Effects of Domestic Abuse on the Spiritual Life of a Woman

Having drawn from the wells of older women, I learnt that women are the gatekeepers. Gate keepers of their lives. Gate keepers of their homes. Gate keepers of the society.

They tend to visualize earlier before it’s visible for mass. Hence, their spiritual health is key to their mandate.

Domestic abuse is one of the circumstances that would make a woman be irrelevant as a gate keeper. Some weeks ago Pastor Mueni Wambua asked us to talk about abuse even at the pulpit, and I choose this platform.

Counselor Naomi Ngugi says the woman’s attention shifts to her pain and her arrows are left unattended and their spongy brain suck it all in, in oblivion of their gatekeeper- their mama

The children suffer the most but I realized a victim of abuse or a couple staying in abusive relationship may not even be aware that something is amiss.

After a summon from the school to seek psychological help for my children, I sank into some dark pit I wouldn’t know how to describe. I took a leave from work added to it a whole Easter holiday and did what? Slept from morning to morning. I was beating up myself. I kept wishing for someone to come pick my babies and stay with them or I’ll do otherwise. I’d only give orders, “take out food and warm or heat water and make tea that mkorogo kind of tea…..My son is blessed in every way, he eats real food so while lying down he asks me how to make rice, I rose from whence I was shouting orders and flew to the kitchen, am somehow a paranoid mum. The gas was to be on, an easily distracted boy is in the kitchen and Cartoon network is also on.

This woman is unable to man the gate, her presence can be passively engaged or super engaged. Passive because she wants to be there for the children but she’s overwhelmed and she doesn’t know how. Actively engaged mostly because she wants the kids to forget nothing happened and that they’re ok.

The gate is open. I wouldn’t know what was going on in my children’s mind most times. As much as there’s an open door for anything and everything, even the mind of the children is an open door.

The understanding to know when, how and why to pray for her children doesn’t click at all. There will either be a knock come in prayer or none at all. Because first her knowledge of God as a father is vague, she believes not that she will be protected, provided for, led, guided or covered. She’s having a blurred vision of the father, and her hearing of the father is also getting impaired. She’s out of the sheep pen so she hears not well the shepherd.

Domestic abuse is such a wrecker.

Unless God sends people who’d feed the victim His scroll by whatever means it may take ages to experience spiritual health. God strategically planned his servants in my life who became His mouth piece till date. During those foggy days, I’d hear ladies the Lord brought into my path pray for my children; declare powerfully over them, they’d in turn make declarations over me with such earnest zeal. With time I relearnt to take God for His promises and even started seeking God without a push from anyone.

A sick gatekeeper is an open home already. Open for anything.

She won’t be a gatekeeper to her soul too. At some point she’s unsure about her identity and in oblivion, every definition would seem right however detrimental. When her will to even affirm herself is feeble she won’t cover herself in prayer. It’s ok to be emotionally unstable; we all land here at some point in life.

Domestic abuse can drive a woman in such a place that can wreck her and destabilize her in every way. I have broken down before my children, I have broken down before by bosses, I have logged into Facebook sometimes last year and broke down at those black and white photos that were being shared all over I hear in support of victims of domestic violence, I have broken down in cabs, I do watch Njoro wa Uba and applaud his conversations with clients, it happens in real life.

 I am not a conversation starter but I dive all in when it’s on a subject of interest. So one morning I am in Mwangi’s cab, he starts talking about marriage and staff, then small small I start talking, then it escalates to shouts and then I break down and cry like I’ve been waiting for that moment. I alighted, he escorted me to the office, carried all my staff and I paid two days later because I simply forgot. He’s my friend now, when we met after that incident, he took me through a sermon about the 4 lepers.

To such a broken gatekeeper, spew not condemnation and reconciliation sermons but speak some love, yes speak some more love of Jesus.

Because life has been happening since the times of acts chapter 2, I bet broken gatekeepers didn’t miss. Am sure the love they shared led them to break bread together with the ones that left their marriages too, the ones that were abused and dared to run from that scene. I love the Love displayed in acts chapter.

A whole gatekeeper is of benefit to her surroundings. Sometimes as Christians we may take a step back because we may not want to be identified with those who’ve left their marriages. You may want to wait for the other side of the story so you’re staying at the grey area, watching by the fence. So you watch your fellow gatekeeper go through torrents of emotions and you keep waiting carefully keeping your distance. You flash abroad careful smile when you meet them to make them feel safe, and say God bless you staff.

Before long, you may lose the victims to the world- people are receptive out there, or they’ll run back to the abuser or they’ll be long dead.

You see, you were waiting for the other side of the story.

You’ll lose nothing by supporting abused gatekeeper; truth will come out if it has to. You can’t keep postponing love. It’s either present or not.

An abused gatekeeper will go through a devastating fear.

With constant fears and panic attacks, she won’t see danger slithering into her home. She won’t attack it either in prayer and action; you know she’s so afraid. She’s always contemplating what will happen next, she’s careful about what she’s to say and nothing comes out authentically.

Her focus won’t be on the master creator but on the situation around her, she’ll be idolizing fear. Then she develops a defensive mechanism, she now wants to protect herself.

I remember screaming each time I’d feel a touch at night, my heart was always racing, In my mind I’d be visualizing how I’ll run to the kitchen, pick the knife and show them that I can fight for myself if they dare raise a fist on me. The idea of a gentle quiet spirit flies through the window; she will be tempted to defend herself in ugly shouts or yelling. A woman in this state murders the other person a lot of times. Their mind is filled to the brim with murderous thoughts.

How will she man the gate? Their service to Mr. Fear is constant till they’re exposed to a healthier environment. Even if they’re bornagain. The gate to her soul is wide open for bitterness, anger, resentment, hatred……and anything that cares to lodge in.

Overtime because of unquenchable desire to offer everything the abuser wants, the woman makes them an idol. And it’s so satisfying to operate as per the master’s desire. And their voice becomes the voice of reason, the voice of authority as the voice of God diminishes bit by bit. This is a kind of woman who’d tarry in the presence of God and hear nothing. To this kind of a woman, the abusers’ voice would be the truth and justifiable before court. This woman hurts more because of what the abuser said or is saying than healing because of what the Lord is saying now, and even what she heard Him say before.

This kind of a woman marinates, meditates and maximizes on the abusers words defying Psalms chapter1 like she has never come across it.

Her mind is programmed to worship her idol – the abuser

Won’t we come out of our religious closets and support the gatekeepers suffering from domestic abuse?

Beloved, I pray that in every way you may succeed and prosper and be in good health [physically], just as [I know] your soul prospers [spiritually]. (3 John 1:2 AMP)

~Emily Omondi


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