When the Storms of Abuse Touch Down; Are You Storm Ready?

“The worst decision you could make today is to ignore a severe/tornado warning,” the National Weather Service Northern Indiana tweeted. “These storms will be nasty.

My phone buzzed, rousing me from my nap; it was the Weather Chanel, our county was under a tornado watch, no imminent need to take cover. I scanned the radar map. Yup, we’re in the direct path of the storm.

The local weather station reported tornadoes touching down within this storm. Time to get ready.

“Hon, what are you doing?” I asked, ticked that he is snoozing, while watching preschool shows on Netflix. It was clear to me he had no clue about the weather.

“Go look outside. The clouds are moving crazy fast, and they’re moving in the wrong direction.”

Anger stemmed from a place deep within. Why isn’t he taking this threat seriously? I thought he said he’d keep an eye on it while I napped.

“What’s your problem?” he started.

“Excuse me? What do you mean, ‘what’s my problem?’ Severe weather is headed our way. Reported tornadoes have touched down already, and we are dead in its path. I’m getting ready for the storm.” I retorted, irritated that my husband  had issues with my desire to be prepared for a possible tornado.

He responded, “You don’t need to freak out. If it comes, it comes.”

“I’m not freaking out. Gathering water, getting our shoes on, watching the weather is not freaking out. It’s being wise; it’s being prepared. The meteorologists have been talking about this storm all weekend. They don’t do that unless it’s serious; I’m taking their word seriously,” I huffed, annoyed that he still wasn’t getting the serious nature of the weather.

My husband left the kitchen.

I continued filling toddler sippy-cups with water and gathering kid-friendly snacks in the event we needed to be in our storm closet longer than a few minutes.

Or…in case a tornado…

“Hey, babe. You’re right. This storm doesn’t look good. Do you need help carrying those water bottles downstairs?” my husband said.

“Yes. And thank you for taking this storm warning seriously.”

To deny is to refuse to admit the truth or existence of something, someone.

My husband’s denial of severe weather warnings has caused friction in our marriage. For nearly a decade, my husband pooh-poohs severe weather threats. It’s not until he looks with his own eyes, by his preferred method, in his own time that he realizes that, yes!, action is required.

Snapping at him while he stirred from slumber didn’t quiet conflict, but incited it. Both of us would have benefited from me addressing the facts first, letting him process it, and inviting him to action after he rubbed the sleep from his eyes. Even when I have strong convictions, I still need to respect my husband.

The storm system killed six people.

That’s six lives and six families who were permanently altered, and I know nothing of what that is like. My heart aches for them, as I imagine the healing and rebuilding of their lives will take much time and energy. May God bless them.

Just as deadly is the denial of abuse, any form of abuse.

Refusal to admit abuse as abuse, indifference to acknowledge the impact and effects of abuse, or abandonment to investigate concerns or hunches or suspicions of possible abuse is deadly.

Satan loves denial.

Denial, indifference, apathy, and turning-a-blind-eye are Satan’s key instruments of choice when he selects his victims to kill, steal, and destroy (Jo. 10.10)

Emotional death. Relational death. Sexual death. Spiritual death.

These are as real as physical death, and the consequences of carrying these kinds of death within one’s life reek just as badly as decomposing corpse.

Every two minutes, someone in the United States is sexually assaulted (fromRAINN.org).

One out of six women is a victim of rape.  Nearly 18 million women and almost 3 million men in the U. S. have been raped  (from mendingthesoul.org).

Every nine seconds a woman is assaulted or beaten (from domesticviolencestatistics.org).

The numbers are staggering.  A violent disturbance of the atmosphere for women (and girls) pervades.

The Storm is here, and we’re all in it.

John 10.10 doesn’t conclude with the enemy devouring our lives, but rather is contrasted with the Father, through the Son, giving us life, life abundantly. He is our refuge in the midst of all storms.

For those of us who have been abused, we have work to do to restore, rebuild, and regain health and wellness on all fronts. As we trust and lean into Jesus to walk through our fears and to find balm for our wounds, we will experience the abundance and joy and freedom in Jesus.

If you are currently being abused, please, get help! It’s not too late. Reach out. Continue to reach out until you can find help.

The storm presented inept upon arrival in our area. It was a relief that it didn’t present itself as damaging as we thought it would be, and it was a relief that we were as prepared as we could be.

Today, I’m accepting the dare to refuse to turn a blind eye to the reality of the storm our country finds itself in for its girls and women, and to trust Jesus with the burden and the sorrow this awareness arouses.

Lord Jesus, how my heart mourns and grieves the damage of the recent tornado in the Midwest last week. What sorrow is felt for the damage girls and women carry within them each and every day due to mistreatment, violence, neglect, and abuse. Come! Lord Jesus, Come!

What’s your next step?
Where are you with denial? What keeps you from facing the reality of the state of our women and girls? What action steps do you need to take next? Ask the Lord to direct you. Seek out a safe person who can counsel you and hold you accountable.

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