BATTLEFIELD II- HIS STORY

Melancholys_Warm_Embrace-300x204

BY VAL

Battlefields of the mind, it’s like a game of war to see who will win. To find out who is the strongest and who can or will endure. I’ve adapted, or rather I should say – I’ve acquired the skills needed in this contest that I’ve take on. It’s almost like a game of charades, but more so – it’s masquerade. Or maybe it’s a little of both, one present and one hiding.

I am the face of the unheard victims of war, but no one knows about me. When you see my bruises you jokingly tease me about her hitting me. When the reality of the situation is – she does – and hard. And she gets away with it because no one would believe my story. The big strong man being beaten by his wife who is half my size. No one ever believes that a wife beats her husband. It’s difficult for people to wrap their heads around it, because it’s women who are always viewed as the victims. But what about me. What about my bruises, my scars, my pain. You see, I’ve become so good at hiding it, and performing within this masquerade of a so-called ‘marriage’ – that no one even notices.

I’ve become an expert at lying and pretending, and covering up when I shouldn’t. I’ve become insecure and timid. Because I know the price of having a voice and the anguish of being silent, but with the voice inside me ever screaming to be heard. But it knows that quiet sometimes has it’s own reward, especially when you are furious. I know how to keep quiet, and if you’ve been drinking – I try my hardest to be invisible, but I know in reality that I can’t hide. I can’t hide, even though I want to. You tell me how I’m nothing, and how I was trash. How you made me into who I am. You threaten me with poverty as if I’d never experienced it before. But what hurts more than your words – are the mind games you play. I know your goal is to break me, to destroy me. But you can’t. Or at least I hope you can’t.
Few have experienced the mind games she plays with me. It’s like she’s holding a loaded gun to my head.  She often threatens to take the children from me. Or pretends to have hurt herself, so that people will think I have hit her. But I haven’t, I would never hit her. As much as I would like to at times, I wouldn’t.  My parents always told me, “ Boys don’t hit girls. Period.” The problem is not that I  believe that – but that she knows that I believe that – so she is able to tear me down with her verbal abuse – knowing she is safe from any physical harm, that I would never hit her. She calls me every foul name in the book. Her profanity would make a sailor blush. She tells me that no woman would want me, that I am scum and that she hates me – that I should feel lucky that I have her. These scars from mental abuse are the hidden scars carved into a person’s soul. Their pain and depression are constantly with you. The mind games she plays just tear you down until you feel there is nothing left of who you were – and no one knows.  The black eyes and the scratches I can always lie about, but my soul doesn’t have a voice that anyone can hear – even though it screams out for help everyday. It get’s to be so hard lying to yourself and to others all the time, pretending things are okay when they aren’t. Sometimes all you can do is cry. And I cry a lot these days.

No one knows the beatings and emotional abuse I’ve endured. Some say it’s like when a prisoner of war is tortured and you develop dual personality as a means of survival. I’ve even tried some of her makeup to hide the bruises. But the ones that are deep inside my soul – makeup can’t hide those – and no one can understand them, unless they’ve endured the same hell that I have. Because after every beating and every insult, you say, “I’m sorry” – and then have the nerve to tell me that you love me. Then I feel guilty and confused, because I want to leave – but then I remember your threats, and my Son, so I stay.  I stay and endure this endless torture that my soul knows this isn’t love. It can’t be!
My parents invite us to Sunday dinners, but I decline because I don’t want them to know what’s going on. To wonder why I look so unhappy. It’s hard enough enduring the questions from my sisters and brothers. I think they suspect something, but they’re not quite sure. Our son looks at me and wonders what’s wrong with Daddy, has he been a bad boy as well? Is that why Mommy is hitting him and yelling at him? I don’t want him to think this is normal or that this  is love – it isn’t. I just say that Mommy is playing, and not to worry, Daddy is a tough guy, no one can hurt your Daddy. But I know he sees the tears in my eyes, and I know he can feel the pain that I am enduring – and that hurts more that anything.

My body is covered with bruises underneath my clothing. I’ve become so good lately at hiding them so no one ever sees them. But of course I have become paranoid about taking my shirt off in public, for fear of questions. Have you ever had to explain choke marks around your neck where someone has left her fingerprints? Have you ever tried just leaving for hours at a time, driving no where, just needing to get away to think – not coming home until the next morning? Because if you thought the last beating and verbal assault was bad, the one you are about to get for being away so long is going to be the mother of all beatings! But maybe have been kicked or spat on as if you were trash on the street. Or have had dishes or glasses thrown at you. I even had one of those old heavy phones thrown at me – while I was in the shower? Do you know how hard it is to regain one’s self-esteem and feeling of self-worth through all of this, well it’s almost impossible.

