It was just another Wednesday in December. Another day of taking care of the girls and managing stress and life drama. I love going to church on Wednesday nights but this week was extra special, because it was the night of the Cantata! I was excited and had the whole evening planned out. Even the exact time I needed to get the girls in the bath and supper started so we would be exactly on time. I had reached the appointed time and the girls were happily playing in the bathtub while I cooked supper. My husband was in the backyard unloading scrap metal.
The front door bell rang. “That is odd, I bet it is my husband playing a trick on me again.” I thought as I trotted to the front door and opened it only to see a middle aged, nicely dressed, nice looking, but visibly upset woman standing at my door.
My mind began to race a million miles a second. Who is this? Why is she here? What does she want from me? Where did she come from?
She looked at me and asked if she could borrow my phone. I knee jerked reacted and said I don’t have a phone. (I don’t have a home phone.) I asked her where she was from, wondering if she broke down. She pointed across the intersection. She proceeds to tell me that she locked herself out of the house and her cell phone was dead.
I thought, “What is the harm in letting a neighbor use my phone, wouldn’t I want someone to do the same for me?” So I pulled it out and said, “I have a cell, you can use.” The hair on the back of my neck stood up when she said “Ok, I will block your number so he won’t know who is calling.” My heart started racing as I watched in horror as she dialed a number and the person on the other end cursed her out so loudly I could hear, then heard him threaten to kill whoever was helping her. She hung up on him and handed me the phone back. She was crying so much that her mascara started to run. At this point, my heart broke for her and I stepped out onto the porch. (I had the screen door between us up until this point.) I asked her what her name was and I asked her if I could pray with her. I wrapped her in a hug and prayed that God would speak to her heart. I have never felt the presence of Jesus more than in that moment. She was sobbing so much, I don’t know that she heard a word I was saying, but I prayed that God would reach her heart. She pulled back when I finished and looked at me and said “I know God is trying to reach me. I know He is trying to help me.” After she dried her eyes and composed herself some, she went back across the road because the man had text (because I was ignoring the calls and blocked him) that he would be home in 15 minutes.
I went back in the house and praised Jesus for that experience and was on top of the world. I KNEW no harm would come to us as long as Jesus was present.
My joy quickly turned to sorrow as this man continued to call. My sorrow had turned into fear when my husband came in the back door and I told him all that had transpired. It wasn’t even a minute later we heard blood curling screaming. My husband darted out the back door to see if he could “un-obviously” see what was going on. I continued to pray for her and ourselves while I got the girls ready and fed, all while listening to the screams from outside. My husband came back in the house, on the phone with the police. He told me to get the girls and lock ourselves in the closet, as he continued to talk to the police and started pulling guns out. I began texting my other neighbor, a desperate plea, “If something happens to us, here is what to tell the police.” I got the girls in the closet and tried desperately to keep them quiet (quite a feat for a 1 and 4 year old, who had no clue what was going on). Next I heard her come back to the door, she was knocking, ringing the door bell and crying to loudly that we could hear her inside the closet. My heart just broke completely, I sobbed. My husband told me not to answer the door, no matter what. Inside, I felt hatred build at him. “I have God on my side, what can man do to me? I NEED to help this woman!“, my mind screamed but I listened to him. I stayed locked in the closet, scared for my daughters life, sobbing my eyes out because I had just prayed with this woman, now I, the Christian, am hiding from adversity in my closet.
The man left, and the woman went back to her house, then the police arrived.
So torn up inside, I got ready and angerly left, much to my husbands dismay. He didn’t want me to leave the safety of the house, but I was adamant. I was going to church, hell or high water.
I went to the cantata with my tear streaked face, and no one even noticed. I left the service because the girls were being rowdy and went and sat in the hallway. My anger at my husband, turned to anger at the church. These pious people here don’t care one bit for the agony I was feeling. Service let out and I talked with a few people, then decided to head home, although I really didn’t want to.
On the way to my car I was greeted by a lady who asked me, so sincerely, if I was ok, I just sobbed on her and blubbered it all out to her. She comforted me and gave me her number and her husbands number to call should I need anything. Told me to call her when I got home to make sure I was ok. While talking to her, her sister in law came by and she also, checked in with me and called me later that night. So in a bizarre way, the comfort that I was needing was met by these 2 Godly women, who set aside their lives for a minute to help a blubbering child who can’t cope with life.
Weeks past and we saw our neighbor, both male and female, be arrested, bail each other out- lather, rinse, repeat. I still struggled inside with all the emotions that I had faced that day and they surmounted when she came back, knocking on our door one Sunday, I became overwhelmed again. At our small group meeting, I told all what had gone on. Shared the fear, the sorrow, the anguish of my heart.
One of the guys responded, “I don’t see it like you do. I don’t see you as failing this woman and single handily turning her from God like you say you did. I see you being there for her when God knew you needed to be there for her. I see your husband being there for you when God needed him to be there to protect you and your girls. I see the ladies at church being there for you when God needed them to be there for you.“
Those words completely changed my perspective and gave me a hope for the future. Turned my mind from fear of harming this woman and her walk with God, to hope for a future for all involved. Jesus came to seek and to save those who are lost. Me, a lost soul. My neighbor, A lost soul.
I still think of her and pray for her often. As far as we know, she has moved away. We pray she moved to a safer place and is no longer being subject to the abuse she was facing.
If you don’t gain anything else from this post, please let it tender your heart to victims of abuse. Pray for them. Often they believe they deserve the abuse they are receiving, they need the truth of the gospel to reach them and help their hearts to heal.