“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18 gives me hope. In this scripture, God promises that He is with the brokenhearted, those who are crushed in spirit, and that there is victory on the other side of brokenness.
Hi, I’m Reva. I was once brokenhearted and crushed in spirit. Today, I am a survivor who has changed the narrative of my life and is looking forward to having a thriving future. I was around the age of nine when I found myself awakened out of my sleep in the middle of the night, scared and shaking, to loud yelling, screaming, and cursing coming from the living room until the screams made their way outside our home. The physical fights between my parents, and witnessing my brothers getting chastised would be forever engraved in my mind.
It was so devastating for me to watch my brothers ball up in a fetal position trying to lessen the impact of each hit. Don’t hurt them, is what I would whisper in my head, as I sat and cried uncontrollably to the point of trembling. Around 1 in 5 children are exposed to domestic abuse, also known as CDV (childhood domestic violence). These experiences accumulated and had a negative effect on my life. Searching for a sense of security and safety, I found myself becoming involved in a cycle of traumatic events.
One of my earliest relationships ended abruptly when my significant other was shot 5 times in front of me. From there, I became a mom at nineteen years old and a wife at twenty-one years old. By then, my sense of self-worth had taken a terrible hit. I did not believe I was any good. I believed I was the reason why bad things happened to me. After I got married, I blamed myself for everything that went wrong in my marriage. This put a lot of stress on my young marriage. I was always on guard, watching and waiting for the next bad event to occur, never feeling safe.
After years of suffering from cycles of depression, fear, gripping anxiety, and PTSD, I sought counseling. It was there that I discovered the weight of my childhood experiences, the weight of watching and experiencing abuse and violence, and how those events contributed in making me into what I’d become. Surviving the trauma of childhood domestic abuse alone seemed like a herculean task. Thriving? That seemed downright impossible. However, I was determined to break this cycle and provide a new way of life for my young babies. With a lot of hard work, I currently have a healthy and thriving marriage of twenty plus years.
Thanks to my journey of healing, I now know that surviving from day to day isn't how you have to live. You can not only survive, but you can thrive. You can change the narrative!
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