No one knows about this war that I am in – and no one knows my enemy is you. They only see this beautiful, successful woman – who appears to have everything under control. They don’t know my story, they think we are  happy, when the reality is that I am dying on the inside and I want out. I need to get out. When people talk of fear I wonder if they’ve ever had someone place a gun to your head and say, “Listen up my little man bitch, if you say anything, if you let out as much as a peep – and I’ll kill you. You got that?” Only to find out that this time it’s a ‘pretend game’ of Russian roulette – one without a bullet – but the next time, there might be one. War games are mind games. And all you can do is pray that it’s stops. Being held hostage isn’t a joke. The reality is that a hostage knows their freedom comes at a cost. And I know my price might be death, or at least that’s my hope, as sad and pathetic as that is.

I hear people say you have that I need to save myself, but the truth is that you first have to actually ‘want’ to save yourself. Do I really want to live is the question that resonates in my mind?  I moved from my parent’s home to college, then from the frat house to the matrimonial home – and being a prisoner of war – in my own house! If I had to do over again, I would have listened when my mother said, “Don’t settle for someone who doesn’t have the same values as you. Sex isn’t everything in a marriage my Son, there has to be more than that.” But I compromised, and compromise always comes at a price. And now I pay daily for it with my life, but worst of all – with my Son’s mental and emotional well being. But I know this isn’t the price my Mom was referring to. Lord knows she has no idea about what is truly going on.

I feel like a pig who is being slathered with sauce in preparation to be barbequed slowly. I’d rather just be shot – please just kill me and get it over with – and maybe I’ll find some peace. But who says death is peaceful? Because somehow I feel as if you would probably haunt me there too. I tried suicide because I thought it would be easier, but even that was a cruel joke. I even got cheated out of death. The pills didn’t work, hell they didn’t even ease the pain. At first it’s hard praying and asking God to just let you die. But after a while, it’s pretty much a daily routine. You just want to know that this pain that you keep hidden, within the silences of your own house, will finally come to an end. But God won’t let you die. Why? Because you have to escape – to tell your story! To save your child and to save others. Even though you think death still seems like a reward, especially when you are living in this hell – it isn’t. So I can’t let my little boy see me lying in a coffin,  thinking this is what real love is. I still have time to save him! So I pray. You just hope and pray.

It’s hard trusting a woman when you’ve been hurt so badly by one. I never thought you and I would be here, at this place in our lives where we are now. But the signs were always there. I used to brush it off when I thought you were pretending to be jealous of my friends, or when some girl was talking to me. I just assumed, like most guys do – that she loves me. She’s not trying to control my friends  or what I do. But you were, and the signs were all there. The pats I assumed were love pats were just the beginning. You would blow up and then apologize for what you said. I should have known better, but I joked and told myself that you were just acting crazy. But crazy is as crazy does. I should have followed my gut instinct. But I didn’t.

It’s funny, but most guys never admit, that like women, we too have this fantasy of what we want in our perfect life and our perfect wife. That we also want the white picket fence, the two cars, and the 2.5 kids. A couple vacations a year and a 401k with enough in it to retire by 55. And like you we take our vows seriously – until death do us part. I was raised in a Christian home, I was taught early to pray for my wife, to pray for the girl I wanted to marry, and believe that God will send her to me. But, you sure aren’t the girl I prayed for. Instead, I was preyed upon by you! You put on this charade that you were saved, and said all the right things, and told me that you went to church. Hell, your Dad was even a deacon. But the reality is that we were unequally yoked from very the beginning. But I wanted to make it work. My Dad said Son, it’s juts like the song says, “You got to know when to hold’em, know when to fold’em, know when to walk away, and know when to run.” And ohhh, how I should have run when I had the chance! I don’t know if it was my gut or God, but something warned me stay away from you, I just didn’t listen.

