Nobody Knew, Yet Everybody Knew: An Abuse Survivor’s Story (Part 3)

This is Part 3 of a series on surviving abuse.

[Read Part 1 | Read Part 2]

If you are being abused, please contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline on their site or by phone at 1−800−799−7233.

As I slowly came to terms with the situation that I was in and what I must do to protect my kids from my spouse, I began to very gently and cautiously open up to the people closest to me – people I trusted with my life and my kids’ lives.

Each of them had various responses. They ranged from, “I am not surprised” to “I knew something was off about him” to “Yes, I knew he was abusive because I witnessed such and such.”

I would then ask, “Why didn’t you say something?”

They each had their own responses, but most of them centered around not wanting to hurt me. While I can see that perspective, the problem is I was being hurt. In some ways, irreparably hurt.

If you are friends or family with someone you suspect or know is being abused – say something. Of course, be discreet and gentle, but say something.

There are situations where the abuse ramps up so slowly over time that people may not even realize how bad it has become. The abuse becomes “normal” to them. It takes outsiders to point out things.

The reaction may not be great when you share your perspective, but I encourage you to risk the friendship/relationship. Risk the person being upset with you or being hurt by what you are asking or sharing. You may save lives.

I can also tell you that if and when the time comes for that person to need support, you will come to mind as someone who cared enough to say something.

In my case, I did not care what happened to me, but when the abuse crossed over to my kids, that was the trigger for me to leave.

The beauty in God and walking in the Holy Spirit is that He started preparing me 14 months before I knew I would take action. He started pointing me to save cash and leave it with trusted friends. He gently worked on my heart and soul, so I began very, very slowly to open up to close, trusted confidantes of what was happening and what my plans would be.

God placed people in my path to help me – some believers and some not. But it was clear that He was sending me these people to help me leave. Over on Beloved Walks, I have shared in at least two posts that many Christians, as a hasty, knee-jerk response, will quote how God hates divorce: “Spiritual Abuse” (December 2019) and “Please Listen, Church Family” (July 2019).

God created human beings in His image, and He never wants anyone abused. That is not who He is.

Before I moved out with the kids, I shared my specific plans with my spouse. (This is not always the best plan, you must consider your specific situation.)

The abuse increased once I shared my intentions with him. He was angry because I would no longer be paying his bills that he was running up. He was also on multiple prescription drugs and had become unrecognizable to the kids and me.

My abuser was and is able to pretend to be someone else to others, specifically to church friends. We went to the same church together for ten plus years. Nobody at church ever saw the “real” person he is. In the next installment, an oblivious pastor calls me weeks after I move out.

[Read Part 4]


“But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.”
Isaiah 40:31 NLT

Credit: JC

Heavenly Father,

We lift up the abused. May You free them. May You heal them. May You fill them with peace.

We give the abusers to You. May they fall at the cross, repent, and find new paths. May You forgive them. May You heal them. May You fill them with peace.

Thank You, God. We love You.

In the blessed name of Jesus we pray.

Amen

Nobody Knew, Yet Everybody Knew: An Abuse Survivor’s Story (Part 2)

This is Part 2 of a series on surviving abuse.

[Read Part 1]

If you are being abused, please contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline on their site or by phone at 1−800−799−7233.

Credit: JC

In my situation, the physical abuse would ebb and flow depending on my spouse’s mood, but other types took place daily – mental, verbal, emotional, financial, and spiritual abuse. I am ashamed to say that I did not protect my kids as I should. I was afraid and confused. It took one of my kids asking me why I did not protect them after an incident occurred for me to wake up. I am not proud of this fact.

What I am saying is that God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power and love and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).

I now see that I should have stepped between my kid and the abuser, and I should have called the police. Ever since that day, I promised my kids I would do whatever it takes to protect them. I have subsequently stepped between them, and I was ready to call the police. The legal system is not designed to help people when they are trying to leave an abuser. If you do not call the police, there is little support in the laws.

If you take your kids and leave without any legal history of abuse, it can be seen as abandoning the abuser in the event of a divorce. I am not a legal expert, nor am I saying you should stay in an unsafe place. When the line was crossed, I left and took the kids. What happened after that is another post altogether that is forthcoming.

