She was a stranger in a chat room I frequented, asking questions of faith and evidently very troubled. The answers she was getting were true, but simplistic and not taking into consideration the pain she was in. No one seemed to care about that, so I began to talk to her privately.
"You want to share what's troubling you?"
"An abusive husband."
"Abusive in what way? Physically, verbally, emotionally, sexually?"
"Can you leave him?"
"I have tried."
"What happens when you try?"
"Last time I tried I got hurt. I haven't attempted in a month or so."
"Hurt how? By him?"
He had caught her at the door and thrown her against the wall.
As she began to unfold the nightmare she was living, I was horrified. I've known these things are done but to come so close to someone experiencing it made all the more real. I was scared for her. No one should live with the stuff she was.
"You need to get out. And soon." The problem is that someone who is repeatedly abused lacks the confidence to do something about it and her very real fear of being hurt worse if she tries and is caught, keeps her trapped. But for my new friend, it wasn't that easy. Her husband had someone following her to work and keeping an eye on her. There was also the problem of her two wee ones.
I began to explore options with her, all the while encouraging her as she cried from the stress she was feeling. "Are you in a small town or a city?"
"Would you be willing to call the police tomorrow from work and talk to them?"
"Does your employer know what's been going on?"
And so, with much questioning, I devised a plan she seemed to think might work. She would call the police when she got to work the next day, tell them she needed help and ask that they come to her work place because it wasn't safe for her to go to them.
After more encouragement, reminding her that God was with her and promising to pray for her safety until I heard from her again, we said good night.
I heard from her the next night.
"Hey! They arrested hubby today."
"No way! What happened?" That she had actually carried through my suggestion was remarkable. I could hardly believe what she was telling me. The police gave her some options when she called them and because she didn't want to leave her home, they picked her up at work and took her home. Her husband was there and when he saw the police, he threw a fit so they took him away. Yay! Wow! Talk about an answer to prayer! She was free! Thank you, Jesus!
Part 2 tomorrow