Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Do Something / Have Faith

I walked past a line of shirts on Mizzou's campus near Memorial Union that should break all of our hearts. They were shirts designed to remind us of the violence against women in our society. They had things written on them like "I miss you, mommy" and other heart wrenching messages. The shirts were made by women and children at a local (Columbia Missouri) victim shelter, so the messages were personal and reflected real fears, pains and, often, refusals to give up or give in.

I had been walking with a business associate, talking business with him, when we suddenly noticed the shirts and were struck by their words, so... we stopped, spoke to the young lady at the table representing the shirts and introduced ourselves, witnessed her passion and picked up a green bracelet that says, "I can do something." I have it on, even now.

If you know a woman who's being abused, please send her this song. Remind her of who she is. If you know of a woman being abused, cannot send her this and have no other course than to pray for her, please do.

Be mindful that the women that are often in the greatest danger are the women you pass in the store or live next door. Sometimes the women that need you most may not be women at all...or yet. They're little girls witnessing abuse or suffering differing sorts of abuse. They're being primed for abuse. They're being fashioned into abused women. They need us to care enough now to step in and stop it. They all do.

Some of you have tried to step in and the reaction you got confused you or wasn't received in the manner you thought it should have been. Others of you have went as far as calling the police and the cops didn't, or weren't able to, meet the demand. Still, others of you have even taken matters into your own hands and have thumped someone for putting their hands on a child or woman and still... nothing you've tried has appeared to work.

But keep trying. Keep caring enough to step in and step up.

You "can do something."

"What then? After everything else I've tried, what could I possibly do? Nothing else has worked!"

What then?

Have faith. Faith heals all wounds ~ Faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; faith for others; faith to keep doing something. Have faith.

Some of these women are holding on for dear life. They're refusing to give in or give up. Have faith. Don't ever give up. Giving up is giving up on them and that's not an option. Hold on with them.

"Fight the good fight of faith" 1 Timothy 6:12


  1. Its a subject that many women who like myself do not speak of nor even try to think of because the pain is always fresh and no matter how much time goes by, being a victim of domestic violence is always there lingering in the back of the mind. How do I know this? Quite simply, I survived almost being killed by my ex-husband.

    Many always ask how you stay in that situation and I always look at the floor and take a breath. There were never any signs until the day of our wedding when he hit me for the first time. Slowly but surely it got more progressive over the course of a couple of years and by then, the excuses were common while the apologies were short lived. I was in the prime of my career as the owner of my own little company while he was in his own career and I thought leaving would be too difficult. I felt trapped and even though I came from a great family, my own father was a very abusive man growing up and I saw the cycle had again turned only this time it was my own married life.

    It wasn't until after I had left my husband that the more sordid abuse and stalking began that I was more fearful than I had ever been. Family and friends tried to help me but it was becoming evidently clear that the career and life I had carved out would not be able to withstand the constant harrassment of my ex-husband. The fact that he was a prominent member of the society where we lived because he had grown up there did not help my efforts in the legal community since I was not from the area much less the state. Like many women, my abilities to control my future personally, professionally, legally and physically were not within my reach and my ex-husband relished that.

    It was not until I made the decision to permanently leave the area that all hell broke loose. He would stalk me, surprise me and beat me to hell. He would break into my home and leave me scary remarks on my mirrors and tear up my personal belongings. He would appear in places I would be to only smile at me in an evil glare that to this day sends me into chills. The final culmination happened when he was waiting for me in my home. That night was the worst night of my life and although I do not want to publicly discuss it...I almost did not live and my recovery took months.

    You never really get over trusting someone to marry and eventually that person claims they love you but beat you within an inch of your life on a regular basis. To this day, I still have screaming nightmares. I do not trust people as easily as I once did and choosing to love someone fully is probably going to be a struggle for the rest of my life. You hear about people trying to get the word out about domestic violence but many people believe it is our fault for being beaten. We could have simply walked away if we wanted but that is never the case. The control of the person doing the violence far reaches the beatings to overshadow every aspect of your life. So much so, you feel like you can never leave and many like myself after leaving could not escape the terror of the abusive kind. Leaving does not cure just makes the abuser even angrier and creates more of a chaotic world to live in. Unless you have the backing of the community, financial means and the ability to not be found by the abuser, you do not have a chance. I had money and a place to go and he still found me. It took me a year and a half of running long after my divorce to finally make the decision to leave the country to keep him away from me that I have been free. However, every time I fly back to the states, I constantly look over my shoulder waiting for something bad to happen.

    Domestic Violence will never be accepted nor understood by me....

  2. Krisy, I think I speak for everyone who will read your response. We are so sorry that happened to you. That's a terrible story. We are so glad you are safe now. This morning I'm praying that God would completely heal you of this former life and that you won't have bad dreams anymore.

  3. Telling your story and sharing it with others, regardless of the telling, is a strength. I admire you for it.

  4. I wanted to clarify a few things I said on my previous comment because unfortunately, I was given only so much space to write on and could not give more information...