My point here is to be prepared and surround yourself with help. You cannot and should not go through this alone, because you are not alone. You must have a support system that you can trust. Get friends, family, co-workers, therapists, professionals – whoever you can to listen and help you on your journey. You will need help leaving, moving forward, and healing.

I have heard the saying that the body may recover physically, but the mind does not fully recover. I now realize I have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). When I used to hear a key in the door, I froze in fear. Now when I hear a knock on the door, I still feel fear: “Is it him?”

When I encounter everyday items that were used to inflict abuse, I freeze in fear. It is during these times that I must turn my attention to Jesus and remember that I do not have a spirit of fear, but one of power. Do what you need to to protect yourself and your kids.

Strangers unexpectedly around my kids or asking me about them puts me immediately into an overprotective mindset. I recently was out and came home to a supposed census taker asking my oldest child how long we lived here, etc. I politely and very firmly told the woman to leave. Jesus kept me from slamming the door in her face. I will never be okay with strange people asking questions about my kids, as they may be on a fishing expedition for the abuser.

My abuser drilled into my head that nobody outside the house should help me, he was all I needed. Any request for help was a betrayal.

That is a lie. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness or betrayal.

Recognize any lies that you are being told and reject them.

You must find privacy, ways to communicate that are not monitored. I discovered that certain carriers in their online cell phone accounts reveal everything – phone numbers called, call durations, text messages, etc. Educate yourself.

I also learned that there is an “owner” on cell phone accounts at a carrier we will call “V. Wireless.” There is one person who is the owner, even if the account is joint. It is irrelevant who actually pays the bill, it only matters who is labeled as the owner.

My abuser was the owner, and he had access to everything – every phone call, every text, and he also had to “approve” me making any changes to my personal cell phone even to the point of allowing me to get a new plan with the same carrier. Educate yourself.

Assume you are being tracked. Again, cell phones are a blessing, yet can be a curse. It is extremely easy to track you by your cell phone. Turning off Bluetooth may not be enough if there is an app on your phone you don’t know about that is tracking you, for instance.

Computers have history, and even if you erase it, there are key logger apps. Change your passwords constantly and use multi-factor authentication.

Ensure you have access to funds stashed safely that are not in a bank, to prevent the abuser from stealing them.

As I said in Part 1, I am grateful to God I survived to leave. I have more to share and will continue my story here next week.

[Read Part 3]


Heavenly Father, we lift up all those who are being abused. Please lead them to help, Lord. Let them know they are not alone. Never alone. In the blessed name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

Nobody Knew, Yet Everybody Knew: An Abuse Survivor’s Story (Part 1)

When you hear the word “abuse,” many ideas come to mind. People have their own feelings and ideas about that word. I have not shared my full story because it is scary to acknowledge you have been abused. People see you differently.

There are many emotions that run through people when we realize we are being abused and even more so when we choose to do something to end the abuse.

In my life, I have survived different kinds of abuse: sexual assault, mental, verbal, emotional, financial, and spiritual abuse to name a few. Most of the abuse came from my spouse, but not all of it. I first learned about how a grown man can attempt awful things with a young girl when I was an 8-year-old on a subway. When I tried to tell my mom what happened, I was ignored and told to, “Forget about it.” So, when similar things occurred when I was 15 and again at 16, I did what I was told.

I firmly believe in the Bible, every word of it. It is to Romans 8:28 that I cling, looking for good in everything that has happened to me and continues to happen to me: “We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.”

I share my story to find the good. My goal in telling my story is to help just one person and to give God all the glory. God has used every event in my life to make me stronger and firmer in my relationship with Him. Healing does not happen overnight. It takes God first, then work and love and help and support. It has taken me years to get to the point of being able to talk about some of the events in my life.

Credit: JC

I recently left my abuser. The wounds are still fresh for me, and now that I am no longer in this person’s presence, I can see with clarity just how deep those wounds are. But, with the help of many people, the raw wounds are becoming scars. I bear them proudly, as each one has a story that may help someone. I am not ashamed of my scars or my story. I am not ashamed that I need help or to ask for it (this is new for me). I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He is my Lord and Savior. He was my Lord during the abuse and He remains my Lord after the abuse has ended and as my healing begins.

