Betrayal
Trauma
Recovery

3 Empowering Words For Victims

by | Boundaries, Self-Care

Finding Light In The Darkness Of Emotional Turmoil

The effects of emotional abuse often leave women feeling as though they’re stumbling around in the darkness.

The heaviness of the confusion, self-doubt, and self-blame weighs them down as they blindly grasp for the nearest glimmer of light.

Anne Blythe, founder of Betrayal Trauma Recovery, is a practicing Christian and relies heavily on scripture to guide her to light through her process of healing. Empowering victims to seek light in the darkness, Anne shares her personal feelings on healing with faith. Tune in to the BTR podcast and read the full transcript below for more.

“Truth”: An Empowering Word For Victims of Emotional Abuse

Victims of betrayal and emotional abuse often relay that the lying and manipulation was just as painful as the betrayal.

Seeking the truth may be painful and difficult. Most abusers will never tell the entire truth.

However, as victims choose to embrace their own intuition and the feelings that guide them toward light, they can find solace in truth.

Your intuition is powerful. Some people might call it the Spirit, some people might call it the Holy Ghost, or those who aren’t religious might just call it their gut or their intuition. If we can learn over time to really trust our intuition, or the Spirit, it will be the most accurate way to discern the truth.

Anne Blythe, founder of Betrayal Trauma Recovery

“Light” Can Empower Victims of Emotional Abuse

Pornography use, or lusting, is a serious issue. It’s not something to be taken lightly. It’s an abuse of trust and of the relationship, and when we talk about the four pillars of abuse, we can see that the porn user’s eye is not single and full of light. Those four pillars of abuse, the way that they perceive the world makes it so their whole body is full of darkness.

Anne Blythe, founder of Betrayal Trauma Recovery

It is very difficult for victims to discern reality when their abuser stops certain behaviors. Is he in “recovery”? Is there still hope for a happy marriage? Will I finally feel safe?

But then something happens, a betrayal, an abusive episode, or just a gut instinct that something is off, and the cycle of abuse starts over.

Understanding that abuse cannot be compartmentalized, minimized, or justified, if what Anne means when she explains that an abuser’s “whole body is filled with darkness”.

Even during his good times, if he goes back to abuse and betrayal, however minimal, victims must understand that the abuse is still present and take action to protect themselves.

Using “Today” To Empower Victims of Emotional Abuse

Anne cites a scripture in Matthew referring to God’s grace taking care of the lilies of the field – that we, victims of betrayal and abuse, can allow ourselves to focus on our healing one day at a time.

It’s always now. It’s never going to be tomorrow. Taking one moment at a time, when the trauma is really extreme, really helped me because there is no other way to do it. There is no other way but through. If we focus on now, especially when the trauma is really intense, we will come out of the fog, eventually. All we have to ever worry about is right now.

Anne Blythe, founder of Betrayal Trauma Recovery

Betrayal Trauma Recovery Supports Victims of Betrayal & Emotional Abuse

The devastation of betrayal and abuse is real. The darkness and turmoil of manipulation and gaslighting can have severe effects on a woman’s spiritual, emotional, and physical health.

Every victim deserves a safe space to share their stories, process trauma, ask questions, and make connections with other victims who get it.

The Betrayal Trauma Recovery Group meets daily in multiple time zones. Join today and receive the validation, compassion, and support you deserve.

Full Transcript:

Welcome to Betrayal Trauma Recovery, this is Anne.

In 2019, I was studying the New Testament from the Bible. Those of you who are not Christian, hopefully, you can still glean some wisdom and some insight from my studies.

I wanted to dedicate this episode to some of the verses that I read that I thought were very applicable to our situation. Similarly, there are some very sexist, misogynistic verses in the Bible, particularly by Paul. I am not going to cover those or focus on those today.

Books Can Be Empowering For You On Your Healing Journey

If you’re wondering about these scriptures that say things like women should be silent or they shouldn’t speak in church or they should obey their husbands or whatever, please read the book Jesus Feminist, by Sara Bessy. She really puts all of those types of scriptures in context, and I don’t want to focus on those today. I’m not going to be covering those.

Abuse Is Never your Fault

What I really wanted to talk about was the comforting scriptures that can really bring us comfort and also help us know that setting boundaries is God’s way of helping us stay safe.

