The death of personal dreams and visions is one of the most horrific side effects of domestic violence and abuse. Individuals are never more vulnerable for giving up on their dreams and visions than after they have suffered a great personal failure. And, suffering domestic violence and abuse, for many, can seem like the greatest personal failure of all. It seems like the greatest failure of all, because those who have been victims tend to internalize the abuse and the violence and blame themselves. But the fault lies not with the victims and survivors; rather, the fault lies only with the abuser.
Rebuilding the lives; regaining the inner strength and will; renewing the spirit; revitalizing the faith and the belief in the personal dreams and visions; finding purpose; and, rebuilding the trust in self and others: these are the largest challenges for the victims and survivors of domestic violence and abuse. Often these are the largest challenges because in the wake of these horrific experiences, individuals often feel that they have lost their sense of life and purpose; they’ve lost their trust: they feel that their very souls have been taken. They still look somewhat the same on the outside. But, on the inside, something has changed, forever. The enthusiasm they once knew for the things in life that they enjoyed: is gone. The joy has left; and, this may be the saddest side effect of all. For the Bible tells us in Nehemiah 8:10: . . . for the joy of the Lord is our strength. So, as the joy is lost; so is the strength.
Finding again the joy; finding again the strength; re-establishing purpose through a God-given vision; and, rebuilding trust: these are the keys to the successful rebuilding of the life. And, the successful rebuilding of the life begins and ends with a vision and purpose that are developed, through faith, by God. To truly recover from the aftermath and destruction of domestic violence and abuse, there must be an unwavering determination to succeed in these things.
Finding purpose and re-establishing trust will keep individuals going when others have stopped and given up. Individuals need to consistently ask themselves: What is their purpose? What is their vision for their highest and best lives? (To be most successful, the vision should be a God-given one that includes helping others and being of service to His Kingdom.) What are the hopes and dreams that were once held for the lives? Dream them again. Write them down and make them plain. Revisit them often so that inspiration and motivation are continuous and on-going. Decide what is necessary for the dreams, visions, and purposes to be achieved; and, then do them; little-by-little, and step-by-step. Keep walking towards them. Be determined to accomplish them; despite those days when all hope seems to be lost. Keep walking no matter how heavy the load becomes. And, know that the heavier the load appears: the greater will be the blessings when the purpose and vision are, at last, accomplished.
Be not deceived. God will not be mocked: for whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap. (Galatians 6:7). Therefore, if one sows unto God good deeds, aimed at achieving a vision, dream, or purpose, developed by Him; then, at some point, and, at an appointed time: the vision must, and will, come to pass:
- And the Lord answered me, and said: Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that reads it.
- For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. (Habakkuk 2: 2-3).
There is an old adage that says: When you are down to nothing; God is up to something. Be encouraged by this truism, for it is testified to, by many. That is, there are many first-hand witnesses that proclaim (yours, truly, included) that it was at the precise time that they were down to nothing; that God showed up with the exact something that they needed, at the very moment they needed it.
So, heed the Word of God, saying: Where there is no vision, the people shall perish. (Proverbs 29:18). Develop an effective vision and purpose for the life: one that will inspire and motivate. Write it down and make it plain. Keep it always in front of you. Visit it often. Make decisions about the specific steps that are needed to achieve the vision. Take them. Don’t be discouraged when the going gets difficult (as it surely will). Remember what God said to Joshua as He was bringing Him into the fulfilled vision of the Promised Land:
- Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses.
- There shall not any man be able to stand before you all the days of your life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with you: I will not fail you, nor forsake you.
- Only be thou strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded you; turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper whithersoever you go.
- Have not I commanded you? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with you whithersoever you go.
- Remember the word which Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you, saying: The Lord your God has given you rest, and has given you this (Promised) Land. (And, you shall enjoy the land that God has given you for your possession.) (For the vision of the Promised Land is thus fulfilled.) (Joshua 1: 3, 5, 7, 9, 13, & 15).
So, please be encouraged to develop and pursue the vision and purpose. Keep believing; especially, during the hard and difficult times. (For the hard and difficult times are sure to come. There are no promises that achieving your vision will be easy. But there is the promise: that if there is determination and perseverance; and, the seeking of God’s ways; the vision will be achieved and accomplished, in the end. For it is only to the strong that the race is won; and, it is only to the strong that the victory belongs.) Keep walking. Keep praying and keep praising; even in the midst of the storm: for these are the only ways to overcome the side effects of domestic violence and abuse for those who are believers.
Don’t let the abusers take your souls. Don’t let them take your dreams and your visions and your lives’ purposes. Be determined that they will not have the last word. Rather, be determined that God’s Words of Promise will have the last say. And, they shall speak, saying: Victory; Peace; Prosperity; Happiness; Joy; Everlasting Rejoicing; Success; Overcoming; Accomplishment; Achievement; Healing; and, Blessings Beyond your Wildest Dreams. Be determined that you will rise to a higher level and accomplish that which God has put in your heart. Be determined to do so; so that: you can do more for God and His Kingdom; and, more to help others. Believe, always, that God knows and remembers your sufferings and that He will repay and reward the sufferings that you have endured by giving you something far better than you had before the trauma of domestic violence and abuse unwontedly entered your life. For these are His promises to you: He will give you the double for your troubles (sufferings, injustices, and losses); He will cause you to inherit the riches of the Gentiles; and, He will cause you to possess the double within your land. (Isaiah 61: 6-7). So: Keep believing. Keep walking. Keep praying. And, keep praising. God will answer. He will provide. He will heal. He will reward your efforts and cause your vision, purpose, and dreams to come to pass. He will cause your vision to speak, in the end, and not to lie.