Frightened and trembling, Amber’s mind raced with images of freedom versus horrifying doom. Was it courage that prompted her to open the car door to escape, or was it impulsive stupidity.
Though relieved to have gotten away from her husband’s anger and irrational handling of their vehicle, the unknown consequences for her actions shook every fiber of her being. This was not her usual response to his tyrannical outbursts. Whatever prompted her to take control of her situation did not seem as prevalent now as deciding what to do.
Where could she find shelter? Was she willing to unveil the secrecy of the abusive life she lived? She had so tediously hidden the truth of her private hell, that now she risked the possibility that no one would believe her accusations. Even if someone did, should she ask anyone to risk her husband’s wrath for aiding her? Would he turn the car around and chase her down before she could come up with a plan?
With heavy dark clouds dominating the final hours of the day’s sky, and temperatures dropping, it was getting more difficult to walk along the dirt roadside safely and keep looking over her shoulder. She had to decide what to do and where to go.
Her heart pounded fiercely within her frail frame. The throbbing muscles in her legs pleaded for relief. But where could she find solace and safety?
Tears streamed down her face as she called out to God. “Where are you Lord? Show me what to do next. Forgive me for not trusting you enough to stay in that car, but I just can’t do this anymore. Give me some kind of direction.”
Before she uttered the final words of her plea, a car honked, forcing her to open her eyes and look up. She didn’t have any idea why the driver sounded his horn, but by interrupting her, it brought her attention back to her surroundings. There before her, on the other side of the road, was a church.
Amber immediately ran across the country road, over the grassy hill, and up the cracked concrete sidewalk.
With the sun setting, it was becoming difficult to see. However, the darkness made it clear to Amber that the church was empty. She tried anyway to tug at the front doors. Locked.
Frustrated, she yelled, “Now what? God don’t get my hopes up and then slam me back down again!”
Immediately the thought occurred to her that, there might be another entrance. She walked around to the rear of the church building.
Delightedly surprised, she discovered an inside light was glowing in the basement. Running to the rear door, she grabbed the handle and yanked on it. Locked. Frantically she pounded on the faded brown door. Nothing.
Her body and resolve weakened. She could no longer go on looking for refuge. Defeated, she slumped down to sit on the rear entrance's concrete stairs. Her flowing tears increased to unmistakable grief.
“Who’s there? Jennifer, is that you? Is someone out there?” Amber jumped up as she heard the woman’s voice inside of the church.
She began shouting, “Please help me. Please open the door. I won’t hurt you, I need shelter.”
The elderly woman opened the door to find the distraught disheveled Amber. Signaling her to enter, the woman listened sympathetically as Amber shared her story. Just as Amber was concluding, another woman opened the rear door. Jennifer was returning with supplies she had gone to pick-up. The women were preparing for the midweek Ladies Bible Study. Amber’s needs took precedence over their agenda.
Relieved, she had no doubt God had led her to this church in her hour of need.
At that moment, Amber needed the shelter of the church building. Over the coming months, she needed the ministry and assistance of the church family.
God had not forsaken her. He just had to get her to a place where His people could embrace her on His behalf. Amber came to believe that the sudden courage she had that day to exit the car, actually was the Holy Spirit, leading her into the new life God had for her and her husband.
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