"But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the message might be preached fully through me, and that all the Gentiles might hear."
2 Timothy 4:17

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Freedom in the Lord

     God has given me quite a few unique and special moments with the ladies this past week. The Wednesday night bible study leader didn't show up and so three of us summer girls were able to give our testimonies to the guests instead. It was a great experience, although I got pretty nervous and sped through a good deal of my story. On Saturday night I had one of the ladies show me some fashionable hair tricks and we ended up talking for over 2 hours. She told me that a part of my testimony had really made her look at her life and evaluate how she wanted her kids to grow up. She ended up sharing her whole story with me and giving me a lot of insight on some of my own personal struggles. I am trying my best not to have any favorites, but there is definitely a special connection with her and I.

     Sunday morning came and I about had a nervous breakdown because my time to teach Sunday School, for our guests, had finally come. It was a very unique opportunity and I am glad I obeyed God, even though I really did not want to teach. As soon as I got up I confessed that when the teacher had asked each of us to pick a Sunday I knew in the back of my head that I was not going to do it because I hate speaking in front of large groups. But, when God tells you to do something, you do it. So there I was.

     After my confession I explained how God guided me to the topic of the lesson: Taming the Tongue. Before coming to OK I gave a small devotional in Proverbs about our words to the BCM leadership team. So that was already in the back of my mind. Then I started Googling topics and Taming the Tongue kept appearing. I finally asked one of the staff members what she thought I should teach on and Taming the Tongue was the first thing that came out of her mouth, without hesitation. Finally, the first video I happened upon compared toilet training a cat to controlling our tongues. And as some of you know, I toilet trained my cat about a year ago. I knew what He was trying to tell me :)

     James 3:1-12 was the focus scripture and the ladies gave me lots of great feedback. It went perfectly and we ended right on time. I am so thankful that God pushed me out of my comfort zone and got me to teach!

     On another note, last Friday we had a Domestic Violence victim come and speak with us and our director. She shared her story and how she had been in multiple abusive relationships. Two very big things stuck out to me during her story.

  1. Lying. Women who come from DV or abusive relationships have to lie. They lie to people around them to hide what is happening in their homes. They lie to protect themselves. And that lying becomes such an essential part of their survival that it becomes a part of other aspects of their life as well.
  2. Instigation. There are cycles to domestic violence.
    Women recognize this to an extent and the closer they get to the abuse (crisis state) the more likely they are to instigate it to get it over quicker. This happens a lot before big holidays. It also happens when the woman senses that if she waits for him to initiate the abuse it will be far worse. Many times, getting the abuse over earlier will save them from something much worse later on. 
     These two realizations broke me. They made me look at situations of people that I know and love differently and they made me ache for the women who have to live through these situations. It also made me very angry. Angry that the abusers make these women feel guilty, like it is there fault. And it isn't just through physical abuse. It can be through their finances, verbal assaults, neglect, etc. And on top of that, women who try to leave these situations are 70% more likely to be killed. No one should have to feel like a prisoner in their own home. 

     I know that when I go home in two weeks I will be much more aware of what is happening in the homes around me and I am thankful that God has taught given me this valuable asset. There is victory in the Lord and I am praying daily for women in these situations all over the world to attain freedom from their captors. 

"Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." 
2 Corinthians 3:17

Teaching Sunday School

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