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Published on May 1st, 2013 | by SoniaJHarris

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Broken by Association but Victorious by Choice

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I am Jana Brewer and this is my story on overcoming abuse.

When people ask, “How do you know if a person is being abused?” Most would answer by stating what they can see with the naked eye. Abuse may be classified by physical bruises, distress upon ones face, or blackened eyes. In reality, an abused individual can hide their trauma so well no one would be able to tell their deep wounds or afflictions. Sexually and Emotionally abused individuals are the best artists. How do I know this? Well, I was one of the best artists.

There have been times in my life when no one knew what was going on behind closed doors. Abuse is such a quiet topic. It’s astonishing… for as common as abuse is, it is never placed on a platform until someone breaks their silence. Therefore, I intend to break my silence. Abuse is not a topic that should be treated with coyness. There are individuals out there who need to know they are not alone, and surely you can heal and be delivered from abuse.

From the time I was 5 until 15, I was physically, emotionally and sexually abused. I learned all the tricks to hide my afflictions from wearing long sleeve shirts to keeping my head down and being a quiet mouse. On several occasions, I would be heavily hit over something as simple as eating the wrong sandwich placed on the table or expressing sadness when trips to grandma’s didn’t work out. On one occasion, I was eventhreatened with a butcher knife. Luckily, I wasn’t hurt physically but emotionally, I was wounded. Questions may be stirring in one’s head like “Where are the parents?” Sometimes they are there and then some parents are unaware. I had a void that needed to be filled. At this time, I had yet to discover,“When your father and mother forsake you, then the LORD will take you up” (Psalm 27:10). So I went through life seeking to fill each void with everything but Christ.

No matter how scars restore in the physical, if you do not attack the root of the issue, the emotional burden reflects throughout life’s choices. Generally, from ages 5 to 15, the developmental process is taking place. During this time, children are growing and learning new things. I on the other hand was learning how to hide from the world. I remember feeling alone. Often times, someone who has been abused is manipulated to believe there is no one to care for them. This led me at ages 15 to 18 to look for love in literally all the wrong men- men who in some form or another resembled my abuser. During this time, I met a young man who later would become my daughter’s father. At 17 I secretly became a mother to a beautiful baby girl. No one found out I was pregnant until the day of delivery. Unfortunately, my secrecy skills almost made me lose this precious gift.

I later met my husband and thought he was the best thing since apple pie. I always told myself I will never let a man hurt me or my children. That promise I did keep, but I forgot about the emotional impact with physical abuse. The bruises would heal, but the emotional trauma, unless given an outlet towards healing WILL come along with you. My marriage lasted 7 years; I was married to an atheist. Little did I know when you marry someone God has not anointed for you, it will not last, but God is such a gentleman he will allow it to happen until you call for His help. My marriage ended because he was in love with someone else and expressed that He never loved me. Oh how the enemy rejoiced by saying, “See, you are unlovable, unworthy and unwanted.” These are lies, but when told to someone who’s been abused, they can hit home.

With abuse you have two paths you can walk. One is the very scary one where abuse is just the way of life; you are constantly angry and bitter and you do not live to your full potential. The other path is you choose to live a life free of abuse, where God carries you and lets you rest until you regain your strength. In Isaiah 49:15, God asked a profound question and then ended with a profound declaration of His love for His people by saying, “Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, yet I will not forget you.” Oh, what great peace and comfort these words bring to them who love God.

A lot has happened in my 34 years, but I don’t regret the events of my life, because God has been with me at every step, even in the wrong ones. I am happy to say I am healed from the pain of the abuse. When the enemy tries to attack my mind with negative thoughts, like you are not pretty, you’re stupid, or you can never do anything right, I remember God gave me a choice to be a victim or to be victorious from my past. I choose to be victorious because God is going to use my heartache for the good of His kingdom! If someone is reading this and is being abused, please talk to someone about it. When you speak, the abuser loses that hold he or she has over you. You will realize there are people who have been victims, yet live a victorious life. Even if the abuse was in the past or present, you can make the choice to say, “It is finished.” If the abuse was in your past, tell about it and forgive the person. Not because it makes you a forgiving person but because then, the enemy loses his grip on you. I must say God has been with me at every turn, and I must say that living a bondage free life is the best feeling in the world!

 

By: Jana Brewer

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