We all have certain days in our lives which we can point back to and say, “That was the day my life changed.”
For those of us who have lived a bit longer we may have more than one day we can point back to as “that day.” Some of the days are happy occasions, such as: the day we met our spouse, or had a baby, or got a new job, or changed spiritually. On the other hand, some of our “that days” are the ones where our spouse died, or we lost a child, or we lost our job, or we were injured in war, or we found out we had cancer.
One of my “days that changed my life” happened twelve years ago to the day. It was a horrible, life-altering, heart-breaking, physically-damaging, unforgettable day.
The full details are unnecessary, but some of them help bring perspective. My “that day” involved my now-ex-husband, a can of pepper spray, broken doors, a bathroom floor, and the side of a tub. It involved trauma to my head, neck, spine, and right arm. It involved hiding what happened from friends and family, lying about it to the doctor (whom I waited a few days to see), and a cover-up by my in-laws. In other words, it was not an atypical experience for a battered wife.
Twelve years later I can look back and pinpoint it as the day that my body took a beating from which I will never fully recover. It was the day that led to my first brain surgery, which led to my second brain surgery, which may not be my last brain surgery. It was the day that eventually led to me having a metal plate in my right arm and a titanium mesh plate in my skull. But, more importantly, it was the day that led to me feeling like God hated me, abandoned me, and wanted nothing to do with me.
After “that day”, life was never the same physically, mentally, emotionally, financially, relationally, or spiritually. It was a definite turning point in my life and I will forever remember it as an infamous day.
Twelve years later instead of focusing on what “that day” was like, I find myself (at least trying to) focus on the blessings God has brought into my life.
I have a loving husband, two cuddly fur-babies, a house that acts as a place of rest for people, seminary homework I get to do, two coffee makers (at least) to keep me caffeinated, a love for God that has changed my life, the ability to forgive and move on, great doctors who are helping me to have a better quality of life, a number of fantastic girlfriends I can both laugh with and cry with, an eternal perspective, and a much different way of thinking about myself.
“That day” I was battered both physically and verbally. I was told things about myself that were utter lies; the type of things that come straight from the father of lies and are spoken over many battered wives.
Twelve years later, I “KNOW the truth, and the truth [has] set me free” (John 8:32); I “trust in the Lord with all [my] heart, and lean not on [my] own understanding; [I try to] in all [my ways] acknowledge Him, And He direct[s my] path” (Proverbs 3:5-6]; and I KNOW “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the person of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16). I also KNOW that I am a child of God (John 1:12), that I was chosen and appointed by Christ to bear His fruit (John 15:16), that I am a temple—a dwelling place–of God (1 Corinthians 3:16), that His Spirit and His life dwell in me (1 Corinthians 6:19), that I am a member of a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession (1 Peter 2:9-10), and so many more truths which are found in Scripture.
Although it would be nice to not be neurologically deficient and physically disabled, I am thankful for the Truth and the blessings God has brought into my life since, and because of, “that day.” God has taught me the power of forgiveness, the hope of an eternal perspective, the encouragement to be found in Him, the joy of the Lord that is my strength, and to only set my hope on Him.
My question to you is, “What have you learned since your ‘that day’?”
Stay encouraged, for the Truth will set you free and even bad “that days” can be redeemed!
Lici Joy, the coffee-guzzling-truth-telling-joy-finding-polka-dot-fanatic