I believe God is a God of boundaries. He sets commandments and the commandments are to protect ourselves, and also to protect other people. For example, if we do not lie, we are protecting other people and it is a way of showing love for ourselves and showing love for our fellow men.

Betrayal Trauma Recovery Group: Empowering Victims of Emotional Abuse

But before I start sharing my thoughts from the New Testament, I want to remind everyone that Betrayal Trauma Recovery Group, which is our online support group, is live. Our coaches are awesome. It is running multiple times a day in multiple time zones. This is the best way for you to get immediate and appropriate and ethical help.

As I go through some of these scriptures, you’re going to see some patterns emerge. Basically, I’m just going through the main highlighted sections of what I read. If you want to follow along that’s great, if not that’s great too. I read from the King James version, so if you use a different translation or a different version, I’ll just say the scripture and the verses.

Emotional Abuse Is Devastating

I’m going to start in Matthew Chapter 5. This one really struck me. This is the Sermon on the Mount, and this is Christ talking about the Beatitudes. Verses 10 and 11 in this really applies to us. It says “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.”

Now, when it says “for my sake,” I believe that is the sake of truth. I also believe in an afterlife and I believe that this life we have now is hell. It is the worst it’s ever going to get right now. That helps bring me peace because we all know that true justice or true truth cannot exist in this life.

“Your Intuition Is Powerful”

I want you to know that your intuition is powerful.

Some people might call it the Spirit, some people might call it the Holy Ghost, some women who are not religious might just call it their gut or their intuition. If we can learn over time to really trust our intuition, or the Spirit, it is going to be the most accurate way of discerning truth.

I know of a woman who had absolutely no proof of her husband’s affairs and his pornography use, and he was a very high up member in her church and community and also a seminary teacher. He was teaching the Gospel and had a ministry. She decided to file for divorce just on her gut alone. Having absolutely no proof, people called her crazy. Her kids called her crazy. Her church leaders called her crazy.

Acting On Your Own Intuition Is Empowering

She is one of the bravest women that I know, and I am so proud to be among her. She has been reviled. She has been persecuted. All manner of evil has been set against her, falsely, for Christ’s sake or for the truth’s sake. Her courage is inspiring to me.

We have obviously talked about Matthew 5:28 on the podcast, saying that pornography use and watching anything to get turned on is adultery. Christ says, himself, in that verse “…whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” We know that pornography use, or lusting is a serious issue. It is not something to be taken lightly, and it is an abuse of trust and it is an abuse of the relationship.

“Light” Is Empowering To Victims

In Matthew 6:22, it says, “The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.” Then in 23, “But if thine eye be evil; thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!”

The first pillar of abuse is entitlement and objectification. “I’m entitled to sex.” “This is a sex object.” “I’m entitled to a woman cleaning the bathrooms.” “I’m entitled to her cooking.” “I’m entitled to view her as an object.” “I deserve it.” That type of mindset.

Abuse Is The Fault Of The Abuser

The second pillar is control, manipulation, lies, and secrecy, so calculated behaviors to try to control an outcome. It’s goal-oriented, and that part has that good-guy façade. “I’m going to manipulate other people’s perception of me by showing up at church, by doing good talks, by doing service,” but it’s calculated because it includes lies and secrecy.

The third pillar of abuse is compulsive behaviors. They have a lack of integrity, both relational and personal. If they say they don’t use porn or if they say they believe in being true to their wife, but they’re compulsively using prostitutes or compulsively masturbating than that is another way that they abuse that relationship or abuse that trust.

The Four Pillars Of Abuse

The fourth pillar of abuse is lack of accountability. They have no empathy, no remorse, and they do not make restitution when they hurt somebody.

When we talk about those four pillars of abuse, you can see that that eye is not single and full of light. Those four pillars of abuse, the way that they perceive the world makes it so their whole body is full of darkness. They’re not able to perceive things accurately.

This isn’t something that, if they just stop using porn then they’ll improve—although they will. If someone stops using porn, that will improve some things, but this is a way of looking at the world. It’s systemic and it is societal.

Center For Peace Empowers Women To Seek Safety While Professionals Help Men Own Their Own Choices

“Trying to help” a man stop viewing the world this way is impossible. They have to start taking steps to do it themselves. Center for Peace holds men accountable for this type of perception, and the goal is to help change the perceptions. Now, does it always work? No. The man has to be committed and admit that the way he views the world is skewed.

