Sunday, August 17, 2008

There is Hope

Tucked away in a pocket, in a place where I haven't looked for quite some time, is an issue that I want to write about today. In the midst of my joy, of floating through my days as if I haven't a care in the world, I was awakened to the hurt of someone very dear to me. And in listening to her God reminded me that there are so many other women who face the same struggle. Women to whom it's not an issue of the past, healed over by God's grace and restoration, but a living, painful struggle. It's an issue that forces us to make hard decisions, to find courage to ask for help, to think about our safety and the safety of our children.

A lot of us may know someone living with abuse or violence in their home. It can be invisible, just below the surface. Only rarely does it show itself, preferring to stay hidden. It can take many forms. Emotional abuse can be difficult to describe or talk about. The important thing is to find someone to talk to. We can't control the other person, we can only control ourselves, just as we have to take responsibility for ourselves, so the other person is responsible for doing what they have to do to get help and change their destructive behavior. Sometimes the best thing we can do is let the authorities God has put in place, step in and do their job. There needs to be accountability for change to occur.

While searching for wisdom to know how to help my friend, I found a great post written by Mary DeMuth on her Relevant Blog. I also found websites I have added to my list of Important Places. They are Focus Ministries and National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Hope's Door.

You are not alone
"Maybe you have known the fear and despair of living in an abusive relationship; the anxiety of never knowing when something you say or do will trigger the violence. You are afraid to confide in anyone else because he has warned you not to tell anyone what goes on inside the four walls of your home.
You are afraid that even if you did go to your pastor or a counselor, they would not believe you because your husband is a smooth talker who can make you sound like a fool, or he may be a respected leader in the church.
You wish you had wings so you could fly away to a safe place where you would be free from hurt. Take heart--there is help available to you, and there is hope. People care, and most of all, God cares. You are important! You are valuable." Focus Ministries

"Seldom does the abuse just go away; it gets worse. And there is nothing you can do to change your partner's behavior." Hope's Door

Dear Lord,

I pray that you will give us your wisdom, whether we are the one in a violent relationship or the one trying to help. I pray that you will bring comfort and strength to my friend and anyone reading this who is in this situation. Please give the discernment to know when to ask for help and provide a safe person to talk to. Thank you for walking with us through these days. I praise you God for your power to restore and rebuild lives.

(As for my friend, I just held her, cried with her and held her hand. I told her I knew she was strong and I trusted her to make the right decision. My prayers go with her.)


Morning By Morning said...

What a powerful post. It is sad what some women have to deal with. I will keep your friend in my prayers

a bite of country cupcakes said...

Such a touching and poignant post,
I think that so many lives are affected by this affliction and go it alone and suffer in silence.
I pray with you that our prayers touch the life of someone suffering.

I have you added as my fav on my side bar but it was'nt updating that you had re-posted so I had'nt come by...Sorry!
Glad I have caught up on your posts now,
Enjoy your day

Just Joni said...

I hope your friend finds the strength to say "Enough is enough" may have been the link she needed to do that...sometimes we are stronger through our friends (and family) than we can be alone...bless your heart for being there for her...I will whisper a little prayer just for her (and for you too)...


Anonymous said...

Others decided to just keep the thing hidden because they don't want their lives to be complicated and "in public"...they are protecting someone or protecting theirselves.

I am so sad about these things. I have a friend who is a battered wife and what made it a crazy thing is that her husband is a pastor's son. Who will listen to her?

But then she followed her wounded heart...she went to an institution for Women Against Violence and talked about this matter. Those persons never judge her but gather facts about this things that's going on with her.

And now my friend as well as her daughter are protected.

Women must DRAW THE LINE!...enough is enough..we have rights and being a martir would not help us.

I am single and i would like a marriage that is filled with love and not violence. Pray for the marriage women and please include us, the singles, on your prayers also.

Thank you Karen for the post. Yay, thought i get so emotional reading about it haha...

Oh well..let's fight for our rights!

1 Peter 3:7
"Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers."

Colossians 3:19
"Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them."

Donna said...

It happens more often than people realize. I grew up in an abusive home. Continuing the trend, my first husband was also abusive. I broke free and such negative forces have been removed from my life. There is hope for your friend. Please let her know that.

Karen said...

thank you friends for sharing your encouragement and personal stories of overcoming this. I will pass this hope on to my friend.

pfranklin said...

And mine as well, love to you Karen.

Hannah said...

I will say that Focus Ministries has helped me personally alot.

Thank you GOD for helping them form! I try to send them money when I can, and I know they are doing alot of good.

I had to throw in my personal THANK YOU for that ministry!