The ‘Battlefield of the Mind’ affects people you don’t think it would. My Son thinks it’s normal. But it’s not – my normal isn’t normal.  If I don’t leave, this will forever affect his relationships also! I don’t want him to think that this is normal. This is not of God, it’s of the devil. His Dad is ill, and he needs help, and now – my Son does too. Because this disease is very dangerous. The same force it takes to build up a person’s spirit, can be used to break it just as easily. But when love has left the building, all you have is desperation and regrets. I realize that my prayers, even the ones whispered and muffled through the pain and tears – were heard by Him. God paid the price, He was beaten for my transgressions. He said that I am loved and that I am  worthy of His blood. He said that our enemies are sometimes in our own home. But He also said that He would make a foot stool out of them.
I am not supposed to be at war in my own house, we are supposed to be one yet we are two completely and separate individuals who aren’t happy at all.  Or at least I am not. I want so desperately to leave. But I remember your threats, so I stay. I stay for my Son, and only for him. Sometimes we sacrifice our needs for those of our children. But they don’t deserve to see two hurting parents who don’t love one another. Doesn’t he deserve love, because this in not love, this is war. This is war and he is the innocent victim, he is the one that is suffering most from our battle. What price should he pay for our unhappiness, should his soul suffer because of us? Our battle has become his wounds, his soul carries the scars of our war. Sometimes this war seems almost innocent, because the only victims we see are us. But that is never true, we aren’t the only victims – and the costs are astronomical. Our war, unfortunately, has claimed many victims – and one is our Son.

This isn’t the love story He choose for me. I choose my ‘Caesar’ wife, I was young and naive and impressionable. I thought I knew what love was, but I was wrong. I didn’t realize who she really was. True love is patient and it is kind. It’s never jealous or judgmental. Real love does not want to hurt you, true love comforts and protects and blesses. It’s so easy to settle for something or someone you know. Especially when you’ve never experienced true love or haven’t ever observed a relationship of true Godly love to base it on. But I do realize this – that  love conquered the grave for me and that the ultimate price was paid. He was beaten for all my sins so that I wouldn’t have to be beaten. He loved me enough to die for me so that I wouldn’t have to die for love.

My Father told me it was time to spread my wings and leave. He told me to get ready for battle and to put on the whole armor. To gird my loins with truth. And the truth is that she has beaten me for the last time. He told me to put on the breastplate of righteousness, and the helmet of salvation. He said. “You see My Son, you are not fighting against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers that rule the darkness. So My beloved, guard yourself with the shield of faith, and take up the sword of My Spirit, which is My Word. And I will protect you, I’ve got your back with My Glory as you move forward in victory.”

My Father said that my soon to be ‘Ex’ needs healing, and love that I can’t give her. It’s a supernatural love and a supernatural healing that only He can provide. So, as I walk away from you with my freedom, I pray that you find the peace you need. And that God takes away the anger and rage that lies within you. For even though our love story was hell on earth, I will forever be changed for the better because of my experience. I don’t hate you, because hating you gives you power over my future. But forgiveness and love gives me power to move on and to be able to be loved unconditionally – the way my Father intended. Somewhere out there is someone who has been praying for someone like me, to love and adore. But I have to be whole and complete, and that starts with the Father – and forgiving my enemy. So as an act of my will, I say this before God – “I forgive you for hurting me.” You didn’t break my spirit, you forced me to find my Father and return home. I am a survivor. And the lesson is this – that we all can use what the enemy meant for harm, and instead let our heavenly Father use it as a platform to create something good for us. For it is written, “No weapon formed against you shall prosper!”

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BATTLEFIELD- DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

Domestic violence

Domestic violence

BY VAL

Battlefields of the mind, it’s like a game of war to see who will win. To find out who is the strongest and who can or will endure. I’ve adapted, or rather I should say – I’ve acquired the skills needed in this contest that I’ve take on. It’s almost like a game of charades, but more so – it’s masquerade. Or maybe it’s a little of both, one present and one hiding.

I’ve become an expert at lying and pretending, and covering up when I shouldn’t. I’ve become insecure and timid. Because I know the price of having a voice and the cost of being silent, with the voice inside me ever screaming to be heard. But it knows that quiet sometimes has it’s own reward, especially when you are furious. I know how to keep quiet, and if you’ve been drinking – I try my hardest to be invisible, but I know in reality that I can’t hide.  I can’t hide, even though I want to. You tell me how I’m nothing, and how I was trash. How you made me into who I am. You threaten me with poverty as if I’d never experienced it before. But what hurts more than your words – are the mind games you play. I know your goal is to break me, to destroy me. But you can’t. Or at least I hope you can’t.

