with me from the beginning. In hindsight I am able to see God’s faithfulness.
I look back and see that in that writing my heart was so deeply troubled that hope was gone. And in that time of despair God was right there. He was whispering to me, I am here, I have a plan, rest in me. That was not the voice I turned to because it didn’t make sense, I couldn’t see past the darkness. As people spoke truth over me, as my heart softened to be able to hear, I began to experience glimpses of what the light and truth had to offer: a story of redemption, something bigger than myself. Through all of this my faith has been strengthened. I know without a doubt that God is there, his hand of protection is there. Do I believe life gave me more than I could handle? Yes. But the beauty that comes from being in a place of brokenness and hopelessness is God could handle it. He was taking care of all off my needs, he provided someone to listen to my rambles even in the middle of the night, he provided officers who cared enough that they didn’t want me to keep this a secret, he blessed me with a new day never allowing me to get to the point where I actually gave up despite how much I wanted to, there was always someone or something that provided just enough light that I made it through.
Being able to look back I can say I am loved. I am more than enough. I have a story to tell and it was beautifully crafted by a savior who loves me. A savior who loves me enough to give me free will and a choice, that same choice is given to everyone, so while I was hurt at the hands of someone else and their choice, my God knew and said this is my daughter, I have plans for her and I am going to use them for a beautiful story to go from a spot of being completely broken, a spot of darkness and ashes, to a place of restoration, wholeness and glory. It is because his love shown each carefully crafted step that I can look back and read my writing from almost 2 yeas ago and not even recognize that place. That I can say, my God is faithful, he defeated the grave, he held me close. And I am never letting go of the one who held me in His hand and through this whole process has been whispering, I am here, I have a plan, just rest in me.
I know my Father’s voice in a new way, it is a voice I can recognize amidst the lies. And while it is still a struggle to choose that voice somedays, it is no where near the level it was back in March 2013. And just like John 10:1-18 I can say I now know my Shepherd’s voice and I know He has laid down his life for me. That he cares so much for me he carefully crafted a plan that allowed others to be his hands and feet. I can see that now and I am choosing to trust his voice, even if it is a whisper, it is soft, gentle, and comforting. Yet it is strong, unshakeable, protective and authoritative. That is the voice I want in control, that is the voice I seek out. That is the voice that says I am more than a conqueror.