In that same chapter, Matthew 6, we’ve got verses 31-34, which I think really, if you believe it, may help you. I love this. It really helps me when I get really stressed out about finances or get really stressed out about the future or retirement, which I don’t have at all.

Empower Yourself By Taking Life One Step At a Time

My house desperately needs attention. It’s my dream house. I’ve talked about my dream house before, the structure is my dream house, but the actual inside is old and really gross. The carpet is really disgusting, and I have carpet under my dining room table and it really bothers me. I dream day in and day out of being able to replace that with luxury vinyl planks. That’s what I’m looking forward to.

It really stresses me out, but right now I can’t do anything about it. I can’t do anything about my long-term financial future right now. All I can do is take a step at a time.

“Truth” Is Empowering For Victims

I was at the point, four years ago, where I didn’t know how I would pay for groceries. I didn’t know how I would make my house payment, so I’ve been there. Now, I can pay for groceries, which is great. I can make my house payment, but there are other things that I’m stressed out about.

No matter what stage you’re at, this scripture may or may not help. Verse 31-34: “Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? … for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, (and I’ll insert here seek ye first the truth) and his righteousness.”

For those of you who are atheist or not religious, perhaps the way to say this would be but seek ye first truth. “…and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.”

“Let’s Look At Right Now”

One way to put this is, we’re in this eternal moment of now. It’s always now. It’s never going to be tomorrow. When I was going through this, I had a friend who would say—when I was so traumatized and just hysterical and having a difficult time just functioning, she would say, “Let’s look at right now. Do you have a roof over your head right now?” I would say, “Yes.” She would say, “Do you have food right now? Are you hungry?” I’d be like, “No, I ate.” “Do you have water right now?” I’d be like, “Yes, I have water right now.”

Taking one moment at a time, when the trauma is really extreme, really helped me because there is no other way to do it. There is no other way but through. There is no tomorrow. Ever. I love this because, if we focus on now, especially when the trauma is really intense, we will come out of the fog, eventually. All we have to ever worry about is right now.

“There Is No Other Way But Through”

There is another guy, that I’ve been reading a lot lately, his name is Glenn Livingston, and he wrote a book called Never Binge Again. He says, “Choose healthy eating right now. It’s always now.” This “always now” idea, I think. is what the scripture is talking about, and it really can help us get through the trauma.

When the trauma is really intense, after a while—it’s been four years for me—now I can start thinking about things like, “Oh, I don’t have a retirement.” I can start thinking a little bit further out. The interesting thing is the Now Principle still applies to me. I’m very concerned about the things that I talked about, like updating my home and carpets, but I can still say, “Right now, I can go for a walk. Right now, I can take care of myself.”    

When People Ask If You’ve Prayed (Oh, Puh-Leez)

Matthew 7 is rough. I’m going to preface this part with I hate scriptures like this, because I believe them and then I do what it says, and I don’t get what I want. It irks me and it frustrates me, and it makes me very mad.

In Matthew 7:7-10, it says “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.”

Okay, I’m sure that a lot of you have gone to church or had some friends say, “Have you prayed about it?” You look at them and roll your eyes and you’re like, “No. Oh, good idea, I never thought about it.” Of course, you’ve prayed about it! If you believe in God, of course, you’ve knelt down, bawled your eyes out, screamed and yelled at God.

Of course, you have prayed about it. Of course, you have asked. Of course, you have begged God for help. You’ve begged him for miracles.

“I Pray And Pray And It Doesn’t Happen”

This scripture says, “Ask and it shall be given unto you.” Now, if you’re like me, and you’re like, “This is a bunch of bull crap. I pray and pray and pray and it doesn’t happen.” I really don’t know what to say, except for that, in spite of how frustrated I get, in spite of how it seems like some people pray and they have answers, some people pray and their husbands are like, “Oh, I’ve been terrible,” and they start taking accountability and they start being honest, or whatever.

There are a couple of big giant prayers that I have prayed. One is for a righteous, noble, non-abusive man to come into my life. To have a really beautiful friendship and relationship that is kind and loving and just amazing. I’ve prayed that prayer so many times, and it has not been given to me.

Boundaries Can Help With Empowerment

Do I just take this scripture and throw it out the window? Say, “Okay, I’m going to stop praying?” Or do I say, “Maybe I’m not ready or maybe God is preparing this for me or maybe it won’t be in this life?” There are a number of things I could say, but I will say that this morning I felt the most amazing sense of gratitude for what I have been through. An amazing sense of gratitude for my experience because I feel like where I am now, I am so much healthier.