No one knows the beatings I’ve endured, some say it’s like when a prisoner of war is tortured and you develop dual personality as a means of survival. The scars underneath my makeup are the hidden scars.  But the ones so deep inside my soul – makeup can’t hide those – and no one can understand them, unless they’ve endured the same hell.  Because after every beating and every fight, you say, “I’m sorry” – and then have the balls to tell me that you love me. Then I feel guilty and confused, because I want to leave – but then I remember your threats, so I stay.  So I endure this endless torture that my soul knows this isn’t love. It can’t be!

My momma asks why we don’t come over for Sunday dinners any more? The reason is that I’m too ashamed for her to know truth. It would kill her if she knew. My sister suspects, but I deny it and accuse her of being paranoid. She sees the traces of the scars left behind. My friends see the injuries but I just deflect their questions – I can’t handle those questions. But the worst of all – is that our baby notices how mommy has changed, that I’m not my old self. I’m this new version of me.  Have you ever had to explain why you are lying on the floor in a pool of blood to your child? Or why there are choke marks around your neck where someone has left his fingerprints? Have you ever tried running away only to be found the next day? Because if you thought the last beating was bad, the one you are about to get for running away is going to be the mother of all beatings. Or have you ever been kicked or spat on as if you were trash on the street? It’s hard, almost impossible to regain one’s self-esteem through all of this.
When people talk of fear I wonder if they’ve ever had someone place a loaded gun to your head and say, “Bitch, if you say anything, let out as much as a peep – and I’ll kill you.” Only to find out that this time it’s a game of Russian roulette, except without a bullet – but the next time, there might be one. War games are mind games. All you can do is pray that it’s stops. Being held hostage isn’t a joke. The reality is that a hostage knows their freedom comes at a cost. And I know my price is death, or at least that’s my hope, as sad and pathetic as that is.

I hear people say you have that I need to save myself, but the truth is that you first have to actually ‘want’ to save yourself. Do I really want to live is the question that resonates in my mind?  I moved from my parent’s home to college, then from the sorority house to the matrimonial home – and being a prisoner of war. If I had to do over again, I would have listened when my mother who said, “If you are not unequally yoked, you will never have to compromise your values.” Because compromise, always comes at a price.  And now I’m paying the price, but this isn’t the price she was referring to. Lord knows she has no idea about what was truly going on.

I feel like a pig who is being slathered to barbeque slowly. I’d rather just be shot – please just kill me and get it over with – and maybe I’ll find some peace. But who says death is peaceful? Because somehow I feel as if you would probably haunt me there too. I tried suicide because I thought it would be easier, but even that was a cruel joke. I even got cheated out of death. The pills didn’t work, hell they didn’t even ease the pain. It’s hard praying and asking God to just let you die. You want to know that this pain that you keep hidden, within the silences of your own house, would finally come to an end. But God won’t let you die. Why? Because you have to escape – to tell your story! To save your child and to save others. Even though you think death still seems like a reward, especially when you are living in this hell – it isn’t. So I can’t let her see me lying in a coffin,  thinking this is what real love is. I still have time to save her! So I pray. You pray and you hope.
It’s hard trusting a man when you’ve been hurt by one. I never thought I’d end up here. I should have seen the signs when we were dating. You wanted to control everything, from the way I dress to who my friends were. I thought it was love, that you were so in love with me that you just didn’t want to share me with the world. Because when little girls dream of their prince charming, their happily ever after, she never thinks she will be at war in her own home with her husband – the very person who said he would love her ‘until death do us part’. Hmmm, sometimes I think it might take my dying to get out of this hell. I never dreamed that the person I prayed for night after night would turn me into his prey, his prisoner. God, I ask you – am I not worthy of love? What did I do in my life that was so bad that I deserved this?
The ‘Battlefield of the Mind’ affects people you don’t think it would. My daughter thinks it’s normal. But it’s not – my normal isn’t normal.  If I don’t leave, this will forever affect her relationships also? I don’t want her to think this is normal. This is not of God, it’s of the devil. Her Dad is ill, and he needs help, and now – so do I. Because this disease is very dangerous. The same force it takes to break a person’s spirit could be used to build it. But when love has left the building, all you have is desperation and regrets. I realize that my prayers, even the ones whispered and muffled through the pain and tears were heard by Him. God paid the price, He was beaten for my transgressions. He said that I am loved and that I am  worthy of His blood. He said that our enemies are sometimes in our own home. But He also said that He would make a foot stool out of them.
This isn’t the love story He choose for me. I choose my ‘Caesar’ husband, I was young and naive and impressionable. I thought I knew what love was, but I was wrong. I didn’t realize who he really was. True love is patient and it is kind. It’s never jealous or judgmental. Real love does not want to hurt you, true love comforts and protects and blesses. It’s so easy to settle for something or someone you know. Especially when you’ve never experienced true love or haven’t ever observed a relationship of true Godly love to base it on. But I do realize this – that  love conquered the grave for me and that the ultimate price was paid. He was beaten for all my sins so that I wouldn’t have to be beaten. He loved me enough to die for me so that I wouldn’t have to die for love.

