I am constantly amazed by the connections of my past experiences with the requirements of my current work.
About twelve weeks ago I was requested by one of our indigenous pastor families in India a resource and Biblical references to assist them with the men in their congregation. Here is the exact request:
“Sister I need a study or a sermon on husband and wife relationship according to Bible or marital life with Christ because in our church we have many broken families. Women are hard working and their husbands are fully drunkards and they beat their wives like anything. Kindly I need a sermon like how they can change their husbands…..”
It took me some time to finish this material. I worked on it in bits and parts, due mostly to the necessity to write in the Spirit of our Lord, to check and double check what I was saying and its accuracy against scripture, and in terms of truly being in service to men who are caught in patterns of spousal abuse.
Today I’ve had a follow-up conversation with the pastor in India asking how the material has been received and if it has been useful. The response is highly favourable and much thanks has been given, what remains is the change to come and in this they (and I too) are waiting on the Lord.
Within our conversation I made mention of the fact that according to all of the research and experience here in the west with angry and abusive men that a minimum of three years with heavy retraining of beliefs and the way a man thinks about women is in fact necessary to reroute that man away from abusive patterns; these patterns begin in the mind.
How do I know this? Because I’ve walked my own journey of abuse and in the process of coming out of it studied and read and dialogued and essentially learned everything I could about abuse.
How could I have known that this would be such useful information and wisdom to have this day and for those I am serving across the oceans? I didn’t know, but God knew.
When I look back I realize how broad a range of knowledge I have about many things; abusive relationships as I mentioned, but also learning disabilities, mental illness, chronic illnesses, spiritual warfare, inner healing, education, multiculturalism, leadership, spiritual abuse, prayer ministry, and such.
Quite frankly the work I am doing today required that A). I be this old, and B). that I have all these life experiences and resulting wisdoms and the knowledge learned every single step of the way.
Therefore, today, I simply give praise to my Lord God for putting my life together well. Through all the hard stuff of my life I’ve come out with so much to give and I am intent on being faithful to the giving of it with all glory to God.