Reclaiming Yourself After Abuse
By Sonya Denise Reed
There is nothing more beautiful in my eyes than a woman who has survived abuse. Whether it’s physical, sexual, mental, or emotional abuse, a woman who has gone from victim to survivor is born again. She is a new creature, and she is absolutely, positively B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L!
What makes her beautiful is not her physical beauty. It can’t be, because abuse does not discriminate. A victim of abuse can be fat or skinny. She can live below the poverty line, be the daughter of a multimillionaire, or be married to the President of the United States.
What makes a woman – who has overcome anger, humiliation, self- loathing, pain and above all, fear – beautiful is her COURAGE.
Many broken pieces must be put back together in order for a battered woman to become whole again. The most important piece is her faith in a higher power. For me, that would be my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. For another woman, her higher power may come in another form. But whether it’s for the first time or whether she’s renewing and rededicating herself to that relationship, she must have the courage to believe in something greater than herself – something from which she can draw strength to keep moving forward. She must realize that it did not fail her but that it has sustained her.
A woman who has found the ability to trust in a higher power has the ability to believe again.
A woman who has been the victim of abuse and is able to believe again – in a higher power, a friend, a man, herself – radiates from the inside. She is confident, and there is nothing more beautiful than a woman with confidence.
A confident woman who has survived and is no longer a victim regains the ability to trust again. And the woman that has the ability to trust again can love again.
Scripture says, “… the greatest of these is love.” Love heals the wounds and banishes the horrible memories of the past.
Love gives her vision. When a woman who has stood like a deer blinded by headlights – frozen in the grips of abuse – can see again, she can she her future; she can see her destiny. She has HOPE.
She has become a woman that dares to look at herself in the mirror and say, “ You know what, I am BEAUTIFUL!”
Sonya Denise Reed was runner-up for the “Beauty in My Eyes” writing contest, a contest created to celebrate women and their beauty in conjunction with “Be True to You 2012.”