From Victim to Victory….

From Broken To Bethany

For many years I was a victim.

Pure and simple.

A victim of my past, my wrong decisions and my mind set.

Unfortunately, if your childhood and adolescence were infiltrated by an atmosphere of violence and fear, you somehow, deep in your psychology expect this to be a pattern for your life.
I have been told that it is extremely common to even feel a sense of security in violent and controlling relationships later in life because that is the norm for you, that is all you know.

The problem is, fear becomes deeply embedded in your mind and heart and can sadly transfer itself in to many areas of your life.

There were many occasions during my childhood when I felt a deep frustration with my mother when my father would become violent and abusive. I often felt;

Why don’t you just leave him?

Why do we as children have to be afraid when we knew he was due home from work?

When was my mother going to stop being a victim?

It is only as I have grown older and eventually wiser that I realized that my mother, for practical reasons could not leave the marital home with many children in tow, she loved my father and was trapped in a marriage that she felt, because of religious constraints she would be condemned by forever if she left my father. I also realized later in life that the violent and angry behaviour of my father had been passed down from generation to generation and I now know that he too suffered a violent fear filled childhood.

The fact is though; I still deeply loved my father. I know that in the years leading up to his passing away that he felt a deep sadness for the mistakes he had made in his life. Any bitterness or anger I have felt over the years has now gone because I have been able to forgive and let go just as I know I am forgiven for the many mistakes I have made in my life by the one true redeemer Jesus Christ.

The problem is the pattern was set, my past transferred to many relationships I went on to experience. I too became a victim of violent relationships, and thought wrongly that I could change my partner’s behaviour, I felt sorry for them, felt I could rescue and change them.

It was only when I became a mother and started to grow in my walk as a Christian that it really started to sink in that things had to change. I finally plucked up the courage to run away to a women’s refuge.

Unfortunately at the time, the refuge was underfunded and because I was pregnant it was not a place I felt would be hygienic enough to bring a new baby into the world. The refuge workers were constantly up against it financially and understaffed but did their utmost for the women in the circumstances. I returned home to a few more years of living in a relationship that was fearful and controlling, eventually though I found the courage to leave for good.

As the years have passed, I realized one of my ambitions of writing and recording my own album; a record of my past and hopes for the future. I have also become an advocate for the restoration of families, in particular for fathers to have a positive role in their children’s lives.

I know that the legacy of victim is not passed on to my daughter and that the home my children are growing up in is not filled with fear.

I also know that the Lord Jesus Christ directed me to name my record label Jubilee Records because in biblical terms it is a reference to liberty, to the breaking of the chains of slavery.

It has taken many years for the damage of my past to be recognised and eventually healed and for me to exchange my name from victim to victor. There is a quote by the South African musician Ray Phiri which deeply resonates with me:

“How can you victimize the victim twice?”

I was broken….I found Bethany….finally my heart is at rest and is in a place of freedom and peace.

I leave you with a beautiful poem given to me by a dear friend when I was in a women’s refuge. Maybe this will encourage you if you are still a victim of violence whether female or male to start making that change.

Poem To Tess…

Be strong my friend,
As you make your way along the path you’ve so bravely chosen,
Be strong and hold your head up high.

Take heart my friend
When times are hard and your feet are blistered and aching,
Take heart and rest in His arms.

Have comfort my friend
When your soul is racked and sobbing is never ceasing
Have comfort my friend in Him who loves you best.

Know peace my friend,
When you make a right choice having wrestled with conflicting decisions
Know peace from Him who supports you.

Forgive yourself my friend
When you’ve knowingly strayed whether one time or whether a million
Forgive yourself and look for His good.

Feel love my friend
For it is in your life, in your heart and those around you
Feel love because it is His gift for you.

Have joy my friend
In between all the pain, because one day the suffering is over,
Have joy Tess, in the way that you bring it.

Copyright © Sarah Jackson

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