I am so much happier. I am so much deeper. I have so much more knowledge and wisdom now.

“Faith” Is Empowering To Victims

I’m not the wisest or the most knowing. I have such a long way to go, but I am so much better prepared now. I don’t know if I could have had that type of relationship. That deep and abiding and kind relationship before, and maybe I could have it now. I don’t know. Maybe He’s preparing me for it. Maybe He’s not. I don’t know.

When it comes to these types of scriptures, I have to make a choice. I have to say, “Do I believe in God and do I believe this scripture?” I can choose yes or no, and the choice that I make is yes. I choose to believe.

I choose to trust that the prayers that I am saying, even though it doesn’t feel like [they’re being answered] and I’m mad and frustrated, that really, when it comes down to it, God does listen to my prayers and that He has my best interest at heart. That the things that are happening in my life are happening for my good.

“I Have To Just Make A Choice”

Now, that sounds a whole lot like trying to placate a victim to get her to shut up, but it also might be a loving God who is leading me and guiding me and taking me to a better place. I’m going to choose to believe that.

The reason I’m going to choose to believe that is because I think it’s true and the alternative is so dark, depressing, and sad. It makes me sad, and where is that going to get me? Maybe suicide? I don’t know, but no, I don’t want to go that route. Sometimes, at least for me, I have to just make a choice and that choice, I believe, leads me in a better direction.

Matthew 7:9-10 says, “Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?” or in 10, “Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?” Everyone here feels like they’ve asked God for bread and God has given them rocks. Everyone here feels like they asked for a fish and God gave them a serpent. We’ve all felt like that. We feel like we’re praying and praying and we’re getting rocks or we’re getting snakes.

“Help” Is Empowering To Victims

When I feel like that, it really humbles me. Humbles me to the point where I can kneel down and I can say, “Okay, I feel like I’m getting rocks and I feel like I’m getting snakes. What I really want is bread and I really want fish, so what do I need to learn? Please teach me. Please guide me.”

Currently, with these scriptures what I’m considering is, help me with my perception of men. Help me understand the way that I interact. Help me understand what you want me to think. What you want me, God, to see. How can I remove these ways that I perceive things that may be incorrect and start viewing things truthfully?

Truth be told, so many of my prayers have been answered. The prayers that always get answered in my house are prayers for lost objects. I know that sounds really ridiculous but every time we lose something, I tell my son, “Hey, let’s pray we find it.” It could be anything like a library book or an earring.

“I Love The Little Prayers That Get Answered”

In fact, over Thanksgiving I lost one of my favorite earrings, we said a prayer and my son found it on the floor. It was a tiny little cubic zirconium stud, which should have been impossible to find, found it.

I love the little prayers that get answered because I think, “Okay, God always answers my prayers when I ask Him to help me find something.” He really does, which is amazing. I think that’s kind of funny. If you’re thinking, “He never answers my prayers.” Are there types of prayers that get answered? For me, it’s finding objects.

“When Will Truth Win? When Will We Be Protected?”

There are other types of prayers that are frequently and very quickly answered. In fact, I remember one really clearly. I was skiing in a big bowl and there was lots of powder and I lost my ski. We looked and looked and looked and I couldn’t find it. I was giving up hope. We looked for a really long time and I thought, “I need to pray.”

I prayed, stood up, walked over, stuck my hand in the snow, and pulled out my ski. Does God answer my prayers? Does He hear me? The answer to that is yes. I don’t know why some of my prayers have not been answered, but I do know that many of them have been.

I encourage all of us to think about the collective prayers we are all saying because we’re all saying the same prayer. When will truth win? When will we be protected?

Collective Faith Empowers Victims of Emotional Abuse

If all of us are praying this collective prayer of truth and we’re all praying this collective prayer of peace, and it’s not being answered, my guess is that God has something big in store for all of us. Maybe it will happen for all of us all at once. Maybe it will be the second coming. Maybe he will come down and strike all of the abusive men from the Earth all at once. I don’t know, but this is a collective prayer that we are all praying together.

I want to encourage you that we continue to do that because I’m choosing to believe that God is hearing us because He’s really our only hope. We know that the law doesn’t help us. We know that therapists don’t. We know that society, in general, doesn’t see it. We know that God is our only option here, so let’s not give up on Him.