My body has scars and tattoos that are a daily reminder of my story. As survivors, we are not to be ashamed, but instead share with who we are led to share. I am led to write here – for the first time – my story.

While there are still many wounds that are being healed with the help of loved ones and an amazing Christian therapist, I choose to remain silent no longer. This is not a series of posts to say, “I figured it all out, and here it is!” But instead to share what I have learned so far along my journey.

As someone who is a survivor and not a victim, I offer the below thoughts to those who love a survivor and to those who will become survivors.

  • Please get help. Please contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline on their site or by phone at 1−800−799−7233. Do not be one of the ones who does not survive to leave.
  • There is a huge difference between calling someone a “victim” versus a “survivor.” Survivors fight, and we literally have survived abuse. We have lived to tell our stories, and we do. Not to make spectacles of ourselves, but to help others become survivors, too.
  • Unless you have been in an abusive situation, please stop saying, “I don’t know why you just don’t leave.” It is not that easy.
  • Leaving is a massive undertaking. You must have a plan, and it sometimes takes months to execute that plan in a safe way.
  • Please do just LEAVE if you or your kids are in danger.

I understand some statistics show it takes on average seven tries for someone to leave, and not all survive that long. I am grateful to God I survived to leave. I was scared, but God sent me a video featuring Joyce Meyer a few weeks ago, deeply impacting me. I will continue my story here next week, as I have much more to share.

[Read Part 2]


Heavenly Father, we lift up the survivors and the victims of abuse. May they always feel You with them. Please show them their paths. May there be no further victims, only survivors. In the blessed name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

For Addicts and Those Who Love Us

Credit: JC

In my younger days, I recall knowing addicts of various kinds and thinking to myself, “Why don’t they just stop?”

There are all kinds of addictions – drugs, food, sexual, and so on. Regardless of the addiction, there are things to learn. This post is written from the perspective of an addict.

The intent of this post is to provide insight, encouragement, and Biblical perspectives to addicts and those who love us.

There are many opinions about how someone becomes addicted to something. People debate if it is genetic, learned, or an illness.

I do not believe that people specifically say, “Today, I am going to work toward becoming an addict.” It happens slowly. We do not always see as the addiction takes over parts of our lives, controls us, and removes people from our lives.

I am now a Christian, and I believe the Bible is the inerrant Word of God. I also believe there is an enemy. As 1 Peter 5:8 says, “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour” (NLT).

I believe that the enemy has everything to do with addiction. To me, the enemy is the source of all evil, and addiction is evil.

As addicts, however, we cannot say, “Well, I am addicted because of the enemy, and there is nothing I can do.” That, in fact, is another lie from the enemy. John 10:10 says, “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life” (NLT).

We must fight the enemy – see your addiction as the enemy. God has given us incredible weapons to fight the enemy, please see Ephesians 6:10-17.

We are living in the middle of an incredible battle called spiritual warfare. The great news is that if you know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, that battle is already won. That does not mean we stop fighting against the addiction, though. Trust me, I understand how hard it is . . . when you are just trying to survive minute by minute.

There will be times when our loved ones see us clean for a time period and think the battle is won. What they do not understand is that the battle rages daily, hourly, and sometimes we are even back to fighting minute by minute.

Loved ones of addicts, please never stop praying for the addict to overcome, no matter how long they have been clean. Every setback, every hurt, even common, everyday items remind us of the lure of our addiction.

This does not mean that we do not love you more than our addiction. Because we have good days and bad days, it means we need your help. We need your prayers, we need professional help sometimes, and we desperately need you to love us and listen.

When we say we miss the addiction or that we are really struggling, it does not necessarily mean we are going to jump right back into the addiction – but it might mean that.

Please listen to what we are saying, ask us what is going on, what happened, what made us think about the addiction, what is causing the struggle. There are times that we will encounter things that trigger us.

Please do not yell at us or belittle us when we confide in you that we are struggling. That does not help. Instead, it drives us deeper towards the addiction.