    I applaud any and all women, men or children who try to leave a domestic abuse situation and it should be done after the first inference of abuse. Counseling can help many and even the abuser needs counseling. Families can be rectified and healing can happen. I am sorry to say that more times than not, families and relationships can not be repaired but it takes a full commitment to come back from something like that and sometimes its just too hard to do. However, there is hope, there are shelters, churches, counseling services for all realms of money and even no money at all. No one deserves to be physically, sexually or emotionally abused. If you read this and need me or the numbers I have placed below. I will do everything humanly possible to help you because I know your pain.

    It took a lot of healing for me and I got there through my faith in Jesus Christ and also in relying on my close friends and family. There will be profound darkness but it will pass if you turn to God. He was the one who aided me when I did not think I could make it and trust me when I say that when I was laying there trying to find an answer and beg for mercy, He was there. How do I know? I am writing you now and am alive and free.

    I wish I could give you an instruction guide on how to recover, walk away and wipe away the pain. Some will stick with you but most will be washed away with counseling, self discovery, God and a strong support network. My story is not rare but untold by many. You can be loved and be treated with respect. You can feel sunlight kissing your skin and you can again smile. It takes one step followed by another to safety and there is a way out. I promise you that...

    If you have a computer and need help: and if you think your computer is not safe to use or being monitored, go to a friend or the library. There is an emergency button on the site that will track you if you need it...

    Here is the emergency phone line:
    1.800.799.SAFE (7233) 1.800.787.3224 (TTY)
    Anonymous & Confidential Help 24/7

    God Bless~

  5. I apologize for not being able to state more in my previous comment but these only allow so many pieces of text. First, let me start by saying that there is a way out from domestic abuse. There is hope and no matter if you have a lot of money or no money, there is help for every woman, man and child. I will go as far as to say that if you need help, please contact me and I will do everything humanly possible to get you the help you need. No one deserves to be physically, emotionally or sexually abused in any way. You have ways out and I am promising you this now...there is help and a safer place to be than where you are now. At the bottom of this comment are numbers and email for help.

    There were times when I thought I could not go on and I thought no one could help me. The first person I turned to was God. When I was laying there and praying for solace he came to me and saved me. How do I know this? I am alive, safe and writing this right now. He was there holding my hand until help could come and I know there were angels with me. Go to God and find a church to take the first steps to safety. If one will or can not help, go to the next church. Sometimes finding safety is a hard road to travel and sometimes people can not help but for the few who can not, there are ten more in their place that can. It will be scary and it will be the hardest thing you will ever do but I promise you, safety will prevail. You will feel sunlight kiss your face again. You will be loved and respected once again by true human beings and above all else, you will have the light of God grace your life to walk with you through the darkness.

    No one deserves domestic abuse and the fear that plagues every piece of your life makes you feel like there is no hope. There is hope and there are people who care. I know your pain and the sacrifice it takes to take one step and then another and another until you are safe. God almighty is protecting you for a reason and you are still alive for a reason. Know that now. Whoever and wherever you are, you are loved and there is hope. There is safety and most of all...there will be happiness once again. There will be a day you will not have to look over your shoulder or fear what is beyond the door.

    If you have a computer, there is a website you can go to for help. If you fear your computer is unsafe or being monitored, you can go to the library or computer store for free usage. There is a red safety button on the website for immediate emergency help. The website is:

    The following numbers can be called for help as well:

    1.800.799.SAFE (7233) 1.800.787.3224 (TTY)
    Anonymous & Confidential Help 24/7

    God bless and be strong...

  6. You're a champion in Christ. Sharing what you have with this blog has been very difficult for you, but you've done it anyway. I'm proud of you.

    You've shared with me things about your struggle that aren't mentioned in your comments on here. You were already a hero of the faith. I was already convinced. Your faith in your fight through breast cancer has amazed me. Your story on this blog regarding that has already inspired so many. Now this.

    I'm speechless. Wow! Christ's work in you is awesome! The things you've lived through are horrific. But in the strange twist, as a man like me knows all too well, there is the bitter sweet blessing as well.

    Despite cancer! Despite your ex! Despite the devil! You are alive! Period! You are alive and thriving and full of God's amazing love. I'll say it. You're a miracle. That you're alive is a testament to our Lord's willingness to still do miracles.

  7. We each have our trials and God works through us in different ways. I am blessed to have gained wisdom and given the tools to help others. I did not know my path before but after these trials, God showed me the way and here I am. Thank you Josh. I could say the same about you being a champion for Christ. Let's make this world a better place because of our trials and change people's lives! God Bless!

  8. Kristy, the ordeal you went through was horrific and I likewise am grateful that you shared your story.

    I have not gone through as an adult the type of abuse you struggled through but I do know what it was like to be abused as a child. The depth of details I will share later on but I can say that for years I feared that I would end up abusing my children at some point and time in their lives. That fear haunted me every single day because of the memories I retained of what my mother and godmother did to me. My mother was sexually abused at 4 years by a family friend and although she grew up in a loving Godly environment, that which she experienced she past on to me through every form of abuse except sexual. The constant beatings to the point of not being able to go to school for fear that the officials would see how banged up I was and call the authorities, was a regular routine, and I grew up feeling isolated, scared, angry and eventually enraged.

