My heart broke for her once. We sat in this same living room a year ago when she told me her story. And now here we were again in the same room with another part of the story and I wept with her again as she asked me for my advice. She married a man she loved dearly...before she was born again. A few years into her marriage, she got saved and started attending church. Her husband didn't. A few years into her marriage, she found out he got a second wife. She was heartbroken just from the news but then she found out the woman was HIV pos. Her (now former) pastor advised her that she should stay with this man because God hates divorce. She became obsessive. Going to the clinic twice a month to check her status in torment and fear of infection. She told me that God eventually set her free from having to check and she just knew he would protect her. Then during that, the second wife bewitched her children. This means that she put curses on them to kill them but instead of death, they just got very sick. Her 5 year old bled from the mouth uncontrollably and no doctor could find any reason why. Her 9 year old boy was vomiting. Then the woman put witchcraft inside the car she was supposed to travel in. She was supposed to sit in a particular seat but instead her brother sat in the seat. He was killed in the car crash. The witchcraft remains were found. And still she stayed with him. He was verbally abusive but he was in her words "not a bad man". After all, he cared for and provided for her children. Without him, she didn't know how she would survive or how her children would survive. Then he started telling her that he wanted to take her children to live with "the other lady" in the village. She refused. He threatened her but eventually relented. I sobbed as I heard her story. I told her I could not be as strong as she was to stay in that marriage. I explained to her that such things don't happen often in my country...and to be honest with you, this is not the worst of the worst story I have heard by any stretch.
And she came to me again a few days ago. She told me that her husband wants to take her children for good to live with the other lady in the village where they have their farm. He told her that is she refused to let him go with their children, all of her children, that she would never see him again and she should never again ask her for money. Difficult decisions for her...but not too difficult. She told me...I came to you because I want you to advise me. She told me I know he is just doing this because he doesn't have money. She kept defending him saying again that he's not a bad man. I told her I understood her pain and it was evident by the tears that filled my eyes. I knew that...she loved the man despite all of that chaos. I knew her world as she knew it as flawed as it was ...was being ripped apart. I knew her heart was aching and bleeding and broken. I told her to be strong and not to let him take her children away. Her husband and "the other lady" are not born again. Her responsibility is to care for her children and raise them in the ways of Christ. I told her that God would provide for all of her needs as she trusted in Him, he would be faithful. I gave her a little bit of my personal money to help sustain her during the transition....
and my heart just hurt for her. I could see the pain in her eyes. Mostly pain from losing the man she loved as twisted as the story was...and also the pain and fear of losing her children...and then her entire world.
Her words still ring in my ears, and tears filled my eyes...."I've come to you so you can advise me." and I ask myself, who am I? Why am I here with these kinds of situations? Who am I to advise anyone what to do in something like this?
...and our hearts just ached together there. Sitting in my little sitting room with the children running in and out of the house during our conversations. What a strange and different world it is here. A world where women share their husbands and defend them. A world where men freely take other wives (though NOT in the born again churches!). A world where there is much pain and heartache and people forced to be so strong that it breaks your heart. My prayer is for healing for restoration of what God intended for these people in the Garden of Eden. Where he made them in His image, male and female...to be partners for two to become one. To love and serve each other. To hold each other's hands in tough times. Not to compete or make demands, but just to simply love with free and open hearts. May God heal hearts here that have been so wounded and battered. May He pour out restoration as His children lost and wild come home to Him, to know His love and truth that sets us so free to live to love to cherish and be cherished and to simply be who we were created to be.