And please, for the love of God, do not offer to assist us to obtain the addictive thing again to ease our pain.

As an addict, every day is a battle. There are days when I cannot pray against the addition, so I need my loved ones to do so for me. So I ask, on behalf of all addicts, never stop praying for us. Never.

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 ESV


If you or someone you know is battling an addiction – please seek help. Here are two resources:


Heavenly Father,

We lift up addicts of all kinds and those who love them. Please bring them to salvation or closer to You, and fill them with Your strength, Your peace, Your wisdom, and Your discernment. May You settle their souls and keep their thoughts safe from the enemy through the power of Your Word.

In the blessed name of Jesus we pray.

Amen

Why Things Seem to Go Well for “Bad” People

Our God is a patient God, He is slow to anger (“The LORD is slow to anger and filled with unfailing love, forgiving every kind of sin and rebellion. But he does not excuse the guilty.” –from Numbers 14:18 NLT).

I think there are at least two reasons why some people who are unbelievers and behave in hurtful ways appear to be succeeding in life. One is that God wants no one to perish:

“It is not my Heavenly Father’s will that even one of these little ones should perish.”
from Matthew 18:14 NLT

You and I are blessed enough to know Jesus, so our eyes are now open, and we understand much more about how the world works. However, at some point we were not saved, we did not know Jesus. God waited for us, He was patient with us.

God loves all people, no matter how mean, evil or bad they may be. He created them, and we know from the verse above that He wants all to come to know His Son and to be saved from an eternity without Him. No matter how people behave, they are made in His image and with that comes commands of how you and I are to treat them. We are not to abuse or defile them or ourselves, regardless of the circumstances or how they may treat us.

Sometimes, it appears that the “bad” people are doing well. They have great jobs, marriages, wonderful kids, material possessions, and so on and so on. God already knows whether they cry out to Him before their death. What if they do not come to know Him before they die? Earth is all they have, this is the most joy they will ever achieve, and then they will spend all eternity in flames with maggots (“Where the maggots never die and the fire never goes out.”Mark 9:48 NLT).

This perspective makes me pity them, as this broken, sin-filled world is all there is for them. As believers, we know Earth is the closest to hell we will ever get because of Jesus’ sacrifice. We know we are just passing through here. The most amazing inheritance awaits us in heaven in the very presence of Jesus.

“We have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay.”
1 Peter 1:4 NLT

It is also possible that “bad” people appear to be thriving on Earth because when they do come to know Jesus as Lord and Savior, they will then have a platform. Whether that platform is a wide circle of friends, influence or assets to propel God’s Kingdom forward, what was once used to advance other agendas is now invested in the Kingdom.

We will all stand before God and have to give an account.

“Yes, each of us will give a personal account to God.”
Romans 14:12 NLT

It is best to refocus any energy you may be investing toward figuring out why “bad” people appear to thrive toward stewarding your own gifts and talents. What are you doing with Jesus, how are you advancing His Kingdom with the blessings He has given you?

This is sometimes hard to do when such people are impacting your life with their hurtful and bad choices, but leave vengeance to God (Romans 12:19), pray for them (Matthew 5:44), and walk by faith (2 Corinthians 5:7).

On this side of heaven, we will never truly know what is going on in these people’s lives, their motives, how God is working, and what the eternal outcomes will be. We should obey what we have been told to do:

  • “Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.”Romans 12:18 NLT
  • “Love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!”Matthew 5:44 NLT
  • And my personal favorite, “Instead, ‘If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads.'”Romans 12:20 NLT

One final thought, if someone is making bad choices or being hurtful, it may be a cry deep in their soul that they don’t understand. If it is safe to do so, pray first, and then engage the person to learn more. People who have experienced trauma sometimes do not know how to process the pain and it manifests in hurtful ways to others.

Approaching someone and asking without judgment, “Would you tell me your story?” or “Can I share my story with you?” can lead to the hole in their soul being filled by the Almighty Creator as you share your story and the Truth. Our stories are woven into our souls, hearts and minds to be bridges to reach others with the Gospel.

Never be ashamed of who you are and where you have been. Your story may be the exact one that person needs to hear to have their eyes opened to Jesus and they will never thirst again.

