When Family and Faith Magazine sat with Tricia-Anne Morris to discuss her journey, we couldn’t help but be enamored by the sweetness of her refreshed spirit and her willingness to be vulnerable for the glory of Christ. The self-proclaimed ‘Jesus Chaser’ shared openly about her past struggles and how the Lord Jesus rescued and redeemed her and put her on path of purpose to help others.
Family and Faith Magazine: You describe yourself as a ‘Jesus Chaser’, share with our readers what that means on a day to day basis.
Tricia-Anne Morris: Chasing Jesus means doing whatever I can to deepen my connection to Him. So I do simple things like say good morning when I wake up as I would any loved one. We also talk throughout the day like Father and daughter – when I need advice, a shift in my mood and a word of encouragement. Then sometimes there are those moments when I need to apologize to Him (and the person I offended) because my attitude, reaction, or thoughts were un-Jesus like. I also tell Him thanks throughout the day and let Him know how grateful I am for life, my family, my business, lessons learned etc. I do devotions. I’m not a morning person so I do my devotions at lunch time or before bed. My devotions will include reading and meditating on the Bible, praying, listening to worship music. More importantly, it’s when I learn a whole lot about Him. Outside of devotion time I may listen to gospel music or watch sermons.
Family and Faith Magazine: Share one example of how you’ve experienced redemption from sin in your own life?
Tricia-Anne Morris: I remember going through a very rough patch in my life. And that rough patch left me struggling with low self-esteem and mild depression. I didn’t know Jesus then. I didn’t know how to turn my sadness into joy with His help. The hole in my heart was huge and nothing I did would repair it. So I turned to sex, partying, and promiscuity. However, once I became a Christian and accepted that I had been redeemed, had a new life, and was made a new creature, my life and perspective changed dramatically. Because of His redemption I felt like a brand new white suit. I’m talking tailor-made, dry cleaned, steam-pressed, crisp full white suit, white buttons – everything white. I felt like everything that was wrong about me, every situation that had hurt me, everything I did wrong had vanished (was wiped clean from my story) because of Jesus’ blood and death.
Family and Faith Magazine: You were in a broken abusive relationship, what has God shown you about abuse and how women should treat men and men women?
Tricia-Anne Morris: A man is supposed to love his wife as Jesus loved the church. Jesus died for the church, protected the church, provided for the church. This is the model husbands should follow. As such, husbands should never intentionally harm their wives. Furthermore they should protect her (keep harm away from her) and provide for her.
As I prayed about my own situation the Lord showed me that I was also wrong in the relationship. He made it very clear that abuse was wrong. So He wasn’t saying that I deserved it. He was merely saying that I was wrong too.
Ladies, in our efforts to see things run smoothly and care for our family we (women) sometimes usurp the man’s authority. If the man has no money and we go ahead and pay the bills without having the conversation with him first, we’re usurping his authority. The primary responsibility of providing for the home is his and unless that conversation is had and we’ve both agreed…we’re undermining his authority and disrespecting him. We’re saying he’s incapable. Funny thing is we often don’t mean anything by it. We’re usually just trying to help out but that still doesn’t make it right. A wife should always be on the same page with her husband and to do that she needs to have that conversation – the one that includes him and shows him that he matters and is the man. Another example is asking him to do something, say fix a pipe, and because we don’t think he’s getting around to it fast enough, we call for the plumber without having that conversation – usurping his authority.
You know the key I learned from the Lord as we talked through and I self-evaluated is that I am not meant to be the man in the relationship. Don’t get me wrong. I do believe that I can do what a man does in a professional capacity, academically, and even earn what he earns. That however will never make me a man. And I am very happy being a woman. So I have come to realize that his roles are his and mine are mine and I have to respect his as much as he needs to respect mine. Took me a while to understand that, particularly because I never realized that what I was doing was wrong. Nevertheless I’ve since learnt and very much appreciate the lesson.
Family and Faith Magazine: How is self-control important in determining if a man has a tendency to abuse his partner?
Tricia-Anne Morris: Self-control is having the discipline to control your impulses, emotions, thoughts and behaviours. Someone who lacks self-control doesn’t have that discipline. Yet in marriage both persons have to be mature enough to know when to compromise, to agree to disagree, and not ‘be right’ even when you are right. When you lack self-control it’s hard to do these things that are so critical to keeping the marriage together and keeping the peace. A man (or woman) who lacks self-control is more likely to give in to the impulse to argue a lot, ‘blow his or her top’, and as you can imagine over time that may lead to abuse.
Family and Faith Magazine: What is your advice to women in a physically abusive relationship?
- The first thing you ought to do is find a safe space. One where you’re out of harm’s way.
- Next report it to the police. Especially if he has threatened you or you feel threatened.
- You should also tell a close friend, family member and/or pastor (someone trustworthy and dependable). This is very important because you’ll need someone to check up on you and act as your accountability partner. Your accountability partner is the person you can trust to talk sense into you in the event you contemplate going back under the circumstances and/or you start to blame yourself.
- It would also be good if you found a prayer group to share with. A space where you’re free to speak openly, honestly and confidentially. Verbalizing your pain, concerns, fears etc. will help you get rid of the ‘toxins’ from the relationship.
- You should also get professional help. See a pastor, therapist, or counselor - someone that can help you get over the spiritual, psychological and emotional trauma. A great place for counselling is WOGIS Ministries International.
- Finally, do things that will accelerate your healing process. My suggestions:
- Forgive yourself quickly
- Stay away from the blame game. Blaming yourself is wrong, there is no two ways about it. Even if you were the worst wife ever, he was wrong to abuse you.
- Forgive him quickly. Hating him is a great way to stay stuck. Anger and hate are energy depleting mechanisms. Make every effort to let go and move on!
- Also once it’s safe to do so, make every effort to live again… Take on a hobby, invest in courses, volunteer, join a church ministry, and/or get involved in community service… Getting involved will empower you which in turn will build your self-esteem. If you don’t get involved you may find yourself sinking further into depression and feelings of insecurity.
- Keep your distance from him, his friends and/or family members until you are sure it’s safe to be in a shared space with him/them (if at all). Being in the same space may put you in harm’s way again. Doing so can be very risky. Also unless your spouse has sought help and can show overtime that he is a better man, he’s not ready to be with you. It is a risk you’ll have to assess seriously and only after YOU have also sought help and are in a much better place. A weak you will not hesitate to go back, even if it’s not safe. Be keen to listen to the advice of family members, your pastor, accountability partner, and prayer group. If they are opposed to you seeing him then it’s probably best not to.
My rule of thumb is: He’s not ready to change if he hasn’t sought prolonged professional help.
Family and Faith Magazine: How has your painful past helped you to find your true purpose?
Tricia-Anne Morris: God is so amazing. As I went through my healing process I became empowered and then I became excited and eager to share what I had learnt and found in my search to a better me. So I started to think of ways to help other women and then I found myself being led by God in a particular direction. It was less about me seeking stuff out and more about Him taking me on a journey. Out of that journey came my book but it still felt like there was more. So I prayed more, fasted and just submitted it all to Him. In no time the ideas came flooding and the doors started opening. The truth is, as I opened up more and more to the idea of helping women, God cemented for me what my purpose is. So now I do success coaching, business coaching. I’m author, radio host, business consultant, blogger and I host an annual conference for women. In fact, my key target is women. What’s funny is that I’m now writing a book about finding purpose based on the ‘formula’ as it were, that God gave me.
You can purchase Tricia-Anne’s book on Amazon http://amzn.to/2o0yYwp and at Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/2o4ZlfS. You may also get in touch with her directly via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @triciaanneymorris
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