Every day, you make decisions about your life. Some are simple (tonight’s dinner), others are far more complex (financial planning), but each of those decisions allows you to focus your energy and direct your life.
Imagine for a moment how it would feel to spend years being so intimidated by someone who claims to love you that you can’t make even the most basic decisions on your own. As time passes, you retreat from the family members you love and the friends whose company you enjoy. The fear grows, and you find yourself feeling more and more alone in the world.
When women arrive at Sheltering Wings, our most immediate concern is ensuring their safety. Then we get to work on something that’s just as important: we guide them from feeling alone and helpless to becoming empowered. Otherwise, they’ll fall back into the patterns that make them vulnerable to abusers. Without that sense of empowerment, and without strategies to help them make wise and informed decisions, they cannot live safe and independent lives.
Our Life Skills program focuses on helping women develop that sense of empowerment. And, to assure them that they are not alone, we encourage them to participate in a support group we call Embracing Empowerment. Recently, that group has been reviewing Lundy Bancroft’s Why does he do that? Inside the minds of angry and controlling men. They’ve discussed the cycle of abuse, why women stay in abusive relationships, myths about domestic violence, and the ten types of abusers and how they think. The conversations are difficult and emotional, but each woman’s unique experiences helps the other participants better understand their own situations. Most of all, they learn that they aren’t alone.
We help them understand the difference between knowledge, revelation, and wisdom — especially how God opens our eyes to the truth. At different times, each participant has an “Aha!” moment in which a critical concept becomes clear. We feel joy as we see the recognition in their eyes, and as their newfound confidence appears in everything from their choice of words to their physical posture. As each of the ladies grows in strength, she’s better able to help her peers through their own journeys.
God is at work every day at Sheltering Wings, and your generous support and continued prayers help Him change lives in so many wonderful ways. Thank you for everything you do for these special ladies.
In His service,
P.S. If you’d like to do something special for our mothers during the month of May (or anytime throughout the year), you can visit our Wish List at www.ShelteringWings.org/wish-list for ideas.