As we see the leaves begin to change color, it reminds me that there is a season for everything. Seasons have a beginning, middle and an end. Today, past the middle of September, my temperature gauge tells me it is almost 100 degrees in Texas; I certainly don’t feel like the summer season is coming to an end. Even though I don’t know when this summer heat will end, the leaves silently speak to the undeniable change coming soon.
We are so excited to have launched our Fall 2017 season of small group classes for survivors of domestic violence in more locations in English, and now in Spanish. We need your help to get the word out that our classes are here, and ready to provide a safe place for survivors to begin healing after the trauma of abuse.
Each participant’s journey is unique. As we know they are the expert in their life. Each success story and incremental change is their testimony, and can bring value to others.
The focus for our classes is to help those who have been abused find healing. No one should try to change a victim in order to ‘make an abuser change or stop abusing.’ When abuse is present within a relationship, the person who is doing the abuse must change. First, they must recognize they are abusive, and take steps to make real, significant changes in their life. Abuse is an ongoing pattern to use power and control over another person through fear, force or manipulation. To change at their core takes time and work; including counseling, peer support and completion of programs. This helps them learn new strategies to communicate and operate with equality and respect of their partner in the relationship.
We have stories of survivors that have found healing and wholeness in the journey, but what I love about the story in this newsletter, is the couple was truly able to find healing and was restored. He changed. She found healing. Years have passed and their truth of their new relationship is now based on equality, respect and love.
Often when restoration is discussed it is supported by our families, communities and churches. Unfortunately, if done too quickly, the abuser does not understand their abusive behaviors, and is not committed to the long-term course of personal change. When restoration reverts back to abusive behaviors it now puts the victim at an even higher risk.
This couple has truly broken-through and had change. Their story is one of restoration, significant change and transformation! I hope you find joy in this new change of season – whatever promise God has for you!