A True Story about Abuse in a Christian Home

This article is the true experience of Marcia, a Christian counselor.  The whole entry is found on her blog and is titled The Journey: Day 1 My thanks to Marcia for permission to repost here.

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The first thing I noticed about her was that she was a tiny little thing. The next thing I noticed was that she was very young. Perhaps in her late twenties, but with a look of youthful innocence.

She came into the counseling office of the church where I was a staff counselor. I didn’t recognize her as a member of the church, but we often had counselees referred to our office. She quickly found her chair opposite mine, sat down, and…was she trembling slightly? I wasn’t sure.

I leaned toward her a little and introduced myself. She responded with: “My name is Lupe.”

She was trembling. It was more noticeable now.

I led the conversation toward things I hoped would relax her somewhat, and then invited her to just share with me why she was there, whenever she was ready.

She was silent for a moment. Looking down at an invisible object somewhere on the floor, she tightly gripped her small clutch purse with both hands on its corners, centered it smoothly on her lap, and in a soft, almost breathless voice, exhaled, “I killed my husband.”

The impact of those words caused me to sit up a little straighter, but I was trained not to outwardly react. No matter what. I maintained my eye to eye contact with her…well, somewhat…because she was still looking at that spot on the floor.

Then, she abruptly raised her head and in a voice growing stronger with every advancing word, “I am a believer. I know this was wrong. I came here to find out if God can forgive me”…and the dam broke which was holding back her flood of tears.

It was not uncommon for me to kneel down beside a person in distress, wrap my arms around them and hold them until their emotions subsided. I immediately did this, and I just held her for a long time. When I sat back down, I asked gently, “Tell me about it. What happened?”

She slowly began to unravel her story of abuse. It was a common story…all too common. She had married very young. (Of course. She was STILL very young.) She had two children, a son and a little daughter. Not long into her marriage she began to realize that her husband in every area of her life was bringing her under rigid control. And then it began. The abuse.

She related horror story after horror story of battering and psychological abuse that had left her not only scarred and demoralized personally, but it had spilled over on her son. The husband had begun to vent his rage on the child.

It was a long, grueling story. A story that has become all too familiar today, as these scenarios are more and more being brought out into public awareness.

So how did she murder her husband? What took place?

After one night of violence, battering, and drunkenness, they went to bed. Her husband fell into a deep sleep. He had a habit of keeping a loaded gun beside him as he slept. She had been broken and battered that night beyond endurance…and he had also attacked the son. You can guess the rest of the story.

And here is the part that grieved and angered me the most. I asked, “Can you tell me why you never were able to leave him before this happened?” I expected her to tell me how she was afraid, or she just couldn’t because…etc.

That is not what she told me.

She said…that well-meaning (my words) mentors…thinking they were giving her wise counsel had advised her that she must stay, and pray and believe for the situation to change. She didn’t think that God would approve of her leaving the marriage.

Then the unimaginable had happened. Of course, she was immediately arrested, admitted her guilt, and due to the circumstances, was waiting for the penalty phase of her sentencing. Now she sat in my office with this look of fear, anguish, and spiritual desperation on her face. “Can God…will God…forgive me?”

Tears welling up in my eyes, I once again held her in my arms, and with a sob in my own throat, I said, “Oh Lupe! This is what the Gospel is all about!” And we wept together.

I knew that God was weeping with us.

How do I know? Well, lots of reasons, but this is enough. Jesus said He came to show us what God was like. And when His close friends wept, He wept with them. And I knew that He would have been angry at the same things that angered me. How do I know this? Because He warned His followers over and over, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees.” What was that?…the “leaven”. It was the spiritual legalism of the day that they used, to place burdens on people that were so heavy they couldn’t bear them. (His words, not mine.) I know, because He said, “The Sabbath was made for man; not man for the Sabbath.” He got His priorities straight.

And that’s one of the reasons they hated Him. They said He (the One who wrote it to begin with) didn’t keep the law. And this was one of the reasons they had the Romans crucify Him.

Lupe went away that day knowing she was forgiven.

I never heard from her after that. I did hear that she was given a light sentence. I sometimes pray that she has a new, good life…and that her story will be used to help a lot of other people.

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Gal. 5:1 (NIV)

One Response

  1. […] – Abuse in a Christian Home Posted on January 25, 2008 by dannimoss  I have posted another article by Marcia, a Christian counselor in my Articles section, under Abuse in the Christian Home.  I have […]

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