Understanding Post-Traumatic Growth

In Matthew 9, we have a couple of scriptures that pertain to us, but also abusive men. Matthew 9:4 says, “Wherefore Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts?” Only God can see on the heart. We know that, and then he talks about in verse 16, “No man putteth a piece of new cloth unto an old garment, for that which is put in to fill it up taketh from the garment, and the rent is made worse.”

Verse 17 “Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved.” He’s talking about this overall change.

If you have someone who is perceiving things incorrectly, you can’t just change one thing about that perception. You have to change the heart. You have to change the mind. You have to change those perceptions or things aren’t going to work out.

Boundaries And Education Are Empowering To Victims

I think that is true for us as well. My perceptions have changed a lot. I perceived myself as safe. I perceived other abusive men as they need love or whatever. I didn’t understand boundaries. My whole perception has shifted, and that has really helped keep me safe.

In Matthew 10:26, we have Christ telling the righteous directly to fear not the unrighteous. He says, “Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.” Then in verse 28, “And fear not them which kill the body but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” And then He tells us (verses 29-31) “Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.”

“The Important Thing Is That We Walk In Truth”

The truth will come out. It will come out. I don’t know how, and I don’t know when. All of us are praying for that. The important thing is that we walk in truth. That we are shedding our own misperceptions. That we are becoming healthier as time goes on.

And this one, of course, everyone loves Matthew 11:28-30 “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

When I study the scriptures, I put red as bad things. I underline red the things that hurt people. They hurt me or someone else, and then dark purple is boundaries, and faith or belief is in orange. If I’m like, “Oh, this is what I want to do, I don’t know if I believe it, but this is what I’m going to choose to believe this thing,” that’s in orange.

“They Say That, But Their Actions Are Different”

In Matthew 15, I have a lot of red, and, in verse 8, it’s talking about people who do not live in truth. “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.” (Verse 9) “But in vain they do worship me, teaching the doctrines of the commandments of men.”

A lot of us have seen this. We have a husband who confesses to love us. They say that, but their actions are different. Or they show up at church and they say that they love God, but then they are unwilling to be honest. They’re unwilling to obey the commandment of honesty or to be true or to be faithful to their marriage vows.

Verse 11 is interesting. It says, “Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; (for example, what someone hears may or may not hurt. We know pornography is going to hurt them. We know that certain things we hear are going to hurt us.) but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.”

Healthy Living And Boundaries Are Empowering To Victims

I think this is saying that we all are going to be exposed to harmful things. We’re all going to be exposed to some type of exploitation of some type. Like pornography or crude language or someone yelling at us. We’re all going to be exposed to that, but what’s really going to hurt us is our own actions.

If we choose to then abuse someone else or if we choose to then lie or manipulate, that will hurt us worse because we can always seek safety through healthy living and boundaries. That will always take us to safety, but if we start to engage in unhealthy behaviors and don’t set boundaries then we are going to get hurt.

Here is a boundary one. Matthew 15:13-14: “But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. Let them alone…” basically saying don’t interact with them, “…they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.”

When Abusers “Bear False Witness”

Then in 15:18-20 “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man:…”

We have experienced this ourselves. Men bearing false witness against us. They are saying, “I was a witness to her being a jerk” or “her abusing me” or “her not loving or respecting me” or whatever it is they say.

Boundaries Can Be Life-Saving

Alright, I’m going to continue talking about my New Testament studies for the next couple of weeks. I really appreciate those of you who are not religious being patient and listening to these insights that I have gained. Those of you who are religious or do study the scriptures, I’d love to hear your thoughts about how scriptures have helped your recovery. For those of you who aren’t, any quotes that you have or insights or maybe books that you study that have really helped you heal and find truth for you would be awesome.

Please leave a comment below. I want to hear what you have to say. I want to hear your thoughts. In Betrayal Trauma Recovery Group, which is our Daily Online Support group, many of the women are religious so they talk about their own experience, but many of them are not. So, everyone is welcome. It is interfaith but also inter-paradigm.

BTR Is Interfaith And Interparadigm

When I say interfaith, I mean you don’t even have to have a faith to come. The cool thing is that everyone has a shared experience, and that is the important thing. We are all trying to get through this together, and the stronger we can be together, if we can be unified in our desire for truth and justice, than we can change the world together.

I will continue this discussion next week. Again, I really want to hear your comments so please comment below.

