Abuse will not define me.
I am more than a woman who has been abused. More than a child with a broken heart wondering why…again. More than an over-comer, a survivor or a thriver. I am the proud mother of beautiful children. I am blessed to homeschool them (yeah!). I am a lover of words, of beautiful music, of creativity. And I’m a pretty good cook. I love cooking new dishes but my favorite foods to eat are simple ones. Time and again, I turn to cheesy oatmeal and tomato soup. I hate soft-drinks of any kind but I adore water. And coffee. And milk, but I’m now allergic to milk so I drink almond milk. And lots of sweet tea.
I’m a sometimes crazy woman who actually loves housework–as long as it is accompanied by the sounds of children’s laughter, much prayer, or really good music. I love old movies, funny ones, serious ones, sappy ones. Bring ’em on. I get a kick out of ’60’s sitcom’s. My middle daughter and I steal moments away to watch them because she enjoys them just as much as I do. I’m a reader. Growing up, I was that child that, when she had nothing else to read, she read the back of the box of cereal. And the toothpaste container. And the writing on the box of grits. I just get a thrill out of reading. I especially love reading the Bible. But I also love poetry, mystery novels, and lots and lots of non-fiction. I always wanted to be a writer and, you know what? I am a writer. A writer of journals, of poetry, of truth, and a co-author of a book on domestic abuse. Oh, and there’s this: I can’t turn away a stray animal. I’m pretty sure animals know this as they seem to find their way to my house. My children laugh and say that we’ve got a big flashing neon sign above our house that’s only visible to animals that says “Sucker for animals lives here”. Best of all, though, and the thing that actually defines me is this: I’m a child of God, a daughter of His who is undeserving of His tender grace and mercy but oh-so glad to be blessed by it. By His wounds on that old rugged cross, all of my wounds, even the worst ones, are healed.
And I’m tired. Tired of a messy life. Tired of fighting battles that I didn’t start. Tired of dealing with, and cleaning up, other people’s messes. It’s been such a long, hard road for such a long, long, time. But I’m here, and I’m fighting. Against being labeled by folks who don’t have a clue what I have gone through, against false accusations–by folks who are foolish enough to believe the lies and then repeat them. Against passing this madness on to the next generation. Against abuse in all its forms. In all its evil. So, to that end, I’m here to share my heart, my story, and I’m going to listen as others do the same. More importantly, I’m here to share what God has done–what Jesus did on Calvary two millennium ago, and what He’s done for me. Ultimately, He is my story. He is what, and Who, defines me.
Would you care to start the conversation? What defines you?