Courageous & Compliant

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The septic relationship is like a never-ending emotional rollercoaster ride. You experience periods of tenacity and resignation. Feelings of contentment when you stood up for yourself, and the profound awareness of  being melancholy when you were too uneasy to make a stand.

I was compliant that day when I resigned from most of my church responsibilities. I was a youth leader, education secretary and music leader. They were challenging in different ways but I enjoyed what I did. I relished the research of relevant cutting edge topics that affected the youth and that could be linked back to the bible. I must have been born singing because music has always been a part of my identity. Leading worship is such a privilege and honour! We had had countless heated feuds about the issue. He felt it was taking up too much of my time. I said that women naturally multi-task and that he just needed to be patient and allow me the time to continue doing the things I enjoyed before we met. He said that he should be my priority, I said that as my husband he was and my God given tasks were also important. He said that his love for me was sacrificial, I told him that I had sacrificed enough. He wore me down, I got tired. Compliant as a cub.

The compliant autopilot mode kicks in when the mind screams retreat. It runs to hide. It cowers. It’s frazzled. It can’t say a word or do anything to defend itself. It’s humiliated at its inability to stand boldly. It can’t refute the false allegations, it can’t defend against the character assassination. It. Just. Can’t.

I was courageous that day when I left for church. We had argued that morning. I was trying to get ready so that I could leave the chaos behind me. They say the church is a hospital for the sick, well I was in desperate need of emergency care. He demanded that I give him my house keys. I had resolved in my mind that he wasn’t going to get them. I wasn’t sure how, regardless of the rhetoric of feminism, men are physically stronger than women. He grabbed the new mustard handbag my mother had bought me as a birthday gift and searched inside. I pulled it back from him. If I didn’t prevent him from finding the key, I would be locked out of the house until he deemed me worthy to re-enter. That was not about to happen that day. I could tell I was losing the struggle, with a burst of frustration I screamed that he should let go of my bag. The neighbours probably heard my shout. I know he didn’t want to risk them overhearing anything more. At that point in time I cared less if they heard or not. I wasn’t going to be intimidated. I yanked the bag from him. It was a bittersweet moment; the keys were safe but the bag handle was torn, my new birthday gift was ruined. I glared at him, turned then left. Courageous as a lion!

The courageous buzz is akin to the fact that in that particular moment in time, you burn with a desire to make your voice heard no matter what. You will not be walked on or intimidated. Not this time. An unwavering fortitude arises within and there is no turning back, no backing down. Not this time.

We’ve been surrounded and battled by troubles, but we’re not demoralised; we’re not sure what to do, but we know that God knows what to do; we’ve been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn’t left our side, we’ve been thrown down, but we haven’t broken. 2 Corinthians 4: 8

The Message Bible

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