Today’s Truth

He drew me out of deep waters ... he rescued me because he delighted in me (Psalm 18:16,19, NIV).

Friend to Friend

Debbie felt worthless for years. She was verbally abused and emotionally abandoned in her marriage from the very beginning, but Debbie stayed in the marriage for years, though she was wronged and mistreated.

The shame of it all kept Debbie silent and trapped in an unsafe marriage. Behind closed doors she endured verbal cruelty, and she believed the lies of her abuser. When her husband was in a good mood, things were good at home. But if he was in a foul mood, Debbie bore the brunt of his abuse and anger.

She endured the abuse for a long time before she left. Three kids, twenty-plus years, many affairs, and many lies later, Debbie finally had enough. She mustered up every ounce of courage she could find to leave and divorce her cheating, abusive husband.

You can imagine the scandal that took place in their church. Because the congregation was unaware of her husband’s abusive and immoral behavior, Debbie was victimized all over again in the court of public opinion. She bore the weight of public shame, humility, anger, accusations, rebellion from her children, and never-ending feelings of defeat and worthlessness.

The weight of it all was heavy. So heavy that it pushed her into a deep pit of depression.

Debbie lost most everything in the divorce—her house, her identity, her financial stability, her dignity, and almost her sanity. For a season, she even walked away from God. Broken and angry, Debbie felt God had let her down. She didn’t understand how God—who is supposed to be good, who is supposed to hear our prayers, who is supposed to be our Protector and Defender—didn’t protect her from the betrayal and the abuse.

Compassionately, God drew her back to Himself and has fully restored Debbie’s broken faith. He redeemed her wounded heart and has filled her with joy.

Like the psalmist, Debbie is grateful and changed by the unconditional, healing love of our Rescuer and Support.

“He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
he drew me out of deep waters.
He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
from my foes, who were too strong for me.
They confronted me in the day of my disaster,
but the Lord was my support.
He brought me out into a spacious place;
he rescued me because he delighted in me”
(Psalm 18:16-19).

Did you see that? God doesn’t just rescue us He delights in us!

God delights in you.

Sit with that a moment.

For a long time, Debbie thought she was worthless because she was treated as if she were. She was told that she was. She believed what she heard from another person, even though what he said about her were lies.

No abuser has the right to define who you are, to tell you what you think, to control or manipulate you, to tell you how you feel, or to condemn you for who you are or aren’t. Only God has the right to define you, and when you are in Christ, you are perfectly beautiful in His righteousness…not broken.

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, Thank You for loving me for who I am, where I am. Please help me to accept this truth when I doubt my value and to lean on Your strength and support when I struggle.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

Read 2 Thessalonians 2:13-17. What truths do these verses confirm about your value?
Who came to your mind as you read today’s devotion? She needs this message. Please pass it on to her.

More from the Girlfriends

Today’s devotion is an excerpt from Gwen’s book Broken Into Beautiful. Every step of healing begins with the heart of God. If you’d like to learn more about how your brokenness can be transformed into a picture of God’s beauty, get your copy today. To order the book go to Amazon or, for a signed copy, visit Gwen’s website.

Get 20% OFF Gwen’s BROKEN INTO BEAUTIFUL book today when you order from her website and use the code: 20OFF

© 2021 by Gwen Smith. All rights reserved.

16 Responses to “Defined by God”

  1. Andrea says:

    Thank you for this. Thank you for reminding me that I have value. And how the Lord sees me will get me through.

  2. JoAnn says:

    I too was and feel as if I still am a victim of abuse at times. But I have come to realize as you did, God loves me for who I am and nothing anyone says or does to me can take that away. I am learning to take comfort in knowing and remember that I am a child of the most high God and He who the son sets free is free indeed.

  3. Sherri says:

    Ladies, God loves you unconditionally and is a forgiving God. I stayed in a very abusive mental and physical marriage for years staring at the bible verse that says, “if an unbeliever wishes to remain, then you are bound.”
    BUT GOD rescued me. Yes, divorce is NOT God’s way, but he is a forgiving God!!!
    Trust Him!! I am
    Praying that whomever reads this seeks God’s face and trust him…you are enough!!! Blessings!!!

