Recognizing Grief – Week 1

Living with domestic abuse can numb you so that you don’t realize what all you have lost. Your aspirations and dreams lie buried under many layers of disappointment, broken promises, emotional wreckage and physical pain inflicted by your partner. You are living in grief. Grief for the loss of your happiness, the loss of the wonderful person you fell in love with, for the plans you had for the future. All gone.

Grief can be defined as the natural reaction , a normal reaction to loss. It can be the loss of a job or your health or a death of a loved one. But the loss of a relationship, even if you’re still in the relationship is still a loss to grieve.

Recognizing Grief – Week 2

The stages of grief are as follows:

  1. Shock / Denial. Disbelief and numb feelings
  2. Pain / Guilt. Unbearable pain of loss and guilt for burdening others
  3. Anger / Bargaining. Insisting to God that he removes the pain or fix
    the situation.
  4. Depression. This may be when you try to isolate, processing the loss
  5. Upward turn. Anger and pain have died down, you are calmer.
  6. Reconstruction. You begin to piece together parts of your life. Move
  7. Acceptance / Hope. Acceptance of your new life sinks in with hope
    for the future.

This is the recovery process for loss, the process for healing and moving on.

Recognizing Grief – Week 3

But what if the process is repeatedly interrupted?

Picture yourself moving through these stages while living with your abuser. They hurt you again but explain why it’s your
fault. You experience stage one, shock, disbelief. The reality of this narcissist, the loss of a perfect partner begins stage two,
pain and guilt.

Next will be stage three, anger, bargaining. Going to God, asking to take the pain away. This can be happening daily or even moment to
moment. Then stage four, depression and isolation. Then, before you know it your abuser strikes again, sending you back to the pain
and guilt of stage two.

You are no closer to healing then you were a month ago, a year ago or longer.

Recognizing Grief – Week 4

The Holy spirit now begins to press you into looking up to God. Looking for a way to finish grieving and heal. This is the bravest thing you may ever do.

But you are not alone in this. God is always with you and Reach Out Speak Out can be also. We have counselors and resources and testimonies. We are a faith based ministry helping victims become survivors.

You just lean on the Lord and make a choice.


We all hear about starting something new when the calendar rolls over to another new year. Most are not kept for more than three weeks. And those that are determined will stick it out for a couple of months. But what if we really wanted to make a change in our lives. What if we understood that all things are possible with God. What if we didn’t try and do it on our own but placed our “new beginning” in the hands of God.

Along this new journey, God did not say it was going to go as we want it to go or even on our schedule. But we must remember that God’s schedule is perfect. Sometimes we must learn something before we can take any additional steps.

Are you ready to have a new beginning as you leave your abusive relationship? You can have new hope. The dreams that you dream about yourself can happen and you will be a new you. It is a journey. Reach Out Speak Out is faith based so all our hopes and dreams are with the intentions of what God wants in our lives. He wants the best for us. We do not see the path that is best for us all the time. Especially when we are in the middle of abuse. We have tried to “fix” the abuse. Many by becoming codependent and losing ourselves and who God wants us to be. His plans are perfect……even more perfect than our dreams. When we are in the middle of an abusive relationship, we forget that we are beautiful and perfect in God’s eyes. We have lowered our standards to try and stay in the relationship. We have changed and are usually totally exhausted from all the demands and put downs that we have endured through our abuse. This is not what God wants for you and your future. Remember, that God loved you so much that he sent His only son to die for you and for your sins. God loves you. His love is perfect. Trust that the new beginnings and journey with God will be exactly how the new you should be.


You know how it is for a new baby to first crawl and then take those baby steps before they can go outside and run and play? This is the way that we must look at our new beginnings.

There will be a lot of crying. Crying because we are hurting, crying because this life is new. Crying because we don’t feel it is going fast enough or we are not getting what we want. During the time of crying out, find those safe people that will come into your life. That you can express yourself and cry. That you can know that they will understand what you are going through and will be available to you while you are an infant in this new life that you are trying to move to.

It is okay to cry. It is okay to be sad. Just remember, this is a growing period and just like a new baby crying when they need something, you are in need of something.

As we go to our next stage of change, we will start crawling to what we see as our future. Sometimes we will fall right on our face, but we will continue to crawl and get to the thing that you are wishing and dreaming for. It is possible. A baby doesn’t give up trying to get what they see in their eyes are a need, they keep crawling toward it till they reach it. When we want a new beginning, we have a list on paper or in our heads and probably in our hearts. When you are crawling, it begins to seem obtainable.

What does the baby do after they have crawled all over the floor? Their legs start to get more strength so that they can begin pulling themself up off the floor. In our changes to become the new us, we gain strength. We gain strength in who we are, in our determination and we begin to be able to be on our own a little more and maneuver life’s challenges. Just a while back we were crying and didn’t know what to do and our hearts were hurting so bad. God is with us every single cry, crawl and step.


There is no real timetable. Each of us is different and has different circumstances and different needs. Many of us have been in an abusive relationship for a very long time. Don’t judge your recovery by someone else’s recovery. This is your life and your story. But I must say that God does not want us to get stuck. Sometimes we need to rest, restore and reflect. We need to be still and listen to God. Remember to always take time to thank Him for every step of this journey. Even the difficult ones.

