I remember in the beginning, you were so charming.
I remember thinking finally I found a great guy.
I remember being wrapped up in the idea of a relationship.
I remember the excitement of getting to know you and spending time with you.
I remember how you made me laugh and how you spoiled me.
I remember feeling like I was being swept off my feet.
I don’t remember when it started…
But I remember how you told me you hated long hair. How I didn’t love you because I wouldn’t cut mine.
I remember you would point out every girl who had short hair-no matter where we were. You would comment about how much you liked how she looked.
I remember you constantly talking about how attractive girls with tattoos were-and how I didn’t have any.
I remember how you wanted to pick out my clothes. And you told me I was selfish because I didn’t wear what you wanted.
I remember how you always wanted me to eat less so I would lose weight. You would literally take food out of my hand and cut me off when you thought I’d had enough.
I remember how I was the butt of every joke-but as long as you got a laugh it was okay.
I remember how you would tell me not to speak so I wouldn’t embarrass myself.
I remember how you preferred me in my glasses. You would get mad when I didn’t wear them.
I remember when I started making fun of people with you so that I could be accepted.
I remember always hanging out with your friends-and losing touch with all mine.
I remember doing everything you enjoyed, but never doing what I enjoyed.
I remember always being wrong.
I remember never being able to speak my mind.
I remember being called stupid.
I remember believing you were mentally superior to me.
I remember how you never wanted to hold my hand-
never wanted to kiss me
never wanted to hold me
never told me I was pretty
never made me feel special
Then I remember when it was over.
I remember feeling lost.
I couldn’t remember the things that used make me happy.
I couldn’t remember the things that I loved.
I couldn’t remember who I was, because I had tried so hard to be who you wanted me to be.
That’s when I remembered that identity was in Christ.
Suddenly I remembered that I was made in God’s image (Genesis 1:27)
I remembered that I have freedom through Christ (Galatians 5:1)
I remembered that God knit me together in my mother’s womb (Pslam 119:73)
I remembered that God’s love is unfailing (Psalm 33:22)
I remembered that God draws near to the broken hearted (Pslam 34:18)
I remembered that He would sustain me (1 Cor 1:8)
I remembered that God chooses the weak things of this world to shame the strong (1 Cor 1:27)
I remembered I was called to be Christ’s ambassador (2 Cor 5:20)
I remembered that I know the Prince of Peace (Ephesians 2:14)
I remembered that I had joy in Jesus (1 Thessalonians 2:20)
I remembered that God is faithful (1 Thessalonians 5:24)
I remembered that the Lord can rescue me from any evil (2 Timothy 4:18)
I remembered that Jesus was crucified for me. Left hanging on a cross. Beaten, spat on, humiliated- for me.
I remembered that Jesus already paid for my pain.
He carried my burden.
He took away my sin.
I remembered, for the first time in a long time, what love really was.
Jesus is the ultimate healer. Verbal abuse comes in many different forms. Sometimes it is obvious. You get put down, called names, constantly disrespected. But it isn’t always. It took me 2 years to realize I was being verbally abused.
Verbal abuse takes place when you no longer have a voice.
When you believe and listen to all the lies someone says about you. When you accept what someone calls you as true. When someone is trying to manipulate you or transform you into someone you aren’t.
In my case it was mostly about my looks. From my shoes to my hair. He literally wanted me to change everything about me. He never let me forget that he hated the way I looked. Every day he would make little comments. And little comments everyday for two years aren’t so little. I believed no one would ever be attracted to my physical appearance. I believed no one could ever possibly be interested in me. I believed my opinion didn’t matter because I was probably wrong anyways.
When we broke up I dedicated everything to Jesus. He was my sustainer. I went all in wanting to be healed from my broken heart, and I was. But a year later I still wasn’t healed mentally. I was terrified to date. I didn’t want someone to control my identity ever again-my identity is rooted and established in Jesus Christ. After a year of trying to escape all the lies I so deeply believed, I finally asked for help. I found godly counsel through my church. I finally was able to have a healthy mindset of myself again. I stopped looking down on myself and thinking less of who I am. I began believing that I was beautiful and I finally gained my confidence back.
If you are in a verbally abusive relationship, get out now. I want to remind you that your identity is found only in Jesus. You have been sealed with the Holy Spirit and that is your defining characteristic. Romans 8:38-39 tells us, “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” No lie anyone feeds you, no lie you tell yourself, no sin you commit, and no sin committed against you will ever take that identity away from you. You are a beloved daughter of the King.