It’s hard to imagine the story I’m going to share with you today. I must say when I see stories like this in a TV movie, it really bothers me. It’s not that I’ve never lived near or been around people who were abusive, but to imagine the life of an abused person is a hard concept for me. I have grown to a place where I learned to set boundaries. If someone did become abusive, I would walk away and end the relationship. And yes there are stories out there of men who had abusive woman in their lives, too.
Today we are going to hear from a young lady I worked with a few years back at Starbucks. This is Tammy’s story in her own words:
For a long time, my life was defined by a history of abuse from men. I was a tomboy when I was young and as an adult, wasn’t an ordinary woman. Most men didn’t know how to handle me so they tried control and abuse. That just made me more determined to rely only on myself.
I didn’t trust any man – not even Jesus or his father, God. I also didn’t care about anyone and that felt good because it meant I didn’t get hurt anymore – at least not emotionally – and eventually, I secluded myself in my own emotional prison. Sure it kept me safe from other people, but it also kept me locked inside myself. I was the prisoner.
All this contributed to me stumbling through life, making a lot of bad decisions. One of the things I struggled with was sexual immorality. I had managed to rationalize my life by saying “I don’t really commit any serious sins so this is one area I’ll let myself go. Besides, everyone sins.”
For 20 years, I lived that way, with one bad decision leading to another. Then one day I came across a plaque that had the Ten Commandments written on it. As I read them, I realized I had broken them all. Yes, I had literally broken all ten commandments.
By this time I was experiencing serious health problems. I spent ten weeks in the hospital, lost my entire colon, had five additional surgeries because of complications and almost lost my life. For two years I had major medical and physical problems, along with intense pain, that caused me to live on pain medication. I considered suicide, but I had young children and didn't want to leave them.
After many years of living within the prison I had constructed to keep myself safe and untouchable, I realized that I wasn't happy. I had become calloused and hard. I wanted to come out of hiding, but I was afraid – afraid that others might not like the real me, because I didn't like myself. But I wanted to feel something, even if it was brokenness, so eventually I let God in and received my salvation.
Now when anything in life seems to cause hurt, I run to God, instead of away from
Him, and I found that He is the One Who will never let me down. I learned that there was a better, stronger kind of love than what men had shown me. I have now been married and divorced four times and there was heartache with every ending, as I loved them all, but because of the neglect and abuse, the relationships could not endure.
God has shown me so much love and I am now a forgiven, delivered, healed, free and whole woman because of it. My prayer is that everyone reading my story would come to know this God of love. Don't let anyone or anything stop you from finding and receiving God’s love, because it will transform your life and you will never be the same again.
As I said, this was a very difficult post for me because people who are abused often feel completely unlovable; the abuse distorts their idea of what a true loving relationship should be. While I don’t have personal experience with abuse, I have known many people who have experienced it and observed how it affected so many aspects of their lives.
I met Tammy when I was a night manager at a Starbucks in Frisco, TX. The first time we met she was there for an interview. One of the first things you would notice about her is how beautiful she is. We worked together maybe once or twice before I actually got to talk with her on a break one time. She told me just a little bit of what she had been through in life. I also found that she did not think she was beautiful at all. She would actually shrug off anyone telling her she was pretty; she just didn’t believe it.
When someone has been through abuse in life, they have a totally messed up concept of a lot of things. They feel they are not worthy of true love. They feel that love is abuse and if you actually treated them the way God says we are to treat our fellow human beings, they have a hard time accepting that.
I find it interesting that most people in this situation find God when they finally come to the end of themselves. Tammy sure came to the end. But after finding God and receiving the hope that He gives, she was able to get a true identity of what love is and how she was supposed to be loved.
Tammy actually never fully lost hope in her life; she had buried it very deeply but God was able to bring it back out of her. Now Tammy is living back in Oregon, a place she loves. She has horses that she takes care of. I was surprised to learn she has written a book and is in the progress of getting it published. Tammy has changed her life for the better. She is a strong Christian woman who has hope in a better tomorrow. Now that you have read her story, is it easier to have hope in whatever you are going through?
Are you in need of support to get your life back on track? Are you looking for hope and change in your life? If so, I’m here to help you. Contact me for a free 30-minute life coaching session to get you started with no obligation. You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain.
I’m Tim Gillette, the Rocker Life Coach, reminding you to Live the life you want by Loving what you do so you can become the RockStar in your world.