A Psalm for Victims of Abuse

👇 my commentary below 👇
O Lord, You have searched me and known me . You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thought from afar. You scrutinize my path and my lying down, And are intimately acquainted with all my ways. Even before there is a word on my tongue, Behold, O Lord, You know it all. You have enclosed me behind and before, And laid Your hand upon me. Such  knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is too high, I cannot attain to it. Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, Even there Your hand will lead me, And Your right hand will lay hold of me. If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, And the light around me will be night,” Even the darkness is not dark to You, And the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to You. For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them. How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand. When I awake, I am still with You.
O that You would slay the wicked, O God; Depart from me, therefore, men of bloodshed. For they speak against You wickedly, And Your enemies take Your name in vain. Do I not hate those who hate You, O Lord? And do I not loathe those who rise up against You? I hate them with the utmost hatred; They have become my enemies.
Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way.

Psalm 139:1-24

  1. A constant theme in narcissistic abuse is NEGLECT. Because narcissists are so self-centred, they train others to serve them, fear them, to “love” them, to hate them, to need them, to listen to them, to become obsessed with them, and to live for them. The victim learns that their life does not matter. When the abuser needs them, the victim MUST be there. But nobody is there for the victim. Nobody sees them. But…God reminds her…God sees. He is there. In every way that the abuser has ignored them, this psalm remind the victim of how thoroughly they are *seen* by their Heavenly Father. He thinks about them, knows them, cares for them, sees them, is THERE. Wherever they are. Up? Down? Extatic? Suicidal? At home? Lost? He is there. He sees. He is there.
  2. Another theme is minimization and excusing. The victim feels they need the abuser, and so they put up with the mistreatment, and excuse it all away when the abuser throws in a pale apology, or shows some fleeting kindness. But at a certain point, the abuser sees things in a new light. This behaviour is not an accident, but a premeditated pattern. It is intended to harm and destroy for selfish ends. It is wicked: there is no other word for it. No excuse. None. Suddenly, the victim sees their abuser for the enemy that they are. In language that some would find shocking, the victim cuts ties with their abuser, and calls down curses on them, and prays against any attempt to cause them harm
  3. The victim is now free from the abuser: but pain still lingers in their hearts. Anxious thoughts trouble them. They pray for their Heavenly Father to know them still more, and to seek out and heal all of the wounded and broken places inside of them.
…a wonderful prayer for survivors to memorize, tape to their mirrors, or pray through in conjunction with guided breathing (deep breath in, pray a line of the psalm out) as relaxation/centring when anxious or troubled.
These are true and healing words.

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I have been a missionary. I have been a pastor. I have been to seminary. Right now, I'm all about getting healthy, and caring for my family. The healthier I get, the closer I seem to get to God. ...and life seems to make more and more sense. It's working for me. Join me on my journey, if you would like.

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