My Father told me it was time to spread my wings and leave. He told me to get ready for battle and to put on the whole armor. To gird my loins with truth. And the truth is that he has beaten me for the last time. He told me to put on the breastplate of righteousness, and the helmet of salvation. He said. “You see My daughter, you are not fighting against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers that rule the darkness. So My beloved, guard yourself with the shield of faith, and take up the sword of My Spirit, which is My Word. And I will protect you, I’ve got your back with My Glory as you move forward in victory.”

My Father said that my soon to be ‘Ex’ needs healing, and love that I can’t give him. It’s a supernatural love and a supernatural healing that only He can provide. So as I walk away from you with my freedom, I pray that you find the peace you need. And that God takes away the anger and rage that lies within you. For even though our love story was hell on earth, I will forever be changed for the better because of my experience. I don’t hate you, because hating you gives you power over my future. But forgiveness and love gives me power to move on and to be able to be loved unconditionally – the way my Father intended. Somewhere out there is someone who has been praying for someone like me to love and adore. But I have to be whole and complete, and that starts with the Father – and forgiving my enemy. So as an act of my will, I say this before God – “I forgive you for hurting me.” You didn’t break my spirit, you forced me to find my Father and return home. I am a survivor. And the lesson is this – that we all can use what the enemy meant for harm, and instead let our heavenly Father use it as a platform to create something good for us. For it is written, “No weapon formed against you shall prosper!”

GROUND ZERO

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BY VAL

Ground Zero

 

Love the way you Live

by Enimem &Rhiana
On the first page of our story
The future seemed so bright,
Then this thing turned out so evil
I don’t know why I’m still surprised
Even angels have their wicked schemes
And you take that to new extremes
But you’ll always be my hero
Even though you’ve lost your mind

Ground zero, is what occurs when we don’t pay attention and lose focus on the important things, it is what goes on when the enemy enters into our house and destroys us from the inside out. We have unwelcomed guests that we have no control over in the natural, only in the spiritual. What he brings with him is chaos, destruction and often death. Prepare for the fallout, because he won’t be happy until he has destroyed the very thing you love which is ‘Your Family’.

Just gonna stand there and watch me burn
But that’s alright because I like the way it hurts.
Just gonna stand there and hear me cry
But that’s alright because I love the way you lie.
I love the way you lie
Ohhh, I love the way you lie

After the enemy has attacked, the debris and rubble is all that’s left standing. There are casualties of this attack. There are so many victims, with unknown faces and unheard voices, and various stories of what happened and why we were attacked. But at the end of the day, the truth of the matter is – no one knows the true story – they can only assume why it happened and who is to blame. When the blame in this sorted affair is bigger than all of those involved, an it ended with two dead and a family full of wounded victims – who cares for the victims left behind? Who’s going to tell them that they are not to blame for the actions of their parents? That when there was a prospect for freedom, neither one of them was willing to work out. It was all or nothing in their game of war. Sometimes we take hostages and sometimes they survive, but often times they don’t. And even if they do, they carry around battle scars that are carved so deep into their soul – that only a Savior can deliver them from that pain of their past.

I can’t tell you what it really is
I can only tell you what it feels like
And right now there’s a steel knife in my windpipe
I can’t breathe but I still fight while I can fight
As long as the wrong feels right it’s like I’m in flight
High off her love, drunk from her hate,
It’s like I’m huffing paint and I love her the more I suffer, I suffocate
And right before I’m about to drown, she resuscitates me
She fucking hates me and I love it.
“Wait! Where you going?”
“I’m leaving you!”
“No you ain’t. Come back.”
We’re running right back.
Here we go again
It’s so insane cause when it’s going good, it’s going great
I’m Superman with the wind at his back, she’s Lois Lane
But when it’s bad it’s awful, I feel so ashamed I snapped
Who’s that dude?
“I don’t even know his name.”
I laid hands on her, I’ll never stoop so low again
I guess I don’t know my own strength