  4. JoAnn says:

    I too was and feel as if I still am a victim of abuse at times. I have come to realize as you did, God loves me for who I am and nothing anyone says or does to me can take that away. I am learning to take comfort in knowing and remember that I am a child of the most high God and He who the son sets free is free indeed.

  5. Beth Scarbrough says:

    I read this at least 10 times. Debbie is me Sunday I will be married 29 years I have 3 kids and this is my story…is this God speaking to me?? I’m so scared why is my faith so weak why am I so weak I don’t know what to do where to go who to go to…

    • Avatar photo Gwen Smith says:

      Oh, Beth. I’m so sorry to hear this is your story. Abusive relationships are never God’s plan. Please do seek help and godly counsel. Praying for you now, friend.


  6. Carol says:

    How many of us, women have felt this way?
    Angry, at God, when He was just waiting for us to have “the faith battle” to ask for Him to voice our prayer of rescue!
    I love the scripture Hebrew 7: 24-28. Jesus continues to pray for us and advocate for us in Heaven as our “High Priest”. This scripture has helped me so much just recently, to put my own faith to the test.
    Bless you for this am devotion.

    • Avatar photo Gwen Smith says:

      Thanks, Carol. So many continue to feel like this. Your words fuel hope. HIS WORD is Hope… the living Word. Blessings to you as well.


  7. Pamela says:

    I’m wondering what happened to Debbie? How is she doing today? I know it says God drew her back because she left him for a “season.” It sounds like she lost many, many, things that are needed. And ,yes, I know that God’s love is more important than “things.”
    If anyone hasn’t figured it out yet, I see myself in Debbie. I am not being argumentative. I’m just wondering how and where Debbie is at today.

    • Avatar photo Gwen Smith says:

      Pamela, thanks for these questions. I wrote Debbie’s full story in my book “Broken into Beautiful.” Essentially, today she is well, healed and walking with Jesus. God truly is RESTORER and HEALER of the broken.

      If you’d like to read more and move forward in healing, here’s a link to the book:

      Blessings and grace,

  8. Carola says:

    Me he tomado de una promesa de Dios.que dice en isaias41.12.

    Buscarás a los que tienen contienda contigo,y no hallarás,serán como nada, como cosa que es, aquellos que te hacen la guerra.


    Se que se cumplirá en mi vida y me gozaré.

  9. Debbie Codding says:

    This story is all to familiar. My name is Debbie and I like the story was in an abusive relationship filled with lies,cheating,fueled by drug use. I was raising two small children and had a vision of a marriage that would endure despite the circumstances. One day some folks (who I consider angels) from a local Christian church came knocking on my door at one of my lowest points. They took me to the church and baptized me. I cannot say that I had an instant feeling of restoration,but it was the seed which was planted so that I could bloom.After a period of time I had the courage to say enough is enough not only for myself but for my children and we divorced.This was a long long time ago but I can tell you God was with me every step of the way. He provided for my family in ways that I cannot explain. Flash forward to today my children are adults with their own families and though they are not actively walking the Christian faith,they understand and verbally communicate the goodness of God and how he provided for us. I actually had the opportunity to forgive my ex husband as he was nearing his death. I cannot explain the joy in my heart to have the ability to forgive my past abuse.There is hope when we turn the page into the next chapter if we remain steadfast in God’s promises. Today I am looking forward to a comfortable retirement from 30+yrs in a job God provided for me. Our God is an awesome God and he WILL be present in your journey if you remain steadfast and trust in him to guide you through the storms.

  10. Deserie says:

    As a woman who has endured physical, mental and emotional abuse, I can say for certain that God has never left my side. More importantly, He delivered me from terrible situations and brought me to where I am today. To any woman out there who may be suffering from any kind of abuse, please hear my words: You are not worthless and you do not deserve to be treated this way! Please seek Him and do not lose faith. I know that sometimes things seem hopeless, but they are not. God will make a way for you. My dear sisters in Christ, I pray that you would be strengthened and know that you are loved and valued. Thank you for this devotion today. It reminded me of God’s grace and goodness. May He continue to bless you, girlfriends!

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"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well…" 1 Thessalonians 2:8