It’s a big buzz word these days – Self-Care. Especially in the world of Betrayal Trauma Recovery. Unfortunately, it’s an idea that’s always kinda rubbed me the wrong way. The concept feels contrary to the self-sacrificing life I’ve always believed I’m called to lead as a follower of Christ.
When the proverbial uh-hum… dookey?… hit the fan, though, I was forced to re-evaluate my beliefs in just about every area of my life. I had to take a magnifying glass to my heart and allow the Word of God to divide out the things that didn’t line up. As I started down the long road to recovery, the idea of self-care seemed to bombard me at every turn. Everyone seemed to be suggesting that I couldn’t heal unless I learned to prioritize self-care. I wasn’t buying it, but finally, I surrendered to God and asked Him to help me find truth.
Upon the recommendation of our therapist, I started to read The Anxiety Cure, by Dr. Archibald Hart. It is the most helpful, informative, yet Biblically sound resource on this topic I’ve ever found. Reading it changed so much about how I think about Anxiety and Depression because it helped me to actually understand the physiological aspects. If you suspect that you or someone you know may suffer from Depression or an Anxiety Disorder, this book is for you!
I love thanksgiving! It’s my favorite holiday. I look forward to our Thanksgiving family traditions more than any of the habits and rituals surrounding the other special family celebrations. But sometimes the holidays are hard, and when families are fractured by sin and addiction we don’t always feel like spending a day giving thanks. The thing is, these are often the most important times for us to make the choice to adjust our attitudes and cultivate a spirit of gratitude, not just in ourselves, but in our families!
So we’ve put together some fun ideas for thanksgiving family traditions that can be special anytime, but become even more important in the hard times.
Last week we started a series called Facing Fear. It is a Bible study on fear and faith, (click for whole series) and this week we’re learning about an interesting aspect of a right relationship with fear – the Fear of the Lord. We want to know, what IS the fear of the Lord, why is it important to fear God, and what does walking in the fear of the Lord look like?
FEAR. We all have the capacity to make it our constant companion. Chronic fear can paralyze us, keeping us stuck in misery and brokenness. This is never more true than in the aftermath of a shattered heart! When the world turns upside down, it can be difficult to figure out how to reconcile fear and faith.
There is nothing I have experienced quite so dark as the consuming sadness that follows an intimate betrayal. If you have experienced this trauma, I am so sorry. There is nothing I’m going to be able to tell you that will erase that pain. But if you find yourself searching for answers about how to heal from betrayal trauma, I do believe I can offer some solid advice.
Is there anything more central to communicating God’s way than taming the tongue? I mean, if we could all somehow learn just to control what comes out of our mouths, being sure that every word was pleasing to God, and nothing more, I feel certain we’d see dramatic improvement in our communication both within our marriages and everywhere else! But alas, as our focus passage in James points out, the tongue is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. We shoot its arrows with little regard for the damage that will be done. So how can we stop it? How can you learn to be careful with your words and surrender them to God? Or even to just keep your mouth shut? That’s what we’re going to try to figure out today.
When it comes to marital communication, we really can’t underestimate the importance of forgiveness. We need to understand how unforgiveness is connected to pride, and how humility will change the way we relate to and speak with one another.
We’ve been studying what the Bible has to say about communication, and this week it’s all about how important it is that we all tell the truth. All the time. We need to be deeply committed, as the saying goes, to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth in our marital communication, and you better believe we’re going to need some help from God!
We’re talking about what it means to communicate God’s way, and last week we talked about some of the most common ways we use manipulation (gaslighting) to mess this up. We all sometimes choose to play games rather than speak plainly and honestly, but as we discussed last time, there are some whose hearts are black with evil intentions bent on control rather than mutual respect and understanding. While the manipulation tactics we talked about last week are often employed even by those who wouldn’t fall into this category, this week’s tactics are far more indicative of a very serious problem.
We can’t adequately cover the topic of communication in this series without addressing the ways in which we choose to manipulate and play games rather than speak plainly and honestly, or the times when we’re more interested in “winning” or controlling than in hearing and being heard. The reality is, I doubt there is a single one among us who has never been guilty of employing at least one of the manipulation tactics we’re going to discuss today, so we each need to carefully evaluate our own selves and bring our hearts into submission to God.
However, while we all fail to shoot straight some of the time, there are those who are so bent on control that communication has become nothing more than a way of exploiting the weaknesses of another in order to gain the upper hand in every conversation. Such people have no interest in hearing anything other than themselves, and don’t care to take the time to gently help others understand their perspective. They simply want to dominate. While we must be careful that we’re not guilty of manipulation in communication, if we’re married to a person like this, we also need to learn how to recognize these manipulation tactics and how to set up strong healthy boundaries around communication to avoid falling victim to these abusers.
We’ve been spending some time learning to communicate within our marriages according to the principles set forth in Scripture, and last time we learned all about the importance of listening. This week we’re expanding on that idea by talking about two practices we all tend to do that are major hindrances to good listening. We presume and assume. Like, a LOT! And you know what they say happens when we assume, don’t you? Well, let’s just say it’s asinine.
We’re learning to communicate God’s way as we work our way through a series intent on finding the areas in which we ruin marital communication, and re-aligning them with God’s desires. Today we’re going to discuss the importance of listening. Really listening. Not just to each other, but to God as well. Honestly, if we could all master just this one area of communication, what a difference it would make! But alas, we are a society that has forgotten how to listen. So, we must re-learn this lost virtue, and who better to learn from than our Creator?
The Bible tells a story of a woman – a widow who persistently sought justice from an evil judge. Jesus encouraged us to approach our Heavenly Father with that same kind of persistence in prayer, knowing He will surely grant us justice – and quickly! This is the story of my own persistent prayer.
Are you a betrayed wife who is fiercely committed to seeking and following God as you heal? Are you looking for a community of like-minded women also recovering from betrayal trauma? Would you like to join our secret Facebook support group? Connect with Cherith on Facebook, and send me a private message to request to be added.
Or, contact me via email if you just need someone to talk to who understands and is committed to gently pointing you toward Jesus.