No one knows what it’s like when you’re at ground zero, that you have nothing to lose. All your cards are on the table and death is the only option – because you feel as if you have lost everything already. So there is nothing to fear. Death doesn’t scare me, because either I go to heaven or I go to hell. But a life without you and without love, now that is terrifying! You ask me to let you go, and that you want to leave me. NO! I have nothing if I lose you. So I rage and attack, I have to take you out before you leave me. What does one do when they are down to nothing and they are about to lose everything. Sure you can take out the enemy, but what people don’t realize is that the enemy is an extension of oneself. And if I kill you – I’ve killed a piece of me. And then I’d have nothing more to live for, because half of me would be dead. At ground zero, when I’m waging an attack against the enemy – the worst  part – is that the enemy is me.

Just gonna stand there and watch me burn

But that’s alright because I like the way it hurts
Just gonna stand there and hear me cry
But that’s alright because I love the way you lie
I love the way you lie
You say he’s to blame, and that he should have walked away or should have asked for help. Or that she’s to blame and should have known when to let go. But the reality is, no one knows what goes on behind closed doors. No one knows the whole truth – only the walls and the people who lived inside our home. You could try to figure things out by what’s written on paper, the medical reports the police reports. But the truth of the matter is – no one really knows why she stayed or why he stayed – or why neither walked away? All we can do is just guess and make presumptions. The only ones left to tell the story are the children, who sadly are now damaged by the aftermath of the fallout. No one cared enough to spare them of this nightmare.

They were just innocent victims in their parent’s war.
Now there’s gravel in our voices
Glass is shattered from the fight
And this tug of war, you’ll always win
Even when I’m right.
‘Cause you feed me fables from your head
With violent words and empty threats
And it’s sick that all these battles
Are what keeps me satisfied

Today, they are now the victims – of both society, and their grandparents who are now blaming each other for their kids, the parents of these now wounded children. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink it. Just as you can teach a child right from wrong, but you can’t force them to choose the right path. But if you truly raise a child in the way they should go, in the end they will not depart from it. So who is to say that we didn’t? Did we forgot to lay the foundation, or did they simply chose to ignore it. Sometimes in life, we get so caught up in the mundane day-to-day things, that we forget that all important foundation. So here we are – at ground zero – everyone pointing fingers and victims lying wounded around us.

You ever love somebody so much you can barely breathe when you’re with ’em
You meet and neither one of you even know what hit ’em
Got that warm fuzzy feeling
Yeah, them chills you used to get ’em
Now you’re getting fucking sick of looking at ’em
You swore you’d never hit ’em; never do nothing to hurt ’em
Now you’re in each other’s face spewing venom in your words when you spit them
You push, pull each other’s hair, scratch, claw, bit ’em
Throw ’em down, pin ’em

One parent cries, “God, get my children out of here, I don’t want them to see me this way. I don’t want to die in front of them”. And the other screams, “Lord, please forgive.” These are the cries that everyone will remember, and most of all – the kids. You were present when they took their first breath, and your kids will be there when you both take your last breath. They are the moments in time forever inscribed in our minds and hearts. But the kid’s memories will be sullied, for now they question why no one helped them, and why they were threatened. You told them if anyone heard about what happens behind closed doors – they would be beaten, or taken away from their parents. So they became a prisoner of the war between you and your spouse. They’ve never enjoyed knowing what it means to be a child. You said you loved them, but did you really? Love doesn’t force you to keep secrets. If someone does, then it’s not love – it’s hate. For love and hate may both involve intense emotions – but that’s where the similarity ends.
So lost in the moments when you’re in them

It’s the rage that took over,
It controls you both
So they say you’re best to go your separate ways
Guess that they don’t know you ’cause today that was yesterday
Yesterday is over, it’s a different day
Sound like broken records playing over but you promised her
Next time you show restraint
You don’t get another chance
Life is no Nintendo game
But you lied again
Now you get to watch her leave out the window
Guess that’s why they call it window pane

