Guest Blog: Unite in Light Conference 2023 by Elizabeth Baldwin (Billingsley)
Hello everyone! My name is Elizabeth Rachel. I want to tell you a little about myself. I've been a nurse for 23 years. I picked up writing again in 2015 after the death of my husband and the end of an abusive marriage. I wanted my words and story to shine light in the dark places and be a beacon of hope for those who still suffer under such oppression.
I want to see the captives set free (Isaiah 61:1-4)! I have been blogging since 2015 and enjoy writing blogs to help others with their trauma by sharing my struggles, doubts, fears, and triumphs. I have been a published author of two books (under the name Elizabeth Billingsley) since 2016. I also enjoy travel, reading, time with friends and family, movies, and music. I am working on my third book, Wandering in the Weeds: Lost Ones Found.
I am excited to share the emotional, spiritual, and mental healing journey I have experienced since finding freedom from abuse and trauma with the help of Jesus and therapy. I have been helping people heal physically and stay healthy for over 20 years in my nursing career, yet I did not know how much my heart needed healing. Thank you, April, for this beautiful opportunity to share my heart!
I want to empower you to break free from abusive cycles and walk in your true, God-given identities. You can be free from abuse of any kind! You can live an abundant life on this side of Heaven full of love and light! You can be safe, and you can dream again!
How do I do this, you ask? I want to highlight three ways to walk in freedom and the action steps to get you there.
First, you must acknowledge (mentally and emotionally) that the abuse was not your fault and you are not responsible for the abuser or their actions. You must let go of the need to control other's perceptions of your life and decisions, including your decision to leave an abusive situation.
Most importantly, you must tell your story. Silence keeps us bound in darkness. When we speak bold truth about evil, Light shines into the darkness of abuse, and that darkness cannot overcome the Light (John 1:5).
Where do I start? This is where the action steps to your freedom come into focus.
One of the hardest things for me to do was to let go of the need to please other people, to let go of the co-dependency I had denied for so long. However, with prayer, the support of safe friends, and sound therapy, I have been able to do this and do it well.
You must let go of the notion that you can control what people think and need to care about what they think of you. I have learned I don't have any control over other people, and to try is exhausting. And to be very honest, what they think of me isn't any of my business, nor does it add to my freedom or purpose.
The last and most important thing I have learned is to affirm my true identity (the identity God gave me, the person He created me to be) vs. the identity my late husband or others have assigned or tried to assign to me. Christian and non-Christian, church and non-church, society, parents, spouses, friends—all of these people can give us an identity and expect us to live up to it if we aren't paying attention.
The only identity that matters is the identity God has given us. We will know what that identity is if we choose to seek him and know him better. Come and know him better, my friends - this is the path to freedom—freedom in ways you have only imagined.
I look forward to expounding on these ideas in my interview with April on October 26th at 6:30 MDT/7:30 CST. I hope you can come, listen, and begin your journey to freedom from abuse and trauma!
Join us Tuesday, October 24, 2023, at 6:30 pm MDT for this great conversation.
To connect on Social media:
Twitter (X): www.twitter.com/pianobeth1
My website: https://www.elizabethbillingsley.com