Also, if this podcast is helpful to you, please rate it on iTunes. Every single one of your ratings helps isolated women find us.

Until next week, stay safe out there.

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14 Comments

  1. Deborah Frohriep

    God bless you dear Anne, I appreciate you sharing. You are a blessing. I feel and have felt everything you have expressed. May Jesus truly be our everything so our hearts will be full and we won’t even want for a godly man. (But if He wants to bless us with a godly man, then maybe we can have a double wedding one day!! ?)
    All my love, beautiful sister. Deborah

    Reply
  2. Lisa Parker

    Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts about how you can see God’s influence in your life, even though many of your heartfelt desires have not been met at this time. I have been reading some scriptures this week, and found that a couple of them really stood out to me. First, I was reading in the Book of Mormon, Alma 33: 4-11 (see below). In these verses, the part that stood out to me over and over again was the idea that God hears me. I have also been reading a book by Patricia Evans called, “The Verbally Abusive Relationship.” In her descriptions of verbal abuse, I noticed she frequently repeated the idea that the verbally abusive man won’t/doesn’t hear or see his partner. I believe this to be true, as I have experienced this over and over again from my husband. The fact that God truly hears me, brings me great comfort, even though not all of my needs are currently being met either.

    I also liked how these verses mention our enemies. I see my husband’s repeated betrayals and his arsenal of abusive behaviors as my enemies, which makes these verses even more meaningful to me.

    4 For he said: Thou art merciful, O God, for thou hast heard my prayer, even when I was in the wilderness; yea, thou wast merciful when I prayed concerning those who were mine enemies, and thou didst turn them to me.

    5 Yea, O God, and thou wast merciful unto me when I did cry unto thee in my field; when I did cry unto thee in my prayer, and thou didst hear me.

    6 And again, O God, when I did turn to my house thou didst hear me in my prayer.

    7 And when I did turn unto my closet, O Lord, and prayed unto thee, thou didst hear me.

    8 Yea, thou art merciful unto thy children when they cry unto thee, to be heard of thee and not of men, and thou awilt hear them.

    9 Yea, O God, thou hast been merciful unto me, and heard my cries in the midst of thy congregations.

    10 Yea, and thou hast also heard me when I have been cast out and have been despised by mine enemies; yea, thou didst hear my cries, and wast angry with mine enemies, and thou didst visit them in thine anger with speedy destruction.

    11 And thou didst hear me because of mine afflictions and my sincerity; and it is because of thy Son that thou hast been thus merciful unto me, therefore I will cry unto thee in all mine afflictions, for in thee is my joy; for thou hast turned thy judgments away from me, because of thy Son.

    I also liked this verse that I found in the Old Testament in the book of Micah 7: 7. I am not always very patient and I really want my problems to be solved and my pain to leave me as soon as possible, but this verse reminds me that I need to wait on the Lord. While I can do nothing to fix the problems my husband has caused and continues to cause, I need to trust that, in His time, God will set all things right.

    7 Therefore I will look unto the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me.

    I also read an interesting talk recently by Marion D. Hanks, called, “I Will Look Unto the Lord.” Here is the part I found especially interesting and helpful. It is not really religious, but just good common sense.

    “A teacher once wrote of the unanticipated consequences of some of our decisions. We didn’t really ever intend those consequences, but we followed the paths that led to them. ‘He who chooses the beginning of a road chooses the place it leads to,’ he said. ‘He who picks up one end of a stick, picks up the other.’ And it is not only our own course we are affecting when we choose the beginning of a road; we inevitably travel with others, and sometimes we bring anguish and distress to those we love and to other innocent persons.”

    I hope you find at least some of this meaningful to you too.

    Reply
    • Anne Blythe

      Lisa, thank you so much for sharing! Your insights are extremely helpful. Will you come on the podcast to talk about this? I think other women need to hear your interpretation of these scriptures. It is helping me a ton! Thank you! Email my assistant kari @btr.org if you want to come on the podcast, and Kari can set it up:). Hugs!

