Monday, November 16, 2009

Rejoice? Are you Kidding?

When you're ankle deep in the junk of abuse, you don't feel like rejoicing. Looking at the evil things in this life is painful. It can feel awful if someone who doesn't understand gives you a cheer up, it's not so bad type of talk. Sometimes it feels like others think you should get over abuse violations in about a week. Which is totally unrealistic.

So please note, I am not telling you in this post to "get over it" or to paste a fake smile on your face.

Addressing memories of abuse is important for good mental and physical health. It is not fun, but it is important. However, past abuse does not need to be a twenty-four hours a day preoccupation. One good way to maintain balance while working through bad memories and difficult counseling sessions is to make an extra effort to practice gratitude.

Look for positive moments in your day. Take the time to notice how God is blessing you and tell him a quick thanks. Simple things like sparkling snow covered bushes, an encouraging phone call, or laughter with one of your children counts. Be on the look out, I know you'll find things.

Create positive moments. Intentionally give a smile, a friendly wave or a hug as a way to express gratitude to the people in your life. Say thank you to anyone who serves you in any way today.

As you attend to your emotional and physical needs, thank your Creator for your emotions and your body. As you eat, say thank you for the provision of food. As you drive, thank God for your vehicle or as you ride the bus thank Him for public transportation.

If you're blue about your past, try grounding yourself in the present by saying thank you for each person in your life whom you love. If it's a really bad day, try just saying thank you for the mundane things you take for granted like your hairbrush, your ability to walk, or the way clouds look in the sky.

Please notice, that I am not telling you to say thank you for abuse. Sometimes Christians think they have to. I think this is a misunderstanding of an important verses in which Paul encourages believers to rejoice in all things(Phillipians 4:4). He could rejoice that he escaped after being left for dead at his stoning, he could rejoice about having a relationship with Christ Jesus while he was in prison, and he could rejoice when his plans were thwarted because he knew the Holy Spirit was in charge. He didn't rejoice because he was a masochist, but because He fully trusted in God, he knew that no matter what happened next God would be with Him. And we can do the same.

At this time, I'm thanking God for fall sunshine, a quiet house, and my comfortable office chair. And I am thanking Him for the healing work that He is doing in your life and in mine.

2 comments:

Girl In a Glass House said...

It is a beautiful thing to watch the healing of God in your life. Your words are gentle but strong and so many people will be helped when they find this corner of grace and hope

Tanya T. Warrington said...

Thank you! Your words encourage me to keep on posting, even when I am not sure if anyone is reading. :)

Recommended Books

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  • A Way of Hope by Leslie J. Barner
  • Angry Men and the Women Who Love Them by Paul Hegstrom
  • Battered But Not Broken by Patricia Riddle Gaddis
  • Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend
  • Bradshaw on the Family by John Bradshaw
  • Caring Enough to Forgive/Not Forgive by David Augsburger
  • Codependent No More by Melody Beattie
  • Healing the Wounded Heart by Dr. Dan B. Allendar
  • Keeping the Faith: Questions and Answers for the Abused Woman by Marie M. Fortune
  • Perfect Daughters by Robert J. Ackerman, Ph.D.
  • Recovery: A Guide for Adult Children of Alcoholics by Herbert L. Gravitz and Julie D. Bowden
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  • Slay Your Own Dragons by Nancy Good
  • The Cinderella Syndrome by Lee Ezell
  • The Dance of Anger by Harriet Goldhor Lerner, Ph.D.
  • The Search for Significance by Robert S. McGee
  • Turning Fear to Hope by Holly Wagner Green
  • When Violence Comes Home: Help for Victims of Spouse Abuse by Tim Jackson and Jeff Olson
  • Why Does He Do That? by Lundy Bancroft