As we spoke of the growth of a baby and they now have the strength to pull themselves up and start taking baby steps, before long the parents are not holding the baby or picking up the baby to get to where they need to go, the parents are running after the child to try and keep up with them. What is this stage in your recovery? You have found the new you, you are on the journey to grow and to find balance in your life. You are equipped and you are beginning to see your hope, dreams and a glimpse of the new you. Congratulations!

As you look back (and this is being covered over a month, but this journey may be all the 2024 calendar year), never lose focus and never stop growing to the new you. Breathe. The difficult part of your journey is over. Now it is time to be that new you. Our God is so good. Journal your thoughts. Do you remember that in 2023 that you were in an abusive relationship, you were crying every day, you could not see how this situation could be turned around? Look at you. You are actually smiling. Or….

Are you still in that abusive relationship and you are reading this thinking that you are not sure you can do it? Reach Out Speak Out has licensed trained therapists to help you in this journey. We will walk with you and help you to learn what true love is and what God’s perfect plan is for your life. But know that abuse is wrong, and it is never right to stay in an abusive relationship. We cannot fix the abuser. Many of us have tried for years and in return have lost ourselves.


Are you brave enough to have a new beginning, find new hope, dream your dreams and start your new life as a new you? We have all had challenges and loss in our lives, but don’t you think if God created a baby and there was a process in their growth, don’t you think that we may want to look at His plan. When there is something new, there is growth. I don’t know a baby that is born and jumps up and starts running around the block. Why should you expect your new life to be able to change your new life overnight.

It’s a journey. The process of a baby from birth to walking takes months. And every baby is different. Every new step is a learning process. Sometimes we trip and fall. Sometimes we only go a very short distance and some days we are able to run. We definitely do not want to skip a step or hurry through the process. Someone I knew that was trying to teach us to not be concerned about what other people were thinking about us said…” take your time, they’ll be fine.” You do not want to stop but you do need to make sure that you take your time, and it is on your schedule for healing. It is your healing. If you do not get stuck, and you are continuing to grow every week, don’t worry about those that do not think you are moving as fast as they want you to. It’s not their journey. Again, I repeat do not get stuck or stop. There should be growth weekly.

It’s a new year. Sometimes we need a reason to start fresh. Let us know how we can help you start your new beginnings, find new hope, dream new dreams and become the new you.

Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy path.


On October 31 last year, I left my husband, the area I’d lived in for over 30 years, and headed for a new life in another state. This was the culmination of 10 years of a very unhealthy and frequently verbally and emotionally abusive marriage. It is probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done – and that’s saying something since my first husband died while we still had kids in school.

I haven’t kept good track, but I think that before this final break, I had left and gone back four times. I know people wonder why you’d leave, make a getaway, and then go back. It’s confusing even for me to understand. Mostly, church tells women in my position to be respectful, submissive, and pray for him more. There is love. My marriage wasn’t awful all the time. HE wasn’t awful all the time. It’s familiar and I’m a person who thrives on routine and the familiar. I am super nonconfrontational by nature. I have physical disabilities and I’m not particularly adventurous. And I had people in that area whom I loved.

My very close friend was very ill and she and I both knew that after I left, we wouldn’t see one another again this side of Heaven. She was ill and fragile, and it is hard for me to travel. We were right. She died about six weeks after I left. And it still breaks my heart.

And yet with all the hard about leaving… there was a dream of living a life in which I didn’t have to walk on eggshells, being afraid to say the wrong thing, not doing a given task just so. Freedom to explore hobbies and to daydream, to work on my general health, to talk to friends and family freely.

Reach Out Speak Out helped a lot. With practical matters. With encouragement. So did a few friends. I got on a plane and moved 1400 miles away. With the clothes on my back and what I could fit in a carry-on and one checked bag. I broke free.

Be Still – Week 1

Exodus 14:14
The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.

It is easy to read this scripture and think God is saying not to do anything. However, in my
experience it is the opposite. Through my pain, being still has meant placing my trust in God.
Anchoring myself to Him. Hebrews 6:19 reminds us, we have this Hope as an anchor for our
soul, firm and secure. Where I choose to be anchored is where I am placing my trust, hope and
faith that I will be steady and safe. When I can be still, place my trust in Christ, I give Him the
space to fight for me. It takes a daily reminder to say – God, I believe in your promises, I
surrender my life’s circumstance to you.

This scripture tells the story of Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt with Pharaoh and his
army was chasing them. The Israelites are cornered with the Red Sea in front and Pharaoh’s
army on the opposite side. The Israelites afraid began complaining to Moses. How often do we
look at our circumstance and complain to God. We may even blame Him for our situation.
Moses tells the Israelites to not be afraid. To stand firm and watch the deliverance of God. As
Moses calls on God tells Moses to raise his staff, stretch out his hands and divide the Red Sea
for the Israelites to cross. Exodus 14:? It was in that moment the Israelites saw God fighting for
them, all they need to do was, “Be Still”.

Trusting God to fight your battles is going to require you to get up, dust yourself off and move
forward when what’s in front looks scary.