      Reply
      • Lisa Parker

        I sent an email to Kari. I am a bit nervous about the idea of coming on the podcast, but I might be willing to to give it a try. I hope you can edit it, just in case:)

        Reply
  3. Rhonda Kellam

    Anne, I came here to listen to this podcast because I was very depressed about my situation, realizing that it will never change (I am still with my husband). I don’t know what words I can say to help you or to make you feel better, but I just wanted to say that I am grateful for BTR, which wouldn’t exist without you. I am grateful for my coach (from BTR). I’m sorry that you are having to go through what you are going through, but you are helping so many women. Your suffering led to BTR. I’m not saying that I’m glad for your suffering — I don’t mean that at all. I just mean that everything you’re going through, it’s helping so many women. It’s not in vain. I don’t know if that helps? As for religion, I don’t know what I believe. I’m religious and I’m not religious. I believe in parts of it but not other parts of it. I love what you said about choosing to believe. I would like to do that. Religion (especially the New Testament) is new to me. I am just beginning to look into it as a result of my situation. I am unable to quote the Bible because I am not familiar with it yet. But I will try to think of a non-religious inspirational quote in the meantime. And until then, I will pray for you/send you positive thoughts. I wanted to say something that would be helpful, but I am just babbling, I’m sorry. Thank you for opening up, baring your soul. I feel like this is a sisterhood. I love that you sign your emails “hugs.” And I signed up for group but haven’t attended any sessions yet (I do individual sessions with my coach). But I’m rambling. My point is that I’m sure I speak for everyone when I say we are all grateful to you, for you, for BTR. I hope that helps?

    Reply
    • Anne Blythe

      Rhonda, it helps more than you know. Thank you so much for your love and sisterhood! I appreciate your love and support!

      Reply
      • Rhonda Kellam

        Anne, thank you. There is something that might help: For the past six months or so, I have been listening to the Christian rock radio station that broadcasts where I live. I mostly just listen to it when I’m driving (and I have also bought a few CDs from groups or individuals whose songs I liked). The music the station plays is very inspiring and uplifting, and encouraging. I had always assumed that Christian rock was written by happy people who just wanted to sing the praises of God and Jesus. I assumed the music was for people who are happy and who are grateful for their happiness. But in listening to the words to the songs, I now realize that the music is written by people who are struggling to feel hopeful. Today I heard a song that focused on the fact that the singer’s prayers are not always answered but that he feels that God knows what is best for him, and that he will trust that. It reminded me of what you said in your podcast. There is probably a Christian rock station in most cities, but if not, you can listen to this station online. It’s called Star88. It’s a really good station because they also do things in between the music where there are pre-recorded messages from preachers saying inspirational things, and also there are pre-recorded messages from someone at the station saying other inspirational things. A few months ago, there was a story from the Bible about someone who needed to walk through the desert, I think it was, and prayed for the storm to stop. But the storm didn’t stop, but God made a path through the storm. And the preacher said that the prayer was answered, just not in the way that it was asked. I’m not explaining this that well, but if you get a chance to listen to the station online, you will see what I mean. It always makes me feel better.

        Reply
    • Lisa Parker

      Hi, Rhonda,

      I hope you will decide to come to group sometime. I would love to connect with you there. Group meetings combined with individual therapy has helped me so much. I can’t even express how grateful I am for BTR. I don’t know where I would be without this amazing resource.

      Lisa

      Reply
      • Rhonda Kellam

        Hi Lisa,

        Sorry, I didn’t see this til now. Not sure how to tell if there is a new response here without going through the link in my email (to this podcast). I am sort of technologically… well, low-tech, I guess.

        Thank you. I will come to group. I thought that I needed to sign up in advance, but now I know that I don’t need to do that. I plan on not talking the first few times, so that I can see how it works. I don’t want to say anything that might be triggering for anyone. I’m going to look at the schedule. Thank you. I have no friends or family I can talk to about this.

        Reply
  4. Palesa

    Hi Anne, you have no idea how much these podcasts have helped me Identify the abuse and set boundaries.You are a like a sister that I never had, may God bless you and all that are involved in this work of freeing many women like me from this very paralyzing, very insideous form of abuse that is rarely talked about.I don’t have support so these podcasts are like a life line.God wants us to have peace and happiness,God does not teach us not feel and show emotions he did not create robots,I’ve been told as a victim to stop “complaining”, stop crying and be grateful and support my husband because he is “weak” minimizing his abusive behaviors.By the way I’m from South Africa thank you for throwing me a life line

    Reply
    • Anne Blythe

      I’m so glad you found us! We are sisters!! You are loved:).

      Reply
  5. Colleen

    I enjoyed your podcast tonight while my husband was out and kids were asleep. I’m grateful for BTR. 💕💕💕

    Reply

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