Sunday, June 14, 2015

You will not steal my joy

You will not steal my joy.

I will walk away like a boss, and I will leave you behind.

I won't be looking back.

You may bow me down with sorrow now. You may be allowed to pursue me and threaten me and fire at me right now, but that is now. That is not how this ends.

You may bruise me now, and my heart may bleed now, but in the end, I will run from you.

It will start as a walk, but you will soon be blinded by the dust I kick away from me as I break into a jog, and then into a run.

As my legs push the limits of their speed and strength, the blood from my wounds will start running clear. My bruises will be faded by the sun. The circles under my eyes will be stains no longer as my tears turn to joy.

My hair, wild in the wind of my Promised Land, will be tamed by the breeze that is so strong in my ears that it drowns the memory of your voice away.

What you did to me will be gone. Forever. And I will take my joy.

You will not steal my joy.

I am going to run, all residue from your attacks will fall off of me easily, and I will have my joy.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The blood well runs deep

How many times can a heart break? How long can it bleed before it pumps its last beat? When will my blood run dry?

I cannot bring myself to read the report from the forensic psychologist who investigated our case when we were in court for the first time. It's finally "released" to be read and not kept secret from me. I've had it for almost a month. It's sat there, unopened. I hide it and push it away from me because I'm afraid of what's in it. Years later, now, I'm still learning details that I didn't know before. Details about how his personality and behavior are consistent with that of a pedophile. Details of what he said to CPS and police. These details that all make me panic and my mind scream about how on EARTH could that have really happened, how on EARTH could anyone have known these things, and still make the decision that was made? How is he not in jail? Why has this been allowed to continue?

Oh, God, you must hold me close right now, because sometimes I even want to run from you. You have promised so many things. You love my children. And yet they suffer. And I have to watch. I can't run. My eyes can't turn away, though I try to blind myself whenever possible.

When will our suffering end? When will we reach our Promised Land? When will my children be protected?

When will we have justice?

The crimson red of my soul spills over with each new bit of knowledge. With each new behavior. With each new telling of the story. When will my blood run out?

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

I am Israel

I am Israel. When I pray for peace in Israel, I am also praying for peace upon myself, because my life reflects the conflict in Israel. I am spiritual Israel, as a covenant child of Yeshua whose people are the Jews. Constantly, those around me are trying to take what is mine. My land. My occupation. My children. My life. Like Israel, I am told by bystanders and authority figures to stop fighting. I wonder if they really understand that this request means to stop living, as well. Ceasefires are ordered and I almost take a breath and bask in the relief of the moment. But then it begins again, and I have no choice but to destroy every fire that comes against me. I must protect the children of God. I unearth the plans meant to destroy me. The secret tunnels. The hidden weapons. I know there are more, so I must remain vigilant. I must not grow complacent. I must pick up myself up and place myself in the shadow of the Almighty's wings when I am weary. For HE is with me. HIS rod and HIS staff guide me. Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil. I claim that He WILL prepare a banquet table for me in front of my enemies. He WILL restore my soul when I can fight no longer. I claim that NO weapon formed against me shall stand, and that the enemy WILL be confused and destroy himself from within. I speak directly to the demonic spirits of Jezebel and Ahab, and in the name of Jesus, I cover myself in the blood of the Lamb with a double portion of the spirit of Elijah to fight her. What HE has begun, HE is faithful to finish. Hallelujah! My Abba hates abuse. My Abba hates lies. My Abba hates the suffering of children--the children of Israel and the children of mine. It WILL be finished. Reign, Lion of Judah! Ride in on a white horse! We are ready!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Understanding Domestic Abuse

Domestic abuse/violence is often a misunderstood concept to many people. It is commonly thought of as only physical, and even when it is understood, many people do not realize the long term consequences of domestic abuse on the victim. Unfortunately, many people think of abuse as being equivalent to a marital mistake--you know, someone cheating one time, or breaking a piece of furniture in anger one time. The truth though, is that abuse is a habitual thing, and almost always hidden from people outside of the relationship. While it may be possible that you cannot understand it unless you go through it, I say that you don't have to empathize in order to sympathize. Understanding what domestic abuse is, is the first step to being able to sympathize and help a family going through or coming out of it. It is also the first step to preventing and ending it.

Facts on domestic violence, taken from http://www.clarkprosecutor.org/html/domviol/facts.htm:

  • Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women between the ages of 15 and 44 in the United States, more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined. ("Violence Against Women, A Majority Staff Report," Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, 102nd Congress, October 1992, p.3.)
  • Police are more likely to respond within 5 minutes if an offender is a stranger than if an offender is known to a female victim. (Ronet Bachman, Ph.D. "Violence Against Women: A National Crime Victimization Survey Report." U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice and Statistics. January 1994, p. 9.)
  • Battering occurs among people of all races, ages, socio-economic classes, religious affiliations, occupations, and educational backgrounds.
  • A battering incident is rarely an isolated event.
  • Battering tends to increase and become more violent over time.
  • Many batterers learned violent behavior growing up in an abusive family.
  • 25% - 45% of all women who are battered are battered during pregnancy.
  • Domestic violence does not end immediately with separation. Over 70% of the women injured in domestic violence cases are injured after separation.
  • One in 6 women and 1 in 33 men have experienced an attempted or completed rape. (U.S. Department of Justice, “Prevalence, Incidence, and Consequences of Violence Against Women,” November 1998)
  • Nearly 7.8 million women have been raped by an intimate partner at some point in their lives. (Costs of Intimate Partner Violence Against Women in the United States. 2003. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Centers for Injury Prevention and Control. Atlanta, GA.)
  • Witnessing violence between one’s parents or caretakers is the strongest risk factor of transmitting violent behavior from one generation to the next. (Frieze, I.H., Browne, A. (1989) Violence in Marriage. In L.E. Ohlin & M. H. Tonry, Family Violence. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Break the Cycle. (2006). Startling Statistics)
  • Boys who witness domestic violence are twice as likely to abuse their own partners and children when they become adults. (Strauss, Gelles, and Smith, “Physical Violence in American Families: Risk Factors and Adaptations to Violence” in 8,145 Families. Transaction Publishers 1990)
  • Children who witness violence at home display emotional and behavioral disturbances as diverse as withdrawal, low self-esteem, nightmares, self-blame and aggression against peers, family members and property. (Peled, Inat, Jaffe, Peter G & Edleson, Jeffery L. (Eds) Ending the Cycle of Violence: Community Responses to Children of Battered Women. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications, 1995.)
  • 30% to 60% of perpetrators of intimate partner violence also abuse children in the household. (Edelson, J.L. (1999). “The Overlap Between Child Maltreatment and Woman Battering.” Violence Against Women. 5:134-154)
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found in a national survey that 34 percent of adults in the United States had witnessed a man beating his wife or girlfriend, and that 14 percent of women report that they have experienced violence from a husband or boyfriend. More than 1 million women seek medical assistance each year for injuries caused by battering. (Federal Bureau of Investigation; U.S. Department of Justice National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS); Horton, 1995. "Family and Intimate Violence")
  • The average prison sentence of men who kill their women partners is 2 to 6 years. Women who kill their partners are, on average, sentenced to 15 years. (National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 1989)

Someone you know is dealing with domestic violence. It is worth your time and effort to understand it, and also to understand where to turn for help if it is you that is the victim. A great, comprehensive, and easy to understand website to get this information is:

    Monday, April 30, 2012

    Why I Got Married.

    Marriage is not had to have a wedding. In fact, a wedding means nothing without a marriage. And one should get engaged to be married, not engaged to have a wedding.  The binding of two people is not to be a spectacle. It is, instead to be for the edification of both parties and out of obedience to their creator. Thankfully, that creator also created the emotion of love which He places in the hearts of those to be married.

    If then, these things are true, why would one not get married when it is laid upon the hearts of both parties that THAT is what they are to do? Why is the intention questioned, or the act criticized by those who should understand this concept?

    I am told that I don't have the right to remarry, to have a wedding, to wear a white dress. It is spoken of me that I must have gotten married so that I could have sex (really? Does anyone really think that is a reason for marriage?). I am sure, to follow that, there is speculation that I must be pregnant.

    The truth though, is that this is the man I am to be married to. And that is all. He. is my husband.

    Thursday, April 12, 2012

    7 Tries

    Someone told me today that a woman will leave an abusive partner seven times before actually staying gone.

    There is a small part within me that is proud that it only took me twice.

    Thursday, March 29, 2012

    Be gracious.

    I have a lot I want to say right now, but I am unsure of what to include. I wish I could make you all understand without you having to go through what he and I went through. If you could understand what it's truly like for either of us, I think you would be a lot more gracious...and you may even reach out once in a while. Do you know how lonely it is? Do you know how tiring it is? Do you know how many people stop talking to you?

    Do you realize how many people stalk your life but never say a word to you about it? Do you realize how complicated it is to do something as simple as run to the store at midnight if your child needs medicine? Do you realize that even your neighbors avoid you once they notice something is different? Do you realize that quite possibly, the only "Christians" who DO take the time to contact you after a divorce (or during the process) are the ones who are telling you that you are sinning and who throw stones at you (out of "love," and "good intentions," of course)? Believe me, I have cherished and remembered every comment that wasn't like that, and I thank God for the moments when I read them, because they were very needed and appreciated.

    Have you tried experiencing joy and agony at the same time? Have you tried respecting someone while still being honest about your feelings? Have you tried loving people who spread rumors about you? Have you ever woken up at 0430 hours so you could gather up your toddler and baby and bring them to another person's house because you needed to be at work at 0700 hours? Have you ever come back home after a 40-hour shift with three days' worth of dirty laundry, hungry toddlers, and a messy house?

    Here is what would make the difference. How about instead of casting stones, you offer to help. How about instead of assuming something, you ask a question. How about instead of judging, you sympathize. Be practical. Offer to do yard work, go grocery shopping, bring a movie over at 9pm when the kids are asleep and the "lonely hour" hits. Bring dinner once a week. Call and leave a message. Post a hilarious photo on their FB to make them smile.

    I'm not having a pity party here, but this is difficult, people. If you really care, then reach out. If not, then just distance yourself completely. Don't play the half-friend or "caring" stalker. People going through problems in their marriages or who are recovering from a divorce or who are reaching out to others through their own story don't have the time for your drama or shenanigans. Stay out of it, or get involved. It doesn't work both ways. Love requires action, and if you aren't acting out of love, then you are just throwing stones.

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