So here we at ground zero, standing in the rubble, as they take away the victims of the war. It’s hard when a parent decides that he or she won’t let the other go, and instead decide to keep the children hostage. They feel like they can’t live without the other. So they decide if they can’t have the other, then no one else can either – so death becomes the answer – and they selfishly take their own lives. Not thinking of the victims left behind and the wounds that they will leave them, only wondering if they were to blame. There are also the most tragic times when those who are most evil murder the whole family. But in my case, they only killed one another. My grandparents only know one side of the story, the one that each of my parents told them. But neither knows the whole truth, just the endless variations floating around – two being ‘He said she threatened to keep the kids from him’ and ‘She said he threatened to kill her if she left.’ With all the numerous lies mixed with partial truths leaving the kids as pawns in this game of war. A mind game of who can manipulate who the best. Who is the best at bluffing in this high stakes game of poker, and at what cost are you willing to play the game? Unfortunately, what neither truly ever realized – is that along with the kids, they too were pawns in a game that is bigger and larger than they are. It’s a game that has lived on for thousands of years. Where both see one another as the enemy, but neither is the real enemy – because he hides cleverly behind them watching them, and moving them almost at will across the board – pawns in this human game of chess. Neither realizes that they could both be saved if they only asked, but neither does because the dark enemy has them convinced that the other is the threat. So the war continues, when a simple cry for help to the One who created them could have ended the game.

Just gonna stand there and watch me burn
But that’s alright because I like the way it hurts
Just gonna stand there and hear me cry
But that’s alright because I love the way you lie
I love the way you lie!
Ohhh, I love the way you lie

The beginning of this attack started with a threat and frightened young ears hearing, “This is 9-1-1, what is your emergency?” The child’s voice responded, “Help, my momma has a gun. Please help me, my daddy also has a gun. They are threatening to shoot down one another –  please help us.” The poor innocent child, scared to death of both parents – thinking both of them have lost their minds. The child wants to keep daddy from shooting mommy, or momma from shooting daddy, or them both killing each other – only they can’t. They’re just a causality of war, a victim in this drive by shooting – hoping and praying that they don’t get shot as well. But they were shot way before these real bullets were placed in the parent’s guns. They have been wounded thousands of times by equally deadly bullets – words of abuse. We may see the physical wounds of victims of domestic violence, but we don’t see the internal wounds and scars that are hidden. You can’t see them with a naked eye, they’re buried deep in the person’s soul. They alone experience them when they manifest in the natural as their child grows into an adult. And if he or she if not careful, if they are not protected – they will become an abuser themselves. It’s not their fault, it’s ours – because we didn’t save them. We stood on the outside looking in, passing judgement, but we didn’t cross into enemy territory. We should have crossed the line.

So maybe I’m a masochist
I try to run but I don’t wanna ever leave
Til the walls are goin’ up
In smoke with all our memories

So now that 911 have been called and everyone has been dispatched it’s too late. Where were you yesterday or the day before? Where were you when they needed you? You were busy living your own lives too busy to be bothered, or busy gossiping about what you thought might be going on. You heard the screams you saw the bruises, but no one tried to save them.

It’s morning, you wake, a sunray hits your face
Smeared makeup as we lay in the wake of destruction
Hush baby, speak softly, tell me you’re awfully sorry
That you pushed me into the coffee table last night
So I can push you off me
Try and touch me so I can scream at you not to touch me
Run out the room and I’ll follow you like a lost puppy
Baby, without you, I’m nothing, I’m so lost, hug me
Then tell me how ugly I am, but that you’ll always love me
Then after that, shove me, in the aftermath of the
Destructive path that we’re on, two psychopaths but we
Know that no matter how many knives we put in each other’s backs
That we’ll have each other’s backs, ’cause we’re that lucky

Many times we make the mistake of praying for God to keep something together that wasn’t meant to be. Many times, in the mist of all the commotion, we look to blame someone for what happen – but you can’t. They were under attack themselves, and they couldn’t see the force that was attacking them spiritually. There are things that the carnal eye cannot see, that only the spiritual eye can discern. When one is under a spiritual attack, often he or she doesn’t know where to run or who to turn to. You look to heaven, but the answers aren’t coming as fast as you want or need them. Somewhere in the middle of ground zero, God is there and waiting on you to call his name. But often times we don’t – maybe out of fear maybe, or out of shame. He has been and will always be with us, always. Some may ask, “Why didn’t God stop the nightmare?” His answer would be, “I gave man free will. He always has the choice to make the decision – yes or now. But so many times he chose his will – not My perfect will.” As we look around, pointing blame in the middle of the aftermath, there is a stranger hovering over everything. He is looking at the casualty. God knew the struggles, He knows the story, and he had hope that it would have ended differently – but it didn’t. You only see the fallout from it all, but He was there when she was wounded. He held their hands and told them that death is not the final chapter – and that He was there to take His beloved child home.

