Victim No More

Have you ever been the victim of abuse?

After suffering from abuse, I continued to see myself as a victim.  That broken self-image became an excuse for me to become my own abuser through alcohol and drugs.

I tried over and over again in my own strength to break free from my addiction, but failed.

I needed to look beyond myself to the One to Whom all power is given—Jesus Christ.


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Born into a fallen world, we all suffer from the effects of sin—our own sins and the sins of others.  Many of us have been victims of abuse.  It’s devastating and can affect us for the rest of our life—if we allow it to.

But God commands us to forgive those who have harmed us...

 

Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:
And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
— Ephesians 4:31-32

 

If we think about it, there are always others who have suffered more than we have—no one has suffered more than Jesus, Himself...

 

And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left.
Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.
— Luke 23:33-34

 

In Forgiving—

we see those who

have harmed us

as only sinners

like ourselves,

in need of mercy

just like us.

 

Forgiving our abuser heals us. Forgiveness takes away the feeling of being a victim. 

 

Okay,

I know how

unbelievable

and even shocking

the thought of

forgiving your abuser

must sound! 

 

At least that is how I felt the day I sat across from a godly woman and heard her say those words to me...

I was living in the Ladies’ Home at the Reformers Unanimous School of Discipleship and had already been there for four months.  The Ladies’ Dean was also our counselor. 

That day she had stopped by the Home to speak with me.  As she sat across from me, I began to confide in her about the abuse I had suffered as a young girl.

She surprised me when she told me that the very same thing had happened to her. I was so relieved because I just knew she would really understand what I felt like. 

But the words that she spoke completely shocked and even offended me...

 

Instead of

comforting me,

she told me that

I needed to

forgive my abuser. 

What? 

 

She told me that

my abuser’s sin

was no different

than my own sin. 

What?!! 

 

And that I needed to forgive my abuser the same way that God forgives me.  Period. 

 

The whole thing

was

the result of sin—

another sinner

like myself

sinned against me

the same way I sin

against a Holy God.

 

After she left that day, I felt terrible.  In less than fifteen minutes, I felt like she had explained away or dismissed what had happened to me—my identity of being a victim.  It wasn’t just something I could shake off. 

 

Then days, weeks,

even months went by

before I understood

what she had

really done

for me that day—

she had shown me

how to finally find

healing from

the abuse!

: )

 

As I truly began to see my abuser for just another sinner in need of mercy, I was able to forgive. 

 

How could I not forgive,

when God forgives me

of so much? 

 

It does take time to adjust it all in your heart and mind, but forgiveness truly is the key to healing from abuse.

 

Why is it important

to stop feeling

like a victim—

especially when

trying to

overcome addiction?

 

Because feeling like a victim keeps you a victim—even after the abuse stops.  We continue the abuse ourselves through our addiction.

But if we forgive—we find healing and become more than conquerors through Christ! : )

Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
— Romans 8:37

Once we stop seeing ourselves as victims, we can move forward with overcoming the strongholds in our life—whether addiction or some other sinful stronghold.

 

No longer victims—

we stop focusing

on our weaknesses

and begin

looking to God

for His Strength.

 

It is revolutionary to turn from depending on our own power—to trusting our God to keep us from falling. 

Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.
— Jude 24-25
“Every religion, every program, every self-help book, is about steps you have to take.  Jesus is the only One who becomes the step—to take you.”
~ The Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp
 

I had tried and failed over and over again to overcome my addiction.  But God—nothing is too hard for Him...

 

Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?
— Jeremiah 32:27

 

I began to understand that it wasn’t me that was going to overcome my addiction—it was Christ in me! 

My new rhema and banner became:

 

Greater is He!

Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
— 1 John 4:4

Victims no more, we begin looking beyond ourselves to the One to Whom all power is given—Jesus Christ.

We are no longer being led by our feelings or basing our decisions on what mood we are in.

Instead, we begin trusting in the Lord with all our heart and stop leaning to our own understanding...

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
— Proverbs 3:5-6

 

We can stop

trying hard

to do better—

and start

getting under

our rightful Authority

by acknowledging God

in all our ways and

letting Him

direct our paths.

 

It’s so important to see God for how great He is—Almighty God, Who is sovereignly in control of all of life.  His ways and His thoughts are higher than our ways and our thoughts...

 

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
— Isaiah 55:9

 

It’s really a turning point in a person’s life when they begin to see God for just how great He is... 

 

God is

our Authority. 

The commands

He gives us

are for our good,

for our protection,

and for His glory. 

 

Just as we set boundaries for our children because we love them and want to protect them—our loving heavenly Father does that for us.

 

“True freedom is measured and found in boundaries.”

~ Tall Law by Bro. Steve Curington

 

A set of rules

to follow? 

 

No,

a personal

relationship

to have—

with the Creator

of the Universe!

 

“God gives the commandments to us—and God gives God to keep the commandments for us.”

~ The Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp

For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
— Romans 8:3-4

 

 

Dear friend, it’s all good.

We totally have so much hope! 

Jesus is our hope...

 

Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
— Hebrews 7:25

 

I’m so thankful for the deliverance from addiction He’s given me!  Jesus is able to deliver you too.  Soon you will be singing His praises and rejoicing in the beautiful life He makes possible!

I hope you will join me for the next post in this series:
“Adversity University.”