A Cry For Justice

Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst

My soul clings to the dust (Psalm 119: 25-32)

My soul clings to the dust;
    give me life according to your word!
When I told of my ways, you answered me;
    teach me your statutes!
Make me understand the way of your precepts,
    and I will meditate on your wondrous works.
My soul melts away for sorrow;
    strengthen me according to your word!
Put false ways far from me
    and graciously teach me your law!
I have chosen the way of faithfulness;
    I set your rules before me.
I cling to your testimonies, O Lord;
    let me not be put to shame!
I will run in the way of your commandments
    when you enlarge my heart!

Dear Readers, feel free to say how this relates to your situation.

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Related post: Psalm 119 has a lot in it for survivors of abuse

17 Comments

  1. Sarah

    This is a dangerous prayer if you mean it. For God to open your eyes so you can see … he will show you the good and the bad. At the same time your eyes are opened your fear is being put to shame by those that are Leaders in the church. If you dare to stand up for an unpopular truth, you know that others will try to shame you, put you back in your place; don’t upset the apple cart.

    • Anonymous

      The psalm is a reminder that I must put all my hope in Christ alone. He has proven to be a faithful God even when I was not faithful. It encourages me to keep my eyes on Him and not on my circumstances. Because He has proven throughout my entire life to be faithful I know that I can take Him at His word when He says, “Come unto Me all who are weary and heavy burdened and I will give you rest.” It further reminds me I need not fear anything in my circumstances because fear and love cannot coexist and I choose love. It opens my eyes to my own fallenness and brokenness and apart from Him I can do nothing. Shows me the only thing I can add to the Cross of Christ is the fact that I made it necessary. So I can truly rest in the arms of my Protector. So it really does encourage me to cling to Him, lest I get swept away with all the evil that is all around.

    • Yes Sarah; so true. As victims we know from much experience that if we stand up for the truth, especially an unpoplular truth like “My husband is abusing me,” or “Abuse is grounds for divorce,” other people are likely to try to shame us. The traditionalists, the head in the sand-ers, and the abusers do not like their boats rocked. So when we stand up, we are wise to stiffen our spines and hold our heads high and be mentally prepared from the arrows and flying monkeys, so that when they come (which they will) we are not so easily thrown off balance.

      Learning to adopt and hold this posture, mentally and physically, is a skill. Most of us learn it incrementally. Many of us (most of us?) learn it in stages and each stage involves another bit of hurt . . . from the shame others tried to stick on us during that episode. As we reflect on the pain and the wounds after each episode, we learn to slough off the false shame more quickly and we can mentally rehearse being able to thicken the outside skin of our souls for the next occasion when we ‘stand up’, while keeping the inside of our souls tender and dignified and confident.

  2. a prodigal daughter returns

    What a rich Psalm for people recovering from abuse or anyone experiencing suffering for that matter. Years after I’d tried all sorts of secular answers for the brokenness I continued to experience as an abuse survivor a friend told me “go to the Word, meditate on it, dig into it, live in it and your mind will be healed”. Although I’m still in that process, she was right, the strength, stability and healing I most needed was found in and through the words of the bible. There I read that the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead lived in me and would revive my mind, body and soul.
    It takes as long as it takes but the fact I’m alive at all and being restored has everything to do with running to God’s word and clinging to it. I did try everything else known to man first. It was His faithfulness that drove me to Him and His word not my own

    • Anonymous

      Prodigal Daughter, “…search for it as for hidden treasure…” (Proverbs 2:4) says our precious Lord. And as we find these pearls of wisdom may they be a strand around our neck to shine brightly that we are daughters of the Lord Jesus, our true Husband! And may we never forget it is HE that heals the brokenhearted and binds up our wounds. And as you say, the same Holy Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead is the same Holy Spirit that dwells in us who profess Him as Lord and Savior. You have a tender heart wherein is found the soil for the Word of God. He will NEVER fail you.

    • hopeful

      I am experiencing tremendous pain today due to pain in my marriage and an emotionally abusive spouse who blames me for all of our marriage problems. Everyday I make a decision to treat him with kindness, grace, compassion and everyday I get shut out. Today he is refusing to help me pay household bills. I find such comfort in knowing that the same spirit that Rose Jesus from the dead resides in me.

      • Hopeful —— ((((hugs))))

  3. Valerie

    I remember many times when I would tell God how I was expectant about His justice for my abuser and his allies. I realized even then that it wouldn’t necessarily be in this lifetime but when I reminded God (not that He needed reminding but I needed to attest to what I had learned about Him) of who He was I knew that I could rest in that. I called out to God many, many times reminding Him of how I was trying to live for Him and be faithful. I began praying with a whole new level of boldness based on what I had learned about Him through my suffering. I want God to continue to teach me who He is so that I can be more honoring to Him. He knows my heart and He knows the true intent of everyone’s heart. Because I love my God, I have found great comfort in that truth.