Together, we move mountains, let’s not make mountains out of molehills,
You hit me twice, yeah, but who’s countin’?
I may have hit you three times, I’m startin’ to lose count
But together, we’ll live forever, we found the youth fountain
Our love is crazy, we’re nuts, but I refused counsellin’
This house is too huge, if you move out I’ll burn all two thousand
Square feet of it to the ground, ain’t shit you can do about it
With you I’m in my f-ckin’ mind, without you, I’m out it

God’s message in the middle of it all, is that, “Your loved one is home with Me. They are at peace and there are no more tears, no more pain.” It’s the kind of peace that only the great I AM can give – and it’s far beyond your imagination and human comprehension. I was there at the beginning, and I was there at the end. I was there when they took their first breath, for I AM the breath of life, I AM the true vine. I was there when they took their last breath, and what looks like a tragic ending to all those who are now left standing – is not. You see, in the midst of everything, I AM still on the throne. I knew it would end this way, but there was nothing I could do. I gave man free will and the ability to choose from right and wrong. But the evil one who imitates Me, appearing as an angel of light – pitted a man against a woman in this war – in an effort kill and destroy. So you see, the war is fat bigger than what you see. Everyday it’s a fight, and everyday there are casualties. But the way to avoid being a victim – is to be the victor through Me. Chose Me, chose life – and allow Me to write your story with a happy ending.

Now I know we said things, did things that we didn’t mean
And we fall back into the same patterns, same routine
But your temper’s just as bad as mine is
You’re the same as me
When it comes to love you’re just as blinded
Baby, please come back
It wasn’t you, baby it was me
Maybe our relationship isn’t as crazy as it seems
Maybe that’s what happens when a tornado meets a volcano
All I know is I love you too much to walk away though
Come inside, pick up your bags off the sidewalk
Don’t you hear sincerity in my voice when I talk
Told you this is my fault
Look me in the eyeball
Next time I’m pissed, I’ll aim my fist at the drywall
Next time? There won’t be no next time!
I apologize even though I know its lies
I’m tired of the games I just want her back
I know I’m a liar
If she ever tries to fucking leave again
Im’a tie her to the bed and set this house on fire
I’m just gonna

Just gonna stand there and watch me burn
But that’s alright because I like the way it hurts
Just gonna stand there and hear me cry
But that’s alright because I love the way you lie
I love the way you lie
I love the way you lie

There is a war on families to destroy them. It’s a spiritual attack that has been going on for years. But few know how to defeat the enemy, and the ones that do are often frozen in fear. We have been given the authority and dominion over the enemy, yet we are too afraid to walk in that authority. We are afraid to call on the One who created us – and pull down the strongholds that the prince of the air puts on us. So wars continue to go on and on, because no one knows how to fight an enemy that he or she can’t see. How does one begin to fight when you don’t know who or what you are fighting? You get down on your knees and you pray, that’s how. And you ask the Lord to deliver you or to heal the other person. God is our redeemer, our sustainer, our peace. So we pray for the survivors of violence, abuse and neglect – for Him to give them peace. There are many places in this world and many people who do not experience Your peace Lord. Right now there are many, many women and children who live under the dark weight of the fear of violence – right in their own homes. We pray for protection and for wisdom for our friends and officials to help bring the needed protection to them. We pray for the many men who themselves feel powerless and confused about their relationships. We ask that You would help them find healthy ways to work out their frustrations and to find hope, without resorting to destructive impulses. Lord God, work in our country to stem this epidemic. Be with them in confusion and pain. Give Your power to the powerless, Your fullness to the empty of spirit. Heal their wounds, free them from fear and restore them to true health. Strengthen them to face the future with faith in You. We ask this through Jesus Your Son, Who was Himself a victim of abuse – and yet in His resurrection, triumphed over the oppression. Likewise, God of justice, Judge of all the earth, we bring before You those who abuse and mistreat others. Turn the hearts of the exploiters from the way of evil. Open their eyes to the truth of their conduct and fill them with remorse for the damage they have done. And so, by Your Spirit, bring them to true repentance and amending of their lives. And now Lord, may Your Spirit draw us together, both in our church family, and in the community. May we face our mistakes with complete honesty, and preserve us from hurtful speculation and gossip. Help us reach out, care for the hurting, and to support each other. We ask that You strengthen us with the gospel of Your grace, and for Your perfect peace in all our lives, in the precious name of Jesus Christ we pray, Amen.