When I read Psalm 27, I think of the survivor of narcissistic abuse. Let me explain as we read through it together.
An Exuberant Declaration of Faith
A Psalm of David.
The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?
Fear is a huge part of the survivor's life and not just for obvious reasons in response to abusive treatment. Really, in the case of the narcissistic abuse survivor, the greatest emotion is pain, but fear shows up in subtle ways. It's the walking on eggshells concerned about whether the house is clean and neat enough, only for him to find the one little thing out of place. It's the anxiety. It's the lack of trust. It's the inability to be truly vulnerable because of a lack of emotional and physical safety. A type of fear exists where there should be peace and calm.
But with the Lord, there is safety and strength and joy and a peace that defies understanding. Thank you, Lord!
2 When the wicked came against me To eat up my flesh, My enemies and foes, They stumbled and fell.
According to the International Bible Encyclopedia, the definition of wicked is a mental disregard for justice, righteousness, truth, honor, virtue; evil in thought and life; depravity; sinfulness; criminality. The definition of a foe is someone who entertains personal enmity, hatred, grudge, or malice against another; an enemy in war. (KJV Dictionary) These definitions describe the narcissist and his behavior. Yes, we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but if you do not understand what you are dealing with, you will continue to be vulnerable to the enemy's destructive mission to use any means necessary (including your spouse) to steal, kill, and destroy you and your purpose. The beautiful thing is that although sometimes it feels like the the enemy doesn't just
3 Though an army may encamp against me, My heart shall not fear; Though war may rise against me, In this I will be confident.
Dealing with the narcissist pulls back the curtain on the realm of evil in a way that few other things do. The Word encourages us that when he and his army of flying monkeys, whose mission is to defame you, do their mischief, you will not fear, but be confident. Stay focused on God and His Word and not on the circumstances. Take the authority you have been given in Christ Jesus and pray over those circumstances. Pray over your children and yes, over the deviant husband, too. Pray that the flying monkeys will be able to see truth. Pray for God's love and justice. Listen for His direction and follow Him - this is spiritual warfare. You will not be be utterly overwhelmed as you remember that God is not slack concerning His promises and He cannot be mocked. Just boldly and confidently do your part and let God handle the rest.
4 One thing I have desired of the Lord, That will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord All the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the Lord, And to inquire in His temple.
There is something about surviving a relationship with a narcissist that sends you to your knees in away nothing else does. The result is that you have a fierce abiding with the Lord in His shelter that cannot be penetrated. You understand how it feels to be in so much pain that you struggle to breathe, and the Lord gives you strength for another day, another responsibility, another event. You know what it feels like to feel trapped believing divorce is not an option and that you are resolved to a life with a person who is treacherous. Your comfort is knowing that beholding the beauty of the Lord gives you strength and peace. You also know that to be in that space and to inquire in His temple brings the answers you seek, eventually. Dwelling close to the Lord provides you with what you need to move forward in your biblical right to end your marriage. Or it gives you what you need to prepare to be rescued from it. Seek the Lord and He will guide you.
5 For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; In the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock.
God's love and watch care protects us no matter the foe - even the one closest to us, living under the same roof. No matter how great the trouble is right now. No matter how dim the outlook, No matter how crippling the pain, God will cover you and set you out of the way of trouble where they cannot reach you. Stay close to Him and you will find safety and peace.
6 And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me; Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord.
The NIV translation says my head will be "exalted". I love the Bible's beautiful confirmations. Our lives are a stage upon which we have the privilege of revealing an aspect of God's character. To be lifted up means there must first be a low place. When God allows the dark valley and then allows us to shine as we share how our test became a testimony, we bring Him glory. And with the knowledge that God inhabits our praise, consider praising Him in advance. Exercise your faith and praise Him ahead of the breakthrough, trusting that God is indeed working all things together for our good because we love Him and are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)
7 Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice! Have mercy also upon me, and answer me.
Our loving God, who is close to the brokenhearted, will indeed answer. Cultivate your relationship with Him so you can hear His voice when He speaks back to you. In that sweet communion you will be able to discern when He says go left or right. (Isaiah 30:21) He will reveal to you the unknown things. (Dan. 2:22, Dan. 2:28, Luke 8:17, Deut 29:29)
8 When You said, “Seek My face,” My heart said to You, “Your face, Lord, I will seek.”
Experiencing the trauma of covert narcissism especially, drives you ever closer to the Source of all hope. The intimacy of seeking God's face and communing with Him will strengthen you and encourage you. Stay close to Him and you will see Him work time after time, helping you all along the way.
9 Do not hide Your face from me; Do not turn Your servant away in anger; You have been my help; Do not leave me nor forsake me, O God of my salvation.
It will feel sometimes like his is far away. life he is taking too long to answer prayer. He promised He wouldn't leave you. trust him
10 When my father and my mother forsake me, Then the Lord will take care of me.
When suffering the isolating, traumatic treachery at the hands of the narcissist, it may seem as if you are all alone and no one understands. It is true that many in fact do not understand unless they have personally survived it. Know that the Lord cares and He captures every tear. (Psalm 56:8) He is working out your deliverance.
11 Teach me Your way, O Lord, And lead me in a smooth path, because of my enemies.
God's truth is liberating. Inspired by Isaiah 40:4-5, the mission of Exalted Valley Ministries is in part to know and grow in His truth, which makes the rough places smooth. Of note in the NIV, the word is "straight". God will protect us from our enemies as He leads along the way of safety and life.
12 Do not deliver me to the will of my adversaries; For false witnesses have risen against me, And such as breathe out violence.
Yes, the devil is our ultimate enemy, but those under his influence and behaving contrary to God's will, are adversaries doing the will of the archenemy. This verse describes the narcissist and his flying monkey bunch (mostly family and "friends" who feel they have something to gain from remaining in relationship with him). Instigated by the narcissist, they engage in textbook character assassination. I haven't met a narcissistic abuse survivor yet who has not been victim to the vicious, and sometimes ridiculous lies. They do not use their hands to hurt you; they use words and lies to hurt you. The depiction of them breathing out violence is completely accurate. They are compulsive liars, lying about even the smallest things. Listen carefully, though: their accusations tend to be confessions.
13 I would have lost heart, unless I had believed That I would see the goodness of the Lord In the land of the living.
You believe God's Word that says we reap what we sow and that possibly could mean that you will one day experience a return of your kindness and faithfulness and love and tenderness and loyalty and sacrifice. But then as the days grow longer and weeks turn into months turn into years turn into decades, there comes a point where the despair and anguish you feel during your waiting season starts to dim and the only hope of rescue and enjoyment of life will come in heaven and in the earth made new. This scripture turns that around and encourages you to keep believing. I want to encourage you, too. I have been there and I am a witness that it is possible to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living - for yourself and for your children. Trust Him! Praise Him!
14 Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!
The mistreatment has broken your heart, leaving you in a state of functional depression. It feels like your heart has literally been broken and the pain makes you weak, but stay encouraged. God WILL strengthen your heart. Don't give up. His Word is true and it will not return void.
Remember: You Matter. Your Voice Matters. Your valley will be exalted and your triumph will bring glory to God.
Scripture from the New King James Bible