    I had no family that I could turn to, no one but God, and as He was my saving grace and tower of strength then, so He is now as I continue to receive healing from the Lord.

    Kristy, you are a woman of strength and virtue who stared adversity in the face and made it back down. Even with all that you are still struggling with you still share your heart of love, encouragement and support to each and every person who you come across. You are courageous yet very humble with a light that shines brighter than any person that I know...I love you my sister and thank God over and over that He has blessed me with you in my life. As Josh said, you are a miracle.

    With love and admiration, Celeste

  9. I don't really know if my story will make a difference one way or the other for someone that was or is a victim of abuse, but if it will help just one person get through their own struggles, then I am more than willing to share it.

    As a little girl about 5 year old, I witnessed my mother and dad fighting which was usually about my dad spending all his money to go out and get drunk, but the last straw for her that I saw was my dad beating her up. My brother intervened and before I knew it, dad had been kicked out of the apartment. Because of things beyond our control (pipe burst), we ended up having to move and because at the time my mother could not afford to pay rent for a new place, we ended up moving in with her best friend who became our godmother.

    The first experience of abuse I endured was at the hands of my mother who both accused me of something that I did not do. I tried to tell them that they were wrong that I had not done what they accused me of, but that just got me beat again. I had no idea as to why things took a sudden turn for the worse but I remember spending much time afraid to even get out of bed because I feared another beating over another false accusation.

    The beatings became regular, nearly everyday and more intense. By then my godmother had her boyfriend move in, a state police officer, and eventually I became a target of their abuse with them using anything from belts to switches to sticks, even having my hands handcuffed behind my back by the boyfriend and beat with his night stick, And my godmother who was a very heavy woman, used her weight as a instrument against me; sitting on my bare back after being told to strip out of all of my clothes, so that my mom and the boyfriend could take turns beating my bare being and every other area of my body that they could reach.

    They wanted to cover up what they did to me to the best of my ability so after each beating I was forced to sit in a tub of scalding hot water as, in their words, it would speed up the healing process. The beatings became more and more brutal, and I would spend many a night crying from deep inside of my soul, wondering what did I do to deserve this treatment.

    I later found out when I was a little older, around eight or nine, that my mother had been raped when she was four years old by a friend of my great-grandfather's, but that awareness did nothing to stop the constant beatings, they just got worse. My mother would take the scriptures out of context and use them when she beat me, even trying to duplicate the flogging that Christ received by cutting up one of my dad's old belts into nine separate pieces and beating me with that while I had no clothes on. I was forbidden to scream, if I did, I got it worse, if I went to school and told the teachers, I got it worse. If I told a cop which I did try to, it was covered up by the boyfriend stating that I was disciplined and just wanted to get even with my mother, and, I got the beatings harsher and more severe.
    (sorry this won't let me input all of what I want to share)

  10. I had low self-esteem and was constantly depressed. The kids in the neighborhood found out about what I was going through and so they started picking at me in school, even to the point of beating me up after school. I was afraid to go to school for fear of the beatings, and afraid to come home for fear of the beatings. I tried to kill myself numerous times, feeling like a total failure, and my faith and belief in Jesus Christ disappeared as I turned my back on Him. I was a wreck and did not know how to get out of where I was, and soon after my mother died when I was 16, my sister continued the verbal abuse, saying the same things that my mother said about me.

    I grew up believing that I was nothing, a nobody and the low self-esteem issues I had got worse. I ended up in therapy several times and finally stopped because I felt these people just did not understand me and could not help me. I reached out to family members for guidance but was rejected and pushed aside like I was a piece of lent. But somewhere inside of me I was determind to fight for my right to live a normal life. When I got older as I continued to battle depression and low self-esteem, even blaming myself for what happened to me, the Lord lead me to a group of people at a church who helped me to see that none of that was my fault, and I ended up back in therapy, and I accepted the help offered to me.

    God has done a healing in and on my heart and it is continuing as I still battle depression and low self-esteem issues. However, because of what I experienced, my heart bleeds for those that have been abused like myself, still are being abused, abuse their children because of the horrors they endured, and even for animals that have been neglected and abused. I know that it was only by the grace and mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that I made it through, and although I still have my struggles, still experience nightmares once in a while about those days, I can look around me and realize that none of this is about me, it is about those that are struggling now, it is about the compassion and love of God for all mankind, and none of what I experienced is to be retained in my memory but shared for others to see HIS light that worked and is working in me.

    I will never turn another away that seeks help like my family turned me away. Christ's death on the cross was not just about freeing us from the shackles that held us in bondage, it was about taking His love and sharing it with all those around us, and helping the unloved and unwanted see that they are loved, they are wanted and they are needed.

    Thank you Josh for this and the awareness that it brings of how much of a need there is out there, and the responsibility of others including myself to reach out and give a heart of love, encouragement and support to those that have been battered and bear the mental scars of it, and the ones that are currently going through the horrors of abuse.


  11. So much in sight, so much wisdom. Thanks for taking a stand, my friend. There is so much hope and restoration for the broken and abused. I know; I've experienced it. His name is Jesus!

    What a blessing you are to your sisters in Christ.

    Thank you, Josh.