How My Domestic Violence Experience Helped Strengthen My Christian Faith
Being stripped of everything you have can make you react with either gratitude or resentment. While I felt anger towards people, particularly my domestic violence abuser, I felt a more powerful and overwhelming sense of thankfulness towards God for sparing my life and for giving me a second chance to live it more fully.
As soon as I fled from my abuser, I started filling the void I felt in my heart with God's presence by reading His word, praying and setting aside some intentional quiet time.
I'll share more about my spiritual journey in the days to come, but for today, I was reminded of how important daily devotionals have been to me. Every morning before I get out of bed, I open my Bible app (aka YouVersion) and read through a daily devotional plan. Each day takes about five minutes, and I choose plans that typically last about a week. I select plans based on how I feel. Anxiety, depression, doubt, grace, healing, hope are examples of categories I can pick from.
Today I'm finishing a devotional titled 'Something New.' It's provided by Frontier Ministries and Day 4 reads in part, "[God] can create out of nothing, turn a defeat into victory, or renew the strength of someone who is tired." It goes on to reference a few short Bible verses including 1 Corinthians 2:9.
I'm encouraged by the reminder that God has turned countless defeats in my life into victories. For example, when I got rejected from my dream college on the east coast, God opened a door for me to attend UCLA, and He even allowed me to get into its competitive film program. That allowed me to be close to my family, learn a diverse set of storytelling skills, and save lots of money so that I can pursue TV reporting full-time without the burden of having to pay off massive student loans.
God also strengthened me during some of my weakest moments. One of those moments was when I found myself crying night after night after leaving my abusive ex. I felt completely hopeless and could not see how anything good could come out of my situation. But now I can empathize and help others because of this rock-bottom experience. My testimony educates people about domestic violence, and it also spreads awareness among Asian (especially Korean) communities.
I think it's important to take some time every day to fill my mind with God's truths because otherwise my mind can get cluttered with everything else that I'm exposed to - Facebook, Instagram, and even the local news (which I rarely watch now due to triggers).
I'd love to know if you have other daily habits that help you to keep a positive mindset. And if you do read daily devotionals, please let me know which are your favorites and why!