Sticks & Stones …

We all know the Sticks & Stones rhyme.  And we all know it’s hardly true.  There are ways to hurt people without ever touching them with your hands.  Words hurt.

Let me start by saying this: Many years ago I was in an abusive relationship.  There, I said it.  It’s taken me a looooong time to admit this to others.  In fact, besides my husband, this may be the first time most are hearing of it.  (Though you may have suspected.  The effects of abuse can be hard to hide).  It was verbal, mental, emotional and a couple times physical abuse.  It’s hard for me to admit because abuse, whatever the form, is extremely humiliating.  I’m not going into the details.  Maybe another day.  Or just ask me sometime & I will try to share my story with you.  But what I do want to get at is the words.  Out of all the things that happened in that four years, it’s the damaging, hurtful words that were said to me that have stuck with me the most.  

Why do words hurt & humiliate so much?  They are just words.  They have no power when taken out of context.  But when put into action … ouch.  Shouldn’t the person saying those spiteful things be the one humiliated?  For some reason, it doesn’t work that way.  And it doesn’t matter how much time has passed since the words were spoken, they still come back like it was yesterday.  Maybe it’s a date on the calendar or seeing someone from that time, somehow the words will seep back into my mind.  And there I am again, feeling degraded, embarrassed, humiliated.  And don’t get me started on when people say ‘Forgive & forget’, ‘God has forgotten it, you should too’, or ‘Leave it in the past’.  Obviously, these people have never been spoken to with such malice day in & day out.  Forgiving is one thing.  Forgetting is difficult.

I just read a blog by Sammy Rhodes where he wrote, “wounded people wound people”.  I think we have all been wounded in one way or another.  This would indicate that we will all go on to hurt someone, whether we mean to or not.  I know I’ve hurt people.  I probably go to the opposite extreme to not hurt with my words, so I hurt with my silence.  You know, “The Silent Treatment”.  I’m super good at it.  I can go on for quite sometime in silence.  The longer I remain silent the more I win, right?  What?!  What do I exactly win by hurting someone else with my silence?  I am hurting someone, period.

God has since blessed me with a husband that continually lifts me up with his words.  Daily he tells me I’m beautiful and he loves me.  I don’t know if he knows how much I have needed those lovely words, but God knew.  But even with his kind words, the harsh words of my past can still weasel their way back into my mind.  The only thing I know that works against my mind wandering to the hurt are the words of Christ.  But I can’t just read them every so often.  I have to be reminded of them just like my husband reminds me … daily.  I have to read the word of God over & over.  It needs to be ingrained in my mind so when the ugliness encroaches God’s word is there to hold it back.  

That is where I am reminded there is more power in the word of God than the words of man. 

Bible verse I’m loving today … Psalm 56:10-11.  

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