The Colors of Freedom - Kelsey's StoryNov 12, 2023
Kelsey* carefully chose the blue sidewalk chalk to draw a smiling bunny with a pink nose.
As the happy bunny enjoyed sitting on the soft green grass, a yellow and orange sun wearing blue sunglasses rose in the background, adding a warm glow to the picture. The white fluffy clouds against the clear blue sky finished her masterpiece on the concrete square section of sidewalk. As the blue bunny came to life, so did part of Kelsey's heart.
This small step of experiencing a newfound freedom was a big step in her healing journey. Many emotions filled her heart. It was exhilarating to be free to have a choice in what she wanted to do. At the same time, there were condemning voices trying to push their way into her mind from her family and estranged husband.
"How could you waste your money on something like sidewalk chalk?"
"You are acting like a child!"
Yes, indeed, a wounded child that for the FIRST TIME was able to feel, think, choose, and express. It was a moment Kelsey will remember for years to come.
HOPE GIVER TIP: Celebrate the small steps with a survivor because they are really BIG for someone recovering from domestic abuse.
Being raised in a restrictive religious culture, Kelsey married a man who professed to be Christian wanted to honor her cultural upbringing. He knew that, in this culture, women had the place of honor in staying home while their husbands provided for them. But he wanted her to work. Eventually, she realized it was to support his alcoholism which only increased his abuse.
Despite a trip to the hospital due to her injuries from him and even running away a few times for safety, her family insisted she return home. Kelsey was not allowed to share an opinion, cry, or even express a concern. Trapped in the darkness of domestic abuse...she felt hopeless, helpless, and alone.
Finally, a friend (an Oasis alumni) helped her begin to see the unhealthy areas of her marital relationship.
Eventually, Kelsey was able to find the courage to seek safety. As a result, she has been shunned by her family. Her reputation has been intentionally disparaged by her estranged husband. He is hiding the truth to save his own reputation. This is, unfortunately, a very common tactic used by abusers to portray themselves as the victim. Nevertheless, Kelsey knows she made the right decision.
Today, the Oasis Bible Study is helping to restore Kelsey's hope and dignity.
The truth of God's Word is offering clarity to her situation and worth to her very being. The day she chose to draw the happy picture of a blue bunny in the sun with her sidewalk chalk reflects a hopeful future amid her struggles. It has opened the door to more healing for her broken heart and more freedom to be who God has designed her to be.
When I asked for Kelsey's permission to use her story, she responded, "I am honored you want to use my story and I cried after reading it. I thank the Oasis Community for loving me and helping me understand things I feel everyone else knows but me."
Your financial gifts help women like Kelsey understand God's unconditional love, absolute truth, and abundant grace which are crucial to anyone's healing journey. We encourage you to prayerfully consider being a light of hope in the darkness of those impacted by domestic abuse.
*For safety reasons, "Kelsey" is not her real name
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