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2 min read

The Struggle for True Identity

In "The Reason Why," the author gave a description, through her story, of why she believes many women get involved in unhealthy relationships or turn to addiction. In the conclusion, she struggles with her past but, eventually, finds her true identity. 

AbusedWomen

Names have been changed.

Women who were abused as children, struggle as adults. For some it might be crime, addiction, prostitution, psychological disorders, or suicide. Others might choose abusive partners or perhaps drug addicted partners.

I chose the latter.

“Will you run to the store and get more beer?”

I didn’t want to. He had already drank 5 times that week and every day the week before. “Not tonight, Tommy. Please.” 

Five years my junior, Tommy walked into my life—fun, spirited and full of energy, but not old enough to buy beer. I soon became the link to his next drink…and his next, and his next…

“Fine, then I’m going somewhere else to hang out.”

“No, wait. I have to get milk and bread, so I will pick you up some beer.” I couldn’t risk losing him.

Soon, the alcohol turned to drugs, and this became my new normal.

“Not tonight, please,” as I bought him beer.

“Not tonight, please,” as I snuck him into the bars.

“Not tonight, please,” as he crushed the powder and handed me a straw. Finally, someone to share my life with!

As a helpless child, I was violated, neglected and abused. It shattered nearly every aspect of my life, my identity, who I was. But now, I had an identity. I knew who I was—“a junkie’s wife.”

I had lost myself and become an extension of him. I lived and breathed only him. My every waking moment was concentrated on him. It was his fault our lives were in chaos. It was his fault the children were hungry. It was his fault the power was shut off.

“Momma, I’m cold,” our youngest would whimper as I moved him closer to the fire. It was late fall and getting very chilly. Four days prior, I had resorted to burning furniture to stay warm. The power had been off for over a week, and I couldn’t find my husband. Things were desperate.

My marriage was a mess, my children homeless and my life in a downward spiral. It still took years before I realized how sick I was and took responsibility for my life.

For nearly 40 years, I lived with anger, anxiety, fear and hopelessness. I repressed my childhood and lived the chaos of a dysfunctional marriage. I blocked the original cause of my anger and helplessness and turned destructive to myself and others.

Completely broken, I found myself calling out to Jesus. He was there. He held me and opened my eyes to the damage I had caused. And I wept.

As I wept, I felt this overwhelming peace flow over me. His warmth had surrounded me, and I knew then, Jesus was with me.

No matter how dark my life was, no matter what horrible things I had done, I realized Jesus loves me, and I am worthy of His love.

HappyWoman

What I know now is Christ was with me the whole time. He carried me when I was at my lowest. He held me when I felt helpless, and He helped me find the path when I was lost.

I am proof that yesterday doesn’t matter—what matters is what God wants to do with our lives today.

God never changes. He is the same always—yesterday, today and forever. He continually chooses to heal and transform the most damaged.

Why the most damaged, the most desperate? The Lord wants to make clear that the power lies in Him. When people see such broken lives changed, their eyes look heavenward.

"You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness." Ephesians 4:22-24 (NIV)

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