“But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.”
John 4:14 NLT

Credit: JC

When You Forgive and God Punishes

There have been times in my life when people have committed awful sins against my kids or me. The human side of me wanted to exact revenge and, believe me, I had plenty of opportunities to do so. I had to learn that is not my role; God makes that clear in His Word more than once.

In both the Old Testament and the New Testament, God commands us that revenge belongs to Him. These verses say to leave vengeance to the Lord, and that He will avenge in due time, in His time:

“Vengeance is Mine, and recompense; their foot shall slip in due time; for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things to come hasten upon them.”
Deuteronomy 32:35 NKJV

“Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord.”
Romans 12:17-19 NKJV

In the Romans excerpt, God calls us His beloved; He is not overlooking the injustices; He is telling us, “I love you so much that if you give Me the space and the time to avenge the injustices, I will take care of it. And by the way, I will take care of it way better than you ever could. Focus on forgiving and leave the rest to me.”

Forgiveness does not mean you are condoning or agreeing with the sin. Forgiveness is about you becoming healthier and releasing the peace and blessings of God into your life.

Credit: JC

My father abandoned me as a child. I carried around that unforgiveness for decades. I finally forgave him by writing a letter to him and, frankly, not caring whether he read it. The forgiveness flowed because I allowed Jesus to work in my heart. I felt a huge burden lift that I did not even know I was carrying.

Sometimes, we will see the actions God takes against sin, and other times we will not. In Numbers 12, Moses is wronged by his siblings, he prays for his sister immediately, yet the Lord decides to exact a punishment despite Moses’ prayer.

“While they were at Hazeroth, Miriam and Aaron criticized Moses because he had married a Cushite woman. They said, ‘Has the LORD spoken only through Moses? Hasn’t he spoken through us, too?’ But the LORD heard them.

The LORD was very angry with them, and he departed. As the cloud moved from above the Tabernacle, there stood Miriam, her skin as white as snow from leprosy. When Aaron saw what had happened to her, he cried out to Moses, ‘Oh, my master! Please don’t punish us for this sin we have so foolishly committed.’

So Moses cried out to the LORD, ‘O God, I beg you, please heal her!’ But the LORD said to Moses, ‘If her father had done nothing more than spit in her face, wouldn’t she be defiled for seven days? So keep her outside the camp for seven days, and after that she may be accepted back.'”
Numbers 12:1-2,9-11,13-14 NLT

Allow the Lord to take vengeance as He sees fit – in His time and in His way. In the meantime, focus on forgiving and praying for the person, as Jesus commands in Matthew 5:44: “Love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!”


Heavenly Father,

We lift up those who carry resentment and bitterness against others in their hearts. Help them to forgive, dear Lord, rather than being shackled to past pains. Remind them that You love them and will carry out perfect justice on their behalf. Fill them with blessings of health and peace.

In the blessed name of Jesus we pray.