  4. TB

    My life is in a new place. I want life according to the Lord’s life-givng word, not my ex husbands words of death over me. The Lord is answering me in a new way. Before I waited for an answer that seemed to never come. But, then I moved away from the problem and life has been better in many, many ways. Now I want the Lord to teach me his statutes, to retrain and renew my mind to the mind of Christ. All the many years of hearing distorted views of the word from my ex has left me very hungry for truth, truth, and more truth. The Lord is my teacher now, not my ex. I very much want to know and meditate upon the Lord’s precepts in order to live my life in fear and admonition of God, not in fear of my ex’s next tirade. My soul still grieves in sorrow for all the lost years, and I need strength — strength to put away all the lies, grief, and shame. I will be strengthened by the truth of his word. Without your word, where would we go? There is no one or no where to find our help and hope in but you.

    • Anonymous

      TB – rest in these promises of our Lord: “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you” (Psalm 32:8). And then there’s this: “I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten…” (Joel 2:25). He is faithful and a Promise-keeper!!

      • hopeful

        Wow…”husbands words of death ” hits home. Not only do his words speak death, but also his actions or lack of action towards me speak the same amount of death to my soul.

        I need to remember “words of death” when I am feeling defeated and hopeless. Maybe I can shrug his blames and disdain off easier.

      • freeatlast8

        I wrote these verses down. Thank you for the reminder, Anonymous!

  5. Layla1111

    This is my first time posting, I have been getting a lot of strength from reading this website, both the posts and the comments.

    “Husband’s words of death” hits home with me also, as my ex who I was with for nearly two decades who finally abandoned both me and his child a few months ago but still torments me regularly through the phone just sent me a text saying in reference to any other man I would get involved with that “…” [Eds: exact text of abuser’s sms removed from here, as it would have been too potentially identifying]

    These abusers literally try to destroy our spirit, our health, our peace of mind. I personally returned to church a few years ago, and I literally am starting to understand with these abusers it is spiritual warfare. With mine, I do feel that he is demonically influenced. I do find hope in Jesus. If Jesus can raise the dead, if Jesus can heal the sick, these abusers are no match for him, he can heal us from them. But it is a hard road we have all been down. These men are heavily influenced by evil. They are all about destruction. Jesus can lift us out of it, these men we are dealing with are influenced by very dark forces, but it is no match for Jesus. But it takes faith.

    • Hi Lalya1111, welcome to the blog as a poster 🙂 and thanks for sharing.

      I edit and airbrushed a few details from your comment, to protect you from being identified.

      We always encourage new commmenters to check out our New Users Info page as it gives tips for how to guard your safety while commenting on the blog.

      And just fyi, we have a tag for “evil” and another for “demonic influence“.

    • freeatlast8

      Layla1111:

      I agree with everything you said in your second paragraph.

      I just received more “words of death” this morning. It literally borders on threatening. My ex emailed me a letter with soul wounding words. It is incredible his ability to seek to destroy my very identity as a person and any ground I am making with Jesus. It’s as if he can see into what is happening in my life and he MUST find ways to try to pull me back into fear, doubt, guilt, and shame. It is sick. I wonder if I have a demon tagged to me who is monitoring all I do and reporting it back to my ex. It is almost creepy.

      BUT greater is HE IN ME than he who is in the world. I am a child of God, protected by the Almighty. I will not fear. God is my refuge and fortress, a very present help in times of trouble. Whom shall I fear?!?!?!

  6. Layla1111

    Hi Barbara,

    Thank you for welcoming me and I appreciate you going through and taking out things that could have identified me. I will check out the tags on evil and demonic influence–thank you, this website is giving me much strength!

  7. Layla1111

    Freeatlast8,

    I can so relate to what you wrote. It is like they somehow intuit when love is beginning to heal you (whether love from self, Jesus, other people) and they spew out more “words of death” that as you put it so well seeks to push you back down into “fear, doubt, guilt, and shame”. Mine has recently (past 2 years or so) also added another arsenal in his weapons in which he seeks to make me feel like I am “contaminated” and would be repugnant to others, almost as if he is trying to make sure that if I manage to lift myself out of the swamp of self-hatred he has tried to mire me in that I will then feel contaminated like others with find me repugnant! I just wanted to tell you that I so understand how they attack our identities with such hatred and cruelty. It is truly how demeaning my abuser’s words are that almost feel more threatening than the actual threats he has made because he it feels like he is trying to commit some kind of “soul-murder”, like he is trying to reach into me and tear out a part of me.

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