Amen

23 Pieces of Advice from a Mom to Her Kids

Credit: JC
  1. Always keep your eyes on Jesus, this life is temporary; He is your eternity. Look for Him every day, He is the Creator of all and is seen in the colors in the sky, the flowers, nature.
  2. Get an education; nobody can ever take knowledge away from you.
  3. Knowledge is a gift to be shared, not a weapon to be wielded.
  4. Always listen to your internal instincts. God gives you these instincts to protect yourself and your family.
  5. Never take anyone or anything for granted. Never.
  6. Sometimes we invite pain into our lives by the decisions we make, and other times it just happens when we did nothing to invite it. Regardless, God allowed the pain into your life for a reason; place your energy into figuring out what He is looking to do in your life and how you can grow in Him instead of wallowing in self-pity.
  7. “And we know that all that happens to us is working for our good if we love God and are fitting into his plans. For from the very beginning God decided that those who came to him—and all along he knew who would—should become like his Son, so that his Son would be the First, with many brothers. And having chosen us, he called us to come to him; and when we came, he declared us ‘not guilty,’ filled us with Christ’s goodness, gave us right standing with himself, and promised us his glory. What can we ever say to such wonderful things as these? If God is on our side, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own Son for us but gave him up for us all, won’t he also surely give us everything else? Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? Will God? No! He is the one who has forgiven us and given us right standing with himself. Who then will condemn us? Will Christ? No! For he is the one who died for us and came back to life again for us and is sitting at the place of highest honor next to God, pleading for us there in heaven. Who then can ever keep Christ’s love from us? When we have trouble or calamity, when we are hunted down or destroyed, is it because he doesn’t love us anymore? And if we are hungry or penniless or in danger or threatened with death, has God deserted us? No, for the Scriptures tell us that for his sake we must be ready to face death at every moment of the day—we are like sheep awaiting slaughter; but despite all this, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ who loved us enough to die for us. For I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love. Death can’t, and life can’t. The angels won’t, and all the powers of hell itself cannot keep God’s love away. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, or where we are—high above the sky, or in the deepest ocean—nothing will ever be able to separate us from the love of God demonstrated by our Lord Jesus Christ when he died for us.”Romans 8:28-39 TLB
  8. Sometimes no answer to prayer is an answer. Never confuse silence with Him not hearing you.
  9. When you sin, pray Psalm 51:1-17: “O loving and kind God, have mercy. Have pity upon me and take away the awful stain of my transgressions. Oh, wash me, cleanse me from this guilt. Let me be pure again. For I admit my shameful deed—it haunts me day and night. It is against you and you alone I sinned and did this terrible thing. You saw it all, and your sentence against me is just. But I was born a sinner, yes, from the moment my mother conceived me. You deserve honesty from the heart; yes, utter sincerity and truthfulness. Oh, give me this wisdom. Sprinkle me with the cleansing blood and I shall be clean again. Wash me and I shall be whiter than snow. And after you have punished me, give me back my joy again. Don’t keep looking at my sins—erase them from your sight. Create in me a new, clean heart, O God, filled with clean thoughts and right desires. Don’t toss me aside, banished forever from your presence. Don’t take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me again the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you. Then I will teach your ways to other sinners, and they—guilty like me—will repent and return to you. Don’t sentence me to death. O my God, you alone can rescue me. Then I will sing of your forgiveness, for my lips will be unsealed—oh, how I will praise you. You don’t want penance; if you did, how gladly I would do it! You aren’t interested in offerings burned before you on the altar. It is a broken spirit you want—remorse and penitence. A broken and a contrite heart, O God, you will not ignore” (TLB).
  10. God is not a God of confusion. If you are confused, that is not from Him. When you have clarity from God and others say you are confused, you are not confused – follow God. Always.
  11. Never take on debt.
  12. When life gives you trials, pray. When things get so hard you cannot breathe, repeat the name “Jesus.” There is tremendous power in the name of Jesus: “Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”Philippians 2:9-11 NLT
  13. When you are in a situation of conflict, read Genesis 50:20: “You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people” (NLT). Rise above the conflict.
  14. Keep perspective. Your soul is safe for all eternity, the thing or person you are dealing with cannot touch your soul: “Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”Matthew 10:28 NLT
  15. Know your cause in life. Your calling is to worship God. Your cause is what keeps you up at night, what gets you upset or motivated to see change – that is your cause. As you fulfill your cause, keep in mind your calling – praise Him as you fulfill your cause. When you hit difficulties, knowing your cause will enable you to rise above the conflict. Satan works very hard to keep you from your calling and your cause, do not help him.
  16. Have a personal relationship with Jesus that is growing every day.
  17. Marry someone who loves Jesus more than they love you.
  18. Experience a marriage as designed by God, not as defined by this world.
  19. Love God and love people.
  20. Love deeply and forgive. Forgiveness does not mean you condone the behavior, it means releasing the control that person has over you that you have given them.
  21. Teach your children the Truth.
  22. Always tithe. Always. “‘Should people cheat God? Yet you have cheated me! But you ask, “What do you mean? When did we ever cheat you?” You have cheated me of the tithes and offerings due to me. You are under a curse, for your whole nation has been cheating me. Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,’ says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, ‘I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test!'”Malachi 3:8-10 NLT
  23. Read the Bible and pray everyday. Never miss a day.